Here Be Dragons

Here Be Dragons, is a documentary about critical thinking. Explaining how the vast majority of the population will accept dragons, or their logical equivalents, than to actually try to learn and understand the principle of how things actually work, this documentary is an excellent introduction to critical thinking.

Here Be Dragons is written and presented by Brian Dunning, host and producer of the Skeptoid podcast, author of Skeptoid: Critical Analysis of Pop Phenomena, and Executive Producer of The Skeptologists.

An anthropological introduction to YouTube

This is a lecture presented by Michael Wesch at the Library of Congress, June 23rd 2008.
Professor Wesch is teaching Digital Ethnography at Kansas State University and his lecture here provides us with an interesting insight to one of the most important websites of today, YouTube, and how it changed and developed over time.
It also presents YouTube as an incredibly powerful medium that everyone can reach from their homes, with all the consequences this has on the way we live and understand the world today. Very informative and revealing…

Cracking the Colour Code

Why is the sky blue? Why do leaves turn yellow in autumn? And why does red play so powerful a role in so many cultures? Is colour real or is it just a construct of our brains?

Drawing on the latest scientific findings and technology, Cracking the Colour Code is a series for people who are seeking answers to many of the questions that relate to colour and who, at the same time, wish to enjoy the incredible diversity and sensation that colour has to offer in our world. While colour is a child of science and physics, it triggers within us a host of emotional, intuitive and intellectual responses – deeply rooted within ourselves and our culture.

The series is both food for the intellect and the senses – delivered as a carefully arranged and orchestrated feast, yet one that is playful and provocative.

The Brain: Our Universe Within

This Discovery Channel documentary explores the depths of the human mind, its mechanisms of reasoning and awareness that we are all born with, as well as its evolution over the ages.

Hosted and narrated by Canada’s legendary scientist, Dr. David Suzuki.

Is Seeing Believing?

This is a documentary from BBC Horizon about sensory illusions. It’s fascinating to see in how many ways can our brains be fooled. Most popular are of course optical illusions, included are the illusions with colors where our brain perceives the same color as different depending on the surroundings, or the illusions with 3D space. However, all of our senses can be fooled in different ways.

Now the big question is the following. Is this simply an error in the way our brains work, or is it there for a reason? What if those errors our brains do, are actually an advantage in some way? Could they have evolved and prove useful?

Nice Guys Finish First

Nice Guys Finish First is a 1986 documentary by Richard Dawkins which discusses selfishness and cooperation, arguing that evolution often favors co-operative behavior, and focusing especially on the tit for tat strategy of the prisoner’s dilemma game.
I find it very interesting to see examples of cooperation emerging spontaneously, very often for the sake of preserving some balance. There are many examples in our society, such as a football match in which opposing teams decided to cooperate and make it a draw rather than trying to best one another. A more extreme example are two opposing armies in a war; it happens in every war that opposing soldiers decide to cooperate, realizing that doing so actually helps them survive.

What Are Dreams?

This documentary by NOVA sheds some light on dreams. Even after a lot of research, dreams are still quite mysterious, and their true purpose is not completely understood. Sigmund Freud was convinced that dreaming is an expression of subdued subconsciousness, usually filled with a lot of sexual symbolism. However, psychology has changed, and this claim is not as firm as it once was. What is certain is that dreams play a key role in our lives. Dreams are essential for learning for example, as a lot of information we learn during the day is organized while we are dreaming.