The most thought-provoking documentaries on YouTube

There are countless documentaries on YouTube. Here is a handful of some of the most thought provoking, from a purely subjective viewpoint.

How could such a list be anything but? The word documentary is used here in a wider sense than usual, namely any video of a non-fiction nature.

The following videos are in no particular order, but we begin with the biggest question of all: where did everything come from? There are two here:

God of Wonders: Scientists prove Almighty God’s existence through Science.

And The Signs of God’s Existence.

Although these were produced by people who are well grounded in science, they endorse, or appear to endorse, not merely a belief in God but in Creationism. One views science and the natural world from a Christian perspective, the other from an Islamic perspective.

This short clip, Intelligent Design, from The Thinking Atheist Channel is or professes to be a brief rebuttal of these sort of arguments. All three though are insufficient, the first two because even if God did create the Universe and everything in it, that is an entirely different proposition from accepting lock, stock and barrel Creationism as laid down in either the Bible or the Qur’an. The second is insufficient because the cruelty or wilful blindness of Mother Nature does not discredit the Argument From Design anymore than the holy books prove it.

The fact that the Fibonacci series is so prevalent in nature is clearly amazing, but do we need the Universe to postulate the series itself? Let’s put this another way, numbers are abstracts, if the Universe did not exist, would 2 + 2 still equal 4?

Yes, clearly there is design in Nature, the usual argument advanced at this point is that a design must have a designer, but even if this is the case, even if the entire Universe is programmed, does this prove the existence of God?

That depends on how you view God; it is possible to have intelligence without consciousness. Your desktop computer is intelligent in the sense that it can calculate, and that it does many things per second without your input, but does it know what it is doing in the same sense that you do? For God to truly be God, He must be conscious of His actions; He must have created the Universe wilfully, and presumably He would still be around. That proposition is massively different from that postulated by the Bible, the Qur’an or any of the other major religions. Furthermore, the Universe is so immense that it would be the height of arrogance for us to believe that we have a special place in Creation, in effect that He created all this for us.

Clearly this concept of God is one that transcends physics because it is a proposition that can never be proved. If God does exist, then He must surely have bigger purposes than us. Perhaps He creates life for its own sake, and the Universe will continue to expand indefinitely until all the stars burn out, and then it will contract to a singularity and start all over again.

Whatever gaps the Creationists may find in the fossil record, they have a long way to go to bridge that gap.

James Randi - Psychic Investigator is a short TV series from 1991 that Randi made for Granada Television in the UK. Although it runs to nearly two and a half hours, the episodes have been linked together rather badly including with some overlap. If by chance you haven’t heard of Randi, he is a living legend. No man living or dead has done more to expose the flim-flam and utter BS of psychic charlatans and others.

In this series, Randi gives the most prominent con artists from the UK the chance to showcase their talents, and what a show they put on. Psychic artist Coral Polge doesn’t impress. So-called medium Maureen Flynn is so transparent that even the most gullible members of this admittedly enlightened audience see right through her, as no doubt did most of the viewers.

So-called psychic detective Nella Jones and her supporters have made outrageous claims in the past; here she is given six implements and told that one of them is a murder weapon. Can she pick it out? A professional astrologer is made to look foolish; the one person who does impress is a dowser, who passes the first test with flying colours; that was as good as it got. Unlike the usual psychic charlatans, most dowsers appear to be sincere. Alas, sincerely held erroneous beliefs count for nothing in science. So-called New Age nonsense like crystals fare no better, but this is not such a new age; the bottles may change, but it’s the same old snake oil.

In The Land Of Giants And Pygmies is a short film made in 1925, a film of the type that today is generally called controversial, not to mention racist, but there is no refuting the facts it adduces, namely that well into the Twentieth Century, most Africans were still living extremely primitive lives, and this backwardness had nothing whatsoever to do with slavery, at least not by the White Man. Even at this time, the men of the Babira tribe bought and sold women like cattle. The people themselves lived in huts that would not be out of place in the Stone Age, they were naked or semi-naked, and had advanced to not even the most primitive of inventions. They had fire, but not the wheel.

This and similar films - documentary or otherwise - along with books written by 19th Century explorers destroy the fantasies of the Afrocentrists. This begs the question, how did such nonsense ever take root? There is no simple answer but the bottom line is that it has been promoted by those intent on stirring world revolution, like Che Guevara and other lunatics. It is notable that those African nations that have rejected this collectivist nonsense and embraced capitalism are beginning to make serious headway to take their place in the civilised world.

The Kennedy Assassination - Beyond Conspiracy: There is a great deal of footage on YouTube about the Kennedy Assassination, which until 9/11 was both the most spectacular murder and the most thoroughly investigated and documented incident in the history of the world barring none.

Much of the assassination footage is purely factual/historical, for example there are actual clips of the assassination itself (including the famous Zapruder film) and of the assassination of the assassin - Jack Ruby shot Oswald on live TV. Then there is the conspiracy stuff, most of which is total garbage. There are though some videos that are worth watching, and this is among the very best. Produced for the 40th anniversary, Beyond Conspiracy talks to all or almost all the major players, including those who are dead. For example, there are interviews with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to the assassination.

The American version of this documentary is slightly different, but this too can be found on YouTube.

Other documentaries on the same subject worth watching are The Trial Of Lee Harvey Oswald, the Vincent Bugliosi presentation Why Lee Harvey Oswald Acted Alone, and American Assassin, a narrated biography of Oswald from his “defection” to Russia at the age of 19. Among other things this gives an amusing insight into the official Soviet view of Oswald through the eyes of the KGB. This film also takes a very brief but hostile look at Nikita Krushchev, who although a pugnacious type was nowhere near as bad as he is often painted. Certainly it is not true that he had any ambitions relating to Cuba, much less to world domination. If you watch American Assassin from beginning to end, you may get the feeling you have watched it twice. That’s because you have!

