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  1. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member


    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-flmkPyQls0


    I met Sasha at the Flat Earth conference a couple of weeks ago. During the debate she asked an interesting question about the moment that made us commit to the Earth being flat (or, in my case, a globe). Afterwards she approached me and asked a few more questions, and we ended up talking for quite a while. I found her fascinating, as she was a very nice, normal seeming, intelligent person. She’s certainly not stupid, and does not seem to be crazy, and yet she thinks there’s a good chance that the Earth actually is Flat. I tried explaining a few things to her, particularly the fact that distant mountains seem to be hidden behind the horizon just like the Globe model predicts. She didn’t think this was good evidence though, as there seemed to her to exist other possible explanations, like “perspective” hiding the bottom of the mountain. So was frustrated and intrigued. I invited here on my Podcast, and we have a fascinating conversation, where I again fail to get my explanation across, and she quite eloquently speaks about the need for both questioning of assumptions, and communication between diverse groups.

    Podcast web page: https://www.tftrh.com/2019/06/11/episode-8-sasha-chatting-with-a-flat-earther/
    Apple Podcast:https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podca...h-a-flat-earther/id1462120258?i=1000441149520
     
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  2. CeruleanBlu

    CeruleanBlu Active Member

    And for anyone else like me who was awaiting the good news, it's also now available to subscribe to on Google Play Store!
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Z.W. Wolf

    Z.W. Wolf Senior Member

    I'm still puzzled, and even bemused about one point. Why does the conversation center on theory? What about the fact that there's nothing at all mysterious about the map of the world? People travel all over the world everyday, and have been for hundreds of years. Do ships just set out from port and wander around hoping they'll find their way? No one has ever noticed that distances between lines of longitude continue to increase below the equator? No one has ever noticed the extra millions of square miles?

    Suffering succotash. All distances and directions are known between all parts of the Earth.
     
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  4. JayC

    JayC New Member


    Yeah, I’m not sure if there is some extreme compartmentalization going on. Because if we want to invent entirely new theories and discard the ones that make all of our modern appliances and technology work, then don’t we have to explain how all the technology we have works? Seems like a big problem that these folks shy away from solving. Yet they’re still comfortable using the technology?

    Also I don’t understand the whole obsession with CNN. What do they have to do with Flat Earth?

    This was a good episode though, I like that you both had a dialogue and it wasn’t so combative like the previous one was.
     
  5. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    I actually discussed this quite extensively in the talk I gave at the conference (slides attached). They seem to think that distances in the Southern Hemisphere are a lie.

    Also, there's a huge gulf in understanding. They have trouble understanding why perspective doesn't make mountains drop below the horizon.

    Not that this lack of understanding is that unexpected - most people can't really give explanations off the top of their heads. The deeper problem is the lack of genuine balanced inquiry multiplied by the lack of trust in anything
     

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  6. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    "CNN" is just a stand-in term for the mainstream media as a whole, the "official story" fed to the masses.
     
  7. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    was she talking about 9/11? at some point Mick started talking about exploding passports and I must have missed the pre-comment that instigated that subject change.
     
  8. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    The "CNN" thing was her saying that she tried to think of a label for people like me who were not conspiracy theorists. It followed from her discussing her thoughts on reading my book (Escaping the Rabbit Hole)

    The passport thing was a bit of a segue. It was an example of some "convincing" evidence. I'd talked about it briefly with her at the conference, and also with "Tim Osman" in Episode 6. But I need to do better at ensuring the audience can follow. At least I should have mentioned it at the start.
     
  9. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    you mean like how the Tim Osman you interviewed in Ep 6 is not the Tim Osman from the conference? ;) So what you are saying is you and Sasha discussed the Tim Osman podcast at the other Tim Osman's conference and the wallet subject came up.
     
  10. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    The passport issue came up independently. She asked me about it. It's a very common point for 9/11 conspiracists as they consider it absolute proof of some funny business.
     
