Find ourself a new ship


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Oct 16, 2008
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Reading through this "What if..." section is quite depressing. It was a disaster, everything had to be done just like they were done to make this disaster. What if... they had binoculars, went more south, reduced speed, had enough lifeboats, Californian (or whoever was there) had a Marconi watch 24 hrs, what if they hit they iceberg head on.... The list goes on. So many people could have died of old age instead of freezing to death in the Atlantic if only one thing had been different. Very depressing.

Suggest we find another ship that nearly went down, but didnt cause they chose another route. Or another reason. Any suggestion for a new passion ship for us all?

Moonshine wishes to you all.
 
Nov 1, 2008
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Well, it seems logical to me that people would talk about Titanic on "encyclopedia titanica"...but there may be other sites that focus on other ships...

But I am new, and could be wrong.
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Jul 9, 2000
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>>Suggest we find another ship that nearly went down, but didnt cause they chose another route.<<

The ships which chose another route didn't even come close to nearly going down. The appeal of the Titanic is that she not only went down, she did so on her maiden voyage and took long enough to do it for legends to be born.
 
Nov 2, 2008
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I suppose 'what if' scenario's are useful in the same way as studying history is useful, we cannot change things but it can provide pointers how do do things in the future if a similar situation arises. For example the board of inquiry must have asked 'what if' they had enough lifeboats or a drill, chances are more people would have been saved, hence these became necessary for future ships.

More speculative and technical 'what if' scenarios can be useful as an exercise in stimulating innovation. Although the specific scenario is unlikely to arise again, perhaps something you have learned can be used in a different situation.
 

Jim Currie

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"long enough for legends to be born".

In the dictionary the word legend is defined as 'a traditional story or myth'.

The basic story of Titanic is -as everyone knows- not a myth.. I suggest any mythical content arises from two main sources:

1 - From those who enjoy a romantic tragedy and therefore outrageously embellish the story by ad-libbing where gaps between and/or an anomaly in known facts occur.

2. From the 'serious researchers' who. when confronted with the same gaps or anomaly ; choose to ignore them and settle for a set of 'facts' which fit their vision of the big picture.

In the first case - the 'what if' scenario is 'king'
In the second. it might just be useful in arriving at a logical answer when the limits of scientific application have been reached.

As for to-day gaining useful, applicable safety or technical knowledge from a 'what if' Titanic scenario - I doubt it very much

I suggest the product of both camps might loosely be described as 'what if' scenarios.
 
From Merriam Webster:

a story coming down from the past; especially : one popularly regarded as historical although not verifiable [there are parts of the Titanic story that are not verifiable and it IS a story coming down from the past]

a body of such stories <a > [there are many such "legends" in the Titanic story, from what happened to the hull, the break-up, the behavior of individuals during the sinking...therefore, it's a body of such stories]

a popular myth of recent origin [relatively recent]

a person or thing that inspires legends [that it has]

the subject of a legend <its> [that it is]

In short, it's safe to say that the story of the sinking of the Titanic has a layer of legend to it. It also has a layer of hard fact.
 
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I think you'll find that a very large part of the mythmaking started in the popular news media of the day and after that, took on a life of it's own.

The Titanic mythos is one of a ship trying to break speed records on her maiden voyage by charging blindly into an icefield while ignoring ice warnings, women and children first, along with stories of courage and cowardice, the captain going down with the ship in a daze and a 1500 strong choir resolutely and courageously singing "Nearer My God To Thee" on the stern as the ship takes her final plunge.

It's a great story, but it's not real.

The real Titanic had her share of mistakes and mismanagement and had this not been the case, she wouldn't be lying in pieces on the bottom of the North Atlantic. As it happens, there are stories of courage and heroism along with cowardice which are quite real but it's a story mostly of the consequences of some really bad judgement which had become "Business As Usual" and which resulted in 1498 deaths that didn't need to happen.

The trick for the historian is to sort out the reality from romantic fantasy.
 

Jim Currie

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Absolutely Michael.

My problem comes with the perpetuation of these myths and the possible results of such perpetuation.

Perhaps I'm a 'softy' but I do 'feel' for the surviving relatives of those who gained notoriety as a result of hearsay or mis-intepretation of fact. It can't be much fun having your grandfather or other such relative branded as some sort of coward on the strength of unsubstantiated second or even third-hand information. If there is a mythical element or even a strong sense of controversy about a story then absolute judgement in the real world should be ruled out.
To me; the act of expressing publicly that some one was a coward under such circumstances is an act of cowardice in itself - considering that the accused is no longer here to defends him or herself.

Today we remember those who fell in the Great War. It should also be remembered that an obscene number of people died during that time - not in battle but in front of firing squads as a result of being falsely accused of cowardice! It didn't end there, these people have relatives living today!

Given the popularity of the Titanic story it does not seem that it'll be any time soon that this self-rightousness will come to an end.
Fortunately it is but a very small part of what is otherwise a fascinating, story.
There is still a lot fun and enjoyment mileage to be had out of the story and more than enough controversy to have the pundits muttering into their beards for many-a-day to come.

However, as the man said 'The moving finger writes and having writ.... etc
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>To me; the act of expressing publicly that some one was a coward under such circumstances is an act of cowardice in itself <<

I don't know that I would go quite that far, but I would go so far as to call it grossly insensetive to the reality that these people faced which was a choice between a chance at living as opposed to freezing to death in the open ocean. Few of us have ever had to face such a dilemma but the people on that ship did and there were no other options.

Some highly subjective judgement calls have to be made in any study of history. It's really unavoidable, but I would submit that before we get too carried away with it, we might do well to ask ourselves if we could have done any better. It's easy to be emotional and even righteous when one doesn't have to face the situation or make some damned ugly choices, but it's not so easy to do so when faced with the situation for real and knowing that you have to face the responsibility which goes with it.
 
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