PDA

View Full Version : History Detectives


etv78
02-18-2013, 05:21 PM
I watch the show occasionally. One things keeps bothering me about it though,"Can't you just Google to get your answer?" Why do people need the Detectives?

Odesio
02-18-2013, 05:51 PM
I watch the show occasionally. One things keeps bothering me about it though,"Can't you just Google to get your answer?" Why do people need the Detectives?

Google doesn't know everything. At least not yet.

johnpost
02-18-2013, 06:12 PM
they investigate deeply in nonelectronic media.

RealityChuck
02-18-2013, 06:30 PM
Much of the things they research are not available online, and are in far-flung repositories. You actually have to find the paper records to find the information (and, of course, it take far more time to find it than is shown on TV).

Edward The Head
02-19-2013, 07:47 AM
I love History Detectives, been watching for years. There's no way they could Google some of the stuff they've researched. They go through all sorts of government records, stuff that's just kept in boxes and never sees the light of day. They find descendants of the people who created some of the objects and get information from them.

This is the kind of show that History channel needs to do. Actual research and digging through old books and paperwork to figure things out. I'd watch them all the time.

What the .... ?!?!
02-19-2013, 10:54 AM
Speaking of History Detectives ...... it seems to me that the stories they choose skew toward those involving minorities, women or other leftish issues like labor movements.

If that is correct, do you think it's because those kinds of stories haven't been told adequately in the past or the producers choose to highlight them?

Sampiro
02-19-2013, 11:20 AM
Much of the things they research are not available online, and are in far-flung repositories. You actually have to find the paper records to find the information (and, of course, it take far more time to find it than is shown on TV).

In this they are the opposite of many History Channel shows (e.g. the godawful Decoded) and the primetime genealogy show Who Do You Think You Are? in which the celebrity du jour takes a plane to Boston or even Edinburgh to look at a record that's available electronically through ancestry.com or some other easily accessible databases or even on free access internet. If HD goes to an archives, there's a reason, which is one reason I like the show.

Bridget Burke
02-19-2013, 11:30 AM
Speaking of History Detectives ...... it seems to me that the stories they choose skew toward those involving minorities, women or other leftish issues like labor movements.

If that is correct, do you think it's because those kinds of stories haven't been told adequately in the past or the producers choose to highlight them?

I hadn't noticed that. Have you compiled some figures to prove the "skew" that you perceive?

One episode cast light on the history of a record of a KKK song. In another, a WWII prison camp in Texas was investigated. Pro-Nazi prisoners killed a non-Nazi; eventually our government realized that keeping the Nazis separate from the general population was a good idea.

But I haven't made a survey--perhaps fascist bigots have been under-represented...

FrankJBN
02-19-2013, 11:36 AM
I don't have anything to add to the topic, but am amused that someone who comes onto a discussion forum seeking an answer to a question asks "Can't you just Google to get your answer?"

Edward The Head
02-19-2013, 01:39 PM
You can figure out what types of stories they've doneon their web page. (http://www.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/investigations/?season=&era=&detective=) I've seen stories on balloons that the Japanese sent to bomb the west coast during WWII, pieces of art that might have been sent to the moon on one of the Apollo missions, the electric guitar that Dylan played.

I think there's been a really wide variety of items and history they've done, I don't think they've been skewed at all.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.