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8851  Election Archive / 2008 Elections / Re: Rank top candidates in order of preference on: November 18, 2007, 07:42:50 am
It never ceases to amaze me that voters demand the truth, then punish politicians for telling them the truth.  Voters are the most arrogant, unreliable, self-absorbed people on Earth.  Voters have no right to comlain how bad their politicians are since voters are the ones who keep voting all the good guys out of office.  End rant.

As you can imagine, I strongly Agree.
8852  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Which of the following should be legal? on: November 17, 2007, 04:57:56 pm
I'm actually quite curious why exactly so many people here think "public schooling is best thing since sliced bread".
8853  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: 1988 Presidential Election - Who would you have voted for? on: November 17, 2007, 04:43:55 pm
Eugene McCarthy. Duh.
8854  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Australia 2007 on: November 17, 2007, 04:39:11 pm
Really? Because from what I've read the Liberals have pretty much conceeded Bass already (not sure on Braddon though.)

Being down 52/48 with about a week to go and with very little hope of outside help is pretty much dead. Not quite, but almost.

The collapse of the Mersey hospital bribe may have damaged the Liberals in Braddon.

Well if that is the case (and let's not forget Australia's compulsory voting system may leave alot of "undecideds") then the Liberals really are in serious, serious trouble. Not that that is a bad thing or anything from my point of view.
8855  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Australia 2007 on: November 17, 2007, 01:00:03 pm
Some outfit called EMRS has done a poll of Tasmania:

Denison: ALP 70%
Franklin: ALP 59%
Lyons: ALP 58%
Bass: ALP 55% (with the Greenies doing very well on primary votes; due to the whole pulp mill thing)
Braddon: ALP 52%

59% for Tasmania as a whole.

Poll was conducted between 1st and 6th of November.

They've done another one.

The only numbers that we've got for now is for Bass; ALP 52%. Nothing for the other seats seems to have been published yet, but by the sound of it Bass is the only one that's even slightly close.

More details when they can be found.

Really? Because from what I've read the Liberals have pretty much conceeded Bass already (not sure on Braddon though.)
8856  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Redistricting...Ireland? on: November 17, 2007, 12:19:54 pm
Tis a good day! I hope afleitch can continue to make his map based on your constituencies Smiley

I hope so given that I am the suckage with map drawing and computer appliances in general. Sad

Btw with this new data I've realized some of these constituencies are a bit off.. to say the least. Ah well. I tried; sadly the county boundaries really don't fit into 60,000 electoral seats. Especially given that Ireland gives out it's seats by population not electorate (In Electorate terms, Dublin West and North are somewhat overrepresented in the Current Arrangements.)
8857  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do a lot of posters on here take themselves too seriously? on: November 17, 2007, 12:10:03 pm
I know I take myself too seriously, but I do that in real life too. Just another character flaw on my part.
8858  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Redistricting...Ireland? on: November 17, 2007, 11:37:04 am
Plus I now have additional access to more demographic data. (Not online sadly Sad )

Dare one ask the source?

Aye; NUIM college library.
8859  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Is the individual pictured in the preceding post closer to fascist or commun on: November 17, 2007, 11:32:55 am
If I am guessing right this was the ex-Bader-Meinhof gang leader who was said to have shot himself in prison. But from that Angle clearly not. OMG CONSPIRACY11!. But clearly a Commie.

In this case I'm referring to the man on the right; not the woman.

8860  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Do you oppose school vouchers under ALL circumstances? on: November 17, 2007, 11:26:04 am
No never, Kinda, Sort of - Many Private schools have an awful "ascendancy" atmosphere to them; like what Snowguy said about "keeping the riff-raff out" but this should not mean parents should be limited in their choices over what sort of schooling to pick for their children.

In saying that a Voucher scheme rubs me the wrong way for the simple reason that can be used by financial\governmental interests to expand their power over private schools.
8861  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: In general, who has more disdain for the other group? on: November 17, 2007, 11:23:14 am
Suburbanites for urbanites because most suburbanites are such because they wanted to get away from scary brown people.
Exactly. Anyone who votes the other option... really, people, where've you got your brains parked? Out in the inner city where your grandad left in 1950?

