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The UnBeatling

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What would life today have been like had The Beatles never existed? I mean, the members of The Beatles would exist, just had never achieved any impact musically either together as The Quarrymen, or individually throughout their lives. They just went and got ordinary jobs instead.

I think as a cultural movement, it’d be quite a strong thing to refer to the alternative “UnBeatling” or “UnBeatled” view of anything in particular about today’s life. It’d detail what would be different about the thing under question, and precisely why this would be the case.

Not just music, although this would be the obvious majority case. Any other aspect of culture. What would it be like instead, if we UnBeatled it?

Ian Tindale, Dec 08 2018

Death of an Ostrich https://www.quotes.net/mquote/688545
No mention of the Walrus or the Eggman, though. [8th of 7, Dec 09 2018]

/r/TIL post on bads https://www.reddit....oods_but_there_are/
off topic, not that this idea has much of one [notexactly, Dec 09 2018]

Delayed choice quantum eraser at wikipedia https://en.wikipedi...oice_quantum_eraser
[beanangel, Dec 10 2018]

The Rutles https://www.youtube...watch?v=54KBPA20b9Q
Cruelly but hilariously parodied by the Beatles. [MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 10 2018]

Film: Yesterday https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8079248/
"only person on Earth who can remember The Beatles after waking up in an alternate timeline where they never existed" [bigsleep, Jul 27 2019]


       I shudder to think. (However, I'm not sure what the invention is.) That being said, I would love to know what an UnTrumpled would be like, bad.
blissmiss, Dec 09 2018

       Ah, but [blissmiss], the two are one and the same.   

       Trump's policy on both climate change and public debt is to "imagine all the people living for today". Also, Trump's pussy- grabbing is merely an homage to that passage in the poetry of Jim Morrison, where he fantasised riding through the ruins of civilisation, where there would be "chained meat maids". And Trump's attitude to truth and reality is basically that of Roland Barthes and his friends. (Or, to use John Lennon's phrase, "everything is the opposite").   

       Trump is because the sixties were.
pertinax, Dec 09 2018

       This is a very interesting question, philosophically; what was/is the social and cultural impact of the Beatles ?   

       Without them, would the timeline be significantly different, or would the same - or very similar - set of circumstances have eventuated, but just focused on another group of musicians ? Were they just in "the right place at the right time" ?   

       <Godwin's Law disclaimer>   

       Similarly, it is instructive to ask if Hitler was the cause of subsequent events, or was his "success" merely a function of the social and economic circumstances of Germany ? Would any glib, populist rabble-rouser have done ? After all, the waiting room is always full of noisy, opinionated idiots.   

       </Godwin's Law disclaimer>   

       Once Graf von Schlieffen has written his Plan, and the railways are built, and the treaties signed, the dominos are all balanced on edge. It doesn't need Gavrilo Princip in particular to start the cascade, just as any one neutron can trigger a chain reaction.   

       And then the poor old ostrich dies for nothing ...
8th of 7, Dec 09 2018

       Actually, Godwin's Law is sort-of because of the sixties, because (I think) it was in the sixties that Adorno published his Negative Dialectic. And it's specifically because of Negative Dialectic that apparently intelligent people tried to dispense with all moral absolutes *except* "Which side of this debate is more like the Nazis?"   

       Hang on. I've explained that here before. I'm going to need an #include file for it, like [8th]'s EOSSACR.H.
pertinax, Dec 09 2018

       The pendulum swings, niches are created in its wake which are filled. Hitler in one reality, Hister in another, but nothing changes until the pendulum gets wrestled to a stand-still.   

       Well that sounds really pompous now that I read it over.
<posts it anyway>

       I tend to think most invention or cultural progression is, on the whole, inevitable. It might not happen exactly the same way, but it will happen sooner or later. The vectors of rock/pop didn't necessarily need to go through the Beatles.   

       // UnTrumpled//   

       This is related to the ongoing identity crisis of most of the world for which the solution is to build walls and wardrobes against the walls so that people can hide. If you look carefully you can already see the signs leading up to these grand thumb sucking projects.
bigsleep, Dec 09 2018


       Umm, you realise "Hister" was just an ancient name for the river Danube, right? What Nostradamus predicted about "Hister" was severe flooding of the Danube. That's all. And the Danube was historically prone to flooding, so it wasn't a very daring prediction.   

