Timefiction

Time Travel Logs

September 1979

Frequently Asked Questions Magazine, September 1979.

In the New England Future, all sorts of knowledge areas are condensed, on the Internet, to areas called “FAQ”, which stands for “Frequently Asked Questions”. Since not many people have access to the Internet, we have started this magazine.

What happened on July 26th, 1979?

The entire states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. the New England states, and exactly those water areas legally under state jurisdiction, transformed themselves after a brief lightening storm exactly at midnight, from what was there a moment before, to what would have been there midnight July 26th 2006, if this event didn’t happen.

What do you mean, “if this event didn’t happen”?

History has already been considerably changed. Today’s future simply can’t result in the future they had. There was no such event in their past.

What about their past before July 26th, 1979?

As near as can be determined, the past of New England is identical to everyone else’s past before July 26th, 1979.

What caused it?

There is much speculation, but no evidence, except that this wasn’t a random natural phenomenon. The boundaries of New England include some arbitrary lines on the map. Even the date wasn’t exactly 27 years later, there have been some leap seconds, where the clocks have been moved by 1 second. It was actually 27 years plus the leap seconds, to result in the exact time on the clock, not the same position around the sun.

What does the term “New England Future” mean?

It means every event recorded in their history, occurring anywhere, between July 26th, 1979 and July 25th, 2005.

(chapter on copyright issues)

Why does KMart-Sears offer every future video, but not every past one? Did they not have those in New England?

All future copyrighted information is available under a compulsory licensing scheme. The amounts paid, and who they are paid to is under a very complex formula, but it means that it is all usable by anyone who can afford the fee. Information copyrighted before the event, and not part of a derived work in the New England Future, follows present law, which requires a copyright holder’s permission to make copies, except for minor copying covered by “fair use” laws. In the case of KMart-Sears, they can’t sell the pre-event videos unless they work out an agreement with the copyright holders.

Explain the strange case of the electronic spreadsheet called VisiCalc?

A company called Software Arts invented and was starting to sell this computer program for the Apple II computer before the event. In the New England Future, this company was bought by a company that was bought by IBM. The IBM of today has full rights to, not only all the enhancements made to the VisiCalc program in the New England Future, but also to the very same program being sold today by Software Arts. At the same time, Software Arts has full rights to sell the program they developed in 1979.

(chapter on technology)

Why doesn’t the New England Future have flying cars, rocket-trips to Mars, clean and efficient cars, personal robots and all that? They didn’t have any major wars or even major upheavals.

Maybe that is why not. They didn’t run out of oil, so they never needed alternatives. They didn’t have the sorts of upheavals that would have required advances. They did advance quickly in computers and especially in cheap small computers used everywhere and by everyone.

Fireside chat by President Carter September 5th, 1979.

Good Evening:

These are incredible times for humanity. The magnitude of the event, and what the message is for us is something we each try to understand in our own way. I can’t explain the event to you. Our scientists and theologians are looking into it, but have reached no conclusions.

Ten days before the event, I spoke to you about energy goals and a crisis in confidence. Now, with an instant 27 years of hindsight, I ask you the same questions. Why have we not been able to get together as a nation to resolve our serious energy problem? We would have gone from shortage to temporary glut, and during each glut become more wasteful of energy, becoming less fuel efficient in our vehicles and houses, and more and more dependent upon foreign oil supplies that were no more stable in 2006 than they are in 1979.

I say again what I said ten days before the event, “It’s clear that the true problems of our nation are much deeper — deeper than gasoline lines or energy shortages, deeper even than inflation or recession.“ I also said “The erosion of our confidence in the future is threatening to destroy the social and the political fabric of America. “

I think perhaps, now there too much confidence in particular outcomes of a history that will not repeat itself the same way, that has not, in the last few weeks repeated itself in the same way. People are drawing lessons, focusing on some out of context aspects of that future. We must come together as a nation and decide on the future we want, and work to build that future.

Meeting of the National Security Council, September 9th, 1979.

What is the point of continuing the Cold War?”

While in the New England Future, the Soviet Bloc collapsed, it might not happen the same way. There is still considerable Communist momentum in Central America.”