Pretty Much. Though it really depends on what Suburban is; I part my time between two suburbs of Dublin city; though both are not suburbs in the traditional sense as they were originally small towns which were engulfed by the expansion of city; both places are fairly middle class but I can't say I noticed much people indulging in such snobbery. In saying that in pretty much everywhere in Dublin County people consider themselves part of the city, "town" is where everything happens and is the centre of the universe.

But if you referring to those horrible new suburbs on east coast filled with what be called McMansion or pretentious yuppie holes; then yes there is snobbery.

Of course that sort of snobbery is more pronounced between "town people" and "city people" and not to mention the rural areas in Ireland.
8862  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Redistricting...Ireland? on: November 17, 2007, 08:09:26 am
Bumpity Bump. I'm going to try and get this running again pretty soon. Plus I now have additional access to more demographic data. (Not online sadly Sad )
8863  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Say something to make the preceding poster's day. on: November 17, 2007, 08:04:24 am
Germany hasn't voted for a Republican presidential candidate in a long time either. And then only by accident too. Wink
8864  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Is the individual pictured in the preceding post closer to fascist or commun on: November 17, 2007, 07:43:08 am
Fascist, unless you mean "Marxist-Leninst" in which Mulrooney at heart showed some sympathy, you know with the whole Reaganite view of the world thing. That and GST o\c.

8865  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Which is the best form of schooling? on: November 17, 2007, 07:27:55 am
What dost thee mean by "best"? As a matter of principle I think that schools should be in the public sector, but refusing to acknowledge that a private education gives people an unfair advantage in life is foolish. The trouble with private education isn't that it's bad for the children that have it, but for those that don't.

I never did (I *think* that was referring to me) - I realize that right now the alternatives to the system of state schooling (it's actually quite a common term BRTD, do you know in the UK what is known as a "Public school" is actually in reality a form of Private schooling?) especially for those of lower-lower-middle income and social brackets are not particulary feasible. My issue here is with agendas, eventually I would like it if all schools were communally-run and not run for profit (which is a HORRIBLE idea) or for the purpose of growing one into an ideology or into a state. I realize that dream is far, far away for many different reasons.

My problem is that state schools are undemocratic by their nature and have hierachial structures built into them; they also seem to have a monopoly on defining "Intelligent Children" (Ie. Those who well in school) and those who are considered "Failures". Admittely this was worse in the previous generations due to, among other things, corporal punishment and "Respecting your elders" and we have made some process, but the same structual remains.

@BRTD: Perhaps you should familiarize yourself with the notion of the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hidden_curriculum as my whole idea on based it. It is (for various reasons) something which is rarely discussed outside of certain intellectual-social spheres and that's probably the reason why imo some of the entrenched liberals here seem to support compulsory public\state schooling (State schooling = Schools run by the state, that is what you are supporting, right?) as they see that option in opposition to the "conservative" option which often seems to be "Let's get rid of public schooling because it's giving different ideas to the ideas we want to give them" (vide StatesRights).

After all a classroom does not to be structured in the way it is, a teacher does not need to be at the front, the desks (why desks?) need to scattered in front of him\her, etc as I have said before the classroom is structured quite similiarly to an office (or even, to slightly stretch things, a prison) this is no fault of the individuals in the process, just the process itself is bad. State schooling as it exists right now is more about helping children adapt to social reality of the present then questioning and developing different ideas about social reality or allowing children to develop personally. In other words, the schooling system is not really democratic. THAT is my problem with State schooling; which because of various special interests involved in government (Financial and commercial interests want people to adapt to their needs, ergo that previous Wilson quote, also the government can (and does) use education as a security wedge to promote Status quo ideas. And what could be more threatening then questioning the Status Quo? BTW I also believe this to be case with Private schools at the moment aswell; I went to a semi-private after all. And my experience there aswell as those of my friends are part of what shapes my current opinions.)

Of course that is only an overview of my ideas; to give some sort of real flavour I'd have to post another 2,000 article and that would be horrible. That or read Ivan Illich, it's your choose.
8866  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Do You Believe In Free Will? on: November 16, 2007, 04:41:27 pm
Yes; sort of. But not in ideal sense in that a human being will always be faced with a limitless bunch of options and then chooses his\her path. In reality Cultural, Economic and Social (not to mention, Psychological and Biological but those aren't my fields.) are always going to limit the list of choices available; to use a crude example many Jews will get physically ill after eating pork (accidentally) - this of course is a purely "natural" reaction - getting ill to a true cultural competent. In some ways Culture and the body react and transform each other in strange and difficult ways to understand.

