View Full Version : Discovery/Learning Channel -- What went wrong?
I thought Discovery and Learning channel were supposed to actually have information about space, the universe, einstien, nature, life, blah blah blah,...yet whenever I turn on the tv they are always having shows on rebuilding houses, "fix-it-lines", wedding stories, psyudo-science topics like UFOs, and cryptozoology.
What went wrong guys?
Maybe we should all write to them, maybe we can make a difference.
06-27-99, 09:28 PM
Yes, Discovery channel has failed us!
Even on the digital Discovery channels (of which there are about 9 - one of which purporting to be a science channel) you are very hard pressed to find anything worth watching.
The main problem seems to be MONEY - so no surprise there then :)
In order to bring in the big bucks they have to appeal to as wide a range of viewers as possible which unfortunately means 'dumbing down' any subject they choose to air. They don't trust their audience to have any intelligence whatsoever.
Perhaps complaining is a good idea - but do it carefully - every other complaint I have ever read on the lines of requesting more serious television has come across like the complainer just wants to tell the world that he/she is smarter than everyone else and therefore the complaints get ignored.
Perhaps someone out there will do something about it soon - or perhaps start a new station with some serious content. Both are unlikely but I will keep praying :)
LOL, yeah I've noticed the "Dumbing down" of their shows, LMAO. TLC has got that ongoing UFO series airing tonight with about 5 or six parts which we've seen 10 times over already.. =1
[This message has been edited by SeeKer (edited June 27, 1999).]
Last night I turned on the TV around 9 o'clock or so and checked TDC & TLC ... I forget what TDC had, I think it was a "Are you being watched?" program about "big brother." I'm not sure, my memeory escapes me.
But I do remember what was on TLC..."The Real Truth To UFOs," or something of the rediculas sorts. Ends up I just watched "Farscape" on the Sci-Fi channel, which btw, probably is less science-fiction than the "Real Truth To UFOs."
I think we should complain. Not try to prove that we are smarter than the average "dumb-ass" veiwers, but just say "hey, we're getting sick of this stuff, you've aired the same junk for the past 2 or 3 years, and we're ready for something new and maybe just a little scientific this time?"
of course we should word it a little differently than that, but I still think we can make a difference if we try.
Maybe we should have a TDC/TLC "lock out" where we get everyone not to watch TDC for a long long time and see how they like it. Maybe then they'll have a subject content change?
PS - who are the dumb shits that actually give them the ratings? Maybe we should blame it on the rednecks!!!
You know you're a redneck when the UFO hotline limits you to 1 phone call per day.
Not to mention all the bigfoot, Loch Ness monster, Lake Champlain monster, Bermuda Triangle nonsense they pass off as "science." It's really gross. But then, even Nova is a lot softer than it used to be.
BTW, today on DISCOVERY & TLC Learn to Decorate the New Home you just built on <u>Interior Design</u> and Home Savvy! These shows really don't belong on DISCOVERY or The Learning Channel, what are we gonna do about it??
Correct, they don't belong at all. Same goes with the psuedo-science bull. They shouldn't be on there.
I'm curently checking out the Discovery/Learning channel's home page, trying to find some way to write to the channel to submit our comments about their horribly boring anti-science programs.
If ANYONE here knows a valid email account to write to the discovery/learning channel, please give it now.
[This message has been edited by MaTTo (edited June 28, 1999).]
If their homepage doesn't have a contact address, call your local newspaper -- IF it publishes a TV guide. Sometimes the folks who put those things together can hook you up with a contact person.
06-29-99, 12:53 AM
I have contact info for Discovery Channel for UK viewers.
160 Great Portland Street
An e-mail is on its way.
Thanks for the info Del and Caradoc.
I'm thinking if maybe there is a firstname.lastname@example.org the why not a comments@discovery or comments_us@discovery.
Anyways, Del, I'll see what I can get with your tip too.
Thanks to you both,
06-29-99, 01:53 AM
Remembers my solution to the Discovery/TLC and the whole televsion thing...... 3 yrs ago, I unplugged that hateful S.o.B. ( TV) walked it upstairs opened the window and set it free, and me too for that matter.....
Recomends it to many people.
Hmmm...tempting idea, but I think a better goal would be to get people to want to turn on their TVs to actually learn something about the universe and the world around them, instead of people wanting to turn on their TVs to learn about "The Real Truth Behind UFOs" and that kind of non-sense that isn't even science.
I don't understand the mindset behind pseudo-science media. Real science is every bit as compelling. For instance, a series could be done on the possibility, nee probability of an ocean on Europa ... and now evidence suggests that Callisto and Ganyemede have oceans, too. That, and the putative bacterial fossils on the Martian meteorite, and the discovery of extrasolar planets. These are mysterious and beguiling and wonderful lines of inquiry. The success of Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" series should have demonstrated to all concerned the viability of real science as entertainment.
Whoa...I know you're all gonna hate this posting but what the hell!
As it happens I totally agree with many of your comments relating to endless repeats on Discovery. One day however, people might just wake up to the fact that UFOs are a totally real phenomena (although I do agree that there has been precious little science involved in the study of them). And no, before you jump to conclusions, I'm not some geek who thinks my space brothers are here to save the world or some other such lunacy!
