Thursday, January 28, 2010

goat, brain, leaf, moon

Here is "leaf art" I have recently finished.

I was listening to the radio the other day and heard a very interesting story about 'The Great Moon Hoax. Here's a link to the radio article. Just click on episode 24.

The Moon

In 1835, The New York Sun published articles supposedly about discoveries of the life and habitat of the moon. The articles described beavers that lived in little huts and started fires, blue unicorns, and people with wings. There were six articles about the 'moon discoveries' and at first the readers believed that the articles were sincere. I think it would be amazing to live in a time where it seems plausible that there could be unicorns and winged-people on the moon.
There are two common motives for people who create hoaxes. One motives origins are to maliciously trick people in order to make ones self feel superior to them, or to exert a sense of control over them. Once I was watching a TV show about big foot, and a man who created fake big foot evidence was interviewed. This man spent hours making artificial 'big feet' to leave imprints in the forest floors in order to trick big foot enthusiasts. This guy thought it was a hoot that people were falling for his tricks. He felt better then them, because he was basically proving that they were fools.
Another motive for a hoax is to inspire awe, or give hope. I think this was the motive behind the 'great moon hoax.' Telling children that Santa Claus exists is another example of this kind of hoax.
Over all, I'm not sure how I feel about hoaxes. Of course I am opposed to malicious hoaxary. But I am unsure how I feel about hoaxes that inspire hope. It is almost a gift to truly believe in something magical. But I'm not sure that the disappointment of finding out it is not true is worth the prior belief. And if something magical is disproven once, it is more difficult to believe in something magical again. Just like people with broken hearts who think they will never love again.

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