One of them there "Paleo-Futures" or "Lost Futures" that actually history made silly.
2011 in 50’s-world, everyone in the US wears hats. Men wear suits, women wear dresses or cute pantsuits. T-shirts and jeans or sweats are something nobody older than a teenager would be caught wearing. There are a lot of uniforms. Everything is very clean and often metallic or gleaming. Colorful plastics feature.
The Cold War is of course going on, and China, the Soviet Union, indeed everything from East Germany to Vietnam is the Red World, a unified entity which includes some parts of Africa, including the Red Congo. (Cuba, on the other side, is Capitalist and more-or-less democratic, if corrupt). Everyone in the Red World dresses the same, drives the same standard car, and reports for interrogation four times a year. (Except for the Inner Committee. But to get to that position on must have taken the interrogation drugs dozens of times). Although a “standardized” Socialist culture is promoted, the Chinese are still Chinese, and the increasing tendency of the Chinese tail to wag the Russian dog has been noted and is causing internal stresses.
The US and Western Europe and Canada form a union at least as close as the OTL EC, and also have closely integrated militaries. Australasia, Japan, S. Korea and some other places are a bit more loosely tied to the imperial center in Washington. There is no such thing as an “inner city”, social engineering and massive infrastructure investment means the African-American population has decent housing and jobs (although often in segregated districts), and indeed blacks are accepted in the highest ranks of society – as long as they dress and act exactly like white people, of course! Gay people remain invisible, and for felony crimes truth drugs and brain scanners come out just as quickly as in the Red World. Society is rather militarized: there has already been one minor nuclear “skirmish” which required some resettlement of the Korean peninsula and the rebuilding of a couple WestBlock and Red World cities outside the area of the clash.
The tunnels go down miles and miles, and require atomic power to cool them down to livability. The possibility of nuclear winter is known, and massive hydroponic farms are being built beneath the Earth, while plans are drawn up for reprocessing the nations’ forests into edible paste if other food sources are found to be inadequate. Many people already live underground, some quite deep underground.
People are also exploring space: nuclear-propelled spacecraft, Orion and other types, are criss-crossing the solar system, and there are so many charged particles in the earth’s magnetic fields that communications satellites are huge and use vacuum tubes to compensate. (Vacuum tubes are used rather widely, indeed, due to their usefulness in the case of EM pulse disabling more advanced electronics.) Due to security concerns there is not much of an internet, but home computers are very powerful. Most energy comes from nuclear power, and fast-breeder reactors are plentiful. The common cold has been cured, but the bald still need to resort to hair implants.
There are several government news and information channels on cable, which carry all the news which is good for you. Corporate-owned television channels tend to be cleaner than OTL: blue laws remain strong. The Pill was invented rather later than OTL, and feminism was slower in taking off, and it remained about jobs and legal rights and discrimination, and never got into sexual politics to any great extent: society remains more repressed, although at least TV doesn't show couples sleeping in widely spaced seperate beds. Rock and Roll still flourishes, but is rather different than anything in our world: for one thing, there are far fewer dirty words, and Gangsta Rap is unheard of, as is the hippie. (There was and remains a counterculture of sorts, but it sees nothing wrong with bathing and is generally not into granola or aromatic candles). Big Band music never became extinct, and is widely audible on the 3-V or radio.
West Berlin still exists, but is cut off from East Germany by a nigh-impenetrable dome, and communications with the West are maintained by high-speed tube trains deep underground, where their presence will not contaminate the People.
India is poor, pacifist and neutral, while Japan’s economic takeoff was less successful than OTL and it is relatively poorer and less developed, and more Americanized culturally. Latin America is firmly under the US thumb economically and politically, and is wealthier than in our world, if more junta-prone. The British Empire is not entirely departed from the earth, and still more-or-less controls some large parts of Africa, as does France. (South Africa, alas, had a messy Race War). The Middle East is generally republican and Leftist, and Israelis live deeper underground than any other nation.