"I went to a place to eat. It said 'breakfast at any time.' So I ordered french toast during the Renaissance". --Steven Wright ... If you are a devotee of time travel, check out this song...

Saturday, December 9, 2023

For All Mankind 4.5: Al Gore as President and AI

My favorite part of For All Mankind 4.5 was Al Gore as President, 2001-2005.  First of all, that's an especially satisfying piece of alternate history, since in our reality Al Gore won the popular vote in 2000, and the Republican dominated US Supreme Court stopped the recounts in Florida which could have given Gore a victory in the essential Electoral College as well.  (Also, in my time travel story, Ian's Ions and Eons, a time-traveler from the future goes back to 2000 to prevent the Supreme Court from taking that election victory away from Gore, and it's fun to see Gore in the White House in For All Mankind, a completely different story.)

Gore as President could have given the US and the world a real jump on the climate crisis, which of course he was sounding clarion calls about in the first decade of the 21st century in our reality.  I'd like to see something showing Gore as President leading the world in responding to global warming in For All Mankind.  So far, the only notable alternate history flourish in Gore's alternate history Presidency is his taking credit for discovering a very valuable asteroid approaching Mars, mirroring what he said about inventing the Internet in our reality.  Both cases were accidentally misleading statements by Gore, but the media in both realities had a field day with them.

There hasn't been much about AI in For All Mankind as yet, but it's no doubt being used to make the fictional Gore speak so clearly about things the real Gore certainly wasn't exactly taking about in our history.  It struck me that maybe the reason the series ditched Gorbachev is there wasn't enough raw material from our history for AI to put whatever words the narrative may have needed for a Gorbachev who stayed in power in our reality at least through the early 21st century.

[And now some spoilers ahead ... ]

As what's going on now in For All Mankind on Mars, it was painful to see Poole and Baldwin at such odds, but that was probably inevitable.   The two have gone from saying hello Bob to each other to Poole stripping Baldwin from his rank and position.  I agreed with Baldwin that Poole was wrong to send the Russian back to Earth in the previous episode, but she's not wrong to be concerned about the tremor in Baldwin's hand.

On the bright side, it was good to see Dev going up to Mars permanently, and I'm looking forward to seeing how things develop with all of our characters back in the US and USSR.

Chuck Todd and Paul Levinson talk Alternate History, including For All Mankind

See also For All Mankind 4.1: Back in Business and Alternate Reality ... 4.2: The Fate of Gorbachev ... 4.3-4.4: The Soviet Union in the 21st Century, On Earth and Mars

And see also For All Mankind 3.1: The Alternate Reality Progresses ... 3.2: D-Mail ... 3.3-3.4: The Race

And see also For All Mankind, Season 1 and Episode 2.1: Alternate Space Race Reality ... For All Mankind 2.2: The Peanut Butter Sandwich ... For All Mankind 2.3: "Guns to the Moon" ... For All Mankind 2.4: Close to Reality ... For All Mankind 2.5: Johnny and the Wrath of Kahn ... For All Mankind 2.6: Couplings ... For All Mankind 2.7: Alternate History Surges ... For All Mankind 2.8: Really Lost in Translation ... For All Mankind 2.9: Relationships ... For All Mankind 2.10: Definitely Not the End

Ian's Ions & Eons2

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