TFTRH #15: Brad - Math vs. Conspiracy Theories

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBnncLwSMNg


Brad (@Wiggles) is an electrical engineer and an expert in mathematics. He also likes to consider that an idea might be true before rejecting it, no matter how extreme. This led him very briefly down the rabbit hole of checking to see if the earth was actually round like a ball, or might it possibly be flat. His strong grounding in mathematics very quickly put an end to that – but what about the people who don’t really understand the math? Is there hope for “flat earthers” who don’t really understand geometry?

Zermelo–Fraenkel Set Theory Axioms https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zermelo–Fraenkel_set_theory
Kahn Academy https://www.khanacademy.org/
Discord https://discordapp.com/
Bobs Burger “Pecking Order” Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amsG_6u16JQ
Euclid’s Five Postulates https://mathcs.clarku.edu/~djoyce/java/elements/bookI/bookI.html#posts
Euclidia App (lots of fun!) https://www.euclidea.xyz/
 
Last edited:

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member
Your discussion of the toaster and power bill is interesting. It's an illustration of the difference between autism and schizophrenia spectrums.

Your landlady had an entirely emotional or intuitive delusion about "energy." The toaster was only a part of this delusion or dream. You had an entirely systematic idea about the subject. You were entirely unable to pick up on her emotional or empathetic mind; she was entirely unable to deal with the problem in a systematic way. You were speaking entirely different psychological languages.


See this: https://www.metabunk.org/i-could-have-spiralled-into-flat-earth-belief.t10742/#post-232691
 

deirdre

Senior Member
You were entirely unable to pick up on her emotional or empathetic mind;
i'm not sure she was responding emotionally. Like Mick pointed out, lots of appliances do drain energy.
I unplug toasters and coffee makers because way back when... they could catch fire even if they weren't turned on. (I don't know if this is still the case, but I still unplug them. I even unplug toaster ovens in other people's houses if I see them plugged in :) )

of course coffee makers with a clock do drain energy.
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member
If you don't like the word "emotional" let's use the word intuitive. This was part of a larger intuitive delusion about "energy."
 

Agent K

Active Member
I used to think that STEM education inoculates people against pseudoscience and extremism, and yet there are Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, the Discovery Institute's "A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism", the Global Warming Petition Project, the Stargate Project, AATIP/TTSA, Aum Shinrikyo, the Unabomber, the alleged anthrax attacker Bruce Ivins, "Lady al-Qaeda" Aafia Siddiqui, and many more.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I used to think that STEM education inoculates people against pseudoscience and extremism, and yet there are Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, the Discovery Institute's "A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism", the Global Warming Petition Project, the Stargate Project, AATIP/TTSA, Aum Shinrikyo, the Unabomber, the alleged anthrax attacker Bruce Ivins, "Lady al-Qaeda" Aafia Siddiqui, and many more.
Perhaps it only offers a degree of immunity, like 95% or so. Still pretty good.
 

Agent K

Active Member
Perhaps it only offers a degree of immunity, like 95% or so. Still pretty good.
As I recall, a study found that it depends on the topic. For example, scientific literacy has a big effect on GMO acceptance but not on Global Warming acceptance.
It sounds like flat earthers tend to be illiterate in math and science, so STEM education would help there.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
As I recall, a study found that it depends on the topic. For example, scientific literacy has a big effect on GMO acceptance but not on Global Warming acceptance.
It sounds like flat earthers tend to be illiterate in math and science, so STEM education would help there.
No according to the results of this survey:
https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.n...xseb/Conspiracy Theories - YouGov Results.pdf
Metabunk 2019-07-29 21-31-22.jpg

Certainly a significant decline with education for chemtrails, (especially in the "strongly agree" category), but with Flat Earth it's pretty much flat. However I don't think this means much, as the majority of positive respondents probably did not really understand the questions, or didn't really care to give an accurate answer.
 

Agent K

Active Member
Certainly a significant decline with education for chemtrails, (especially in the "strongly agree" category), but with Flat Earth it's pretty much flat. However I don't think this means much, as the majority of positive respondents probably did not really understand the questions, or didn't really care to give an accurate answer.
Education level isn't the same as scientific literacy though. For example, check out the Big Bang graph in the second row below. For religious fundamentalists (green dots), there's a negative correlation with education, but a positive correlation with science literacy.
https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/08/15/1704882114

 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Education level isn't the same as scientific literacy though. For example, check out the Big Bang graph in the second row below. For religious fundamentalists (green dots), there's a negative correlation with education, but a positive correlation with science literacy.
Interesting. However, the topics with the big divergence and negative correlations are the those of particular interest to religious fundamentalists - things they see as directly contradicting the word of God (Big Bang, Human Evolution)
 

Wiggles

New Member
consumer affairs says it can be 'energized'.
View attachment 37844
I can offer more insight on this. I have the exact numbers recorded from the incident with the landlady. The voltage at the outlet was 120.3 VAC (so a DC voltage with this number would dissipate the same power across a resistive load). The series shunt resistor had a value of 0.01017 Ohms (it was just ten 0.1 ohm 1% resistors in parallel). Thus, using the information that when the toaster was plugged in, but the heating element wasn't engaged, that the voltmeter showed 0.02mV, we can calculate the power draw was 0.236 Watts. However, electrical engineers would be suspicious of that and rightly so, because as I was taking this measurement, I remember the voltmeter showed the value going down and down, exactly like what happens when you just touch the voltmeter terminals together. In laymen's terms, there was no power flowing through that toaster.