Also, in informal talks with the Soviets about the idea of ending the Cold War, they replied that there is no point in coming to any agreement before the November 1980 elections. They said that Reagan will just reverse anything our administration agrees to anyway. They said if a Democratic president is elected, they’ll talk to us then, or if a Republican one, they talk to the new administration.”

What about precautions for some of the attacks that occurred last time?”

The New York World Trade Center was attacked by a van-bomb in 1993. A similar planned attacked on the UN building was stopped. That one involved diplomatic staff. I think we’ll need to inspect all large vehicles going to any garage attached to a high-profile building. And as soon, as possible, using 2006 technology, we’ll have to have automatic scans for explosives of cars, maybe even of boxes and bags. I know they didn’t really have this in 2006, but we can build on what they did have to accomplish this.”

As for the 2001 attacks, we can stop those now. Secure cockpit doors and interior walls, and operating procedures that prevent those doors from being opened in a way that risks the attackers entering the cockpits, even under threats to the life of passengers and crew. This will prevent the use of aircraft as guided missiles. There also needs to be some controls over large private jet planes. A privately owned jetliner is just as dangerous as one flown by an airliner.”

Also by making sure that the public is aware of those attacks, airline passengers would be more likely to resist. For instance, what happened to that plane in Pennsylvania during the attacks.”

What about truck and van bombs not in garages.”

No parking zones don’t do much against suicide attackers.”

Come up with some solutions fast.”

More from Frequently Asked Questions Magazine.

There were some parents of young children in 1979 who later acted in movies and TV shows, which their parents do not approve of. What happened?

If the material was illegal, it couldn’t be legally distributed. However, if it was legal, but X-rated, or otherwise not approved of by the person of 1979, or their parents or guardians, there is actually nothing they can do to prevent distribution of it. In fact, if the actor was not in New England at the time of the event, all ownership interests pass to the same person in 1979. If that person is a child, in most states, the parents must put a percent of the royalties or other payments in trust for them. That means that not only can their parents not prevent the distribution of a film they don’t approve of, but they cannot even refuse to accept the royalty checks they are sent.

What is going to happen to the Star Wars series?

Now that the first 6 episodes have already been shown in theaters, George Lucas is going to shift production from The Empire Strikes Back, originally released in 1980, to episode 7 instead.

What is going to happen to Star Trek?

There is an idea for a TV series called “Star Trek: Phase II”. This was never made in the New England Future, although some work was done to create it in 1977. It isn’t clear if all of the major stars of Star Trek will appear in this show, but there is some determination to go forward with the project, even if the 2 best known stars only made guest appearances or even didn’t appear at all.

Why are people calling cable television companies and saying “I want my MTV”?

In 1981 there was a network called MTV started, which played music videos of popular Rock performers. By the late 1990’s the network switched to programs and showed very few videos.

One of their commercials included musicians saying “Call your cable company and say I want my MTV!”. Many people in both New England and outside of New England want this network to be available. There seems to be demand both for contemporary 1979 music and the best hits of the New England Future.

Entertainment News.

Kurt Cobain, the leader of the popular group “Nirvana” from 1987 to 1994, is 12 years old. His music is selling well in the 1979 world. With huge demand for him to appear on stage, he agreed under one condition, that he appear with Evel Knievel, the famous stuntman, who is currently (in 1979) sentenced to probation for attacking and severely injuring Sheldon Saltman, an author of a book critical of Evel Knievel.

Cyndi Lauper is performing her greatest hits to fairly large crowds.

REM was going to form as a band in 1980, instead is now touring, and introducing new songs that were not in the New England Future.

Fireside chat by President Carter September 12th, 1979.

Good Evening:

Many of you have read about some of the New England Future, and what would have happened in the following months. I’m going to tell you what we are going to do about some of these events.

In November, the US embassy staff in Iran would have been taken hostage. Now we have evacuated that embassy, and expelled the Iranian embassy to the US. In September 1980 Iraq would have invaded Iran, leading to an 8 year stalemate with much destruction and loss of life. In 1990, Iraq would have invaded Kuwait, and the US would lead a coalition to free that country. In January 1980 I would have given a speech pledging the defence of the Persian Gulf region. The history had shown, that this pledge would be kept by the following Presidents.

