So, excuse my last post. I didn’t write anything. That was intentional.
It was meant to highlight the fallibility of human minds. I made the title for the post and then had told myself I should write something about it later. I scheduled the post and forgot about it. It was all part of the plan.
I have recently been inundated with questions about the Mandela Effect. I had never heard of such a phenomenon, hence my surprise when several friends independently brought the topic to my attention. Any perceptive reader will perhaps be able to guess what my stance is on this ‘effect’.
It’s bullshit. Sorry folks.
What is the Mandela Effect?
The Mandela Effect postulates that large numbers of people having similar erroneous memories are evidence for the existence of parallel universes. For example, some believe that Forrest Gump said, “Life was like a box of chocolates,” while others believe he said, “Life is like a box of chocolates…” Regardless what was actually said in the movie, that this is touted as evidence for the existence of parallel universes is comical at best.
When comparing various sources, it would appear that the Mandela Effect is related to confabulation. Confabulation is defined thusly:
A disturbance of memory, defined as the production of fabricated, distorted or misinterpreted memories about oneself or the world, without the conscious intention to deceive.
The article from which this definition is derived costs $40.00 USD precluding a more thorough assessment of its contents. Nevertheless, the most striking words in the definition are ‘fabricated’, ‘distorted’, and ‘misinterpreted’. More on this later.
A Brief History of the Mandela Effect
The eponymous man, Nelson Mandela, is only superficially related to this seemingly innocuous effect. The tale goes that a blogger attended some convention in 2010 where she learned that she shared erroneous memories with a number of the attendants. One memory in particular perturbed them: the death of Nelson Mandela. They had all falsely thought that Nelson Mandela had perished in the 1980’s during his imprisonment.
Whom did they believe was the first black democratically-elected president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999? We all know, of course, that Nelson Mandela survived his imprisonment, making significant contributions to humanity until his death in 2013 (at the ripe old age of 95).
It later came to pass that a physicist had had similar false memories and attempted to develop a “theory” to explain this phenomenon:
I propose that the universe is a 4-dimensional complex manifold. If you don’t se habla math jargon, that means I propose the 3 space dimensions and the 1 time dimensions are actually in themselves complex, meaning they take values of the form a+ib, part “real” and part “imaginary”. Within this 4D manifold, there are sixteen hexadectants (like quadrants, but 16 of them), corresponding to whether we consider only the real or imaginary part of each of the four dimensions. In our particular hexadectant, the three space dimensions are real, and the time dimension is imaginary.
This is a rather strenuous cluster of words and difficult to comprehend. My apologies to those without a formal education in physics. However, one does not require physics to explain this phenomenon which renders the above “theory” superfluous.
A More Plausible Explanation
We are all deficient in some category or another which is perhaps why so many seek to improve themselves. We study to better our memories and mental faculties and we train our bodies to improve our health, strength, and endurance, as well as augment our physical appearance.
Humans are fallible. It’s that simple. When one adheres to the parsimonious principle (Occam’s Razor), we can dispense with unnecessary assumptions. No one needs to postulate the existences of multiple parallel universes; we only need to accept that our minds aren’t as great as we would wish them to be. Perhaps if the above individuals followed contemporary events, were more observant during movies, or were more aware of the mutability of our memories, they would have realized their errors and corrected them without seeking extravagant explanations. I, therefore, conclude that when one considers all of the above, the Mandela Effect becomes untenable.