The Mandela Effect: False Memory

MorningAngel

Abominable Snowman
Joined
May 14, 2015
Messages
876
Likes
1,124
Points
134
When the lyrics of songs change on you.

I’ve just been listening to ‘Another suitcase in another hall’ and I could have sworn it the line was ‘as for problems I anticipate them, even though I hate them’ apparently it’s troubles. Who changed it and the whole entire internet too? They’ve done it to me with Wicked too!
 

escargot

Disciple of Marduk
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
25,321
Likes
20,795
Points
309
Location
HM The Tower of London
Dunno if this belongs here but here goes - I thought it was strange enough!

Yesterday Techy said 'Hey, you liked that shark swimming round you, didn't you?'

I was stumped for a second, then remembered being lowered to the bottom of the sea in a metal cage, landing next to a shipwreck, with fish swimming round me, and I was walking around in the cage and leaning over a rail for a better look at the seabed, and an enormous shark with big teeth approached and I said 'Whoaah!' and leaned back in...

This astonished me as I've never done such a thing. However, at xmas we had a go of the son in law's new 3-D underwater game where all this happens while you're sitting on the sofa in a headset.

Techy's remark had set off an intense memory, not of putting on the goggles and settling down to watch, but of the experience itself. It was as if I'd really been down there deep underwater!

Quite scary really, to think I had to work out how I'd nearly ended up as shark food.
 

Vardoger

Like To Roam The Land
Joined
Jun 3, 2004
Messages
4,902
Likes
3,378
Points
184
Location
Scandinavia
You remember Richard Simmons and his headband right? Wrong. He never wore headbands, even though almost all parodies and Halloween costumes features one. At least in this dimension. A search for old Richard Simmons Workout videos on Youtube gave no result.

I suspect people are confusing Richard Simmons with John McEnroe.


John McEnroe and his red headband.

1557386471992.png
 

Mikefule

Michael Wilkinson
Joined
Dec 9, 2009
Messages
399
Likes
1,093
Points
139
Location
Lincolnshire UK
When the lyrics of songs change on you.

I’ve just been listening to ‘Another suitcase in another hall’ and I could have sworn it the line was ‘as for problems I anticipate them, even though I hate them’ apparently it’s troubles. Who changed it and the whole entire internet too? They’ve done it to me with Wicked too!
In the late 70s, I was a big fan of 50s music. I went for a period of years barely listening to music, although I often hummed and sang the old songs when I was driving.

I got back into the music in a big way in the last 10 years or so.

I am interested in grammar and I discovered that in the intervening years, I had unknowingly corrected quite a lot of the grammar and syntax. This was not quite on the level of, "You are nothing but a hound dog" but I had made lots of little changes to syntax.

This is a different thing from Mondegreens, which are amusingly misheard lyrics. I'm sure I'd heard the lyrics more or less correctly in my late teens, but I'd, er... edited them during my 30s and 40s!
 

Zeke Newbold

Carbon based biped.
Joined
Apr 18, 2015
Messages
799
Likes
1,319
Points
134
This is really just a compendium of old fashioned common misconceptions - Everest is only the third highest point on the Earth, the dodo didn't die out because we humans hunted it - and so on, but I will admit that they were all new on me. And it's fresh and pleasantly presented. `All Time Scary` seems to be the new voice of Mandela's...for what it's worth. Good clean fun, anyway:

 

Yithian

Parish Watch
Staff member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
25,958
Likes
25,973
Points
309
Location
East of Suez
This is really just a compendium of old fashioned common misconceptions - Everest is only the third highest point on the Earth, the dodo didn't die out because we humans hunted it - and so on, but I will admit that they were all new on me. And it's fresh and pleasantly presented. `All Time Scary` seems to be the new voice of Mandela's...for what it's worth. Good clean fun, anyway:

That video perfectly illustrates what is actually going on when 'the Mandela Effect' is invoked. Mr Woah Dude the narrator clearly has not had a classical education and knows nothing at all about the Library of Alexandria. The fact that he keeps on talking about 'books' instead of 'texts' is a fairly strong clue that he's blagging it. There's a fighting chance that he could not find Alexandria on the map, but he has heard the name and can understand the concept because of fleeting references in video games, Hollywood and on the Internet, so he's simply conflated it with other famous infernos from the ancient world (Nero fiddling while Rome burned in 64 B.C.--also likely a myth).