But that does not mean we don't have options; after all culture is a human invention and it's quite clear that humans can somehow transform it, though whether via individual effort or not is difficult to determine. To claim a deterministic view needs to evoke a deity imo to make some of sense because even within those cultural-social-economic-psychological parameters people still can make decisions which act outside of perceived norms; in each society there also seems to some numbers of "non-conventional" thinkers; though the reasons for this are difficult to explain. One theory is that subconciously there are a certain numbers of positions or roles one can play in human society and through unknown-strange and probably very symbolic-psychological factors one is chosen. Of course this leads on to (the much more interesting imo) question of Mind and Body.

So in short to borrow Einstein's metaphor; Humans can make choices between alternatives; but the dices in their brains are always loaded towards certain alternatives. (not that punchy I know; I'll think of something better. Smiley )

EDIT: One thing I wish to add is that all(?) humans seem to believe that there are some things which are not bound by free will but by what we will call "deeper forces" - want an example, pop over the bi-weekly "Is Gayness a choice OMG!111" debate. But seems what those deeper forces are and what factors are\are not bound by free will seem to change throughout history. Which to give an example sticking on the homosexuality theme, the attitudes of the Greeks towards homosexuality were tolerant (sort of) enough not to see it as a philosophical or political issue but a matter of human association. So perhaps the best way to have pure free will is not to be philosophical at all. Smiley
8867  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Which is the best form of schooling? on: November 16, 2007, 04:32:20 pm
Thanks for ignoring my previous questions. Anyway your response just confirmed pretty much all my prejudices of you; despite how "unconvential" you wish to seem you still think of education as a conveyor belt of children; it's entire function is to produce workers (to put an Opeboesque flavour on it) and if that children don't find into that straight jacket you create for them then they will just fail at life and be horrible people.

And Summerhill has been open since 1921; and has been pretty unchanged. So I would say it's pretty successful.

I wish I could write a longer reply but to be honest I wish someone else was here to argue this; I feel like talking to a brick wall with you Red.
8868  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Which is the best form of schooling? on: November 16, 2007, 03:33:00 pm
Oh for the record I would support schooling along these lines (though this is not in specifics what I would have in mind):


Actually I think you would quite like it there BRTD.
8869  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Which is the best form of schooling? on: November 16, 2007, 03:13:01 pm
Public schools ARE communal schooling.

Not quite; Public schools are run by the state, communal schools are run by the community or a community of individuals; I know that subtle difference might be beyond you but it has to be made.

And now let's back to more important things like why I am a "nader loving fascist" for my opinions on State Education. (And that IS what we are referring to when we say Public school I assume?)

I will once again end this with a Woodrow Wilson Quote:

"We want one class to have a liberal education. We want another class, a very much larger class of necessity, to forgo the privilege of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks."

And with this inquiry:

BRTD, what do you think should be taught in schools? What is the function of a school, or of an education for that matter? What do you think is being taught in state schools as of now or as of, say, 50 years ago? Is it really that different? What do you believe is the function of a state school and so on?
8870  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Which is the best form of schooling? on: November 16, 2007, 02:45:44 pm
Home schooling is a joke
Excuse me?

Of course I have a profoundly low opinion of the Religious Right, which completely fails at educating children just as it fails at pretty much everything except for perpetuating irrational hatred, but it seems that many people conveniently disregard the existence of liberal homeschoolers. I have encountered a number of previously homeschooled fellow Mathematics majors here at UC Berkeley and know many more from my other college, and I am friends with other homeschoolers from an alternative family education organisation in Santa Cruz. Just because fundamentalist Christian losers in Nebraska adamantly refuse to allow their children to learn about the real world doesn't mean that everyone throughout the country functions in the exact same way. I'm certainly not ignorant enough to conclude that all public schools are useless simply because the public schools in my home district are total jokes.

As for the original question, I don't have any strong preferences; it really depends on the individual child. I didn't ever attend a public grade school, but I am very satisfied with public universities. UC Berkeley is significantly cheaper than Stanford University and I love the culture; whilst I am applying to public universities for graduate school mostly because of financial concerns, it is also because I simply don't fit in at private universities. I dislike private institutions in general because of the festering elitism and socioeconomic issues, though I wouldn't call for them to be banned.