       See also Thucydides' remarks about prophecy in general; google Thucydides limos loimos. He wasn't born yesterday, you know.
pertinax, Dec 09 2018

       // "Hister" was just an ancient name for the river Danube //   

notexactly, Dec 09 2018

       // most invention or cultural progression is, on the whole, inevitable. //   

       For invention, certainly. The development of steam power is a good example.   

       Inventions generally require "enabling technology" to be in place before they can occur.   

       Cultural progression (if any) is more doubtful, as "culture" is, in the end, just stuff people make up as they go along, and is subject to change without notice. Technology doesn't play such a big role, although it is important. "Rock and roll" became practical with the development of compact, portable, robust and affordable audio amplifiers, better recording technology (like pressed vinyl records), and more efficient transportation. But the driving factors were social, not technical.
8th of 7, Dec 09 2018

       I'd just like to add that I have nothing to add to this debate.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 09 2018

       Would that it were so for every other HB thread ...
8th of 7, Dec 09 2018

       <off topic> I went to /r/TIL to post the Hister thing, and I found another post there [link] about bads in economics, the opposite of goods. It reminded me of one of the taglines here, "Not baked goods, Professor! Baked bads!". </off topic>
notexactly, Dec 09 2018

       // Umm, you realise "Hister" was just an ancient name for the river Danube, right?//   

       I did not know that. There was absolutely no mention of that in the Notrilldumbass documentary I watched and I want my money back!   

       So many things I don't know... but it could have easily have typed Hilter instead.
My point was that people seem to need groups. Groups seem to have only so many niches to fill. Unless guarded against history repeats, so I think that Hitler was just an inevitability looking for its niche.

       So, "Poor Hitler, none of it was his fault. He was just a victim of circumstances." ?   

       That's just the sort of thing a Nazi would say ...   

       <Awaits Godwin call/>
8th of 7, Dec 09 2018

       Of course he was at fault, you choose your niche, but if it hadn't been there to be filled?...   

       No Hitler.   

       I think perhaps [2 fries] was only thinking about the war itself there? that given the social, economic & political background at that time in Germany a war was inevitable with or without Hitler & someone would have arisen to fill his spot if he wasn't there.   

       His decisions on how to prosecute that war domestically against portions of Germany's own populace (Jews, Gypsies etc) & then export that treatment to non-domestic elements of those ethnic groups is another matter entirely.   

       That took a special style of twisted that couldn't have been reliably predicted to happen without someone just like him driving the bus.
Skewed, Dec 09 2018

       But // you choose your niche // contradicts // Hitler was just an inevitability looking for its niche //.   

       What you're saying is presumably that German society at that time had a Hitler-shaped hole ready for a firey demagogue to drop into.   

       Under other circumstances, a firey left-wing demagogue - a Lenin or a Mao - could perhaps have filled that gap.   

       So how much is "choice" and how much is "pressure of circumstances" ? Remember, Hitler was elected by a democratic vote.   

       Oh, and we are not being facetious here. This is a genuinely important point.   

       Hitler was not obliged to use his power to butcher millions of innocent people. But he was given that power by the people of Germany through the ballot box, and until 1941 a lot of them went along with it and still thought he was a Good Chap.   

       This touches on the "collective responsibility" aspect of Nazism; to what extent should all adult Germans of that era be considered guilty ? This is very different from Japan, which was still at heart an Imperial system with only a short history -less than a century - of "democracy". There, it is more reasonable to apportion blame to the "militarists".   

       The Germans had no such excuse. They may not have actually waded through the turgid rantings in Mein Kampf, but it was freely available to anyone who cared to read it. And they still voted for him.   

       If a wayward bullet had taken out Adolf in 1918, would there have been an equally vile, or worse, person to fill the niche ? Hess, Göring, Himmler ?   

       Oh, and what [Skewed] said.
8th of 7, Dec 09 2018

       I think the important thing here is that there’s a ‘shape’ or ‘trajectory’ which takes a starting point, which might feature a lot of commonality with what others in a similar role were doing at the time, and moving that or shifting that basis to another more permutated and evolved platform, such that it is nearly unrecognisable were it not for the remembered history of the people involved.   

