Friday, February 21, 2014
Wrong ideas I had for way too long
I saw an article the other day about misconceptions, discussing ideas that people held for long periods of time that they now understand were wrong. And not just any old misconceptions, but really stupid ones; misconceptions that make no sense at all.
So, here are a couple wrong ideas I had for a long time.
The first is not particularly relevant to everyday life and is really a misinterpretation of a movie plot point. In The Wizard of Oz, the Wicked Witch turns over her ginormous red hourglass and tells Dorothy that the time in the hourglass is how long she has to live. Today I interpret that as a deadline at which time the Witch would return and have Dorothy killed (possibly by the Winky guards). For decades, however, I thought the Witch meant that Dorothy would just magically drop dead the instant the red sand ran out. I never understood why Dorothy didn’t just keep turning over the hourglass to give herself more time.
The second is historical. Like most people, I know that Hitler killed himself in his bunker. I used to think that Hitler’s bunker was located on the coast of France and that he killed himself when the Allied Troops invaded France on D-Day. I could vividly picture him looking out and seeing the landing craft and directing defenses before he killed himself. When I finally realized that Hitler died in his bunker in Berlin nearly a year later, it caused a major readjustment in how I visualized the war and Hitler’s end.
Please feel free to share your own misconceptions in the comments. I’m sure I’ll think up some more as well.