Posts Tagged ‘debunk’

Quite Interesting, or, intentionally, Bloody Irritating?

August 11, 2014

When QI was first aired, it was quite enjoyable.

Alan Davies’ non-stop babbling took some time before it began to get irritating.

The occasional nod to Stephen Fry’s sexuality was in the tradition of theatrical gaiety and took time to become so dominant a theme.

It may be the fact that I was a Science teacher, which makes me irritated that he steals all the best classroom demo’s (used in school lessons to brighten the burden of having to think and struggle to catch intellectually hard concepts) and fritters them away, so Davies can squeal about how if Fry had been his teacher, he’d have enjoyed lessons more (Pillock!).

It was Quite Interesting to find some long held belief’s shown to be unfounded but it becomes tiresome, when question’s were posed, so that they might be debunked;  or appear to be.

For instance the query, “how many moon’s has the Earth got?” is obviously intended to be debunked. A more honest question would have been to ask how many large, natural satellites it had but that would have been a not so interesting question. There may be more than the one , known as The Moon, but the fact that there are other rocks up there, which could be claimed to be moons isn’t really interesting, or accurate.

What about the man-made satellites, from paint flakes to the Space Station. Are the rings of Saturn made up of moons? At what point do people feel entitled to call a rock, a moon? Does it become a moon when it can be distinguished by the naked eye (rules out Phobos and Deimos), or when some sky-watcher rushes in to print with his new “spot”? I know Stephen Fry briefly acknowledged this but it’s the debunk that’s rembered and becomes accepted fact.

Ok! maybe that little rant is pedantry and jibes with the nature of the show but then why was Dara Ó Briain hauled over the coals for knowing about the Triple point of water? If the show is going to claim that precision is Quite Interesting, then it needs to be more precise by stating levels of tolerance and degrees of significance (a point at which most go to sleep, yet it is the essence of Science)

QI also needs to check its own facts such as the story given out about the origin of the Prince of Wales emblem, which an entry on the Prince of Wales’ regimental website discounts.

The big problem is that the sources of these “alleged” myths almost always present them with a disclaimer. Ordinary repeated conversation drops the disclaimer, for the sake of brevity. Some people may preface their repetition with an “apparently” but there’s always some pratt (thinking Alan Davies, again), who’ll immediately jump in with both left feet, shouting that it must, therefore, be a lie.

Now my concern is that Propagandists are using this acceptance of authorative debunking to destroy Folk History.  How do you know what to believe, if authorative and popular personalities are constantly debunking everything you were taught, or believed?

1984 may have been meant to parody 1948, with its scissor and glue copy and paste of books etc. but its idea’s will still work with electronic copy and paste. It’s just faster and easier to disseminate the niu facts.