       As a concrete example, they looked and sounded much like many other similar groups in the public awareness at that time. As the progress went, they ended up gradually introducing lots of more esoteric and difficult to accept elements into their ethos, which if you had only just come in at that point would seem quite starkly dramatic and extreme. This is the case when looking back on such periods of history from, for example, now. We look back now and see not the gradual creep forward, but the sudden jump back to an evolved scenario, and it is frankly more shocking than having lived through it at the time.
Ian Tindale, Dec 09 2018

       // see not the gradual creep forward, but the sudden jump back to an evolved scenario, and it is frankly more shocking than having lived through it at the time //   

       That's an excellent point, [IT].   

       When things are happening, you are in the midst of them, and there are many things competing for your attention, from daily trivia to life-changing drama. Thus "the spectator sees most of the game". Even amid a war, your primary concern may not be that you might be bombed tonight (though that may continually prey on your mind), but more immediately, "Where can I get some toilet paper" or "What can I eat for dinner" ?   

       There is a tendency to rationalize history such that a particular sequence of events is "inevitable", but in reality that's never true. It only looks that way in hindsight. Oh yes, a very similar sequence of events would probably have occurred, but no scenario is "inevitable".   

       We are referring to social change, here - not orbital mechanics. Physical events like cometary impacts can fairly be described as "inevitable" as they obey the rigid laws of physics and mathematics. There is only a vanishingly small chance that some other event will intervene. It is non-zero, but very small - small enough to be statistically insignificant.   

       By the way, by // gradual creep // are you referring to Mr. Rees-Mogg ?
8th of 7, Dec 09 2018

       Who? Sounds like a made-up name.
Ian Tindale, Dec 09 2018

       Not just a made-up name; a complete made-up person* ...   

       * For a given value of "person". Opinion is somewhat divided on the issue.
8th of 7, Dec 09 2018


       "Jacob William Rees-Mogg is a British politician serving as the Member of Parliament for North East Somerset since 2010. A member of the Conservative Party, characterised as socially conservative. Rees-Mogg was born in Hammersmith, London, and educated at Eton College."   

       //characterised as socially conservative//   

       He's not completely sure he believes in being social but he'll give it a go.   

       Everyone else wishes he wouldn't.
Skewed, Dec 09 2018

       Ah, politician then. (Well, this week)
Ian Tindale, Dec 09 2018

       There actually is a kind of time machine called the delayed choice quantum eraser [link]   

       Viewing either of two different outputs causes the path the photons take to be retrocausally modified to favor one path or the other.   

       So, improving this you have the photon path linked to donated sperm. If it takes one path it comes out of one tube, and the other tube if the other photon path is viewed.   

       The baby is conceived, but no one ever looks at the apparatus to determine the photon's path. The child grows up. The person notices they are unhappy. They telephone the scientist and have them observe the delayed quantum choice eraser. Then retrocausally the tube of sperm used changes, and at the observable universe the biological and mental identity of the person changes to a different person, possibly making them happier.
beanangel, Dec 10 2018

       //So many things I don't know//   

       Don't be embarrassed, [2 fries]; that's socratic wisdom*: It's the documentary makers who should be embarrassed, possibly in some sort of medieval pillory, for the offence of augmenting the pestilent herds of inauthentic wildebeest** that trample public discourse.   

       *"Wisest is he who knows that he does not know."   

       **fake gnus
pertinax, Dec 10 2018

       // Thus "the spectator sees most of the game". //   

       Tis all I've ever been thus far. I see lots and know little. Not smart. Not wise. Just... separate.   

       People flock to groups and then conform to them.
I never really found a group until you guys, <sniff, wipes tear>, so I don't really know much besides looking at things from the outside, even if I don't feel on the outside. Can't really shut that off after its rusted in place long enough.

       The bent of the global game has always been world domination based on whatever version of us-versus-them happens to being played at any given time.
The ever changing goal would seem to be ensuring post-generational superiority over those perceived 'others', when in reality this just ensures retribution on whichever generation of conqueror draws the short straw of inbred superiors.
As far as I can tell it's always been played by young dragons who prefer bluster over brains and that their antics are waking the big 'ol dragon who knows better... and, well, we don't have a record of the outcome of something like that to head-off a doomed-to-repeat-it scenario at the pass because...

       well I don't know why do I? It's either never happened before or if it has then records have been wiped.   