Until someone comes along who is actively and intimately engaged with voltage tolerances on voltmeters, I can only speculate and try to remember what my EE profs said about it. Here's an info sheet: http://www.d.umn.edu/~snorr/ece2006f7/Lab1.pdf . But I think I can speculate fairly well, and lets say that the voltmeter was autoranged for the 2mV setting. Then, 0mV +/- 0.02 mV includes the value I measured. So 0mV +/- 0.02 mV is a good guess perhaps, at a more accurate measurement of the voltage of that shunt resistor with the toaster plugged in but not having the heating element engaged. We can now have fun and infer that the power draw could have been as small a number as we want. 10^-999 Watts, according to what I'm assuming here, would be a valid measurement for the power draw through that toaster in the plugged in and off state.

I could have instead used a shunt resistor that was 100000x larger to get a more accurate measurement maybe. But I chose that value so that I had a value that was actually useful for measuring REAL power draws when stuff is actually on. It can I believe, safely and also fairly accurately measure the power draw of any household appliance, so that's why I used that value of 1/100th of an ohm. I remember calculating the power draw of the toaster when it was on, and I wish I included it in the podcast, but the voltage across the shunt resistor was 66.6 mV. THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST.



That must have blown the landlady's mind. I don't know what a conspiratorially minded person like her thought when she saw "666" on the measuring device used by the guy to show her she was wrong, but it's fun to speculate. Anyways, that showed the toaster drew 760 W when it was on I think.


As a sidenote Deirdre, when you said "they could catch fire even if they weren't turned on", that was what I was initially wondering was the reason for unplugging it. That's what people at work thought at first too. But the woman was adamant that parasitic power was the reason for unplugging it. But then I thought, there's a higher chance of that wire becoming damaged the more it's used, so it would be safer to just leave it in all the time probably. Less chance of damaging the wire due to wear and tear then. But on the other hand if you unplug one device you should do it for all of the things in your house, and let's be honest, we don't, so I don't know.
---

So if I could sum all that up, I think it actually is more expensive to buy the food necessary to for the biochemical fuel for your muscles to unplug and replug the toaster every time, than it would be to just leave it in and pay the electrical company for the "parasitic power" of the toaster.
 
Last edited:

Agent K

Active Member
Interesting. However, the topics with the big divergence and negative correlations are the those of particular interest to religious fundamentalists - things they see as directly contradicting the word of God (Big Bang, Human Evolution)
Isn't Flat Earth one of those topics of particular interest to religious fundamentalists?
 
Last edited:

Agent K

Active Member
Only a very small set of them, and many of the FE folk I met were not religious.
Really? I heard that flat earthers are very religious, which is what motivates their backwards beliefs, akin to Creationists. The few flat earth videos I've seen claimed that NASA's motive is to "kill God." How else would flat earthers explain the Big Globe conspiracy?
 

deirdre

Senior Member
Really? I heard that flat earthers are very religious, which is what motivates their backwards beliefs, akin to Creationists. The few flat earth videos I've seen claimed that NASA's motive is to "kill God." How else would flat earthers explain the Big Globe conspiracy?
YouGov did a poll recently on FEers.. although only 138 indicated religious status in their YouGov profile, so .... gotta take it with a big grain of salt.
upload_2019-7-31_8-19-21.png
https://today.yougov.com/topics/phi...t-flat-earthers-consider-themselves-religious
 

deirdre

Senior Member
and just so people know to read the fine print on surveys, papers and polls (ie. if you cant see the numbers and actual questions asked, be suspicious) :)
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/do-people-really-think-earth-might-be-flat/
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
It's a bad question, as we all start out have no idea about anything, and then form ideas as young children, which may well be wrong. I remember I used to think everything, including rocks and metal, was held together with water (maybe aged 5). I don't remember "always" having a belief about the shape of the Earth.
 

Agent K

Active Member
It's a bad question, as we all start out have no idea about anything, and then form ideas as young children, which may well be wrong. I remember I used to think everything, including rocks and metal, was held together with water (maybe aged 5). I don't remember "always" having a belief about the shape of the Earth.
Yeah, I used to think the sun and moon followed me around. It's pretty obvious that the survey is not asking about infancy, but it should've been even more obvious.
 

