The collective idea that something is a fact is powerful. But it doesn’t change the truth. Academics and seekers of knowledge should take steps to keep separate what we believe is true and what is shown to be fact. This is especially difficult, as a combination of confirmation bias, popularism and enticing narratives can cause long debunked myths to perpetuate. Academics and researchers are facing near-insurmountable challenges as they have always done throughout history, but we will get through it.
Memory is fallible, and Memory Errors can easily appear through suggestion, misinterpretation and distortion. A perfect example is the famous misquote from the Wizard of Oz, that everyone believes is “Fly, my pretties, fly!”. In fact, this isn’t said in the film at all, and is just “Now fly, fly!” and the witch refers to Dorothy as “my pretty” at a different part of the film. It’s likely that this misquote became so entrenched because of a 1993 episode of the Simpsons that did use the misquote “Fly, my pretties, fly!”. These sorts of collective memory errors relating to popular culture have recently been termed the “Mandela Effect”.
On an art note, Jess has always loved to experiment with different art techniques and learn new ways of working. She has recently been experimenting with paper cutting in a more modern context. She thought it was very fitting, since it’s Chinese New Year of the Rooster, that she try the crazy idea of cutting a whole comic. Paper cutting is one of the oldest forms of Chinese folk art, dating back to the 6th Century CE. Most of this comic is a paper cut, except the text and the lines on the research papers.
We wish you all a Happy Chinese New Year! Gong Xi Fa Cai!
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Prof Panda: I'm going to pretend you didn't just let the chicken go rogue with our research on Twitter.