CBS News coverage of the international FE conference in Cary, North Carolina.
If you feel like flat Earth theory has gotten unaccountably popular recently, you’re right. According to Google Trends, search interest in the flat Earth conspiracy theory has already had several distinct peaks in the last year. (“The last year” was 2017, not 1519, just to be clear.) It’s funny, weird, and while it’s certainly not at the top of our list of problems as a society, it’s not entirely innocent either.
Interest surged in February and March, then again in May, then again in August and September. These jumps are mostly tied to a couple of strange outbursts by celebrities, notably 2010’s favorite cheeseball rapper and Gossip Girl backing vocalist B.o.B. and Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving. But interest in the topic has been climbing steadily since late 2014, shortly after a faction of Daniel Shenton’s “Flat Earth Society” broke away to create its own website and forum. The FAQ page for Flat Earth Society is the third Google search result for “flat Earth,” and encourages people to distrust science completely, as the best way to experience reality is “by relying on one’s own senses to discern the true nature of the world around us.”
encourages people to distrust science completely, as the best way to experience reality is “by relying on one’s own senses to discern the true nature of the world around us.
Dour?Finally, I met my first real life flat earthers yesterday
Well, they were almost flat earthers
In that they seemed to be heading that way
And were repeating certain things about
Not being able to trust scientists or NASA
And figuring things out for themselves
But what was most interesting
Was that they weren’t of the
But were coming at it from a
“Wisdom of the indigenous” angle
Being as they were Chilean hippies
And into all that cactus-eatin’
Predisposed to thinkin’
“They knew stuff, man
Knew about the stars
Despite their primitive technologies
Knew stuff we’re only just figuring out
And if they were right about that
And right about the benefits of eating
Who know what else
They were right about?”
I felt myself excited
Ego bristling with the chance to
Shoot down some ‘evidence’
Show off some knowledge
And set about it
But you know what?
It wasn’t fun
It kind of sucked
‘Cos I’d already spent a lovely day with these people
Lazing in hot springs
Digging beautiful nature
Eating a campfire dinner
And they were nice and good
And it felt daft talking about this stuff
Their naïve and curious enthusiasm
To try and figure out the puzzles
And my short-sighted joy
At knowing the right questions
Having all the info
To grinch holes in their bubbles
How much sweeter
To be gazing at the heavens
“What if we really are floating on the back of a turtle
And the ancient ones weren’t doolally?”
Than being able to coldly point out the impossibilities
Given the ISS and algebra and angles?
Really I should have just asked them
Which indigenous people it was
And taken that as something for me
To get curious about
Answered a few qs
And let them on their merry way
And stayed sweet with the memory
Of a wonderful day
Being nice is more important
Than being right
Sharing connections with others
Rather than points of division
I mean, it wasn’t that there was anything wrong
With the conversation
But when it comes to issues of belief…
It’s like that old saying
About what not to talk about at dinner:
Leave politics and religion aside
Probably conspiracy theories too
Belief is not the heart and mind of a person
And being right in logic
Doesn’t necessarily make for
The best dinner or hot springs companions
Better to frolic with positive young
Or break bread with Rob Skiba
Dour old Landru
From “What To Do About Flat Earthers, Part 9”
I wrote that three months ago; it seems even more true now. There's been very little flat earth discussion on metabunk of late, and I'm not aware of anything interesting happening on youtube, beyond Jeranism's failed attempt to work out whether a canal is curved or not.Is flat earth stagnating? It seems like, going back a year or two, flat earthers were 'discovering' things and presenting 'proofs', and debunkers had lots to learn and get their heads around. The curvature calculators were embryonic. We didn't know how certain things work. There was tons to research and it was fun and educational. But now it seems like everything is known, on both sides, and nothing new is emerging.
What's next? Dwindle? Peak? Become relegated to the backburners of harmless fringe theories, like Victorian spiritualism?
Yes. Compare with a few non-topical search terms of perennial interest:Have these figures been factored with respect to the increasing number of people online?
What about conspiracy moon landings, UFOlogy, Tesla coils, astronomy, buying/selling gold, nuclear power?Yes. Compare with a few non-topical search terms of perennial interest:
I recently came to the realization that you don't have to believe in satellites before your GPS in fact works.Have these figures been factored with respect to the increasing number of people online? Especially the world wide connectivity. Because Facebook makes my side of the world as conspiracy prone as yours.
I think the complexity of a lot of the modern world is part of the problem. When I got my first car in the early 80's (a 1965 Singer Vogue Mk3), you opened the bonnet (popped the hood for our trans-atlantic cousins) and you got an internal combustion engine, a simple wiring loom a cooling system and that was about it. The other week I was helping a mate do some stuff on his car, the engine bay of that thing (a VW summit or other) had a bank of computers, management systems and other stuff I didn't recognise. Apart from topping up the oil and collent it was way beyond my basic motor mechanical skills. Same can be said for TVs, telephones and a lot of other aspects of modern life.I recently came to the realization that you don't have to believe in satellites before your GPS in fact works.
Nor do you have to believe in IC's in order to use the Internet.
Imagine how things will change once we get used to computer clothing or everyday material objects like dishes.
Whether flat-earthers can hold down a job or not might be all that matters in the end ... for a while ...
If it keeps growing the day may come when just about everyone is "down the rabbit hole."Flat Earths and other conspiracy types fall into cat 3, and once you start making stuff up thats easier to explain than reality, and fits your world view, your starting down the rabbit hole.
If it keeps growing the day may come when just about everyone is "down the rabbit hole."
It's really dawned on me that, for those who want to believe in flat earth, nothing actually gets through to them. With this in mind, I've come to what I feel is something of a breakthrough - and that is to roll it right back to this:
Flat Earth 101 states that the horizon is always at eye level, and that this would only occur on a flat earth, whereas on a spherical earth the horizon would dip below eye level as the viewer's elevation increased. In general, however, evidence claiming to show that the horizon remains at eye level fails to include how this has been measured, even though there are several simple ways we can do this for ourselves. Here are six of the best:
1. Use a professional theodolite. Eye level is where the crosshair/zero degrees is:
2. Download and properly calibrate a theodolite app. Eye level as above:
3. Make your own theodolite using a spirit level:
4. Use parallel lines to find the vanishing point (which is at eye level, and can easily be proven so):
5. Use a homemade water level, which will demonstrate eye level:
6. Take a picture of actual eyes, with the camera at eye height:
In a way, there's no real need to go any further than that, and any future discussions I might have with flat earthers will start (and probably end) there. It immediately tests the water as to whether we're dealing with someone capable of intellectual honesty and a basic level of understanding, as well as illustrating whether they're really on a quest for truth, or whether they're actually wedded to a preconceived belief.
If you would take the time to read this site, as you have been asked to do many times, you would have a better understanding of the goals of this site.Really? I'm surprised a website like this even entertains the idea. Debunking flat earth is like debunking religion, you can do it but you're wasting your time doing so. How come this is even a thing worth mentioning? I'm genuinely baffled.
I have seen flat earth claims explained, and debunked, and the person posting the FE claim, agrees. Changed his mind, gave him knowledge to fight the fantasy of FE. FE is like 9/11, BigFoot, et al. Specific claims can be countered with critical thinking skills backed with facts and evidence.Really? I'm surprised a website like this even entertains the idea. Debunking flat earth is like debunking religion, you can do it but you're wasting your time doing so. How come this is even a thing worth mentioning? I'm genuinely baffled. Is this like a feeling of guilt and responsibility to rescue these people?