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Re: Another View (Was Review of AMNH Lost World Exhibit)

> From:          jamolnar@juno.com

> >Kids do not question everything they learn in school, especially at 
> >the pre-college level.  I submit that they question very little 
> >of it.  Even many colleges today do not teach students to think 
> >critically. 
> You didn't answer my point.  I submit kids don't just learn in school. 
> They eventually get exposed to other versions of myths, dinosaur facts,
> etc.  They don't have to question it consciously, but they do notice the
> differences.  Then they begin to form questions, even if it is the basic
> one of "who's right?"

If a kid learns about classical mythology, where does the kid learn 
about it?  Most likely in school.  What information do kids value 
most highly as authoritative?  Most likely what they learn in school. 
 I think it goes without saying that a defending curriculum that 
relies on the television program "Hercules" to teach about mythology 
because the kids *may* pick up the truth somewhere else is absurd.

Most kids do not learn all that much about dinosaurs in school 
although this of course varies from school to school.  What are the 
most widely recognized public institutions concerning dinosaurs?  And 
what effect does it have on a kid to go to, say,  the AMNH and see 
the validation of the inaccuracies in the *other* major source for 
most kids concerning dinosaurs today, the JP movies?

I occasionally visited the website of a JP fanatic who had on the 
site, among other things, a chat board.  When I saw posts concerning 
dinosaur information I tried in my humble way to offer some 
information about the dinosaurs misrepresented in the movies.  
Convincing these kids of the truth about velociraptor was not easy, 
and many to this day refuse to accept that velociraptor was as small 
as it was.  They are now equally convinced that tyrannosaurs had 
lairs.  I could further elaborate.

> >The Lost World exhibit 
> >is selling Mercedes cars and Spielberg movies at the American Museum 
> >of Natural History.  This should not be the goal of the museum.
> And it isn't the goal of the museum. 

Correct.  Let me clarify.  It is the goal of the sponsors of 
the exhibit to do these things; it's the goal of the museum to shut 
up, present the whole gigantic advertisement as is and get their 
piece of the door.  

> > If that's what you got out of the exhibit, the fault may not be the 
> > museum's.

Take it from someone who has actually seen the exhibit. 

The infotainment videos are presented by actors from the movie.  The 
Stan Winston animatronic dinosaurs are front and center in an 
elaborate jungle display; the real mounts are crammed around the 
walls; from the mezzanine you can't really even see the dinosaur 
mounts -- you can only see the front-and-center animatronic 
dinosaurs.  The movie logo is splashed everywhere.  The toys are for 
sale at the end of the exhibit.

> We've taken their money and put their logo all over _their_ sponsored
> exhibit banners.  

It's a shame that this happens.  This is quite the hot trend these 
days -- throw some environmental cause a bone in exchange for 
recognition, make some pro-environment commercials, keep polluting.  
People think you're "Green" and you only spend a small fraction of 
the cost required for compliance with the law.  Notwithstanding the 
fact that you've apparently converted some polluters, believe me, I 
know my share of corporate executives as well as their business 
strategies and they do it for what's in it for them.

> Mercedes & Spielberg didn't dictate that their logos were on any
> other AMNH exhibits, did they? Just banners for their exhibit.

Why does that matter?  People at the LW exhibit went in expecting to 
learn about dinosaurs.  They learned what a great representation of 
dinosaurs TLW features.  One intuits this, in fact, just by seeing 
the name of the movie associated with the AMNH -- that's the real 
marketing triumph here for Universal and Mercedes.

(snip on inaccurate dinamation dinosaurs)

> Our compromise is for our interpreters to let people know about
> the errors and enjoy them anyway.  We're not going to refuse certain
> models because new information has made them obsolete.  We work with
> them.  Some compromises, you have to work with.

You shouldn't confuse your dinamation experiences (which are 
unavoidable and your strategy exemplary) with this exhibit -- the 
marketing strategy of getting the movie dinosaurs and big color 
glossies of Goldblum, Moore et al into museums is the *goal*, not a 
necessary compromise.  The exhibit does not point out the 
inaccuracies of the movie.  Why should it?  Who put it together?


"Atheism: a non-prophet organization"