I was wrong (and so was everyone)

I was wrong (and so was everyone)

Did 18th century firefighters really let buildings burn? Sources below. ■ AD: 👨‍💻 NordVPN’s best deal is here: https://nordvpn.com/tomscott – with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Here’s the full, thoroughly referenced report: https://www.tomscott.com/corrections/firemarks/

Thanks to historical consultant Paul J Sillitoe: http://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-sillitoe-avi-consultants

Thanks to Afonso Noronha for the email sparking this whole discussion! All the corrections on this channel can be found here: https://www.tomscott.com/corrections/

The original video, now deprecated and unlisted: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sehyLDPeB6M

I’m at https://tomscott.com
on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tomscott
on Facebook at https://facebook.com/tomscott
and on Instagram as tomscottgo

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43 Responses

  1. Tom Scott says:

    I’d like to apologise to any 18th-century firefighters reading this. ■ AD: 👨‍💻 NordVPN’s best deal is here: https://nordvpn.com/tomscott – with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

  2. Christian Bohm says:

    That’s the cool thing about history: Being wrong is exciting! And correcting their own mistakes is what makes someone a great person. Well done, Tom.

    • Joshua Latimer says:

      @p75369 Being wrong is somewhat less fun as an engineer than as an academic (unless it is a pleasant surprise).

      That’s not to say you don’t want to know if you were wrong, because it is still highly important to address the problem and any follow-on issues.

    • Schattengewächs says:

      @The Eclectic Dyslexic Historians are scientists. They might not be natural scientists, but that’s true for many other scientists too. Also, all successful historians use natural science as a fundamental backup.

    • Gamer_Time says:

      @p75369 it’s true for lots of non academics too.

    • p75369 says:

      Should be true for anyone who calls themselves an accademic. Being wrong is great because it means you’ve learned something new and are now closer to the truth.

    • Mushgal says:

      @The Eclectic Dyslexic Humanities are science too, you silly.

  3. Lewis Little says:

    This apology is even more interesting than the original video, because it’s taught me something that I (and apparently everyone else) didn’t know. Fascinating stuff. I love history. Well done, Tom!

  4. iRdMoose says:

    “As ever, you shouldn’t trust me.” True, but this statement is exactly why you are trustworthy. Unlike most of our so-called professional media, they just say “trust me,” and when they’re proven wrong they either sweep it under the rug or label the people with the actual facts as modern day heretics. Your challenge to fact check you and your willingness to say, “I was wrong, here’s the information that proves it” is how actual trustworthy media producers should operate. Thank you, Tom.

    • AzraelThanatos says:

      @rogink They also don’t even make it known that things were edited for it or do anything to ensure that people know that facts were changed.

      A lot of issues with rapidly produced articles that get updated as things go on, but don’t tell anyone and you hit issues where people claim as facts that are no longer there because they were proven to not be what they’d thought and there is zero mention that the article was updated/edited.

    • Patrick Frost says:

      @TreskaWe trust him not because he says not to trust him, but because he proved the reasons not to trust him, and then cited his sources.

    • Robert Gammon-Ross says:

      Little finger pulled out the uni reverse card on this logic

    • Treska says:

      So you’re saying you don’t trust him when he says not to trust him.

    • Olly Davis says:

      I think the point hes trying to make is never trust a fact on face value, always do your own research or think critically yourself if you want to be sure

  5. Come Fast To Get Into My Body says:

    The internet needs videos like this more often than we realise. We need constant reminders to think critically and take accountability for what we assume to know. Great video!

  6. Dimitri Thomas says:

    the irony is that these kinds of correction videos increase my confidence in tom by about 500%. literally who else in the game would pay a professional archival researcher for two weeks of full-time labor to investigate misinformation from 150 years ago.

  7. artyfowljrr says:

    I love that Horrible Histories was so accurate overall that even Tom Scott is shocked when they’re wrong

  8. bitblt says:

    I can’t think of any other YouTube creator so dedicated to owning mistakes, even if they were not originally theirs. “Standing on the shoulders of mistaken giants” is awesome. Nicely done

  9. bluebillbo says:

    Thanks Tom for being honest and teaching a lesson in humility, unfortunately a trait missing in many nowadays.

  10. Conor Donovan says:

    A lot of channels probably wouldn’t care if what they say is true or false. Often they only care about likes and subscriptions. Tom clearly does care about the truth and I think he is brave to come out and admit his mistake. It may make him look bad briefly but it shows great integrity overall. Also, kudos to the person who brought this to Tom’s attention

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