PBS Idea Channel

  1. Entertainment

    Media Has a Problem With Representation, and Kamala Khan Can Help

    That's what the people behind PBS Idea Channel think, anyway. Khan, and other diverse and interesting comic book characters like her -- Mike Rugnetta cites Miles Morales and Simon Baz as well -- are helping to slowly change comic books and comic-loving communities for the better. Don't think so? Watch the video. Maybe it'll change your mind.

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  2. Entertainment

    Are TV Narratives Getting More Complex Because of Technology?

    Back in the day before Hulu, Netflix, DVDs, and everything else we used to watch TV instead of actual televisions and cable boxes nowadays, media executives weren't very keen on the idea of serialized narratives in their shows. So does all this changing technology explain why we're getting so much more complicated content to watch?

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  3. Tech

    Can the Internet Be Considered an Archive? [Video]

    Most people consider the Internet fleeting because you can't hold them in your hands in the same way that you can with a book or written source. But is it worth archiving anyway? Are archived portions of the Internet accurate depictions of the original sources they claim to archive? PBS Idea Channel investigates, and confuses us in the process.

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  4. Entertainment

    What’s the Shelf Life on Older Memes These Days? [Video]

    Remember when a meme could comfortably live on just under the public awareness for years? Sure, part of that was because no one wanted to go on 4Chan to learn about all of them, but memes still have a very comparatively short shelf life now. Mike Rugnetta of PBS Idea Channel (who used to work for Know Your Meme) wants to talk about it with you.

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  5. Gaming

    Does Twitch Plays Pokémon Give You Hope For Humanity? [Video]

    Twitch plays Pokémon is on to another title in the game franchise, so we're going to be able to keep watching its chat-guided player character crash into walls for a good long while. That's a good thing, PBS Idea Channel says, because it's a fascinating look at how a community can grow and function without an external governing force.

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  6. Entertainment

    Does Fiction Even Exist, Maaan? PBS Idea Channel Explains [Video]

    Okay, strap in nerds: it's about to get philosophical up in here. Mike Rugnetta of PBS Idea Channel wants you to know that reality is a construct and fictional objects have properties, therefore they might exist -- and he uses the boy wizard Harry Potter as his prime example.

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  7. Tech

    Why Do People Like Unboxing Videos So Much, Anyway?

    Denizens of the Internet really like unboxing videos, which has left some of us at the Geekosystem offices a little confused. Thankfully, PBS Idea Channel is here to figure out what it is you all like so much about unboxing videos without us actually having to talk to real humans to find out.

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  8. Entertainment

    Why Do People Hate Selfies So Much?

    Despite rising so far in popularity that it was named Oxford's Word of the Year in 2013, the selfie sure does have a lot of haters. Setting aside the perceived narcissism angle (guys, we're all narcissistic, that's just what being human is), why does the selfie get such a bum rap? PBS Idea Channel has some thoughts on the subject.

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  9. Entertainment

    The Time-Old Question Continues On: Is Avatar Anime?

    It's literally a question that friends of mine have been asking since high school -- does Avatar: The Last Airbender, an American-made cartoon with strong Asian influences, count as an anime? My inclination is just to stop at saying "no, it's not," but of course PBS Idea Channel takes it farther than I would, because that's what they do.

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  10. Tech

    Do Trolls Have Any Inherent Value In Internet Society? Maybe, But Probably Not [Video]

    In attempting to figure out whether or not there is any value in engaging with trolls on the Internet, Mike Rugnetta of PBS Idea Channel effectively trolled himself. If you've ever complained about people being too "sensitive" on the Internet, then this one-person discussion is definitely worth a watch.

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  11. Tech

    Just How Important Are Algorithms? Apparently, Very [Video]

    Algorithms are to Internet life what common arithmetic problems are to regular life -- it doesn't occur to you how much it impacts you on a daily basis until you actually sit down and think about it. But is there a spiritual component to the way data gets analyzed? We sure hope not. The idea of algorithms gaining sentience is downright unsettling.

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  12. Tech

    What Are Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants, and Do They Exist?

    Critics love making this distinction between digital natives -- those born after 1980 who grew up with the Internet and are supposedly fluent in its use -- and digital immigrants -- those born before 1980 and who have to manually learn how to use these technologies, but is that distinction useful or accurate? PBS Idea Channel investigates.

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  13. Entertainment

    PBS Idea Channel Looks Inward to Answer Viewer Questions with Double Episodes

    The latest episode of PBS Idea Channel is a two-part behind-the-scenes look at the show, how it's made, and how it came to be. They put the word out that they wanted to answer questions, and viewers responded in a big way. Watch host Mike Rugnetta explain some of the inner workings of one of the best shows on the Internet.

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  14. Entertainment

    PBS Idea Channel Explores The Symbolic Significance of Doctor Who For Its 50th Anniversary [Video]

    Doctor Who is all anyone's been talking about for the past two weeks, and PBS Idea Channel is no exception. To celebrate the 50th Anniversary this weekend, Mike Rugnetta takes a look at the history of the Doctor over the years, and how he might be less of an individual character and more of a series of symbols.

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  15. Entertainment

    Could Seeing Ender’s Game Be Considered a Political Action? [Video]

    Ender's Game has been out for about a week now, and whether or not audiences should go see it if they're opposed to Orson Scott Card's politics has been a hotly contested issue over the past few months. Mike Rugnetta and PBS Idea Channel decided to take a look at whether money should be wielded as a political "upvote."

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