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October 06, 2016

Weird Ish Yo: The Mandela Effect

So this is apparently some crazy notion that's picking up traction with people who are crazy.

The Mandela Effect got its name based on this anecdote: Some woman misremembered Nelson Mandela as having died in prison in the 80s. She was speaking to a woman who also misremembered this.

Mandela was released from prison long, long ago and even led South Africa. He died a couple of years ago -- not in prison.

But this woman was so impressed with how detailed her own misremembering was, and how it jibed so well with this other person's misremembering, she gave the phenomenon a name: The Mandela Effect.

That's not the weird part. The weird part is that the theory is now offered that if a bunch of people misremember something the same way, that must be evidence that they are accurately remembering a parallel universe/alternate timeline in which the events transpired precisely as they remember.

The idea that several people could just misremember something seems... illogical to them. No, it must be that they're having memory-echoes of a now-overwritten timeline or something.

Another example of the "Mandela Effect" of people remembering alternative universes or parallel timelines which have been over-written in the current "official" reality concerns... the spelling of the name of a children's cartoon about bears.

Warning, Snopes.com link:

The Berenstain/Berenstein Bears

No single example of the Mandela Effect has generated more online buzz than that of the children's book series and animated TV show The Berenstain Bears. Quite a few people who grew up with the series, it turns out, remember the title being The Berenstein Bears, with the name ending in "ein" instead of "ain" (with some even going to go so far as to maintain that the fictional bears' surname was changed along the way to make it "less Jewish"):

A page on Broome's web site cites a number of testimonials:

I too clearly remember it as ‘Berenstein’ even though I never read the books. Why would anyone change that? Seems irrelevant.
Does anyone remember the Berenstein Bears? I do. Although somewhere along the line the name has changed to the Berenstain Bears. No record of “stein” which is definitely how it was when i was younger. No question about it
I would like to say that I VERY CLEARLY remember “Berenstain Bears” being Berenstein Bears. I very specifically remember it being pronounced “STEIN” on the show.
Didn't it used to be the Berenstein Bears? Now, suddenly it's the Berenstain bears? Is this some sort of anti-semitic cover-up? Or have those of us who grew up in the 1980's been misinformed, misread, and mispronounced?

I consider this pretty convincing. I can imagine any number of compelling, logical reasons that aliens or humans from the far future would travel backwards in time to re-write history to change the name of the "Berenstein Bears" into something less Jewish-sounding.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson's misremembering of that Bush quote must be something like this. He has a very, very strong memory, he says, therefore, Bush must have really said what he remembers him having said in an alternate timeline.


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posted by Ace at 01:35 PM

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