We are now exposed to so much information that if we have no specific reason to consciously work with it in some form, it is only retained at a surface level, and the resulting memory is plastic enough to allow prior and subsequently acquired factoids to be attached. We feel as if we know things, but when that information is interrogated it simply melts into air. "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing" as Pope didn't quite say in a poem I have read only once and can merely parrot the next lines as they were the only bit I needed to quote for an essay fifteen years ago:

A little learning is a dangerous thing;
drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
and drinking largely sobers us again.


How many people who could 'quote' that first line incorrectly could actually tell you what and where the 'Pierian spring' was? Or why it might intoxicate? I once studied this kind of stuff and I find that I erroneously thought that there were seven muses (actually nine are more commonly listed) hanging out there. Why? Probably because of 'interference' from 'Seven Sisters' (Pleiades), who enjoy the benefit of a tube station and part of Tottenham. But now I find that both neighbourhood and station were in fact named after seven local elm trees encircling a walnut tree on a nearby green, not the star cluster nor the catasteristic suicide-victims that produced it. These facts are melting into air as fast as I can chase them.

Set me an essay or schedule an exam on the subject and I'll have it for life; throw it at me on Wikipedia or YouTube and it's lost in hours.

Similarly, the Salem witch trials. He keeps on saying that he formerly believed that those found guilty were burnt or drowned, but now he has discovered they were 'hung' (he means 'hanged', more evidence that he had never read an article on the topic), but in his earlier belief he was simply conflating the ideas of general heresy and witch-trials with the counter-reformation, autos-da-fé and the Marian persecutions in England.

The transformation of the Everest 'fact' is similarly doubtful. It is simply a case of linguistic inexactitude and changing the parameters. Yes, sea level varies, which is why elevations are measured against mean sea-level across the planet. Here's a shocker: sea levels actually change (daily, monthly, yearly), and we do not wish to re-measure and 'correct' land elevations, so we work with a constant average. And the main field in which we care about establishing land-based elevations is that of mountaineering, and mountains that you cannot climb from base to summit (such as underwater ones) are not relevant in the survey.

It's like the old chestnut of whether a tomato is a fruit of a vegetable: it completely depends who is answering and for what you or they intend to use it.

I had no facts about the Dodo to work with--although I saw a stuffed one at the Horniman Museum. I don't recall any notes on its taste or the factors behind its extinction.
 
Last edited:

Yithian

Parish Watch
Staff member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
25,958
Likes
25,973
Points
309
Location
East of Suez
Last edited:

Ulalume

tart of darkness
Joined
Jan 3, 2009
Messages
3,213
Likes
6,083
Points
219
Location
Tejas
Similarly, the Salem witch trials. He keeps on saying that he formerly believed that those found guilty were hung (he means 'hanged', more evidence that he had never read an article on the topic), but he's simply conflating the idea of heresy and witchcraft with the counter-reformation, autos-da-fé and the Marian persecutions in England.
I'm confused...I haven't watched the video (can't right now because I don't want to wake anyone) but are you saying that those found guilty in the Salem witch trials weren't hanged? Cos I'm pretty sure they were hanged, aside from Giles Corey who was pressed to death. Am I overlooking something? I've read a number of books on the subject and even visited Salem myself.
 

Yithian

Parish Watch
Staff member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
25,958
Likes
25,973
Points
309
Location
East of Suez
I'm confused...I haven't watched the video (can't right now because I don't want to wake anyone) but are you saying that those found guilty in the Salem witch trials weren't hanged? Cos I'm pretty sure they were hanged, aside from Giles Corey who was pressed to death. Am I overlooking something? I've read a number of books on the subject and even visited Salem myself.
Typo. Will correct.

He previously believed they were burnt or drowned but now finds that they were hanged (or 'hung').
 

Ulalume

tart of darkness
Joined
Jan 3, 2009
Messages
3,213
Likes
6,083
Points
219
Location
Tejas
Typo. Will correct.