Hothead Jack Ruby pulls a gun as Lee Harvey Oswald is being transferred to the county jail from the basement of Dallas Police Department. Although Ruby kills Oswald, this act gives birth to the conspiracy industry that thrives to this very day.

Million Dollar Traders: These three videos make up a short TV series which gives an insight into what really happens in banks and so-called investment houses. It focuses on a hedge fund manager who takes 8 people - not quite off the street - and throws them in at the deep end trading with up to a million pounds of his own money. Trading and investing may be the words they use, but what they are really doing is gambling. He might just as well have taken them to a casino and told them to gamble on even chances.

Hedge funds are not quite as simple as this, they are designed to make money when the market is falling as well as rising. Of course, things are rarely that simple; Betamax was designed for people to watch videos, and to make money for its manufacturer, Sony. It did for a time; who has heard of it today?

They can dress this up anyway they like with economists, analysts, traders, brokers, consultants, they can call it investing, trading, hedging, but whatever euphemisms and phony titles they use, all these people do is move money from A to B, from B to C, then from C back to A trying to buy low and sell high. Again, the only word for this is gambling. These people contribute nothing to the economy, and when they trade (gamble) on behalf of someone else, eg pensioners, it is a zero-sum game, because if fund A wins, and fund B wins, then funds C and D must lose the same amount. And as with the great crash of 1929 and every one since, what goes up, must, and surely will, come down.

All this begs the question, why does the government - any government - allow such people to manage pension funds and savings? When it has been demonstrated clearly that monkeys and even parrots outperform most fund managers, why do our rulers tolerate them? That is surely as big a mystery as why people continue to believe the psychic babble that was debunked so impressively by James Randi.

Major C.H. Douglas on “Causes of War”. This recording is in two parts. If you haven’t heard of Major Douglas, you will find an introduction to the man and his Social Credit philosophy here. If you want a lot more, here is an introduction to the website set up by his followers.

Although there can be and indeed are many causes of war, Douglas hits the nail bang on the head, everybody is chasing the same buck, and because of the banking system’s monopoly of credit there must always be a shortage. Look at this another way, the ship is going down with 50 crew on board and there are only 40 life jackets. Or even more dramatically, the plane is going down and there is one parachute between the pilot and co-pilot. Douglas uses the less dramatic example of two shops vying for custom in a small village; the result is the same. His Social Credit solution has long been ignored by mankind, and what have we to show for it?

In the spirit of Major Douglas is Money As Debt II. This is an extended and slightly more sophisticated version of Money As Debt. Illustrated with cartoons it is strictly adult material although suitable for children. It explains the origins of the money con, how bankers have stolen the Earth with worthless bits of paper, bills of exchange, and much more.

The only criticism to be made of this film is its advocacy of digital money. While digital money is a welcome development, there is absolutely nothing wrong with government minted coins, government printed notes and government created credit. Provided this money is issued debt-free and in sensible quantities.

We end with these words of veritable doom from Albert Bartlett in his mega video lecture Arithmetic, Population, And Energy - sometimes the words energy and population are reversed. Professor Bartlett died last month at the age of 90. There are several versions available, but this is arguably the best, in one video. This lecture has been called the most important video you will ever see. Claims of that nature are made freely and often, but this one just might be true, because unless we heed the good professor’s words, the claims of the first two videos - that we are part of God’s plan - will be refuted in spectacular fashion when civilisation as we know it if not human life itself ceases to exist on this planet.

It may sound incredible but there are still those idiots - including Libertarians - who believe there is no problem with population, with energy, or natural resources. Listen to what this guy says about peak oil and compare it with what Professor Bartlett says about getting oil out of the ground. Now listen to this one talking about resources in general.

There is a kernel of truth in his claims about substitutes, for copper for example, but again listen to what he says about peak oil and new finds. How long will those estimated reserves of 1.238 trillion barrels last?

Total world oil consumption last year was estimated at 88 million barrels a day. Do the math, and we have 14,068 days left, or just less than 39 years. Now, let us imagine that the world economy grows at an average of just 4% for the foreseeable future. That means it will double in just seventeen and a half years. If oil consumption keeps pace, that means that in less than 18 years from now we will be consuming 176 million barrels a day. And in less than another 18 years, 352 million barrels a day. Now how many days will be left?

Here’s another thought for you, if you take 88 million barrels of oil out of the ground, what is going to replace it? Don’t forget, this is happening every day, and has been happening every day, albeit on a lesser scale since the birth of the oil industry.

If you are under thirty, this may affect you, and if not you it will certainly affect your children and your grandchildren, that is if civilisation as we know it still exists then. Consider too that world population is still growing, and at current rates is doubling about every fifty years. For how long can this doubling continue? Albert Bartlett was a true prophet, but so was Cassandra. We can only hope that unlike her, he will eventually be heard.

Professor Albert Bartlett delivering his classic lecture on arithmetic, energy and population, a lecture he would eventually give over 1,700 times.

[The above multiple review was published October 17, 2013. Two of the associated images were uploaded by me; the third one was I believe added by editorial but subsequently deleted. The picture of Professor Bartlett is actually a screengrab from his famous video lecture; both this and the Jack Ruby pic had appeared in an earlier article, so I did not add the usual qualification. Million Dollar Traders was originally called Million Dollar Trader; as with God of Wonders, I took the title from YouTube rather than from the IMDb to which I have linked here. The C.H. Douglas video is really an audio, but that is not important.

The title of this article is hyphenated while I have used the phrase thought provoking without hyphenation in the text. I try to avoid hyphens, but...Finally, although all the links herein are currently valid, I cannot guarantee that will always be the case].

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