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What happened to educational TV channels?


Hans de Vries
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For a TV veteran this is simply unbearable.

 

10-15 years ago Discovery Channel, Science Channel etc. all showed content that matched the purpose those channels were created for and was fun to watch. Now both of these show mostly some BS about cars, explosions and guys making moonshine... where is science in all of this!? The Science Channel is the least affected by this phenomenon but Discovery Channel is a completely different channel than what it started.

 

The worst case is, arguably, History Channel. It was once obsessed with WW2 but at least showed historical content. Now it's schedule is completelty dominated by programs about aliens and tough guys in rural United States doing tough jobs. There is max. 5% of history-related programming on the channel that proudly calls itself "The History Chanel". The only truly historical series was the Soviet Storm (produced by in Russia) World history is so rich and complex - they can make documentaries about uncount numver of topics - history of military technology, history of infantry tactics, history of cavalry, hisotry of the German army, history of Mexico, Netherlands, English Civil War, British occupation of India etc. etc... So much that thousands upon thosands of hours could be filmed... Isn't that better than Ancient Aliens?

Edited by Hans de Vries
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  • 2 weeks later...

"Did any of them cover the use of the apostrophe?"

 

Can't recall, but they probably did.

 

Anyway, from your question I presume the use of an apostrophe for an abbreviation is contrary to English prose (prog's in place of programs).

 

P.S. since changing to the latest model, quoting or copying appears to be prohibited. So apologies for not being able to use the website's quote function.

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[pedantry]

programmes

[/pedantry]

 

A missing letter can be replaced with an apostrophe - wouldn't have it any other way - but an abbreviation is normally shown with a full stop. The apostrophe has its uses - it's normally used to designate possession except when it isn't.


"Did any of them cover the use of the apostrophe?"

 

Can't recall, but they probably did.

 

Anyway, from your question I presume the use of an apostrophe for an abbreviation is contrary to English prose (prog's in place of programs).

 

P.S. since changing to the latest model, quoting or copying appears to be prohibited. So apologies for not being able to use the website's quote function.

 

And the quote system works fine for me. Press the button marked "Quote". If you are still having problems could you explain what you are doing in the Suggestions Forum so that we can work towards a solution

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I very rarely watch TV these days, but a few years back when in high school I had more free time and occasionally watched the Discovery Channel. The only memorable programs were the Planet Earth and Frozen Planet series (I have a ridiculous affinity for David Attonborough).

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For a TV veteran this is simply unbearable.

 

10-15 years ago Discovery Channel, Science Channel etc. all showed content that matched the purpose those channels were created for and was fun to watch. Now both of these show mostly some BS about cars, explosions and guys making moonshine... where is science in all of this!? The Science Channel is the least affected by this phenomenon but Discovery Channel is a completely different channel than what it started.

 

The worst case is, arguably, History Channel. It was once obsessed with WW2 but at least showed historical content. Now it's schedule is completelty dominated by programs about aliens and tough guys in rural United States doing tough jobs. There is max. 5% of history-related programming on the channel that proudly calls itself "The History Chanel". The only truly historical series was the Soviet Storm (produced by in Russia) World history is so rich and complex - they can make documentaries about uncount numver of topics - history of military technology, history of infantry tactics, history of cavalry, hisotry of the German army, history of Mexico, Netherlands, English Civil War, British occupation of India etc. etc... So much that thousands upon thosands of hours could be filmed... Isn't that better than Ancient Aliens?

Unfortunately, pure science and history programming doesn't attract the viewer demographics these channels require to acquire and maintain sponsors. The reality is that these are businesses that require steady streams of commercial support to provide the programming we enjoy. To do that, they have to compete with the intellectually disinclined programs of more commercial channels by producing pseudoscientific shows with content of mostly fringe interest or appeal. Gone are the days of Science and History Channel programs produced solely for some intellectually edifying content. Loyal viewers will have to content themselves with occasional flashes of truly insightful science and history between visages of aliens and hauntings.

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The intellectual world is your oyster with the internet, and a fast enough connection. No need for tele. I've done without it since 2004. Being deaf, I prefer the written word to spoken so I can get away with a quite slow connection. To much of the viewing time nowadays is polluted interspersed by adverts and, as such, not amenable to an uninterrupted learning experience imo.

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The intellectual world is your oyster with the internet, and a fast enough connection. No need for tele. I've done without it since 2004. Being deaf, I prefer the written word to spoken so I can get away with a quite slow connection. To much of the viewing time nowadays is polluted interspersed by adverts and, as such, not amenable to an uninterrupted learning experience imo.

 

I'm in the same boat when it comes to internet over TV. I'm a millennial though, so the history channel has been about pawn shops for most of my life.

 

My biggest thing though is that when it comes to learning about more complex subjects like learning about physics (general relativity, quantum mechanics) through reading, I feel like I am only gaining the ability to regurgitate information rather than actually understand the subject.

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I'm in the same boat when it comes to internet over TV. I'm a millennial though, so the history channel has been about pawn shops for most of my life.

 

My biggest thing though is that when it comes to learning about more complex subjects like learning about physics (general relativity, quantum mechanics) through reading, I feel like I am only gaining the ability to regurgitate information rather than actually understand the subject.

Whether the words are spoken or written you still have to digest and absorb what has been said and, with science, you are only going to get so far without maths;. this will always be your limitation, no matter how good you are, I think. I think you are looking at many years of concerted effort to 'get used to' the hard stuff like GR, QM etc... there are no complete classical equivalents that we can use to visualise at this level. The other thing is scientific knowledge is in constant flux, scientists have to be in this state to. I wouldn't let it get you down, as long as you enjoy it and find it interesting and useful that's all that matters I think Richard Feynman once said nobody really understands QM.

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Frankly, apart from one or two, for me the TV programs are rubbish. And as regards the adverts, I feel like I want to through a house-brick at the TV. And I understand people and organisations actually pay money to have those adverts on TV!!!

 

And the news programs aren't much better, appearing to consist of two presenters having a relationship, and probably playing footsie under the table - where's that brick?

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Whether the words are spoken or written you still have to digest and absorb what has been said and, with science, you are only going to get so far without maths;. this will always be your limitation, no matter how good you are, I think. I think you are looking at many years of concerted effort to 'get used to' the hard stuff like GR, QM etc... there are no complete classical equivalents that we can use to visualise at this level. The other thing is scientific knowledge is in constant flux, scientists have to be in this state to. I wouldn't let it get you down, as long as you enjoy it and find it interesting and useful that's all that matters I think Richard Feynman once said nobody really understands QM.

 

I agree. Yesterday, I was looking through GR books and they were surprisingly inexpensive. I'm thinking of getting a couple and starting on the math part. Luckily, I have been exposed to some of the maths (like Maxwell's equations) through my engineering classes.

 

As far as QM goes, every time I start watching a video or reading about it, my mind immediately jumps to the question of whether or not deterministic equations for QM are out there in the intellectual ether.

 

Also, slowly learning the maths of GR and QM will give me something beyond politics to talk about on here.

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