Some people are intrigued that I am not a huge advocate of homeschooling, but it's mostly because I absolutely hate the association with the Religious Right.

Now, I suppose that I should hasten back to reviewing for my "joke" Complex Analysis exam, but I felt somewhat compelled to get my two cents in.

Good God, YES.

It's funny but in Europe what homeschoolers\communal schooling\deschoolers (there's another two options) there are tend to be on the far left; probably due to influence of neo-Marxist thinkers like Gramsci and Althusser.

I could elaborate if you like but I suspect that only BRTD will listen and will then call me a "Nader loving fascist" for it.
8871  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Saudi Arabia: Gang-rape victim sentenced to 200 lashes and 6 months in jail on: November 16, 2007, 02:42:02 pm
The usual crowd of morons trying to make political capital out of this I see. Not nearly as bad as the actual news item here, but it still leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
8872  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Say something to make the preceding poster's day. on: November 15, 2007, 02:30:43 pm
The entire management teams of Kickers Offenback and Bayern Munchen have arranged a battle royale to the death. The winners get to eat the losers. In the end, there will be no survivors.
8873  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Worst Political Defeat in History? on: November 15, 2007, 12:51:17 pm
1918 General Election
Sinn Féin 73 (+73)
Unionist Party22(+4)
Irish Parliamentary Party7(-75)
Labour Unionist3(+3)
Independent Unionist1(-1)
Liberal Unionist0(-2)


Also had a much greater impact on Irish History than the 1993 election ever had on Canadian.
8874  General Politics / Book Reviews and Discussion / Re: The Southern Victory Series by Harry Turtledove on: November 15, 2007, 11:56:30 am
Edison also invented a car that could run on ethanol and suggested it as an ideal fuel.  You know why it never happened?  Because at the time petroleum was more plentiful and cheaper.  That goes right to my point... somethings just make sense, and you can't change that no matter how you try to bend the rules.

Irrelevant to my original point. While the actions of individuals are shaped by global resources and culture; individuals can also play a role in creating that culture and thus future reality. The electric chair for example was only really adopted due to Edisonion (Edisonite?) propoganda. And he only invented it to spite Telsa. It's likely without that rivarly that the electric chair would never have been invented. And while you are right that it might have invented somewhere else that would lead a very different history of Capital punishment if it was say, first used in Germany. Again I repeat the Electric chair was only used due to Edison's propoganda campaign - not because it was a more effective method of execution than hanging (of which there were more effective alternatives given what was known in the 1900s.)

And I highly doubt that American raw materials and resources would have gone unexploited, and even if exploited by European companies (highly unlikely as that is more anachronistic thinking in terms of how people of that age traveled and thought) then they still would have had to build their factories here in the US, since the means just weren't in place to ship that stuff across the Atlantic back to Britain, France, etc.

Travelled and Thought? I was mainly thinking of trade merchants; not "ordinary folks" - no I don't think American resources would have been unexploited just that the development of industry would have been retarded enough to create stronger competitors in Britain and Germany who would have built stronger trade and colonial empires. Just leaving American industry well behind that is all. (And of course this is where the "What happens to the American dream?" bit fits in.)

Also, Europe was already massively exporting its culture to the US, it wasn't until the 1920's that that tide even started to reverse and it took until the 1970's until that started full force.

I know; but that generally in form of immigration quite different to how America exports culture today (which btw started really with Hollywood, not in the Post-war era. The former Indonesian president Sukarno considered Hollywood film directors to be the world's greatest revolutionaries due to the way they presented American life (and all it's glamour). Go figure.)

And again; what would happen to the immigration here? Would all those migrants go to Richmond (for example) Instead of New York.

I believe he played a very significant part in the closing days and the (mostly) peaceful result that followed.  But my point in saying that there would have been "no need" for Reagan is to say that the political landscape that allowed him to get elected would have been so drastically different that his already unlikely assent to the Presidency would have been damn near impossible.

Agree with everything there except for the first bit. But I don't wish to argue that now.