  11. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    I think mentioning she is a 9/11 conspiracy theorist also, gives listeners a lot of context. (unless you did in the podcast and I missed it)

    That was a point I think she missed. When the cute scientist introduced her to his friend, the friend said (major paraphrase) that he never thought about the Earth shape, and that scientist just build on it. To me "build on it", means no one sent a satellite into orbit using globe math and had the satellite crash into a dome or crash into the imaginary South Pole ice wall.

    But I don't really know exactly what he meant as it was a quick story lacking details.
     
  12. Astro

    Astro Active Member

    Or re-enter the atmosphere and crash on the opposite side of the world because the world was larger than thought. SpaceX just launched another satellite this morning, I'm pretty sure they didn't need to determine the shape, mass and size of the world from scratch in order to get their payload into the intended orbit (and the first stage rocket back onto the ground in the fog, quite impressive display). That data was already available, they just used it.
     
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  13. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    When she's talking about the 400mph difference between the UK and India I got the image of an ant on a basketball in my head. If we rotate the ball and say, hey ant, walk to the bottom of the ball please - what's the change in speed of rotation for the ant? How long does it take the ant to walk to the equator?

    If she saw this happen and the ant's lungs didn't squish against its rib cage would she conclude that the basketball wasn't spinning, or that it was flat?

    I'm 20 minutes in and, ooh, that tension is making my shoulders tight. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019 at 10:10 AM
  14. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    no. that analogy doesnt work because of the square cubed law. :rolleyes:

    I did the math though, i think i got (with my super sucky math skills, so dont quote me) 1 mile an hour every minute and 14 seconds. which you wouldn't feel even if you were on the outside of the plane.

    or if you were in a car AND you were the one with your foot on the brake slowing down the car.
     
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  15. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Here's the Foucalt's Pendulum she was talking about:

    http://www.griffithobservatory.org/exhibits/centralrotunda_foucaultpendulum.html
    [​IMG]
    She though the magnet was cheating, but as I noted it's a ring magnet. So that just pulls the cable out from the center, and should not make it rotate (that's all Earth). Also if the power were turned off, the pendulum would still swing long enough to observe the rotation without any additional input. The magnet just keeps it going all day.

    This is relatively small at 40 feet and 240 pounds.

    "The one in Paris" at the Pantéon is 220 feet long. The longer and heavier the better. I think that one might actually operate without input, as different videos show it slowing down (same period, just shorter slower swings). It's pretty impressive.

    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59phxpjaefA


    There's one in Seattle which is described as the world's "biggest" at 70 feet with a very heavy 750 pound ball.
     
  16. JayC

    JayC New Member

    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019 at 10:18 AM
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  17. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    Ah! even I couldn't figure the magnet part out, and I've listened to you guys for years. so basically the magnet doesn't act on the ball until the ball is like a few inches from the wall?
     
  18. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    I think it clicks on when the ball is near the end of its swing, just gives a short tug.
     
  19. Z.W. Wolf

    Z.W. Wolf Senior Member

    Back in 2015 I asked Dr. Andrew Young for some advice on how to approach debunking geocentrism. His reply included material on the Foucault pendulum.

    I've seen comments in other places which lead me to believe that many of the FP one sees in museums and so forth are simply interesting displays. They aren't meant to be scientific instruments.

    Even the best FP is really just an historical curiosity. Science has moved on.

    Detecting the Earth's rotation with a ring laser is so common place that even a group of FE Believers were able to do it with an off the shelf unit. See: Bob Knodel

    An exponentially more difficult task is to directly measure changes in the orientation of Earth's axis relative to space and small changes in its rotational velocity:

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111222103114.htm

     
  20. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    The whole gyroscopes argument was something I didn't get into it: seemed a bit complex, difficult to put across, and, in any case, there were many flat earthers who felt that gyroscopes supported their beliefs, and there didn't seem to be anything compelling on the globe side (video evidence used seemed to be quite low quality).

    I was also never really clear about the whole Bob Knodel thing. Was it an RLG or FOG? Did he have anything to with it, or was it "a member of the community"?
     
  21. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    "Why's that, Rory?" I hear you ask.

    'Cos she didn't seem interested in any explanations, I suppose, and deeply resistant, and it made me afraid the nice happy vibe between two people that are getting on might get spoiled.