       I just know what my gut says. It says there's a shit-storm coming that I will be very lucky to get any of my bloodline through and that I didn't cause this shit but merely survived its infancy so far.
It also says it doesn't have to go down like this...

       : ] Some would just call it IBS.   


       Sorry this somehow went from Beatles to Hitler...   

       //Viewing either of two different outputs causes the path the photons take to be retrocausally modified to favor one path or the other.//   

       Not sure what you mean here [beanybud].   

       Retrocausality would only change subsequent universes... not the original branch, even though it may appear that way to the original observer and therefore be 'false' universes to the original observer.   

       //what was/is the social and cultural impact of the Beatles ?//   

       That's fairly simple, I suggest. In general, 1960s ideas were just 1920s ideas, dumbed down for a mass audience. In the 1920s, there were Trotsky, Freud, D H Lawrence, Henry Miller, etc. In the 1960s, there were just knowing references to Trotsky, Freud, etc., dropped into conversation by half-wits at parties. The Beatles (well, Lennon, mostly) were important agents of this dumbing- down process.   

       What was wrong with the 1920s ideas has been summarized quite well by John Carey in "The Intellectuals and the Masses" ( though he didn't capture every aspect of the situation). The special genius of the Beatles (and many of their contemporaries) lay in their ability to sell what was really a revival of aristocracy, in such a way that an entire generation believed that *their* future lay among the chosen few special people, whereas mathematics, economics and logic were to decide otherwise. You could think of it as a sort of affective pyramid scam.   

       I could go into detailed examples, but it might get a bit Ancient Mariner.
pertinax, Dec 10 2018

       <Obligatory Python Quote>   

       "Albatros ! "   

       </Obligatory Python Quote>
8th of 7, Dec 10 2018

       I'm sort of the last one to defend Germany, but like Japan, Germany was a relatively new democracy after Prussian autocracy, and the Weimar Republic may have gone pear-shaped, especially, or possibly only in Berlin.   

       If you just browse the first 30 pages of Churchill's "The Gathering Storm", he suggests that the Americans should never have pushed democracy on Germany and that Keiser Wilhelm should have come back (an idiot manchild, even according to his own German generals), but that Hindenberg (military leader of WWI) was a good alternative. Churchill was no democrat, but these writings seem a bit destructive.   

       The arc of the Beatles seems to follow the history of England: first, working class and anonymous, then, say, the Georgian era, with mindless pop, then a phase in India, deeper, all the while their wealth growing greater, decay and isolation, and finally a fond nostalgia which ignores much of the history.
4and20, Dec 10 2018

       // the Americans should never have pushed democracy on Germany //   

       More correctly, "the Americans should never have pushed the American concept of democracy on Germany".   

       Eisenhower said, "The Americans always find the right way in the end ... having tried all the other ways first".   

       // Keiser Wilhelm should have come back (an idiot manchild, even according to his own German generals), //   

       Sp. "Kaiser".   

       He was quite possibly brain-damaged due to his traumatic birth, which also crippled his left arm. He had a defective sense of balance, too. His education and upbringing was singularly bizarre, even for European royalty of that era ... possibly of marginal use as a mere figurehead, but as an actual leader - particularly a war leader - he was a total liability.   

       // Hindenberg (military leader of WWI) was a good alternative. //   

       Sp. "Hindenburg".   

       Hindenburg, throughout WW1, was nothing more than a distinguished front-man for a succession of brilliant and talented staff officers, Ludendorff being the most obvious one. He wasn't a "great leader" at all. But as "King Log", he would have been superior to Kaiser Bill. He was eventually President, not Chancellor.   

       // Churchill was no democrat //   

       On the contrary, Churchill was a lifelong and highly committed democrat, and always supported the primacy of the House of Commons, even when he was effectively handed dictatorial powers. Perversely, he wielded more absolute power with fewer checks and balances than any other leader except Stalin. His affection for democracy was signified by his repeated refusal of a peerage; he even wanted to name a new battleship "Oliver Cromwell" (which was vetoed by the King). What he was more than anything was an old-fashioned "White man's burden" imperialist. Like Hitler (of all people) he sincerely (and correctly) believed than the British Empire was a massively beneficial influence on the entire civilized world (and thus france refused to join).   

