Discussion in 'Flat Earth' started by Mick West, Aug 16, 2015.
CBS News coverage of the international FE conference in Cary, North Carolina.
Looks like a religious convention, and the birth of a new religion.
I guess that's okay. There's no requirement on this earth to maintain rational thought. No reason why we can't all live in harmony.
i just ignore FE brethren as are too beyond my patience or time to bother with... I did begin my steps into debunking when found myself analyzing a Neil Adam Expanding earth youtube claim,,,, well sure a silly idea too but at least he thinks its a globe and not flat
Interestingly, the conference appears to have attracted mostly the very young. It is a conference of kids.
I usually place the FE ideas "on the side burner" so to speak.....I follow it a little bit, and watch it simmer.
But in my kitchen analogy, more stoves are needed, because many hot pots keep getting added, as if they are all for a CT buffet. There's no charge for this buffet, but there is a cost.
It's become "a thing", this whole group of "awakened" individuals and "truth seekers", where everything is a conspiracy.
It's an organic mass growing on the internet, being dutifully nurtured by "group think".
....and I expect more to come.
I still have the (personal) belief that there could be a foundation being created for some sort of futuristic new religion here, where social-media + (new) Truth + Google (top searches).... spawns a unique and absurd situation of A.I.
A good percentage of them are already on the 2017 conspiracy-version of Christianity.
And there's reasons why that could never happen....
It could be that the very nature of CT thought, prevents it's overgrowth, because when anything gets super-organized, it eventually gets called a conspiracy (self regulating, or like a pressure-release valve).
Evidence for this is the "in-fighting" among CT groups and between strongly opinionated and vocal individuals, which makes getting organized, difficult. In their world where "go with your gut instincts" and "idea-tossing", no man-made organization can exist within an architecture of "doubt everything".
With no boundaries and limitations, it's run-amok.
Science is a boundary for CTers, and that's why it's overlooked (or invented) a lot of the time......what-ifs in favor of what-is.
Here's an article....
"If a Scientific Conspiracy is Funny, That Doesn't Mean it's a Joke"
Yeah, that works.
Ignore the geiger counter altogether, and wander through Chernobyl to see if there's still any radiation there.
Verify the presence or absence of microwaves by putting your head in the 750W oven at full power.
Drink the water straight from the Ganges, just to see if those upstream have been washing their dirty laundry in it.
Honestly, what could go wrong with that approach?
There must be.
I noticed a recent (19 November 2017) article by David Mitchell (the comedian and commentator, not the novelist) in the (UK) Observer newspaper (the Sunday version of the Guardian), prompted by the so-called Flat Earth International Conference. A link to the article is here: https://www.theguardian.com/comment...t-be-flat-but-it-is-possibly-doomed-fake-news
There is nothing very unexpected or original in the article, but it is another sign (in addition to the BBC report which Mitchell mentions) that the FE 'movement' is beginning to attract mainstream attention. Some of the takeaway points from the article:
"I don’t really think significant numbers are going to start doubting the Earth’s shape. What worries me is how, in this bewildering internet age, every fact, however apparently undeniable, has the potential to become a subject for debate...The recent explosion of weirdly unfocused scepticism is, I suppose, a natural response to this nasty internet-contaminated era...Unfortunately, this boundless doubting could take us right back to the stone age – and not in a time machine we’ve invented. The accumulation and advance of human learning, and therefore of civilisation, relies on things being written down and subsequently believed. It’s built on trust. A safety-first, unquestioning scepticism about absolutely everything could lead to the thoughtless discrediting, and chucking out, of huge swaths of our collective achievements. I don’t really know what we should do about it, but neither can I put a ceiling on how much it’s appropriate to worry."
What to do about the flat-earthers?
Post on their forums, blogs etc. to correct them.
Post on their YouTube videos to correct them.
Turn up at their conventions to correct them.
Gather a Union of Concerned Scientists (yes, I know there's one already) to attend their conventions, and correct them.
That would do for a start.
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”
is that your waxing poetic way of saying you are done with debunking flat earth?
Speaking purely personally, I got into flat earth debunking a few years ago, when I felt jaded with arguing about climate change with global warming deniers. It was fun, but relatively inconsequential. I come back to it at odd moments, but I can't persuade myself that it matters more than the future of the world. That is not to critise those who do their bit to spread rational scepticism, and it does not have to be an either-or.
Just going by your picture. And your words.
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 therefore in a new stage? Believers satisfied with the level of 'evidence' they currently have and perhaps consolidating and focusing on recruitment/revenue, and giving up on the 'holy grails' such as a flat earth map and something debunkers can't explain?
Meanwhile, it seems like debunkers have understood all, devised explanations and demonstrations, and realised the futility of trying to persuade anyone, and therefore lost interest.
What's next? Dwindle? Peak? Become relegated to the backburners of harmless fringe theories, like Victorian spiritualism - or, indeed, Victoian flat earthism?
