Alternate worlds: in which ghosts are real

Jane dies and finds herself still in the world, but unable to interact with it, or be seen by anyone. Around her are the 107 billion other people who have also died throughout human history.

How would ghosts find ways to oppress and abuse each other? They have no money, strength, physical appearance (or do they?) so what would they base their hate on? Century of origin? Age when deceased? Whatever it is, I’m sure they would find some creative way to separate themselves into groups, then beat up on/take advantage of the smaller groups.

It’s human nature, dead or alive.

 

Alternate Worlds: in which everyone sleeps at the same time

A genetic switch in our brain sends us into a deep sleep for 8 hours every day at exactly the same time, no matter where on earth you are.  If you are in an area where that 8 hours lines up with all your daylight, then that’s just how it is. People tend to move to areas with daylight during waking hours, and the cheaper living is in areas of night.

All machinery has to be made able to operate untended for 8 hours in a row. In order to leave less downtime, many people have ‘split shifts’ meaning they work a few hours, collapse into biologically forced unconsciousness while at their posts, then wake to keep working afterward.

In this world, artificial intelligence would be perfected and accepted much quicker than in our world, simply due to necessity. The AI’s would be used to enforce a curfew, and to move people who collapsed outside and may be eaten by animals.

 

Alternate Worlds: in which sleeping you is the real you

When you are asleep, your mind is at its true potential, in full conscious awareness, contemplating higher thoughts and imagining the truth of the universe. While you are ‘awake’ you stumble through life hardly aware of anything but your immediate surroundings, and your ‘sleeping’ self has no time for this you, only even thinking about it if you fail to eat enough, or get injured.

If aliens visited this world, they would only want to talk to humans while they were asleep, since this is when their minds are truly awake.

Alternate Worlds: in which there is more than one human species

It is mostly accepted that several human species lived together at the same time, long in the past. Eventually all the others were killed/died off and we are left with only homo sapiens. But perhaps, in an alternate world, more than one human species survived to the modern world, living alongside us.

Would this world be more, or less united than today? If we had entire other species of humans that we couldn’t even breed with, would we be united as homo sapiens, regardless of race or religion, and have all our fear and hate focused on the other species? Or would we be even less fearful of ‘outsiders’ after living with them for so long?

It would certainly be harder to have the ‘humans are special and better than everything!’ attitude when there is an entire other species just as smart and capable as yours. And that could only be a good thing…

Alternate Worlds: in which past lives are remembered

Reincarnation is not just a nice idea but a simple fact. Upon birth, or perhaps upon a certain date of mental maturity, the brain is flooded with all past lives of the consciousness inhabiting it.

Once reaching that age, the person would be able to enter a special code only they could possibly know, and regain control over their previous estate. Or… as certainly would occur as often as not, choose to start over by pretending to be a new soul.

More people are born than die every day, so new consciousnesses would still be being created, and an old soul could choose to start anew as someone else. Would the ability to do this lead to more and more suicides? Would people give up on life at the slightest trouble, knowing they could just start over again? If enough people started doing this, though, there would be a shortage of bodies to inhabit and people might stop being reborn…

Alternate worlds: in which art is valued

Jane completes her education and decides she wants to be an artist. She practices her craft, while working part time, until she’s managed to create something good enough to present to the artists collective, as her petition for entry. They see it’s value and her potential, and accept her.

From then on her food and shelter are paid for, and she is free to spend all her time creating her art, which the rest of the world can enjoy free of charge, as it is paid for by their tax dollars. Sometimes she is commissioned by a company to create some art for commercial use, she makes extra money this way, but a certain percentage of her yearly output must be for the public that supports her.

She is free to do what she is passionate about and share her ideas and joy with the world, and the world is happy to have her ideas and art in it, for them to enjoy.

 

Alternate worlds: in which a deadly disease also makes the infected extremely beautiful

Jane is infected with a disease that will kill her in a matter of weeks. It is incurable, no matter how hard the medical world has tried, and it kills in all cases, shriveling the internal organs into useless husks, and putting all the energy gained from this atrophy into reconstructing the afflicted’s outward appearance.

Over the weeks leading to her death, Jane’s face rearranges itself to be a symmetrical, proportional and clear version of itself. The fat melts off her body and her proportions shift into what most would call beautiful, attractive, sexy. Her ‘beauty’ continues to increase until the point of her death.

Would these kinds of features–that generally are called beautiful–continue to be attractive, when they signal impending death? Would people who just happen to be very beautiful without the disease be shunned? How long would it take before our brains evolved to find ‘beauty’ repulsive? If this disease was sexually transmitted, it might happen very quickly…

At the start of it, though, perhaps people would intentionally catch the disease, as a way to experience being breathtakingly, painfully beautiful before they die.