King Arthur's legends are really garbled

Barbara Ruth Campbell (campbell@I-2000.COM)
Wed, 13 Mar 1996 19:07:51 EST

To add to Scott's Arthurian legend note and to get us back on track,
A&E aired an excellent program on King Arthur which just happened to
air the same week the Gargoyles landed back in Avalon to battle Oberlin
for the island. King Arthur, by the way, had already been awakened
and had sailed off to claim Excalibur from the Lady in the Lake who
rose up out of the lake in Central Park - long story.

Now, considering how legends and urban myths can spread, it's vitally
important that we make sure that the people we are talking to

1) have read the same books we have
2) think critically about what they have read
3) realize the movie versions about XYZ (Arc of the Convenant Indiana
Jones type adventures are not what archaeology is all about
4) watch films for fun NOT for content
etc. etc. etc.

Establish firm ground and assume nothing!

Ever work as a docent in a historical home only to have visitors ask
you if the the owners (we're talking owners in 1740) still live in
town? Or how about the people who I heard ask at Liberty State Park
if the 3 reconstructed vessels Spain sailed in the Tall Ships flotilla
were the original vessels sailed by Columbus?

We're in big trouble folks. It's not just ghost stories that people
are picking up off of T.V. and supermarket tabloids, the fact that
I used to have students who thought the Civil War occurrerd in 1940
and that slaves had only recently been freed during their grandparents'
generation, well . . . .

And how about the idiot bureaucrats who watch Star Trek and who then expect
the systems administrator is lying when he/she tells them no, the computer
can't scan all the records and index all the names (entered into one
field) in last name, first name order - THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE! But then, who ever listens once they're convinced
by what they swear they know from osmotic viewing of fantasy films????


Full citation to quote included below for those who asked.

Barbara Ruth Campbell, Ph.D.
Westfield, New Jersey 07090

"Sensitivity to the role of paradigms in our perception can be
an important tool in problem solving. Once we know that all our
problems cannot be solved within the frame of a curren paradigm,
then it is sometimes possible to solve a problem by reframing its
terms" - Schwartz and Ogilvy, 1979.

The Emergent Paradigm: Changing Patterns of Thought and Belief
by Peter Schwartz and James Ogilvy, April 1979
Published as a Analytical Report, Values and Lifestyles Program
333 Ravenswood Avenue
Menlo Park, California 94025

Available only from the Library of Congress and that copy is marked up
so good luck to those who asked about my signature file quote.