Time Travel Logs

1954 Part 13

The Chinese time traveler did not do as well as the others. His initial plan worked. The person who would best be able to prevent the disasters in China in the late 1950’s would be Deng Xiaoping. He was executive Vice-Premier of the Government Administration Council, about to be renamed to the State Council.

The time traveler had a laptop computer. He quickly convinced Deng Xiaoping of who we was and the future course of Chinese history. He also set up security for the laptop by setting up a BIOS password himself, and having Deng Xiaoping setup the user password, so neither could use the computer themselves.

However, the state security found out about Deng Xiaoping’s visitor. They were both arrested. The time traveler managed to convince them that the only way to get the computer to work would be to press a special reset button inside the computer, and further managed to have them get it inoperable. He himself had no technical knowledge to fix it or explain how it was built.

So, Mao, had the knowledge of history from the time traveler and Deng Xiaoping, and the technical knowledge the time traveler had, which was focused on motorcycle and automotive knowledge based upon his personal hobby.

At the Eisenhower Churchill meeting with the time travelers:

The American time traveler Bob Thomas asked the British time traveler Bruce James , “What sort of advanced technology did you bring to 1954?” Bruce James answered, “First of all a Sudoku machine.”, explaining to the rest of the room, “Sudoku is a numbers puzzle. The game generates new game setups and checks that the user is solving it correctly. It contains more computing power than all of the computers in 1954, probably combined, excepting other devices brought by time travelers. I also have a GPS with a Europe map, touch screen, text to speech, wide screen. Plus a cell phone with a camera, I suspect similar to yours in capability.”

Bob Thomas said, “That GPS map might be useful for intelligence. Every road, many stores and points of interest, even in former Soviet military bases. Not everything there was present over 50 years ago, but the precise locations might provide detail not possible to obtain now.
You can have a team of operators scroll through that map, handling it carefully, and photograph the screen. They might wear out the touch screen, but it isn’t going to do any good as it is without being used.”

Allen Dulles asked, “What is a GPS?” Bruce James answered, “A navigation system. I think you Americans devised it in the 1970’s. It tells you were you are within a few meters. The GPS receiver contains a detailed map of a continent, reads the signals from a bunch of satellites, and tells a driver of a car the best way to get to a destination.” Allen Dulles asked, “Could we build a GPS system when we are able to launch satellites?” Bob Thomas said, “No. You need computers. You might be able to get the computer in the satellite, it has to send out a precisely timed series of signals and information about its orbit. The receiver is more difficult. You might be able to manually calculated the information, but not with any good accuracy. Concentrate on getting computers to be advanced, and the a GPS system becomes feasible.”

President Eisenhower said to Prime Minister Churchill, “I propose that we coordinate our research efforts involving the new technologies. Together we can make faster progress than individually.” Churchill replied, “Agreed in principle. However, details will need to be worked out that we both get all progress at all stages of the research. As you know we had some bad feelings about the atomic cooperation.” Eisenhower said, “That was due to your Hans von Halban agreement to turn over information to France after the war.” Churchill said, “We can draw up an agreement to share our data with each other, but with others only with mutual agreement.” Eisenhower said, “In principle agreed. We’ll let the a side meeting work out the details.”

Bob Thomas said, “The information we have, about computer technology for instance, will need a company like IBM to bring to fruition.” Eisenhower said, “The agreement will need to include issues of industry collaboration and subcontracting.” Bruce James said, “Actually, I was astonished to learn that in 1954, Ferranti, a United Kingdom company is the first with a fully transistorized computer. They even have floating point arithmetic, using rational numbers instead of integers used by most other computers of the day. I have no idea why IBM overshadowed it later.” Bob Thomas said, “I never heard of it. I think IBM had a transistor computer in 1959, I thought that was the first also.” Bruce James said, “Ferranti actually had it in 1953.”

Allen Dulles said, “I’m a little suspicious of this. Major technology history that neither of you knew about before arriving in 1954. We should investigate that company and its history to see if they have had earlier time traveler help.”