In the present situation we ask Iran to settle their own affairs and talk to us again when they are ready to interact peacefully. We will defend their neighbors in the Persian Gulf should they come under attack. To Iraq, we ask them to look at that history and not invade their neighbors. We will defend the Persian Gulf nations and our allies. If they attack Iran, we will help neither party.

We also will not stand by and let either Iran or Iraq acquire nuclear weapons. Even if a NATO ally decides to supply them with these weapons, we will not allow this.

The history of Lebanon showed little progress in 27 years. The situation in 2006 was not an improvement over 1979. One of the tasks that I left unfinished in the New England Future was to bring a lasting peace to Lebanon and across the Lebanon Israel border. I will devote my next 16 months to bringing peace to this region.

In addition to bringing peace to the Middle East, we will move quickly to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. It will be up to the US voters in November 1980 and later to ensure that this effort is continued.

The next area to discuss is Afghanistan. We have agreed, that as long as there are no foreign soldiers or advisors in Afghanistan, we will not aid any group engaged in armed opposition to the government there. In the New England Future, long after the Soviet Union broke apart, the anti-Soviet groups that we had supported in Afghanistan turned on the US. In that future the Soviets fought in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989, and the US with its NATO allies fought there from 2001 to 2006.

Press Conference of Gov. Mitt Romney September 13th 1979

Governor, who’s going to pay to fix the Big Dig?”

We are not asking for any additional Federal funds. We will have to pay for this ourselves in Massachusetts. We are going to proceed with any lawsuits against contractors that are at fault. As you know if they were not based in New England at the time of the event, the most we can recover is their New England assets.”

Do you expect to win the Republican nomination and then defeat President Carter in November 1980?”

It might not be Carter. Maybe it will be the two Ted Kennedys, one running for President and one for Vice-President.”

What about Governor Reagan?”

I have enormous respect for President, I mean Governor, Reagan. I intend to give the voters a choice, the benefit of my perspectives of having lived through this same era twice. I also have proven my ability to be elected in a state that has usually voted for Democrats.”

Are you old enough to run for President? You were born in 1947, and in 1980 you won’t have reached the age of 35 that the Constitution requires.”

The courts have well established that people brought from 2006 to 1979 by the Event have their age in years that include those 27 years. A person born in 1985 can get a drivers license in other states.”

Are you hoping to be picked as the Vice-Presidential nominee by Governor Reagan?”

If I am named the Republican nominee I will conduct a careful search for the best possible Vice-Presidential candidate. I’m sure Governor Reagan would do the same. I have no further comment.”

Governor, have you been brainwashed?”

No, I have not been brainwashed.”

Speech by New York City Mayor Ed Koch September 17th 1979

We are going to apply the lessons of the New England Future.

All New York City emergency personnel are going to have radios that work with each other.

In the case of disasters where, in the opinion of the Fire Department, a building is in danger of collapse, the priority will change to evacuation of everyone in the area, including emergency personnel.

All multi-story buildings will be required to have emergency lighting in their stairways.

The Police are going to make it a priority to prevent the drug trade and drug wars that were going to happen in this city in the 1980’s. There won’t just be zero tolerance, there will be minus five percent tolerance. If gang members congregate in a threatening manner or in a manner that suggests they are part of the drug trade, they will be arrested.

On a more positive note, New York City is going to use it unique geographical location to lead the modernizations that 27 years of time travel can provide. Before the Event, many people commuted to work from Connecticut to the City of New York. We encourage companies based here to make use of the knowledge of these commuters and be first with perfecting new techniques and technologies.

Channel 4 News September 18th 1979

Has the Event caused crime to increase?

Communities across New England, but especially those near the New York border are reporting an increase in burglaries. Devices that are not available anymore are special targets. In one case an electronics store was looted by a large armed gang.

Later in our broadcast, we’ll show you some ways to protect yourself and your community.

