An Interview With Roel Hendrikx, The Administrator Of The Alternate Timelines Forum

An Interview With Roel Hendrikx, The Administrator Of The Alternate Timelines Forum

One of several alternate history forums on the Internet.
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Roel Hendrikx, a resident of the Netherlands, is the administrator of the Alternate Timelines Forum, an online discussion board about alternate history.

Wallace: How would you describe alternate history to someone who has never heard of the genre?

Hendrikx: The best way to describe to a person what alternate history is to ask them what they would think if an event occurred differently than what really happened; if they understand that, then you can talk with them about the many other possible ways history could have turned out.

Wallace: What got you into Alternate History?



Hendrikx: Once when I was young, I went to my local library and there I found a translation of a American book detailing a German invasion of the United States in 1945. After that, I discovered that there was more than that single book out there about history that is not our own. It was not until 2006 before I was really able to discover the world of Alternate History when I, like many other before me and many after me, became a member of alternatehistory.com, the most prolific alternate history site on the internet.

Wallace: What made you want to start the Alternate Timelines Forum?



Hendrikx: My forum first began as a place where I had posted all my works I ever had created, but not many people wanted only to discuss what I had created; it was not long after that when I posted a thread on alternatehistory.com that something hit me: the forum was so huge, it was most of the time impossible for a thread to get responses because so many members created new threads every day. Then, I began to think, I had already a forum of my own, so why not turn it into an alternate history forum, where due to the small size, its members do not need to worry that their threads may disappear to page 2 after only a day? A forum where a thread can receive the attention it needs, even if it is only one or two posts, where the members can know each other instead of being just a number on the wall? That was my desire to change the forum from what is was to what it is now, a small dedicated Alternate History forum where its members post, others respond and where you do not need to worry if it is not good enough, because at this forum, every question is a new question to answer and to explore.

Wallace: What is the philosophy underlying how the board is run?



Hendrikx: This forum runs on the philosophy of only acting when it is needed; the moderators and administration only act when action is necessary. If there is no action needed, that everybody is just a member who has a great time discussing everything related to Alternate History.

Wallace: What does running the board on a day to day basis entail?

Hendrikx: Running the forum begins in the morning when I wake up. I check if there are new posts, new members and if there is any new update that I can install that can help make the forum better. Then, I go to work; during my lunch break I check if there new events I need to respond to. After I come back to work, I look at all the new posts, and as always, I try respond to them to my best of my ability. Also, I look at it as I do in the morning to see if there are ways that I can improve the forum.

Wallace: What makes your board different from other alternate history boards?



Hendrikx: For now, the small membership is different than other larger Alternate History forums. Also, I try to award my members for posting as I feel that giving them something in return for posting here on the forum make them feel acknowledged.

Wallace: What have been the challenges of running the board?



Hendrikx: The small membership number is, at this time, the greatest challenge; many new members who could join do not know that there is a small, good, running Alternate History forum out there that allows them discus their love for Alternate History.

Wallace: Do you have any particularly interesting stories from running the board?



Hendrikx: So far, in the year-long life of this forum, there as of yet has not appeared a story relating to the forum I can speak of. I hope in the future that there might be one, but for now, the fact that this is an active forum is already an interesting story.

Wallace: Does running the board have an effect on your offline life?



Hendrikx: No, not at all; the forum is part of my life now, a hobby I love to spend my time on.

Wallace: How do you envision the future of the forum?

Hendrikx: More members, more timelines and more discussion, I hope, but if not, I am already happy with achievements that the forum has already made. The future is a long road, and many things can happen along the way.





























Cover Image Credit: Alternate Timelines Forum

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I'm An 18-Year-Old Female And I Will Never Be A Feminist

Honestly, I'd rather be caught dead than caught calling myself a modern-day feminist.
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"A man told me to have a good day... I'm triggered." How ludicrous does that sound? Tune in because that is the extent of modern day feminism.

Sure, I think boys are stupid and that I'm probably better than 90% of the male population, but that doesn't make me a modern-day feminist. Now I believe that woman should stand up for themselves, and Golding's quote: "I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been," is by far one of my favorite quotes... but modern day feminism is not something I want to be associated with.

I'm all for "anything you can do I can do better," and "We can do it!" but realistically speaking in some situations, that isn't feasible. As an 18-year-old woman who works out regularly, and is stronger than the average female, I couldn't carry a 190-pound man back to a safe zone after he was shot on the front line of a war even if I tried. It is not anatomically possible for a grown woman to be as strong as a fully developed male.

Reality check: Men and women are not equal.