Wiggles

New Member
I remember as a kid I watched this (Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story 2 intro, where he re-enters a planet and there are hovering rocks) :
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODa0AufitVY
and it got me thinking about asteroids and how we don't die from them. I think I knew about the "asteroid belt", which is a misnomer since NASA doesn't even bother to track locations of asteroids in it to avoid them or something like that because they are so spaced out (lol pun). So then I thought. I knew asteroids could hit earth, and I wondered why they hadn't killed us yet. I saw Buzz get through the atmosphere no problem, so I figured any asteroid could. I saw the hovering rocks in the movie and thought the rocks acted like some sort of rock shield. I thought then the real physical earth had a hovering rock shield to protect us from asteroids. That movie came out in 1999 apparently.

But now I know and have seen the true shield. Air. We have a thin shell of air protecting us from space rocks and it works pretty good actually. If you go out at night you'll see a streak of burning rock in the sky as our air-shield obliterates it.

---

Basically, the way to answer this "always believed the world is round?" question for me is is, I'd say I knew about all the second hand evidence for a long time. Recently, I acquired some first hand evidence. I was never really uncertain until other people were confident Flat Earth believers. Then I was uncertain for a short time. I'm no longer uncertain.

So I'd actually answer "NO" to that question, because belief/guessing/supposing is not how one figures out a scientific fact.
 
Last edited:
Thread starter Related Articles Forum Replies Date
Mick West TFTRH #44 - Steven Hassan: Cults and Conspiracies Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 2
Mick West TFTRH #43 - Tim McMillan: The Challenges of UFO Investigations Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 6
Mick West TFTRH #36 - Gary Voorhis: Tic-Tac UFO Witness Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 7
Mick West TFTRH #35 - Mike Santangelo: 9/11 Truth vs. B.S. Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 2
Mick West TFTRH #34 - Stian Arnesen: Debunking, Censorship, 9/11, and UFOs Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 0
Mick West TFTRH #33 – Anthony Magnabosco: Street Epistemology and Conspiracy Theories Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 1
Mick West TFTRH #32 - The Skeptic of the North: Former Conspiracist, Current Skeptic Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 1
Mick West TFTRH #31: Professor Elizabeth Loftus – Memory and Conspiracy Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 6
Mick West TFTRH #30 - Tom: 9/11 - Why We Believe and Change Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 5
Mick West TFTRH #29 - Geoff: Everything is a Hoax, The Earth Might Be Flat Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 2
Mick West TFTRH #28 - Brian Dunning Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 9
Mick West TFTRH #27 - Michael Shermer Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 5
Mick West TFTRH #26: UFO Jesus Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 0
Mick West TFTRH #25 - Jason Bermas: Producer of Loose Change, Shade, Invisible Empire Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 1
Mick West TFTRH #24: Nick Pope – Area 51, UFOs and UFOlogy Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 13
Mick West TFTRH #23: Ian/TheoryQED: UFOs, Government Cover-ups, and Alien Visitors. Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 32
Mick West TFTRH #22: Seth Shostak: SETI Senior Astronomer: ETs, UFO "Disclosure" Area 51 Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 3
Mick West TFTRH #21 Donald Friedman - After 9-11: An Engineer’s Work at the World Trade Center Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 1
Mick West Tales From The Rabbit Hole Facebook Group Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 0
Mick West TFTRH #17: Willie - Rabbit Hole Escapee Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 0
Mick West TFTRH #16: Adam Taylor – Retired 9/11 Truth Activist Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 0
Mick West TFTRH #14: Rory – Flat Earth Debunking and Spiritual Journeys Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 6
Mick West TFTRH #13: Professor David Keith – Geoengineering Research and the Chemtrails Conspiracy Theory Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 2
Mick West TFTRH #12: Paul – Escape from Planet X Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 0
Mick West TFTRH #11: Jim Lee – Chemtrails, Geoengineering, Conspiracies, and Semantics Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 1
Mick West TFTRH #10: Jen Senko: Director of "The Brainwashing of my Dad" Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 96
Mick West TFTRH 9: Joe - Former Chemtrail Conspiracist, Current New World Order Conspiracist Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 51
Mick West TFTRH #8 - Sasha: Chatting with a Flat Earther Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 66
Mick West TFTRH #5 - Dan, the former Apocalyptic Prepper Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 4
Mick West TFTRH #3 & #4 - Stian Arnesen, 9/11, Crop Circles, and Debunkers Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 28
Mick West Tales From the Rabbit Hole - A Mick West / Metabunk Podcast Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 20
Cassi O Polaris Height Perspective Explained (No math required) Flat Earth 1
Mick West Contrail Angle with the Horizon - A Useful Distance Rule of Thumb? Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 8
WeedWhacker Let's imagine the actual area of the sky, above.... Contrails and Chemtrails 4
Mick West Two planes at the "Same" Altitude, only one leaves a trail Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 16
Efftup How far away can I see an aircraft? Contrails and Chemtrails 26
Mick West WTC: Let's do the math(s) 9/11 8
Related Articles





































Related Articles

Top