What about spare parts for things you own? There are many sources of spare parts from broken devices on the Internet. Other items are being produced. You can get ink for your printers, maybe not as good as the 2006 version, but still usable. Power supplies can be replaced. If your computer monitor can’t be repaired, you can get one that can be connected to the VGA connector that almost every computer has, but it is going to be rather expensive and not have the resolution of pixels that your old one had. If you want to spend less, consider getting a monochrome monitor.

If you’d rather have cash than your post-1979 devices, you can sell them on the Internet, or at second-hand stores. There is an active network of dealers, in the rest of the US that will bid for items for auction and resell it locally to people without Internet access.

What about your vehicle? There are manufacturers for many parts that can be made by shaping metal. Tires, windshield wipers, and batteries are available. More complex parts are mostly limited to whatever parts were in stock before the Event and those taken from vehicles that are no longer drivable.

You might need to replace your vehicle earlier than you would have expected to before the Event. Note that the New England states, except for New Hampshire, do not allow any new registrations of vehicles without catalytic converters. That generally means that you can’t buy a car made before the 1975 model year.

Now back to how you can prevent theft. You should mark your devices with a code number and register it with your local police station. They can also lend you a stencil for marking it. If it is stolen, there is a chance it can be recovered and those handling stolen property caught. If you register a device, make sure to notify the police if you later sell or dispose of it.

You can also join neighborhood watch groups. Report suspicious activity and vehicles to the police. Check your neighbors houses when they say they are supposed to be away.

Meeting with Wal-Mart New England management. September 18th 1979

I would like to congratulate everyone for a successful back to school season. Many parents were delighted to see the school supplies they remember from their youth. We delivered a good product selection at a great price.

Now I’m going to share with you how we are going to move forward. Most of you remember New England being a small part of the Wal-Mart family. We have 27 Super Centers, 14 Sam’s Club and 119 Wal-Mart Discount Stores in New England. However, we only have 230 Wal-Mart stores outside of New England, and those stores are mostly 30,000 to 60,000 square feet. The average New England Wal-Mart Discount store is 100,000 square feet, and the other types are even larger.

We expect the New England stores to account for a majority of our sales and profit, until we have significantly more expansion.

Most of you also remember Wal-Mart being the number one retailer, and you didn’t worry much about K-Mart and Sears. Now it isn’t and you should. Wal-Mart reached the place in the market it achieved in the 1980’s due to hard work, efficient operations, low costs, good inventory management, and the brilliance of our associates. We also had the advantage of K-Mart and Sears having few of those qualities during the 1980’s.

With the K-Mart Sears merger, and their study of the New England Future, expect them to be an extremely effective organization that is larger than us for now. This competition will make us better at what we do, and will succeed.

Most of you also remember Wal-Mart being a national, indeed an international company. Now our presence is only in a small geographic area in the center of the country plus New England.

We plan on building new stores even faster than we did in your history. New England is going to be the engine for this growth. We will expand in the upper South and Mid-West, and try not to be headed off at the pass by Sears-KMart. We will also expand into New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, using our New England distribution centers, adding new distribution centers as needed.

Critical to our entire strategy is generating operating profits from our New England stores. This requires providing the products that sell in New England, and doing so at a lower price than our competitors. For electronics, we should concentrate on replacement items and parts for future products. In a few years new products will likely sell better. For now don’t expect to sell many TV’s, so don’t waste much floor space. Also, don’t stock any audio-visual device without connectors, such as RCA plugs, that most future devices can connect to.

Do look for products that were popular in 2006, or even had popular periods before 2006, which were available, but almost unknown in 1979. Also look for nostalgia products, that were available, but fading from popularity in 1979. Board games with wooden pieces might be an example, so would certain bicycles, food products, toys.

Another area we would like to pursue is to talk with our suppliers and see if they can provide formulations that were used in 2006, along with packaging design and materials.

Speech by Lee Iacocca to the press. September 20th 1979

I am honored to be named president of the Chrysler Corporation today. As you know we’ve been flooded with calls asking when the Minivan and K-Car will be available. The answer for both, should be the 1981 model year. We are going to do something extraordinary and provide a great fuel efficient car at an affordable price, and its going to be even better than the one we would have made without the Event. And like in that other history, we are going to lead the way with a new vehicle type, the Minivan.

