The Mandela Effect: False Memory

Vardoger

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#1
The Berenstein-Berenstain conspiracy theories are entertaining.

I found two versions of the same image. My guess is, the ---stein image is faked.



berenstein.jpg
 

Mythopoeika

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#2
What are the conspiracy theories? Do tell. Don't keep it all to yourself.
Where does Mandela come into it?

Weirdly, from my childhood I definitely remembered them being called Berenstein - but in recent years I saw them again and noted the different spelling. Which is weird. Does that mean I am now in a different reality from the one I was in as a child?
 

kamalktk

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#3
What are the conspiracy theories? Do tell. Don't keep it all to yourself.
Where does Mandela come into it?

Weirdly, from my childhood I definitely remembered them being called Berenstein - but in recent years I saw them again and noted the different spelling. Which is weird. Does that mean I am now in a different reality from the one I was in as a child?
The Mandela effect is the general name for things like this. A relatively large group of people remember Nelson Mandela dying in his cell in the 1980's. The spelling of the bears is one other thing where a large group of people remember something else. The fortean core of the idea is that the discrepancy is evidence of parallel universes/multiple timestreams/glitches in the matrix.

I too remember Berenstein. Perhaps this is because my young mind interpreted there to be three of the letter e in the name for consistency. Or like you I am from the same alternate universe!
 

Krepostnoi

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#5
I have never heard of the Berenstain bears, in either spelling. Mind you, the first twenty-eight years of my life were apparently spent in a universe without Dr Seuss, although mine is a family which values wordplay, so you might well have expected him to be a presence. Then I embarked on an MA course where everyone else had grown up reading him. :huh: This was genuinely a jarring discovery for me.
 

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#7
So it's a bit like everyone "remembering" Bogart saying "play it again Sam", or Cagney saying "you dirty rat", or Mae West saying "come up and see me sometime", or Shatner saying "Beam me up Scotty", etc?
 

Krepostnoi

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#8
My parents didn't particularly like me looking at any of the Seuss books, thinking it was a bit 'babyish' for me - but they helped me learn to read (because school certainly wasn't teaching me much at the time).
It wasn't that I was discouraged from reading him, I didn't even know he existed. I had simply never heard of this writer that all my course mates were extolling. The only possible explanation is that I had abruptly switched universes :)
 

JamesWhitehead

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#9
I can remember asking my teacher if there were any more Dr Seuss books. I had gobbled up the three or four they had in a single session. She looked at me disdainfully and said they were for the slow readers, or something to that effect.

I moved on to the Fables of Aesop. They were fine but I complained to the teacher that I was just getting into the story of the hare and the tortoise when it ended.

"Are there some missing pages, Miss?"

I've never been strong on morals. :confused:
 

GerdaWordyer

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#10
James, I had a similar problem with a teacher. I read well for my age so my teacher would not let me check out Seuss from the school library, she wanted me to read books at the "proper" level for my abilities. Sounds like both our teachers just did not get how we kids enjoyed how funny the books were, and what an engaging exposure or rhyme--reading level be damned--we were getting.
 

McAvennie

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#11
Strangely I just googled these yesterday and also discovered the stain/stein variation. I thought it was Bernstein. Then again I only noticed very recently that the key cutter is Mister Minit not Mister Mint.

If it is not misremembering then what would be the reasoning behind it changing. Airbrushing the Jewish sounding stein from the name? Why?

I know I have at least one of their books in the cupboard at my mum's place that has almost certainly not been tampered with. I will check it when I'm next back home.
 

Ulalume

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#12
This was the comment left on a blog, allegedly by Mike Berenstain, the son of Stan and Jan Berenstain

I normally don't comment on blogs about our family name but yours was so unusual and imaginative that I thought it only appropriate to add my thoughts. "Berenstain" according to our family lore was an attempt by an unknown imigration officer sometime in the late 1800s to reproduce phonetically a highly accented version of the tradtional Jewish name "Bernstein" as pronounced by my Father's grandparents when they came to America from the Ukraine.
In that linguistic region, the name tended to come out sounding something like, "Ber'nsheytn". Since that's how the name was originally documented, it has always been spelled that way by our family and it has always been misread and mispronounced by nearly everyone. It has always been "The BerenstAin Bears". Your parallel reality theory is very resourceful but, unfortunately, by applying Occam's razor, we arrive at the explanation that most people have just misread the name.
Mike Berenstain (Son of Stan and Jan)
Myself, I haven't suffered from this particular mispeception since elementary school, when my brother (being a detail- oriented nerd) corrected my spelling :p

Just to double check, one day when my 4 old was looking at a Berenstain bears book, I asked my 14 year old to spell the name without looking. He came up with BerenSTEIN. Since the book was right there behind him where I could see it, I was pretty sure it was just a misperception and not a parallel universe. Otherwise I might have had to divide like an amoeba at that moment. :D
 

JamesWhitehead

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#14
Mike Berenstain (Son of Stan and Jan)

Oh dear, I just read that as "Son of Satan and Jan!"

I feel a new blog coming on!

Of course it makes sense for a Jewish author to write about bears for children. I am very fond of this story of Elisha in the Second Book of Kings, Chapter Two, verses 23 - 25:

A modern translation here.

23 Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, young lads came out from the city and mocked him and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead!” 24 When he looked behind him and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two female bears came out of the woods and tore up forty-two lads of their number. 25 And he went from there to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria. :D
 
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GNC

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#15
I'd say it's probably readers seeing what they want to see: Berenstein/Bernstein (like the composer) sounds more common that Berenstain, mostly because who wants the word "stain" in their name? But there it is.
 

