Can We Save History?

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After watching “Voyage of the Damned,” I started thinking about the significance of the pleasure cruise and the way Mr. Copper was getting Earth history incorrect. The social commentary of this is amusing to me, and I wanted to explore how it relates so well to society today. The passengers on the Titanic have most likely never been to Earth or even bothered to learn anything about its history or culture, so their experiences with the cruise and Mr. Copper will be their first. The only person to question Mr. Copper’s history is the Doctor, and I cannot say that I am surprised. Unfortunately, people who have no knowledge of a culture have no way of knowing if what they are being told is correct or not, and everyone’s first instinct is to believe what they hear if they can rationalize the source as being halfway credible. The passengers do this on their excursion to Earth, and we do this in our society as well. It is a fact that most kids are uninterested in history in general, so they have less knowledge about history and other cultures than generations before them. Facts get written and distorted through time, and textbooks are different depending on who is writing the history. Social media platforms report “news” that students read more often than their textbooks, leading them to incorrect information about the world and other cultures, especially if they take everything they read as fact. “Voyage of the Damned” highlights this shift from historical accuracy nicely. The characters truly believe that the history they are learning is true, meaning they are not making fun of humans, but misunderstanding them. This episode makes me concerned that even today’s well-documented history will be misunderstood, making our achievements less important or revolutionary to future generations.

 

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One thought on “Can We Save History?”

  1. This post is very similar to the thoughts I had while watching the episode. It’s hard to hear your own country be so misrepresented, but I think Americans are guilty of misrepresenting other countries.

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