Hi, my name is D and this is my writings on subjects. I'm no rapscallion or anything at all. If you want to you can read my writings on subjects if you have free time. If you want to argue with me or call me names then please comment. Negative feedback is very welcome...I love dat shit. Me? I'm not even a noun, I'm a fucking verb, dude.

Monday, July 10, 2017

History Channel: The King of Dumb-Cumentaries

I love the field of History, I always did and always will. If you don't know where ya been then how you gonna know where you're going ya dumbo? Y'Know? So yeah, I love me some old History.

One problem I have with History is that most of it is not adequately documented with concrete proof and evidence of claims and thus I find it can be speculative and romanticized at times.

Romanticization is alright because the author/producer of it usually states something along the lines of "Based on a True Story" and the audience should understand it's like 85% fiction and 15% fact ... but Speculative History on the other hand isn't usually offered up as entertainment data and the author/producer usually states it is to be taken as a truth with no disclaimer or warnings.

I find my personal hobby-related interest in Historical events is usually confined to the area of Baseball and of Hollywood Movies/Tv Shows. I know that sounds weird but as a Historian of those fields the most interesting thing about them is the amount of evidence and records those fields record. (They're not the only two fields with extensive records, mind you, these are just two fields that interest me).

With Baseball, every play for the last 100 years has been recorded and since the invention of the camera many/most/all games in MLB have been recorded with visual evidence so any claim made in the History of Baseball is usually demonstrably provable. And this is the same with Movie/Tv History because now with Youtube it seems everything ever is available to view ... so if someone claims that something was done before or some such actor invented some bit then claims of this nature can be verified 100% because all records of this field have been recorded and are available for viewing. So even though you might find Baseball History or Tv History to be of the trivial/mundane variety .... I think they are very interesting fields of History due to the ease of proving claims thanks to the vast amount of records these fields have made available.

With History in general, once you start going back before cameras, before media documentation, it starts to get a little greyer and claims are less easy to prove. You can say .... Hannibal crossed a trench with 100 Elephants .... and we'll just have to take some historian's interpretation of some ancient text as proof for that ... there's no photos of how many elephants Hannibal had .... there's no videos of it .... maybe there was 200 of them, maybe 2 of them ... maybe none at all. We can never ever know for sure since there's absolutely no proof that it ever even happened. Maybe it's just a fairy tale .... who knows. Y'Know?

At least in more modern eras, in which heavy records were kept, and visual documentation in many cases exists ... we have a good idea of History. From about the 1800s and on we have access to a lot more written data, photographic evidence, and in many cases now-a-times multi-media evidence. It's easier to understand what happened from about 1800 and on thanks to record keeping and cameras.

Nonsense 24/7
Extremely Speculative History of more modern times is still in demand however. The biggest purveyor of Speculative History is the History Channel who will offer the most asinine shows and documentaries that I've ever seen ... and they will offer it with no disclaimers or anything.

The History Channel will air Bigfoot "investigations", Aliens Live Amongst Us "investigations", Robots will Kill us All "investigations" ... and that's fine and good ... it's entertainment and all but they should have some sort of disclaimer on these things telling the viewer it's for entertainment purposes. Bigfoots, Aliens, and Robots aren't running amok, ok? These are fun little stories and nothing more.

Most of the time the media doesn't latch on to a History Channel Nonsense Fest and report it as news ... but recently a case has come up that has graced the pages of just about every news media publication ... and it's a story about a new History Channel Documentary about Amelia Earhart.

Amelia Earhart: History Channel's Newest Dumb-Cumentary

Every media outlet has picked up this story and they offer it up in the headline and in the article without any second-thought or skepticism.

The claim being made in the new Dock is that Earhart didn't crash her plane and perish but she crashed and washed up on shore of a small island where the Japanese kept her prisoner until she died. This is a pretty bold claim and they offer what they call concrete evidence this happened. The evidence in question? A photograph, this one:

??????? Evidence that Japan kept Earhart as a Prisoner ?????

Okay, that's a pretty nice photo. They say if you zoom in you can without a shadow of a doubt see the back of Amelia's head in here... let's see now:

Yeah ... okay there. The back of this person's head is being offered up as concrete evidence that Earhart was taken prisoner by the Japanese after she washed up on a nearby South Pacific island? This is pretty silly stuff to be 100% honest here.

