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Current time:0:00Total duration:3:33

Video transcript

hello readers there's a famous Japanese movie from 1950 called Rashomon which is about different perspectives on a horrible crime scene this is a film for adults definitely consult your parent or guardian but in the film you witness four distinct accounts from four separate people and each person remembers what happened very differently the stories contradict each other and by the end of the film it's still not completely clear who did what to whom now this raises an interesting philosophical question what is the truth how does a person's perspective their point of view their background and their beliefs change the way they interpret events or ideas as readers it's our job to engage with that question by reading and synthesizing multiple accounts of events when we read multiple accounts we grow closer to understanding a fuller picture of what happened now we've talked before about the distinction between firsthand and secondhand accounts so in 1912 the Titanic sank someone who was aboard and survived tell their story has a first-hand account a historian who writes an account of the Titanic has a secondhand account and can incorporate multiple perspectives but even among the first-hand accounts you can have wildly different stories compared someone who was working in the ship's boiler room to a rich passenger in a fancy suite they would have had very different experiences of surviving or not surviving a shipwreck and it's important to get in a range of perspectives in order to get that full picture if you've ever watched any kind of sports game you've probably seen an argument like this that's a baseball player arguing with an umpire umpires and referees have one perspective on a sports game you are out and the players have another I was safe they both saw the same event the same play but they see it differently because their perspectives are so different now we can take this understanding to the texts that we read who's the author of a text what's their perspective and what informs that perspective the baseball player wants to be declared safe the umpire wants to adhere to the rules as strictly as possible but maybe they're also an umpire that likes to call players out because they having that power over people let's go back to the example of the crime scene from the beginning of the video imagine there's been a car crash now below are two different accounts of the same crash from the drivers perspective I was driving along hands on the wheel eyes on the road when suddenly out of nowhere these kid on a bike comes racing out in front of me I swerved to avoid them and ran my car into this tree it's the bikers fault my car is wrecked now here's the cyclists perspective I was biking along in the bike lane when I look over and this driver is texting not looking where they're going they were weaving into the bike lane so I moved out into the road to keep from being hit they must have panicked because they crashed their car right into a tree I'm lucky the driver didn't hit me they should pay attention when they drive same situation very different perspectives now if only we had an additional eyewitness to tell us what they saw that might clear things up the more accounts you have the more confident you can feel in the accuracy of the facts so ask yourself who's writing the text are they a fancy passenger on a cruise ship or are they shoveling coal in the boiler room are they a baseball player or a baseball umpire it is only by comparing multiple accounts that we'll get to the bottom of things you can learn anything Dave it out