    There's a big part of me thinks that guests like this, zero (unasked for) explanations and challenges might be the way to go. The inquisitive questions were great though.
    Accents are interesting. To my English ears, Sasha sounds pretty. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019 at 12:51 PM
  22. I haven't seen anyone mention Arthur Compton's experiment [to detect the rotation of the Earth]. Not very good quantitatively, but it could be done with hardware store materials. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sou...FjAAegQIAhAB&usg=AOvVaw1qjWbhQvaCKKQ57E7q0_Ax

     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2019 at 7:51 AM
  23. tadaaa

    tadaaa Active Member

    this has been noted and the term used to explain it is called "The Illusion of explanatory depth"

    https://www.edge.org/response-detail/27117


    the academic paper

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3062901/

    I doubt many people could convincingly debunk a committed and knowledgeable flatearther
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2019 at 7:41 AM
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  24. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Which is partly why they actually manage to get converts. People think they can explain why the Earth isn't flat, but then they find that they can't. Instead of realizing this shows them something about their own limits, some people instead prefer (subconsciously) to decide they have made an astonishing discovery about the shape of the planet.

    It's a very common origin story: "I wanted it to be false, I tried to debunk it, but I couldn't"
     
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  25. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    Do you think this applies to Sasha? I didn't get that impression from her at all in the interview.
     
  26. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    To a degree, yes. She says she set out to investigate, however it seems like she was/is very predisposed towards an understanding that conflicts with the official narrative, with very little real interest in taking time to really understand the claim in any depth.

    Take the flight to India thing - that really isn't that complicated, and yet it seems like for a year or so at least she's been thinking that the difference in velocity was something like a roller-coaster acceleration (5g) times a thousand. In reality, it's something like 1/1000th gravity. Undetectable in a plane.

    I'm not sure the simple description of "I tried to debunk it, but I couldn't" really applies to any of them. It's more like "I tried to debunk it, but I didn't try that hard because I really gravitate towards the flat explanation, which is so much more fun and interesting!" This is generally not that a conscious thing, but Sasha did say she's not really into the science, and it's more about the social aspect.
     
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  27. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    well, having a brain somewhat like hers, I'm pretty confident in saying that she never tried to prove the Earth isn't flat. I know this because I don't understand science either (forget gyroscopes..oy!) but I would have questioned the guy about the magnets. Not just stopped when I thought "ah hah, its a trick". And she says "you can do the math" about the 400 mph, but obviously she didn't even attempt to do the math, as I did it immediately while she was talking about it.

    Anyway, she was trying to 'debunk' "the Earth is Round" and stopped her thinking processes as soon as she found the 'smoking gun' so to speak. which isn't normal. A year and she never thought to do the math... no. She sounds too intelligent for that.
     
  28. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    It's a doozy. Even doctors can become flat earthers.
    I suppose this supports some kind of point: a golden oldie-style comment I received on one of my JTolan explanation videos:

    Screenshot (190).

    It's amazing to me that things like "the tilt" still do the rounds. Little wonder the more complex stuff finds converts.
     
  29. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    That "(even if slight)" comment is a significant thing. After I attempted to explain to Sasha that the acceleration would be negligible, she persisted to say she thought she would be able to feel it, and then that we should at least be able to detect it.

    I really think that debunking needs to hammer home the lack of numbers in arguments. Ask how much?

    You did that in your response above. Presumably with no response - which is what normally happened. Maybe more needs to be done to bridge the gap between verbal arguments ("should be tilting away") quantified arguments ("Should be tilting away 1°). Probably this would work best with a visual demonstration.
     
  30. tadaaa

    tadaaa Active Member

    from all my reading around conspiracy thinking ete etc this bit seems very important - the group/social aspect

    Was she religious at all

    in this article


    https://www.newsweek.com/flat-earth-science-denial-america-1421936

    The author seems to suggest most attendees were also religious

    I watch part of the conference on youtube and the Q&A session certainly backed this up too
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2019 at 6:43 AM
  31. Agent K

    Agent K Active Member

    Why do you say she's intelligent and not stupid? What differentiates her from a stupid or unintelligent person? Does she have a high IQ, say intelligent things, understand complex concepts?
    As far as being nice, that's important for having a polite conversation, but it can hide contempt and hate, since even Nazis and mass murderers can seem nice and polite on the surface.
     