He previously believed they were burnt or drowned but now finds that they were hanged (or 'hung').
Ah, ok. That's a relief. I mean, not a relief that the victims were hanged, but that I'm not losing my memory.
 

CuriousIdent

Not yet SO old Great Old One
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
Messages
1,426
Likes
1,042
Points
184
Location
Warwickshire, England.
Ah, ok. That's a relief. I mean, not a relief that the victims were hanged, but that I'm not losing my memory.
You are not. They were. (And yes 'Hanged' is the official legal term. 'Hung' is not).

I think that most people's contact with the Salem Trials is through Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible' which some people do take as absolute fact. But even Miller himself goes into details of the liberties he has taken, written as extensive notes which break up the dialogue in the script (and as a performer who has done been part of two productions of that play that's a joy for the rehearsal room...).

The majority of key details of life and death have a grounding in fact, but it is still a dramatisation.
 

CuriousIdent

Not yet SO old Great Old One
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
Messages
1,426
Likes
1,042
Points
184
Location
Warwickshire, England.
You're right, it's 'hanged', but people colloquially say 'hung'. As in 'You'll get me'ung!' in a conspiratorial manner when you're at work and someone asks for something extra.

Absolutely. And the further we get away from it being a legal term that's used in every day life? The less I would imagine it would get corrected.

Earlier this year I was involved with another production of Miller's 'The Crucible'. I'm currently working on a production of Amanda Whittington's 'The Thrill of Love' - a play about the life of Ruth Ellis, the final woman to be Hanged in the UK. I also recently auditioned to play Harry in a production of Martin McDonough's 'Hangmen'.

Quite apart from what this persistence with plays on the subject of Hanging has to say about my mental state, I think I've probably had to learn more about the terminology and methods OF Hanging than most people commonly would... :)
 

CuriousIdent

Not yet SO old Great Old One
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
Messages
1,426
Likes
1,042
Points
184
Location
Warwickshire, England.
Fabulous play. What was your involvement and how was it staged?

I played Thomas Putnam this time around (I played Rev Hale at university).

We have a large sized pros arch stage but we effectively took it black box, painted floor (resembling wood) sparse furniture, non-specific period dress.
 

Attachments

Frideswide

Fortea Morgana :) PeteByrdie certificated Princess
Staff member
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
Messages
9,603
Likes
9,848
Points
284
Location
An Eochair
Looks good. How old were the girls?

Did you get more out of playing Putnam or Hale?
 

Zeke Newbold

Carbon based biped.
Joined
Apr 18, 2015
Messages
799
Likes
1,319
Points
134
That video perfectly illustrates what is actually going on when 'the Mandela Effect' is invoked. Mr Woah Dude the narrator clearly has not had a classical education and knows nothing at all about the Library of Alexandria. The fact that he keeps on talking about 'books' instead of 'texts' is a fairly strong clue that he's blagging it. There's a fighting chance that he could not find Alexandria on the map, but he has heard the name and can understand the concept because of fleeting references in video games, Hollywood and on the Internet, so he's simply conflated it with other famous infernos from the ancient world (Nero fiddling while Rome burned in 64 B.C.--also likely a myth).
I go along with much of the `infobesity` critique here - but there is also an elitism at work which made me want to stand shoulder to shoulder with the `woah, dudes` of this world - who at least have some curiosity and who are honest enough to ezpress baffelement about it.

If by a `Classical education` you mean one that did not involve much discussion of Greek antiquity or the learning of Latin then neither did I and that probably puts me in the company of - say - 80 per cent of the UK population - or those who didn't have a private education lavished on them or didn't attend certain types of grammar schools when they existed.

I don't feel lesser for not knowing Latin or much about the Greeks. The trick is to know what you don't know and to be ever willing to learn. As someone once said: `There's no such thing as a supid question - only a stupid answer` (Or something like that. And let's see who's well educated enough to know who said it - and to find the correct quote!)

We are all `woah, dudes` some of the time. And I can't agree that ` a little knowledge is a dangerous thing`. It seems to me that every little bit helps. How can knowing something about something ever be a bad thing?