Occam's Razor 

An opposing theory on the internet has appeared today offering up a much less assumption-laden origin of the photo. There's an origin for this photo I saw today on Brian Dunning's twitter feed where one  Samantha Adams has the photo dated in 1935 and a link to a mass produced Japanese travel book:

See: http://dl.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/1223403/99?platform=hootsuite 

I put the caption of the 1935 book through a standard OCR program available online as to which we get the basic google translation of the OCR as:

The caption of the photo is along the lines of "Lots of interesting goods come via ship into this quaint little harbor".

So we have two competing theories here:

Theory 1: This is a photo where the back of somebody's head proves that Amelia Earhart didn't die but washed ashore this small island and was taken prisoner by Japanese soldiers.

Theory 2: This photo is from a 1935 Travel publication and depicts a small quaint harbor where boats come in to unload various goods.

Now, it's up to you to decide which theory makes more sense and there's two types of people in this world. There's people who will always choose theory 1 over theory 2. Why? I don't know. There's people who flat out will refuse a simple explanation and always prefer the more entertaining one. What if you pile more and more and more speculation on it? Let me make up a crazier speculative theory now....

Theory 1: This is a photo where the back of somebody's head proves that Amelia Earhart didn't die but washed ashore this small island and was taken prisoner by Japanese soldiers.

Theory 2: This photo is from a 1935 Travel publication and depicts a small quaint harbor where boats come in to unload various goods.

Theory 3: This is a photo of Amelia Earhart and D.B. Cooper re-united at last on the Falkland islands after both their daring high air escapades ended with each of them being sucked through a time vortex thanks to the efforts of Ancient Aliens, Bigfoot, J.R. Bob Dobbs, Elvis Aaron Presley, and Papa Legba who's combined secretive powers allowed each daring high flyer to escape death and settle on the Falkland islands where Amelia and DB Cooper had sex and made a baby and that baby grew up to become ...... 

..... Kurt Cobain.

Speck is German for Bacon Fat.

Fuck man, my speculative theory makes History Channel's speck look like kindergarten shit. Speck theories? Shucks homie, I was through with it before you even knew what to do with it. If you dopes at History Channel are gonna go Full Nonsense then go full throttle or go home. Go Big or Go Home, History. If you're gonna go full throttle nonsense then do it right. Your speculation/speck theories need I'd say about 700% more Elvis in them. Seven hundred percent more Elvis and maybe about 400% more Papa Legba ... and some Ancient Dwarfs couldn't hurt either. Speck it real good if you're gonna speck it up, baby.

Get a nice ol' fryin' pan there History Channel ... get a POUND of SPECK .... sizzle it up real good .... now you start with Elvis as the base ingredient, then you sprinkle on some Aliens (not too much just a drizzle of Aliens), the real scary aliens the Lizard Aliens I'm talking 'bout, now you let the fat coat up the theory 'til it's a nice golden brown then you cut up some Big Foot cutlets and really work the Big Foot meat in to the Speck fat theory ... really woooork it in there. Now you're cooking, bubba. Now you're cooking with heat there bubba. Now you're cooking up a Speculation reeeeeeeeal good.  



History, if you're gonna go full deep fried german bacon fat on these theories then please just completely lose your mind. I have no problem with you H-Channel, I think you make entertaining nonsense at times.

Media, I got a major beef on how many outlets ran with this offering zero skepticism with this story. I mean this story is abso-ludicrous. You're talking big outlets running this story as fact too not just the dumb ones like Daily Mail ... I'm talking like real news outlets here doing this story.

On a serious note, Brian Dunning who has been following this story and where I got most of my info from on this has a nice new movie out that he's offering to schools for free (it's available free online as well) ... in order to teach Critical Thinking to young persons. I think this is important and since I got most of my info on this story from his site/twitter-feed I should give his work a shout out. He's doing good stuff.

Dunning's new film aimed at introducing young people to Critical Thinking is called "Principles of Curiosity" and it's free so teachers can use the material in schools for free.

(Edit July/12/2017: I stated wrongly who first linked to the photo in the 1935 Travel publication. Dunning and Gold tweet is the first place I saw it referenced that day but according to the follow up pieces that media outlets are doing on this story the person to point out the 1935 photo was this writer: http://yamanekobunko.blog52.fc2.com/blog-entry-338.html)

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