Whoops, fixed that - "Global Settlement Foundation". By which I was trying to reference all the digital gold currencies (not that I think they're necessarily the way forward, but they're attempts)
Responding to endtime:
Capitalism was a product of earlier ("classical") liberalism, but has not been fully absorbed into society. A modern capitalist should be against bank bailouts, currency monopolies, and high taxes. These views undermine
established institutions and seek to distribute power, and are therefore liberal.
Technology isn't political (by doing instead of talking), but can still be liberal or conservative. DRM, paypal data mining, and national firewalls all seek to slow change and preserve established institutions, which is the fundamental tenet of conservatism.
The technology of web 2.0 is conservative in that it's the old thin-client model. Rather than your computer being your agent, it merely acts as a terminal into a monolithic system run by an institution that you're required to trust completely.
(case in point of having to edit this unrelated comment to post my already-written reply. I trust HN to kill stories to remove them from the front page, but I've no choice but to also allow it/them to prevent an already-established interaction between us.)
Scenario 1: The Germans decide to not kill the jews, and even let the top Jewish physicists stay. With their help, the Germans create a nuclear weapon in 1943-44 instead of canceling the whole project in 1942.
Scenario 2: The guy in charge of the Luftwaffe isn't a complete retard. The germans finish off the french instead of letting them run off to britain, they then invade Britain, not giving the Americans a base of operations.
The Jew-loving Nazis of Scenario 1 seem like a pretty big departure from the Nazis we know and love, but yes, if the Germans had got the bomb things would have worked out differently.
I don't buy Scenario 2. The loss of Britain would have made bombing Germany difficult, not impossible. Worst-case scenario is that they have to develop a long-range bomber. More likely they'd have invaded some part of Europe or North Africa (most likely Britain itself) as a first order of business upon entering the war -- I doubt they would have made it to 1945 without a well-defended slice of Europe. Of course this scenario probably also has a non-negligible Luftwaffe defending German cities in 1945 but, heck, the nukes have gotta get through eventually.
I'm not sure your second scenario is as quickly solvable as you think. The loss of the uk would have been the loss of an important strategic platform - essentially allowing a second front to squeeze Germany from when it came to attack. Also it would have given Germany pretty consolidated control of our side of the North Atlantic, supply routes would have been severely disrupted.
I think ultimatelythe war would have been won but redeploying to, say, North Afric would have taken a while.
Actually people tend to really overestimate how important trenches were to the stalemate. Sure, it took a lot of effort to break through a trench line but both sides were perfectly capable of doing it when they could devote enough resources. The problem was that railroads meant that the mobility of the defenders was always much greater than the mobility of the attackers and telegraphs meant that the abilty of the defenders to coordinate was much greater than the ability of the attackers to coordinate. The internal combustion engine and radio changed this when WWII rolled around.
There were also very many places where things could have turned out differently. For instance, if the Germans had stuck to the original Schlieffen plan and managed to outflank the allies they might very well have captured Paris right at the start.
Do you mistake the western front for the whole war?
Interesting would have been: Germany, instead of planning of going after France first, Russia later--goes for Russia only and just defends against France. After defeating Russia (let's assume), they try to make peace in the west.