The world is a weird place. I feel like we are always teetering on the edge ready to fall into an age of ignorance and cruelty. I mean, it wasn’t that long ago the US would pay cash for Indian scalps. The song Yankee Doodle is older than the USA paying for human scalps.
And even today, you can’t open an umbrella without hitting 13 people talking about “race wars” and ThE iLlUmInAtI. All of them have cast themselves as heroes in epic adventures of good and evil. They are starting from one certainty, that for them to be “good”, necessarily demands they must be surrounded by evil. And not abstract “evil”. Not evil actions. But very specific evil people by name.
If the balance shifts too far into angry and frightened radicalism the entire country could suffer for a few centuries. And that worries me.
It is for those reasons that I love debunk videos.
They are a reminder that people do care about facts. Noble hoax researchers are willing to go into the breach once more dear friends and shine sunlight up the dark crevices of humanity. I like them so much that I decided to make a list of some of my favorite debunk media.
This British journalist turned YouTube debunker is not one to suffer fools. His annoyance is palpable. But when you spend years going directly into the teeth of creationists and apocalypse pushers, you better have thick skin. I bet potholer54 doesn't support monarchy, but this guy deserves a knighthood.
The thing about this channel is, he is basically the nicest creator on YouTube. His videos consider both sides feelings. He avoids being petty or insulting. I don't think it was this creator's intent to kick up any dust when it started. But weighing into science topics online is asking to get mixed up in the tussle.
Uri Geller on Tonight Show
Here is a classic video that put a huckster to the test on national TV. Behind the scenes James Randi helped Carson setup a fair scenario which lead to Uri's embarrassment.
Paranormal Photos Debunked
This video barely scratches the surface of fake media online. But it's good to know that someone is out there double-checking this stuff. Good job guys!
Magician turned professional debunker James Randi's foundation famously offered 1 million dollars for any proof of paranormal activity for decades. Unfortunately Mr. Randi has passed away but the intent behind his work perseveres. From what I can tell it was this encounter with Peter Popoff that catapulted Randi into national recognition.
These videos are truly satisfying. And this YouTuber specializes in finding unusual fights. This is where I learned about Xu Xiaodong, the MMA fighter creating waves in the Chinese fighting community. Watching these fake masters is a deep youtube rabbit-hole to dive down.
Another good sport from across the pond, Shaun kind of blew up for a while there with his audio over a logo video tacking all sorts of toxic behaviors. I don't remember which video made me fall madly in love with Shaun but now it is done and can't be undone.
This brave YouTuber is in my opinion the king of grass-roots 9/11 conspiracy hoax research. The only possible problem is that there are so many of these videos with good bits scattered throughout. But some of the conclusions and insight he came to was very powerful and socially insightful/
Ostensibly this video is about flat-earth. But it is really so much more than that. He realizes that it isn't reason that motivates them and this video seeks to understand the underlining motives. I would be very happy to make this video required viewing in junior high.
This is a less traditional debunking as portrayed by this professional civil war re-enactor and history scholar. If you like this video I would strongly urge you to check out his other characters such as Nazi guy and Witchfinder General.
If you have a short attention span then this hour-long video is a bit much. But it's a classic. An important brick in the wall between reality and political editorialism.
This YouTuber is a science teacher who mainly does videos about science. But from time to time he catches a whiff from the shallow end of the pool and is taken to impatiently lecturing misguided communities of people. It's kind of great.
We got us another long one here. Even longer than that last one. But dare i say, an even more important video than hbomberguy's War on Christmas. This video examines the common foundation between QAnon perceptions of the world. Without explicitly saying it this video nails the modern religious eschatology sitting on America's chest.
It is impossible to say exactly how damaging History Channel's journey into alt-history programming has been to society. But the Ancient Aliens series, besides being built on Zecharia Sitchin's faked "Sumerian translations" - creates the conclusion that science is lying and hiding a world of fantastical quasi-religious stories. This response is a masterpiece. A very long, dry and boring masterpiece.
Some More News
Cody's Showdy gets a little bit hyper at times. But mixed in this high energy content is an occasional gem of genius. The particular subject of this video is always evergreen. What Cody points out should be common knowledge but someone in this mixed-up world just the opposite seems true. Well whatever.