Sunday, April 15, 2012

Titanic. 100 years, and what have we learned?

"This one will change the future."

The ship named Titanic sank a hundred years ago. So what?

What have we learned over a hundred years about big talk? Claims made that proved false, an entire world remembering that man is clearly fallable and big talk is less important than actually delivering.

What am I getting at? Well, let's look at some of the outrageous claims made.

Unsinkable! Well... the advertising said "designed to be unsinkable", so you can't pin ALL of that on the White Star Line, but the media sure liked the catchy "shorter" phrase.

"God himself could not sink this ship!" This quotation, made famous by Cameron's film, is reputed to have been the answer given by a deck hand when asked if Titanic was really unsinkable.

Passenger Margaret Devaney said "I took passage on the Titanic for I thought it would be a safe steamship and I had heard it could not sink."

Another passenger, Thomson Beattie, wrote home "We are changing ships and coming home in a new unsinkable boat."

Perhaps my favorite is, "Remember, amatures built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic"

That one's great... isn't it? Remember, the ark didn't sink.

Now let's compare some other grandiose claims made recently

"This international destination will usher in a whole new era of economic possibility and prosperity through the creation of spin-off businesses, tourism and cultural offerings in Manitoba and neighboring provinces."

"...the budget to build and fit up the museum, including exhibition development, would be capped at $265 million."

The CMHR will become a destination; for tourism and education; it will offer a new home for conferences and workshops from Canada and around the world.

An early business plan for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights estimated an annual average of 250,000 in person visitors to the CMHR each year. According to the Manitoba Bureau of Statistics, this estimate would result in total direct annual visitor expenditures of $25.7 million into the Winnipeg economy. Internal estimates show that 75,000 of those visitors will be non-Manitobans.

It would seem that in the past 100 years, there are still people making claims that are clearly false.


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