The scientific community is guilty of ignoring this subject for far too long for a variety of reasons. However, there is no doubt that in recent times more mainstream scientists are apparently now starting to take notice of UFOs and devote time to a field where their collegues have feared to tread. Who knows, maybe this change in attitudes has been brought about by some of the programs shown on channels such as Discovery. On second thoughts, who am I kidding? You won't be convinced so I might as well stop wasting my time.
Anyway, even though Discovery has its faults, it's still the best channel we've got.
[This message has been edited by Spadge (edited July 01, 1999).]
Well, Spadge, you may be right, but the "inquiries" about UFOs/ET you see on Discovery/TLC hardly qualify as exemplars of the scientific method. Mostly they're sensationalistic and speculative -- which disserves even the proponents of that line of inquiry.
Spadge, I disagree with your posting. UFOs are indeed real, but science hasn't turned it's nose up at it completely. In 1997 their was a scientific conference held where UFO researchers laid down all the evidence they could find, and the scientific panel concluded that UFOs were a real phenomenon.
But science will not say that UFOs are actually little green men who are curious about us, that is illogical and anti-scientific.
And, if you ask me, the UFO shows on the Discovery and Learning channel have been a complete lack of science and are a waste to the viewer's time.
I've been looking into UFOs for a good while (about 5 years), so I do have an interest in the subject, and I don't dismiss the whole thing completely.
But can tell you that almost everything the media says about it is false. UFOs are unidentified flying objects, and one can't assume them anymore than that until more evidence is provided.
[This message has been edited by MaTTo (edited June 29, 1999).]
Well, I have to say I'm pleasantly suprised at both of your responses. Yes, I was aware of this study by a group of scientists. That is one of the reasons that I mentioned the fact the some scientists have come around. In my opinion we still need more people to look at this however.Unfortunately many scientists do fear the ridicule of their collegues (the laughter curtain is still very real in some quarters) and funding problems can also be an issue.
I totally agree with your comments on the media. Nothing reported ever seems to be accurate. That's if it's reported in the first place.
A recent issue of The Planetary Report talks about science reporting in the media. Most reporters aren't scientists and can't distinguish between "science" and "pseudo-science." They rely on the reputation of their sources, and unfortunately, many of the charlatans have become adept at masking their identities with lots of official-sounding bells and whistles.
Actually, I think science would embrace the study of UFO if any compelling evidence were presented to them. So far, none has.
I'm not really sure how the two programs "history of the swimsuit - nothing to hide," and "beauty and the beach," really have to do to with knowledge and understanding, but none the less, they've got this guy's COMPLETE UNDIVIDED ATTENTION!
07-12-99, 05:18 PM
I have to agree that Discovery & TLC have been running too Much psudo science shows, and have been repeating shows for the last 2-3 years.
But I have to admit I enjoyed those shows the first time I saw them. I really liked the Nova on searching for the LNess. Mostly because I have vowed that If I ever win the Lotto (Or if I could get the fundning) I will buy a nice little cottage on the Loch and spend time looking for this "Monster". But it was a good show..
Anywho I think the main problem with these Science shows are ratings .. the UFO Invasion Week (?) on TLC (?) was one of their highest ratings grab since the network started.. they have learned Sex and UFO's get ratings...
The playful hand of capitalism has done it again. Oh well, I guess it's back to PBS :)
I am; therefore I think.
As a matter of fact Boris, PBS had a special NOVA thing tonight about man's trips to the moon! It was really good and I enjoyed it very much! I wasn't aware that PBS was capable of that!
If everyone would stop watching the puesdo-shit they air on Discovery and Learning channel, put our ratings into the space shows on PBS, then maybe someone out there will get a clue as to what we are really looking for!
But wait a minute! I guess everyone wants to see a UFO documentary that explains "THE REAL TRUTH BEHIND UFOS!" we've already seen 101 times and still learned nothing from.
P.S. -- I'd like to see the rating stats on how many viewers "Interior Motives" (or any shows like that) gets a day.
07-31-99, 03:26 PM
Just asking out of interest...
What are your non-cable/satellite channels like when it comes to scientific documentaries and the like?
I am based in the UK, most of you seem to be in the USA. Please don't be offended by this but...we do get the impression over here that US TV is all commercialism and banality. I honestly am not trying to cause offense, just pointing out the fact that this is the impression we are given over here.
On English TV we have several serious scientific dcoumentary series which are very popular here. My favourite was a one-off three part series called, 'Reality on the Rocks'. The idea behind the programme was that the presenter, a comedian/scifi author (whose name I forget) had tried to read 'A Brief History of Time' and had got stuck near the beginning, so he went out and met with the world's top scientists, David Deutsch, Steven Hawking, etc. and tried to understand the book by visiting the top research laboratories (Cerne for example) and talking to and asking questions of these brilliant scientists. They still had to keep it interesting for the layman and so between the serious discussion there were segments where the presenter performed a lighthearted stand-up show discussing what these 'mad scientists' had been telling him. Sounds a bit weird but it was a fantastic programme and I think you would all enjoy it if you get the chance to see it.
Again, please don't be offended by this post. I know that USTV can't all be 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and bogus programs about UFO Abductions - I'd just like to hear it from someone who knows for sure :)
So what kind of serious programming do you receive and which shows should I look out for?
Seriously seeking worthwhile TV,
TV IS EVIL Go to your nearest library and read ... not enough people do taht these days :)