Being a fitness blog with a touch of nerdy-ness, I often weigh-in on sciency-pop-culture news and mainstream articles. Having watched several different shows on Discovery's Shark Week directly, and many more as background while playing various computer games (note not video games as my lovely wife Ellie points out every time I say video games while talking about computer games), I am a little bit unimpressed by the general lack of scientific merit on display.
There are two types of shows during shark week. The first are designed to clearly feed into sensationalism, featuring "first person shark attack footage" and testimonials about encounter. The second are more scientifically presented, with experts weighing in on all aspects of shark. I have no interest in the first type of show, probably because most of the footage is garbage and the rarity of real shark attacks make it kind of a pointless topic.
Bro do you even exist?
The second type of show though peaks my interest. I am a major proponent of exploring the ocean and the diverse species that it contains. The ocean is one of the Earths most untapped resource, and I feel like we understand about 1% of everything there is to understand about it. There are probably millions of species of all things big and small that we can learn from.
The problem that I have with these scientifically presented shows though are that often I get the impression they aren't representing the real science of the researchers featured. An article on The Verge really covers this in great detail, but to summarize their article for the link-follower impaired,
"They chopped up the second question, and superimposed my second answer to the first question," he says. "They showed a Southern hillbilly fisherman talking about the voodoo shark, and then they pan to me, saying, ‘Shark scientist Jonathan Davis believes that if the voodoo shark is here, it will be in the lake bayous.’"
Essentially, the are just making things up by chopping up responses to say what they want to say . . . not exactly what researchers would expect when they are giving their opinions.
I've always had a bit of issue with how science is reported in the mainstream media, I mean come on, they scared schools into closing because of BOMBOGENESIS.
Oh, and that "Joy Ride" shark attack documentary they featured on opening night? It was made up. Labeling something as a dramatization doesn't cut it. And tonight's "Megalodon" show is fake too.
I guess the point of this semi-rant is that I can no longer watch any of the episodes with any real interest, because it is too difficult to tell what has been fabricated, what is real footage, what is CGI, really what is real.
Discovery has the ability to put high-quality documentaries out there, I just don't understand why they waste time with garbage.