They are not physically equal, they are not mentally equal. Modern-day feminism is equality between the two genders, but corrupt and on steroids. I support what feminism used to be. I support women who work hard and have goals and ambition... not girls who hate men and stomp around with no shirts on to piss off the public. Feminism has developed into a polluted teaching that young men and women are plunging into.

We are built dissimilarly.

The human brain is literally an organ that is sex oriented. There is a cognitive difference, that singlehandedly destroys gender equality.

I will not spend my time running a revolution against anyone who likes Donald Trump. I am not going to binge watch Trump's twitter in an effort to start some leftist gob of drama. I refuse to be part of this head hunt to attack all Republicans on the newest Instagram post made about how feminism is stupid. I do not hate men, and society would crash and burn without the successful men and women who work together to create what we call the United States of America.

Why, you ask? Why are the 15-25 year olds of our society clinging to feminism? They are hopping on the rapidly growing bandwagon where all the hipsters, feminists and Trump haters reside. It's "cool" to hate Donald Trump. Twitter is a world of liberalism, hatred and fake love towards all. Social media is where this generation is living — and modern-day feminism brews there.

We need to keep separation in the household within roles.

We must raise our children to do what they are best at rather than trying to do something they are incapable of just to prove an irrelevant point.

Women must stand up for what they believe in and be strong in their shoes, while not getting so caught up in what your modern day feminist says she thinks is right.

We cannot let this briskly changing society sway us away from what is going to keep the world working precisely.

Cover Image Credit: Macey Joe Mullins

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President Trump's Government Shutdown Is A Threat To National Security

National parks are unstaffed, but not closed. Americans can visit them without paying an entrance fee, but it is "go at your own risk."

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Just as Americans were settling in for the holiday season, President Trump intiated a shutdown of the federal government by rejecting any budget that did not include funding for a massive wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. There is a four-way wrangle between, Mr. Trump, senators who are for the wall, senators who detest the wall, and senators who are clueless about what to do next. About 380,000 of federal government employees(civil servants and government contractors) are on unpaid leave while another 420,000 essential security personnel (FBI agents, Border Patrol, Secret Service agents, airport security agents, etc.) are working without pay. The shutdown began on December 22, 2018, and is still continuing in mid-January, 2019.

Mr. Trump's is asking for over $5.6 billion of homegrown American taxpayer dollars to complete the wall. Neither Mexico nor Central America countries have indicated any desire to pay for it, another promise Trump campaign on. Mr. Trump states that "Drugs, terrorists, violent criminals, and child traffickers are entering our country" with consequences of "drug debts, violent murder, gang violence." Of course, we cannot allow that to happen. From his "state of emergency" and "TEXT BORDER" advertisement, it looks like America is in a war zone.

But are we?

A concrete or steel wall might be practical if there were a stamped of drug dealers, gangs, and violent criminals charging toward the U.S.-Mexico border. The only war zone there is on the U.S. Senate floor, where neither party nor the president can come to a conclusion about border funding. President Trump is also pushing for the establishment of the United States Space Force to keep our country safe. The issue is that if the country can't even maintain a ground force at the southern border, how can there be a Space Force?

On a more serious note, hundreds of thousands of federal employees will be missing their first paycheck. While raising the minimum wage is debatable, receiving no pay is not. This past Christmas, many federal employees, and their families had to cut back on Christmas gifts and spending in general as they face financial hardship. That's not even the worst part. The 420,000 essential security personnel are forced to work for no pay because America cannot be kept safe without them. Recently, close to 21% of TSA employees, who work in airport security, have called in sick. The men and women who work in airport security usually earn an average starting salary of $15.50 an hour. Airports now have fewer screeners and security agents, which entails shutting down security lines or conduct more brief security checks. Longer lines will lead to more frustrated passengers and lateness for those traveling for business purposes. It is very likely that airports will move towards looser security check since impatient crowds of people aren't going to sit still. It is also possible that more people will avoid flying and drive instead-if the route is driveable.

National parks are unstaffed, but not closed. Americans can visit them without paying an entrance fee, but it is "go at your own risk." Bathrooms are unmaintained or closed, there are no rangers to ask for guidance or help, and few if no one to call in an emergency.

The FDA is affected by the shutdown, meaning food safety inspections will be conducted even less frequently, which will increase one's risk of foodborne illness, especially the elderly, those with weak immune systems and younger children.

While the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is still in operation, but the staffing is down to 45 percent, which will reduce their capability to detect and prevent cyber security threats. These individuals already overworked, and not paying them would only decrease their morale, further lowering productivity. DHS was also received one of the lowest ranks in the best places to work in the government, which can lower prospects for seeking new employees to fill vital roles in government cybersecurity.

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