Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Remembering: The Mandela Effect

Roy Horne was a guest on Coast to Coast a few nights ago, discussing "The Mandela Effect." Interesting concept; that we misremember things. It goes deeper than that however. For example, Horne references our memory of the J.C. Penny brand. Except, it's not J.C. Penny, it's J.C. Penney.
Most, including myself, remember the name as Penny, not Penney. I've looked at that brand name for decades -- we used to shop there frequently when I was a kid -- grew up around that name. And yet, many of us do not see the name as it really is.

I fell asleep during the program, so don't know if this was mentioned, but a similar false memory concerns obituaries of the famous. Many times I've come across the obituary of a well known actor and was amazed, because I know I had read five, ten, three, whatever number of years ago, that this same person had died. Not only that, others around me when hearing of these deaths would say the same thing; that they know they read so and so died a few years ago. They, and I, even remember where we were when reading the obit, and how we felt upon reading it.

Adding to this memory oddness, is my memory of Marshall McLuhan's The Medium is the Message. And indeed, that is what McLuhans intention is: that the medium is message. It is a familiar phrase. Except, the title is actually The Medium is the Massage. Which makes more sense. The medium is indeed the "massage" massaging us every day with disinformation, trivial and frivolous "news," and propaganda disguised as feel good platitudes verging on the religious -- and the right religion at that. Yet, the title was a misprint; it wasn't intended to be "massage" but "message." Either way, few remember the title as appears in print.

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