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#17

Ulalume

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#18
I'd pay to see that! ;)
Oh, I hear your mockery, don't think I don't. But I'm just going to pretend this means you wish there were two of me. Ha

Mike Berenstain (Son of Stan and Jan)

Oh dear, I just read that as "Son of Satan and Jan!"

I feel a new blog coming on!

Of course it makes sense for a Jewish author to write about bears for children. I am very fond of this story of Elisha in the Second Book of Kings, Chapter Two, verses 23 - 25:

A modern translation here.

23 Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, young lads came out from the city and mocked him and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead!” 24 When he looked behind him and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two female bears came out of the woods and tore up forty-two lads of their number. 25 And he went from there to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria. :D
Tsk tsk. The Berenstain bears are simple hillbillies, not savage instruments of divine justice! :p

Though this did lead to a lively discussion at home about the seeming arbitrariness of some Old Testament rules. How did you know if you'd done the right thing? Well, God sent bears, didn't he? Same with lightning strikes, or pairs of twins. (I've long wondered how my real-life namesake, Tamar, got away with it - the twins semed to justify it all. Let's see that work in modern day religion!)

Anyway, the Berenstain bears had no place in my Fundamentalest education - not because they were drawn by a Jewish couple, but because bears can't talk. Talking bears are of the devil.

I wish I was kidding, but I'm not.
 

Mythopoeika

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#19

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#20
The Mandela effect is the general name for things like this. A relatively large group of people remember Nelson Mandela dying in his cell in the 1980's. The spelling of the bears is one other thing where a large group of people remember something else. The fortean core of the idea is that the discrepancy is evidence of parallel universes/multiple timestreams/glitches in the matrix.

I too remember Berenstein. Perhaps this is because my young mind interpreted there to be three of the letter e in the name for consistency. Or like you I am from the same alternate universe!
Precisely WHO remembers Nelson Mandela dying in his cell in the 1980's. No-one I know does?
 

emina

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#22
Granted, he does jump onto the couch for all of split second, before immediately jumping off again. There's no bouncing up and down. Also, all he says is a quick "Yes!" If he hadn't been acting like a knob for the whole interview, it would've been immediately forgotten about.
 

Loquaciousness

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#24


There is no research here at all. All there is is a collection of anecdotal evidence, a lot of it based on wikipedia entries. Based on that sort of approach I could basically make up anything, start a web page and encourage people to contribute and then give it a name. Then I could write a book based on my collection of nonsense. Broom is a blogger with a theory, and a theory is all it is - there is nothing to back it up apart from some people who claim that they have a memory of something that didn't happen.
The fact that our memories are actually not particularly good and prone to reconstruction and change on the other hand has been shown in multiple pieces of research, e.g. Loftus who is a leading researcher in this field.
 

emina

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#25
There is no research here at all. All there is is a collection of anecdotal evidence, a lot of it based on wikipedia entries. Based on that sort of approach I could basically make up anything, start a web page and encourage people to contribute and then give it a name. Then I could write a book based on my collection of nonsense. Broom is a blogger with a theory, and a theory is all it is - there is nothing to back it up apart from some people who claim that they have a memory of something that didn't happen.
The fact that our memories are actually not particularly good and prone to reconstruction and change on the other hand has been shown in multiple pieces of research, e.g. Loftus who is a leading researcher in this field.
Broom is a blogger with a theory, and that's all it is?

Er, yeah... And that's all it claims to be.

I was just offering you some background information on where the idea comes from.

I'm not sure what you were expecting here. Your question was whether anyone remembers Nelson Mandela dying in the eighties, (with the implication that because you don't have such a false memory, that nobody else does either - an odd leap, but there you go.)

Anyway, there's you answer. Some people think that they do. That's all I meant when I said, "better believe it!" I wasn't referring to her theory, (which I don't personally give any credence to at all).

Unless you trying to split semantic hairs about whether a false memory can actually be considered a memory - a pointless task, I can't really see what your point is beyond stating the blindingly obvious.
 

Graylien

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#26
'Berenstein' seems to me somehow more of a believable word than 'Berenstain'. Either way, it's an uncommon surname, so it's understandable people would misspell it. People are constantly misspelling my own surname, though it's hardly as exotic as 'Berenstein'. And I've never assumed the reason is that they've just arrived from a parallel universe.

Having said that, the 'many universes' theory still seems to hold credibility among people who are proper scientists and all. Rather than people 'crossing over' from one universe to another, possibly the contents of consciousness might somehow 'bleed' or resonate across universes. So if there are 100 universes where it's 'Berenstain' bears, and one where it's "Berenstein", perhaps the me in the 'Berenstein' universe might have thoughts of 'Berenstain' bears.

Occams razor and all that, though...;)
 

Vardoger

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#29
Could it be that ---stein is a more common suffix than --stain, and people just use mental shorthand, or laziness? Sort of like the typos you see for Ziegfield and Seinfield instead of Ziegfeld and Seinfeld.
I wonder how many spellings there are of Bruce Springstein on Google?

Let me check: 83 400 results.
 

Frideswide

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#30
Anyway, the Berenstain bears had no place in my Fundamentalest education - not because they were drawn by a Jewish couple, but because bears can't talk. Talking bears are of the devil.
can they use the medium of interpretative dance? ;)
 
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