A note for the reader: Ferranti and its technology are real from our history, but for some reason, little known.

In a dacha near Moscow

Nikita Khrushchev visited Sergei Beloglazov again. “Is there anything you want, Rasputin?” Sergei answered, “I am very satisfied with my conditions here. If there was one thing I’d want, it would be proper exercise equipment. I could help your designers with it.” Khrushchev yelled back, “Exercise equipment? Noone needs that! You need work! There is excellent land around here that you can use! You can grow crops, build fences, chop wood!” Sergei said, “Yes, of course. It is just that in my profession, in my time of origin, I had an exacting physical regimen. I think some of your Olympic teams could benefit from it, and the precise equipment I had access to.”

Khrushchev said, “Olympics? Maybe. I’ll send over some people. Maybe also have you visit some trainers. You can’t tell them about your origins. You’ll be given a cover story, maybe say you have knowledge of some new training regimens elsewhere. but are not at liberty to discuss where the information is from.”

Khrushchev continued, “Getting to the point, I want to talk about aircraft. How are our aircraft?” Sergei answered, “Not bad. We have quantity, simplicity of manufacture and maintenance, reliability. The West has a little better technology. Are you building the Mig-19 now? It is an undistinguished aircraft, probably still challenged by the F-86 Sabre, but the West doesn’t get a lot of fighters more advanced that the Sabre for a long time. Some, yes, a lot no. The next, the Su-7, still good, but not great. Mig-21, delta wing. The workhorse of Soviet allies for 20 years. I think the next plane that frightens the West is the Mig-23, but so many steps beyond today. You analyze the American F-4 Phantom II to help design it.
Actually, the Mig-25 was a wonder for its time. Flew in 1964 as a prototype. Mach 3.2 for brief periods, 2.8 sustained.

Khrushchev said, “How was that done?” Sergie said, “2 massive jets. Some titanium. I think some special nickel allies, maybe silver and aluminum. All for the high temperatures at high speeds. I think the thrust almost equaled weight when fully loaded, and then with afterburners greatly exceeded fully loaded weight.” Khrushchev said, “The experts will come by to see what they can learn from you.”

Khrushchev said, “Next, how can we win the Cold War? Before you answer that, the question I have for you is, do you want us to win the Cold War?”
Sergei said, “I hadn’t ever even thought about that question referring to your era. During the Stalin era, clearly that would not be a good outcome for the world, the democratic West was a less brutal place. The same during the Brezhnev era, the West was much more prosperous. During your era, perhaps yes. Still, I don’t think the West is such a bad place. Perhaps coexistence is better.”

Khrushchev said, “Of course coexistence is better! Only an idiot would fight a war in the atomic age. I mean how can we show the world that our system is better, so they’d want to copy us, and not capitalism? If you don’t think that it is better, how can we make our socialism better than their capitalism? Better for the working person.”

Sergei answered, “The average working person is well off in the West. In the United States, the non-working person suffers, and perhaps those who society discriminates against. In Western Europe, at least much later, even the non-working person is well taken care of. Opportunity to succeed, support for those who fail seems to be what worked best. In the former colonies, perhaps socialism has done better for the people than exploitive land owners, but in advanced economies it has not worked out that way.” “How to make socialism better? Avoid corruption, stifling bureaucracy. Allow creativity. Perhaps even do what has worked best in the US, which is what they call venture capital. Use resource to support people with good ideas so that they can start their own enterprises. Let them profit a little from it if it succeeds. Don’t look at their qualifications, look for their probability of succeeding. Support 100 to have 10 stay in business, and 1 become a major success. The next idea is to harness competition. It seems wasteful, but it brings out better effort. Market Socialism has been very successful in Western Europe and Japan. In Japan before they stagnated in the 1990’s, had an amazing growth from now until 1989. They directed large corporate groups in what areas to concentrate in. They protected their markets while concentrating on exports. They became among the best in the world in many areas.”

Story: 1954: Part 14


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