I thought `hung` versus `hanged` was just another example of American versus British English - but couldn't be botheed to look it up.

I think the idea that witches were burned or drowned might originate with the oft cited apocryphal (?) story about how the witchfinders would check if women were witches by trying to drown them - and if they survived they must be witches!

Ditto that man killed of the Dodo (which I have definetly heard somewhere) is a bit of mispaced eco-guilt: we have indeed rendered other species extinct and are endangering the future of others too.

When we get onto Everest then the stuff about changing sea levels and so on sound like a cheap jibe: Tell most people that Everest is not - necessarily - the highest point on Earth then they are going to express a degree of surprise. If this were not the case then programmes like `Q.I` would not be able to humorously expose such common misconceptions on a weekly basis for so long!

Nor do I think that this type of miseducation can account for `the Mandela effect` in its entirety - as most of it seems to be about people having clashing memories concerning popular commercial and cultural products - rather than the above sort of stuff.
 

Peripart

Antediluvian
Joined
Aug 1, 2005
Messages
5,488
Likes
2,786
Points
244
That video perfectly illustrates what is actually going on when 'the Mandela Effect' is invoked.
Indeed. I see the guy's point - these are clearly things that he believed for much of his life, and now he finds that the accepted version of events is not what he remembers. However, just because one recalls something incorrectly, it doesn't mean that some freaky effect is at work.

I'm just about willing to accept (at some level) the theoretical possibility that "Mr Whoa Dude", as you call him, has somehow slid between parallel universes and temporarily found himself in this one, where certain events have subtly changed, but I think it's more likely that his recollection is a bit off. To take his examples one by one:

He always thought that the dodo was hunted to extinction, largely because it was tasty, and is disconcerted to learn that it tasted awful, and wasn't killed off by man. However, I think it's still true that the dodo died out because of man's presence, and that desperate men did try to eat it.

Although the Salem witch trials were quite notorious, even in the UK, there are plenty of other tales (true or otherwise) of witches being burned or drowned. It's not beyond belief that someone should conflate the idea of witches being killed in these ways with the story of one of the most famous witchhunts.

The height of Everest is down to our definition of "highest". By the commonly-accepted method of measurement (that is, the one used on pretty much every map ever printed), Everest is, as I understand it, very much still the highest mountain on Earth. Yes, it's interesting that other mountains reach further up from the planet's centre (and the sort of factoid which would crop up on QI just to rob Alan Davies of 5 points!), but that's never been the way altitudes are measured - height above some nominal point on the surface of our oblate spheroid of a home world has always been the definition! As for Mauna Kea's claim, I think it's silly - you could measure any mountain starting at the bottom of the Mariana trench and work your way up, but you wouldn't, would you?

Actually, I don't know much about Alexandria and its library...

Anyway, as I say, my point is that merely learning new facts and having misconceptions corrected doesn't require the invocation of some mystical "effect". Just remember that every day's a schoolday.
 

Swifty

doesn't negotiate with terriers
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
24,984
Likes
29,936
Points
284
Indeed. I see the guy's point - these are clearly things that he believed for much of his life, and now he finds that the accepted version of events is not what he remembers. However, just because one recalls something incorrectly, it doesn't mean that some freaky effect is at work.
Agreed. I spent my whole life (up to that point) knowing my Nana was called Pat and was from Edinburgh. Just before she died, I found out her real name was actually Mary and she was from Glasgow .. and she was great at playing the piano!? .. something even my Mum didn't know about LOL .. she used to swear at any nurses who tried to boss her around so I used to take chocolates to the nurses, apologise and thank them for putting up with her outbusts .. the nurses told me she played the piano for all the other residents just to cheer them up. I guess her dementia re woke her ability to piano play. She called me Ron at the end which isn't my name (Ron's my uncle) but I wouldn't correct her, I didn't want to freak her out. She always let me hug her if I asked if I could first.

My point is, sometimes people lie to elevate themselves .. Edinburgh has always been posher than Glasgow and many women used two names in the war years. I think sometimes Mandela effect stuff is selective memory.
 
Top