All reasonable points, as I stated, certainly with FDR (though TR is another good example).  But much is made of the Putnam Strikes that is probably a bit over-blown.  The odds of them over-throwing the government are pretty limited, and even then, there would have been no real "theory" to work off of, as Marxist thought was not nearly as well established.  More likely, had the strikes spread and gotten out of hand (and remember, they didn't have modern media to spread the word of the workers "uniting") then the army would have been sent in to put it down, and even had that failed, then there would have been a brief period of anarchy that would have petered out once the uneducated masses realized they couldn't set up a government and were getting paid anymore, and couldn't eat because basic services had broken down and order would have been restored.  None of the things that were in place to make Russia the perfect storm in 1917 were present in the US in the 1870's.  One has to remember that the reason the revolution survived was because of Trotsky and Lenin (two rather exception, if despicable figures), take them out of the picture and it would have been little more than an unorganized peasants revolt.

Well about Marxism there was alot of Marxist thought about even before radio never mind TV or Internet; also the year the Communist Manifesto was published was the year of (mainly) Nationalist inspired revolutions across Europe; 1848. Didn't need noo-media then. Back then while far less people were literate those that were tended to read alot more than today. For example on average more people read Shakespeare's works in the 19th Century than today.

As for Russia, there wasn't really the true conditions either except that the state was so weak and disorganized that a ragbag force like Lenin's could take it over. What would happen if 2,000 armed marched unnoticed (how? God Know) in Washington today and declared a new state? That is pretty much what happened in Ireland in 1916 btw.

That's just plain wrong.  The emergence of corporations had been a part of the industrial revolution from its very beginning in England.  It was just the natural evolution of things.  Granted, the war kick started it here in the US (allowing regional groups to develop) but any war at all was bound to do that, and we are allowing for some of the war to have happened in this scenario.

All you need in similar inventions, they don't have to be exactly the same.  Tons of cola based soft drinks were invented independently from one another.  Even if you eliminate Coke, we still would have Pepsi or Dr. Pepper, thus you get basically the same effect.

Yes; but then the focus of development would have been very different. Perhaps new and different cities would have got stronger, etc. But the expansion of Corporate power needed the law to accodomate it which was happened with the Santa Clara case.

Plus often these goods started off as single individual inventions; while if there was no Kodak there might have been an X\Y\Z. It might have been German or British. It might not have influenced the history of advertising in the same way; also it may have been far more elitist and less "common man" orienated (though I admit consumerism was a natural development from the Corporation) and so on.

I don't get your point.  Sure they weren't easy to spot then, they never are, but that doesn't mean they aren't happening.  I defiantly didn't spot the emergence of the ipod when it was happening, yet my realizing that fact would have done little to change the direction of things, other than I might have bought one earlier.

A would-be northern industralist in 1865 might see very different things to you and give up hope and go back to selling soap for a living. Perhaps that industralist might have turned out big. Who knows?
8875  General Politics / Book Reviews and Discussion / Re: The Southern Victory Series by Harry Turtledove on: November 15, 2007, 11:42:31 am
Most of the areas of the country that remained loyal to the Union had been settled primarily by New Englanders.  The Civil War was not all about slavery, it was a war about different ways of thinking and different cultures.  Since most of the people living in Ohio, Illinois, etc still maintained a strong cultural identity with those in the Northeast, its unlikely that they would have seceded the the South did.  Granted, cultural differences between the Midwest, Northeast, Pacific did develop, but not until generations after the initial secession occurred, making it less likely the country would have just Balkanized.

True I never said it was likely; though perhaps reaction to defeat would have been significant. A farmer in say, Maryland or Southern Indiana would have reacted differently to defeat than say, a classic New England WASP type. (Assuming Maryland stays in the Union after defeat.)

The movement towards and settlement of the West was almost an inevitability at this point.  If you want to go back to 1760 and have the Native Americans start to form their own land and modernize it, then I can see  how you might stop it... or if you stop the invention of the railroad, but not by the time the Civil War happened.  It would take a truly earth-shattering event to stop it.

Certainly. But here we would have the problem of having two rivals competing over the Indian terriority. Now admittely at this point most of the remaining Indians were based in Dakota, Montana, etc and wouldn't have been an issue for the CSA but what have been done  with Nevada or even Utah. (And what would happen to Mormonism?)

Certainly, the culture changes, I don't disagree with you there.  In what way, hard to say.  It's often be thought that the result would be a more progressive United States, economically, but this is based largely on anachronistic thinking, especially since, until recently, the South gave tremendous power to the economically liberal party.  A lot of what happens depends on how Southerners treat the blacks.  I'm personally of the opinion that things would have gotten progressively better, but that's not guaranteed.  Then from there, to what extent is the influence of black culture (specifically black music) accessible to whites?  Hard to say.