       // a fond nostalgia which ignores much of the history //   

       Not so much ignores, more cherry-picks the good bits. Things like famines, civil war, slavery, epidemics and piracy get airbrushed ... but then, doesn't every nation do that to some extent ?
8th of 7, Dec 10 2018

       To drag this back on to topic, I would suggest that "un-beatling" is not just a counterfactual thought experiment. Rather, it is an actual process which is happening now, because the affective pyramid scam I mentioned earlier has expanded to the point of collapse. (That usually happens much faster with financial scams, but this one moved at the speed of cultural change, which is slower because of the transaction costs).
pertinax, Dec 10 2018

       //The pendulum swings, niches are created in its wake// - in general, if a pendulum is swinging in a medium which has sufficient viscosity such that the pendulum leaves a wake behind it turbulent enough to contain niches, it's not going to carry on swinging for very long. Or is this what you were hinting at with your metaphor?
hippo, Dec 10 2018

       Come on, [hippo], have you never attended a wake for a pendulum? They can be quite riotous affairs.
pertinax, Dec 10 2018

       // if a pendulum is swinging in a medium which has sufficient viscosity such that the pendulum leaves a wake behind it turbulent enough to contain niches, it's not going to carry on swinging for very long.//   

       Very long is a relative term, but yep, eventually the swings won't be as pronounced and someday we might actually find lasting stability. Unfortunately we are just entering the millenial-arc.   

       Prompting the question; "Where's 'my' safe space dammit?!"   

       //Come on, [hippo], have you never attended a wake for a pendulum? They can be quite riotous affairs// - one of those 'swinging' parties?
hippo, Dec 10 2018

       It should be celebrated - otherwise the poor old pendulum died for nothing ...
8th of 7, Dec 10 2018

       Without the Beatles, there'd have been nobody to parody the Rutles <link>
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 10 2018

       [8th] Maybe the ostrich has an all encompassing inkling of the thought of death.   

       If time is a space-time dynamic volume, any significant swirl or eddy that culminates in a Beatles or Hitler is just going to forced to a different human elevated focus. The swirl can't just be forced to a stillness, laminar flow or unBeatling.   

       Well, not yet.
wjt, Dec 13 2018

       // an all encompassing inkling //   

       Extremely unlikely. Ostriches are very, very stupid creatures. They have about the same cerebral equipment as a turkey, in a vastly bigger body.   

       It's enough to allow them to survive in a harsh environment, but that's all. Profound cogitation is not something associated with ostriches.
8th of 7, Dec 13 2018

       No profundity necessary, just a small very select intimate neuronal party.
wjt, Dec 13 2018

       I wonder if this idea would make a good film? Who knows.
Ian Tindale, Jul 27 2019

       //I wonder if this idea would make a good film?//   

       [link] Danny Boyle film.
bigsleep, Jul 27 2019

       I'm absitively posolutely certain* that Hollywood, E. Musk, and the current leader of the largest province in Canada, Doug "TrumpNorth' Ford (yes, Rob the Mayor's brother, yes, THAT Ford family <sigh>) all have staffers lurking in the 1/2bakery.   

       Just saw 'Yesterday' yesterday (lying for repetitive emphasis; saw it on Cheap Tuesday) and it took [Ian]'s premise of 'No Beatles' and almost completely failed to examine anything else in this thread.   

       *Couldn't between 'em have the necessary skills to think outside the bag that the box came in, and it shows in how they (often mis)apply HB ideas, leaving out all the interesting philosophy and science.
Sgt Teacup, Jul 27 2019

       //They have about the same cerebral equipment as a turkey, in a vastly bigger body. It's enough to allow them to survive in a harsh environment, but that's all.// Are you sure you not thinking of Boris?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 27 2019

       //all have staffers lurking in the 1/2bakery//
Well, we DO (all) have a habit of posting brilliant ideas here for all the world to see (and use freely). All I ask is credit where credit is due. But Others (ie. non-halfbakers) are far too selfish for that...
neutrinos_shadow, Jul 27 2019

       Oddly, Trump was born about 9.5 months after Hitler died. What we need to do to prevent another one from hatching is keep him in suspended animation.
RayfordSteele, Jul 27 2019


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