Our remembering is shaped by historical and current contingencies. Each time we remember, we are re-creating a version of the event, which is subject to change, despite our tendency to believe we are remembering an accurate depiction of what happened. As Domokato’s artcle said, our memory does not operate like recording equipment. In fact, the more often we remember a particular event, the more the memory can be subject to alteration.
All these “documentaries” you mention on the Discovery channel and so on are so credulous. The place to go for the skeptical point of view is the National Geographic channel. I recently saw a program called “Area 51 Declassified”. NO, it wasn’t about backward engineering the Roswell crash, it was about testing the U-2 and the SR-71 in the 50s and 60s. They are about to launch a new series, “Chasing UFOs”, which will probably be worth watching.
Thanks for the link, advocatus. If that new show takes a truly skeptical position, I will watch it. Although the photo is kind of cheesy.
You’re right about the other channels. I used to love Discovery, TLC, and the History Channel. I still watch a few programs, mostly for entertainment purposes, but other then Mythbusters, I don’t expect to learn much. Sad.
Based on past experience, the National Geographic channel generally does these things well. They had a series called “Is It Real?” and another called “The Truth Behind…”, both from a skeptical angle. There’s another called “Man vs. Monster”. Sometimes the beginning of the show is designed to lure in the believers though, so watch out for that.
Well, er… sorry to have given you a bum steer, but this was incredibly disappointing! It turns out not to be an investigation at all. The “team” consists of one skeptic, one believer, and one “skeliever”. She claims this means “skeptical believer”, but I saw no evidence of this. In practise, it means “skews believer”. It didn’t make any difference because all they did was collect UFO anecdotes. Next thing you know, they’re out there in the dark Ghost Hunters style with those stupid cameras mounted on their necks to record their faces as they jump at every noise and every stray light they see. At one point, they dig through newspaper archives and come up with a report of a meteorite which exploded over the town in 1891. For some bizarre reason, they instantly assume that it wasn’t a meteorite at all but an alien spacecraft. Sure enough they go with their metal detectors and Geiger counters looking for traces of it in the middle of the night! What a crock this was!
I’ve spent my life trying to shoot down conspiracies but I’m beginning to have one of my own. The conservatives have been following the Powell Manifesto by doing everything to cut back on education. However, those three channels were excellent sources of education for adults. It seems to me that the Koch Brothers and their ilk have managed to block those sources, too.
Occam’s right. Much to my chagrin the History channel as been showing a program on Nazi aliens! What crap! They used to run quality shows but now they’re interspersed with garbage. I wrote to them but received no reply. From hard core history to” what if” entertainment. They’re only interest now is to sell soap (old TV expression).
Sadly, the woo woo shows are probably better money makers for the network. Why display a good show about science when a show about pseudo-science attracts 10 times the audience? (Numbers completely pulled out of thin air.)
Yep, there’s just so many ways to examine the remains of the Titanic. That’s about all they have been showing lately. What happened to the informative programs on nature and space? Where do we go from here when all of the Ed. Channels become infotainment to compete with the reality shows? It seems that the networks are now piling on more of this crap. No more documentaries, except reruns of the Titanic sinking, snorrrrre!