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Author Topic: Do Alternate History Is Powered By Retrospective Wisdom ?  (Read 502 times)
chicar
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« on: July 13, 2015, 01:19:22 am »

Can the love for alternate history be motivated by the sames mechanism who creates regrets and remorse ?  It is solely motivated by ''if they done it'' or also by ''if they knew it '' ?


Do alternate history is powered by retrospective wisdom ?
« Last Edit: July 13, 2015, 02:59:32 pm by chicar » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2015, 05:25:28 am »

wha? One would have trouble writing any sort of history without hindsight...Wink That's where the fun is...
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chicar
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2015, 03:07:53 pm »

Sorry, get the term wrong. I meant retrospective wisdom.


Translated from my psychology book:
'' would you have predicted the september 11 2001's terrorist attacks or the tragedy who happened in the Dawson college in 2006  ? Studies made during the two last décades  show than people , whiles Learning the real result of a event (or the answer to a question ) , have a tendency to be exagerately certain than they '' always knew it'' . Retrospective wisdom make us surestimated the probability of having be able to predict a event. When it is possible to compare the opinion of this persons with their judgement BEFORE a event happen, we observe than their judgement about their ability to predict the event is exagerated.  

Judgement due to retrospective wisdom can be a secondary effect of what Hawkins and Hastie call adaptative Learning , process by which we only keep what truly useful to adapt to our environment. When we try to predict the futur, we think of many possible scenarios, many possible ''events''. Hovewer, when we try to understand a event who happen. we concentrate our attention on the explication of this sole event, since it is the only ''scenario'' who effectively happened. It is a efficient process, since trying to explain events who doesn't happened can be considered  like a loss of time. '' In a sens, say Scott Hawkins and Reid Hastie, mystake due to retrospective wisdom represent the bad side of adaptative learning''. Effectively, if we are certain to have ''ever knew it'' what will happen, we are less eager to discover what to know to be able to make accurate prediction for the future. For instance, if your teacher show you the answer to a problem, you can wrongly believe, than you will have easily find by yourself the solution to this problem, what private you of one part of the teaching you can have retire of it.''

In the case of my question, it not much about ''i ever knew it'' but about ''i should have known'', about this tendency to sort what if question to our remorses and regrets.

Do alternate history is secretly powered by it ?

( note than hindsight might be the skin of it while retropspective wisdom might be the squelleton)
« Last Edit: July 13, 2015, 03:33:09 pm by chicar » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2015, 04:20:01 pm »

I don't think Alternate History and Retrofuturism are secretly powered by retrospective wisdom.

I think they're quite overtly powered by it.
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2015, 04:43:47 pm »

I think, for the writer of alternative history, science fiction or anything that involves a flight of fancy. It as important to completely understand that which your characters don't know as well as what they DO know.

The discovery of information is imperative to the narrative structure. I think as a creator you have to balance both hindsight and living in the moment in order to tell a good story. You know where the story is going, what is possible but the characters must act as if they are very much living in the moment.

Hindsight filters the world, weeding out the things which were important in-relation to the now and those which were not. How many times have you seen a bag put down on public transport and the owner moved a little too far away from it than was comfortable? Next stop the dude picks it up and gets off. You disregard the unease because it was unjustified. Nothing happened the event has no consequence.

Humans get anxious at a LOT of stuff every day. But we're also very good at forgetting the anxiety the second the situation passes. We are also masters of general unease but crap at specifics. We are rubbish at specific precognition. Doesn't stop us liking the idea of it though.

On a general note I assume your question is more about the human condition that creating within the genre? That your asking the question, is Retro-futurism some form of social side effect of the times we live in. A minor self induced, group perpetuating, psychosis brought about by reality shock?

Well you could seriously ask that about a fair few sub-cultures couldn't you?  That's not an answer. I'm not entirely sure I have one for you. It is a very interesting question though!
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