  32. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    She seemed very quick at understanding what I was saying when it was not related to science. Notice how she says "ding ding ding" before talking about how she watched a video. That because she read my book, and understand the argument that people can get sucked in simply by watching one-sided videos.

    Obviously, though she's not very good at understanding my physics-based rebuttals. I wouldn't say that makes her unintelligent though.

    That didn't seem to be the case here at all. I've had several conversations with her via messaging, voice, and face to face. She seems entirely genuine, and I really can't see how anyone could suspect some kind of negative intent. It seems weird that you bring this up.

    One should not drift too far into semantics here. She's a nice person with a mostly well-functioning brain, who has some major misunderstandings that she's stuck in, partly because she enjoys the social aspect.

    It would be interesting to have another chat with her, to discuss her take on the comments prompted by the video.
     
  33. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    No, I don't think so.
     
  34. Agent K

    Agent K Active Member

    I don't know about her, but I know that another "nice" flat earther at the conference was a rabid anti-Semite, and that's what motivated his beliefs.
    So now, when I hear you describe a flat earther conspiracy theorist as nice, I can't help but wonder if she's a Holocaust denier too. Try asking her.
     
  35. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    Totally agree that bringing numbers into it is a good thing - and that it rarely leads anywhere. With the whole pear-shaped earth thing, that's what I ended up trying to do - asking exactly how pear-shaped 'they' say it is (because smarty pants me had looked it up) - but that was never answered (nor by globers defending NdGT as speaking metaphorically either).

    The tilt I'd had more success with, and normally would 'scale it down' and suggest people see if they could detect that tilt from even twenty feet away, let alone many dozens of miles, but I suppose if it got through to anyone, they never let me know - and there is at least one prominent YouTube flat earther who swears he would be able to detect a 1° tilt 69 miles away.

    A logic like that, I don't think there's any sense persisting with. :)

    Is there even any such thing as 'a stupid person'? Isaac Newton believed some pretty far out things, and put a lot of time and effort into them, even though they seemed kind of daft. And anyone who can rebuild a car engine, for example, whether they can spell or not, or understand complex concepts, has a very high degree of a certain kind of intelligence.

    Stephen Hawking was renowned as being incredibly smart - but he also seems to have made some pretty dumb decisions when it comes to choosing his women.

    Hitchens was pretty genius in a lot of ways - but not so smart that he didn't repeatedly poison his own body.

    Et cetera, et cetera.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019 at 7:00 PM
  36. Landru

    Landru Moderator Staff Member

    I'm not quite sure what end that serves. There are plenty of anti semites that believe in round earth. It certainly would make the conversation uncomfortable. If a person believes that it tends to come up before too long.
     
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  37. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    If shes intelligent enough to tie her shoes, shes intelligent enough to figure out how many mph every minute that 400 mph difference is effecting her.

    Either way i think she is just playing the guys in FE. She thinks she should be able to see satellites but not the moon? c'mon. And if she legitimately doesnt understand how illogical that is (or feeling the earth spin in a plane), then wasting time trying to teach her about velocities and g-forces, and gyroscopes is just too laughable for words.
     
  38. Loki Thorson

    Loki Thorson New Member

    I have seen and read a good number of newspaper articles on these 'conferences' and I wonder 'what was the ratio between believers and journalists'. 200 for an international conference is an ignorable amount. I have helped organise and attended a number of 'international world wargames championships' which were a mix of competitive games leading to a championship, trophy and prize money, retail stalls, merchandise, non competitive games and displays and talks and the attendance over 3 days was a good few thousands and truly international. I do sometimes wonder why are we trying to debunk stuff that only an insignificant miniscule number believe in. But lastly, why do I bother. I seem to be learning more stuff than I try to debunk. So what's the point....
     
  39. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    Cheer up, Loki. Everything's pointless, if you think about it. :)
     
  40. Loki Thorson

    Loki Thorson New Member

    No, but, I don't like it when children are involved. Today's child, tomorrows great discovery.