All Good Points. Almost impossible to say. All it would do is due to actions of individuals in this regard. Though it's quite possible that a much more radical black movement would start in the North as I suspect it would be the first port of call towards runaways and immigrants; and probably lead to a very divided black culture between 'north' and 'south': see my thread on Draptemania for example (And of course in this scenario What would happen to Immigration to America without it being such a success?; Many of the most important American innovations were made by Immigrants.)

As you pointed out, a less economically inhibited North might invite radical change in and of itself, but it is hard to say whether any change would be progressive or revolutionary.  If a revolt were attempted and put down, then would immigration policies in the North have become harsher as immigrants were blamed for the troubles?  Perhaps.

Quite possibly; the North would probably be more attracted to political extremes much more than the south ever was down to the political and social culture of the North (More "Working Class" in the conventional sense, etc)

I never claimed to be able to make sure statements about these things.  I can't replay the game again with something else happening (though I wish I had that power, because that would be quite interesting, provided I could fix it when I was done looking at all the possibilities).  I can, however, look at what was going on at the time and reasonably extrapolate certain probabilities and use common sense to fill in the rest.

True; but then again I'm of the school of thought that Common Sense is just a cultural construction; so it's looking back in time with 2007 glasses. Not that I claim that's not what I'm doing.

While you might be right, I think the war would be seen by many in the United States as less a confidence shaking moment and more as an inevitability that was bound to happen.  It might seem harsh to say this, but the South factored very little into the "American Dream" until around the 1960's.  They were quite simply a non-factor until the Civil Rights movement redefined what the American Dream meant.  As I said, the South was a dead water.  It is possible and indeed likely that a South that wasn't prostrate for 80 years would have contributed a lot more to culture and economy of the world.

For sure.

As for your comment about the migration, I don't see how that would effect trade, as it would just be a movement of the "surplus" people, if you will.  The same number of people would stay in place to keep things running.  Western settlement would have just happened a little faster... or actually at about the same pace, since the Southerners who migrated West from the post-war South wouldn't have done so.

Why wouldn't they? Lands to settle, resources to exploit, it would extremely advantageous to the South to expand. Just because the North won the war didn't mean they stopped at Kansas. Manifest destiny and Jacksonism was the strongest in the South, no?

I agree with btw about when the war would end being very important. As a student of WWI AH the difference a Germany win in 1914 and a Germany win in 1918 would have been enoromous. Timing and context is everything.

Yeah, but I can pluck anything out of my ass that I want and call it "fantasy".  In my mind that doesn't make it good writing.  In order for something to be worth reading, it has to have some basis in reality.  Just like a good joke has to contain some element of truth.

I wouldn't disagree with your assertion. Just that I tend to believe what was in the book had some basis in reality and you don't. That's all really.

Germany was already a center technological power, they just were the center of another continent, which is my point.  It is likely these thing might as gone up and down a bit, but like a merry-go-round, everything is still going to head in more or less the same direction, at least for a while.

Yes I know Germany was already a technological centre, what I was saying was that Germany would become THE industrial and technological centre of the world without competitive. No country America or Germany or Tuvalu exists in a vacuum with it's neighbours or even it's further away ones. Without American competition it's likely Germany would have filled in the gap left by America; plus their cultures aren't too dissimiliar when it comes to individual innovation (which is one of many reasons I'd rule out France. Britain too; but for other reasons. At the time it didn't need to struggle.)

And, yeah, there is a reason cars are the way they are.  That's because having the driver in the front, with the means of control in front of him and others in the back or to the side with four wheels is the most logical way of assembling a moving vehicle.  That's why carriages were designed the way they were and its a design that has been repeated independently throughout the world.  Even if the carriage had never been invented and the car had been, chances are they would have looked more or less the same as they do now.

Why not put engines in the back and have the trunk\boot in the front. Or even have the engine inside the car. There is no logical reason not to have either. Why does have a car have to usually seat four (Traditionally; yes I know the answer - the Nuclear family. Perhaps this is a problem in Capitalism; it supports individual innovation but only to meet the demands of the present society and all that entails. Most change via technology was not an intention of it's inventors.)
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