Channel 4 News. September 21st 1979.

Some boaters have gathered near the Prince Edward Islands off the coast of South Africa, in the Indian
Ocean. They were expecting to see an atomic explosion at 8:53 Eastern Daylight Time, but so far, they have been disappointed. In the New England Future, there was a mysterious flash detected by a satellite, and believed to be an atomic test.

Cleanup efforts continue after the Indonesian Earthquake on September 12th, which measured 8.1 on the Richter scale. There were almost no casualties due to the evacuation of the effected area before the earthquake struck.

Channel 4 News. September 23rd 1979.

Members of the music group Laibach, which was formed in 1980, and an arts group it was part of, NSK which was formed in 1984, have been performing in Western Europe. They are in exile.

The government of Yugoslavia has been in turmoil since the Event brought knowledge of the wars throughout the 1990’s in what became of that nation. Tito had heard about the group NSK parading a look-alike of Tito in Belgrade in the late 1990’s, to cheering crowds, and was making a point to other members of the government that the incident showed that the people of Yugoslavia prefer the way things were before his death in May 1980. However, then someone showed Tito that the group NSK was actually being ironic in their apparent support of Tito, and also showed him two videos from Laibach, “Tanz mit Laibach”, and “Life is Life”. Copies of their music on cassette tape are already widely available in Slovenia and other parts of Yugoslavia.

The government members at the meeting describe a mood of rage towards both Laibach and NSK, and talk about how Slovenia was the first part of Yugoslavia to leave, after a brief fight with the Yugoslavian army in 1991, and how that had led the way to the wars of the 1990’s. They also concluded, that while it is hard to determine what the actual opinions of the group Laibach are, under their layers of post-modern imitation of various beliefs, they are apparently believers in either Slovenian independence or would prefer Slovenia to be under German or Austrian rule, to that of Belgrade.

It is believed that a Slovenian member of the government tipped off the future members of Laibach and NSK to leave Yugoslavian before they would be arrested.

Paid Political Presentation by Ronald Reagan. September 30th 1979.

My fellow citizens of this great nation. Tonight I am going to talk to you about the great event that happened on July 26th 1979 and July 26th 2006. This event was no accident or natural phenomena. Our scientists and theologians agree on this. I am going to tell you what I believe.

In 2006, there was a battle raging in southern Lebanon and northern Israel, near the very location, Megiddo, also known as Armageddon, in the Book of Revelations. Israel was fighting an army backed by Iran, which had been on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons. The Iranians promised a response to a UN demand that they halt work on their atomic program on August 22nd. It was believed that the response was not going to be a letter or telegram, but in the form of missiles. The war was started deliberately by the pro-Iran militia in Lebanon, by crossing the border of Israel and killing and kidnapping their soldiers. Iran promised that their reply would include light over the sky of Jerusalem.

In 2006 the government of Russia, no longer part of the Soviet Union, had been arming Iran with nuclear technology and equipment.

Also at the same time there was a stateless terrorist organization that was attempting to unleash chemical, biological, and nuclear terror on the people of the West, and another organization based in a part of Russia called Chechenya attempting to do the same to Russia. Meanwhile, both Russia and the United States of America had hundreds of ICBM’s, that while not directly aimed at each other, could be reprogrammed that way in seconds.

We still did not have an effective way to intercept these missiles.

The exact events that would have happened in the month after July 26th 2006, had the time travel event not happened will likely never be known to us. We do know we have been given a second chance to avoid those events. We must take that chance and prevent the nuclear destruction that might have happened.

What can we do with this second chance we have been given? We protect against the number one threat to our civilization both now, and in 2006, nuclear armed missiles. We know that treaties are not going to work, that in 27 years, many more nations will be able to develop in secret both long range missiles and atomic weapons. What we need to do is develop a means to intercept missiles after they have been launched. This should become our number one national priority. Second, we need to increase research to counter biological warfare, to detect, contain and treat outbreaks of never before seen diseases. Third we need to prevent the rise of terrorism, which would have become a fact of life all over the world over the next 27 years.

October 1979

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