Flat earth IS a Victorian phenomenon. All the significant parts of the theory date back to the 1860s.
I don't see it tapering though, I think there was a flurry of activity months ago on Metabunk largely because I was going on the Joe Rogan show to talk about it, so I did some research. But there was just a Flat Earth Conference and Google Trends show no sign of decline. It's been essentially level (with spikes) for 2107
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.
Yes. Compare with a few non-topical search terms of perennial interest:
https://trends.google.com/trends/ex...rake","vodka drinks","cup size","printer ink"
What about conspiracy moon landings, UFOlogy, Tesla coils, astronomy, buying/selling gold, nuclear power?
(I'd do it myself but I didn't buy a membership to alexa.)
Now I see you're using Google trends. And while flat-earth rates about the same as nuclear power, Tesla car (not coil!) and astronomy, they're ALL entirely overwritten by the enormous popularity of....
https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2012-05-11 2018-06-11&q=flat earth,kardashian,tesla car,nuclear power,astronomy
I can't make the page show up. I don't know how to do this.
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 ...
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.
There are three ways you can deal with this. - 1. Try to learn about it and get your head arond the various concepts involved, 2. Just accept that it works and get on with it, and 3. make something up and deny what is really going on.
I tend mix options 1 & 2. 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 kind of a matter of degree. The problems arise when you get lost down there.
The movie "Interstellar" predicts this, where NASA is forced into hiding and school books teach that Apollo missions were fake... I find this more frightening than visceral horror movies.
Because the girlfriend went away for a while and I didn't want to get on with doing the things I actually love, I foolishly got back into nitpicking with flat earthers and testing the waters with the above.
Remarkably, even this simplest of thought experiments makes not a dent on them (as far as I know). They don't get it. They respond with the same old photos of a horizon in the centre of a frame. They post pictures like this:
Which obviously makes no sense (but if it isn't obvious: that horizon could be anywhere in this photo; as could those perspective lines - they don't correspond to anything in reality, unlike the photo of the skyscraper above).
Most telling, perhaps, was the one guy who said, "anyway, it doesn't matter if the horizon isn't always at eye level, the Earth's still flat: it says so in The Bible."
Even taking it back to the most basic and easily understood observations doesn't work.
The wise man gives up here.
I’m glad that Metabunk has included FE and that Mick has mellowed his viewpoint since the OP. I had no idea of how far this discredited Victorian pseudoscience has been resurrected. FE offends me as it is virtually a negation of the entire A-Z of the physical sciences.
As a poster mentioned above the finance does not seem to follow the fallacy.
A quick search on “Flat Earth” pulls up 690 entries on gofundme.com.
These 690 are not actually all FE related and changing the search term to flat-earth reduces the number to 278.
A lot of them are anti-FE. Virtually none of them have any contributions and even where they do they rarely exceed £50 (target £10M). A lot of them are from the UK (which, for some reason) quite surprised me. To be honest I think a lot of them are just chancers looking for free flights across the Antarctic.
One of the reasons I like FE here is that if it helps just one person then it will be useful. It also might help some people evaluate the evidence and avoid comment like this:
“If I get the money I promise I'll take an AR-15 and cleanse the round Earth of infidels.”
I think that is from a non-believer but it can be hard to work out. He wants £60 to go to the FE conference and (presumably) shoot the attendees. I think he might find an AR-15 would cost a bit more than that (assuming you could even get one in the UK).
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. [impolite text removed. Deirdre]
This site and similar sites in addition to Youtube debunking videos are very much needed and important.
You are right, people who adhere to a belief system seldom (if ever) change their mind regardless of how much evidence you can provide.
Yet, this and similar sites are important to enlighten people without enough scientific background who may fall for a faulty flat-earth argument and believe it is true; and don't forget youngsters googling for scientific concepts and experiments who might stumble upon a flat-earth video and mistake it for actual science.
Few years ago one could just ignore flat-earth and lump it with other conspiracy theories, but year after year their videos are spreading and they claim to be offering science...leaving such false claims unchallenged might give the idea that they are valid claims.
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.
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.
If someone has the time to present science/math/physics to counter the FE claims, why not do it to save the next gullible person?
I feel I've reached a new level with regard to the OP question. I'm almost starting to think it's okay that people believe the Earth is flat, and that I mostly want to leave them to it.
That's not to say I don't want to debunk it - the puzzles are pretty interesting sometimes, and I've learned a lot from that - but now I'm feeling I'd like to do it more in a non-direct way, rather than challenging online. Doing what metabunk does here, in its purest form: it creates a storehouse of resources where people who are on a genuine inquiry as to the shape of the planet can come and get good information when they're ready to do so.
With that in mind, I've started making youtube videos and uploading them. Simple truths; explanations; experiments people can do for themselves; answers to some of the more common questions; and instructions as to how to use the equations and measurements properly.
I've realised there's a big part of me that cares more about them getting the maths right - even if they disregard it - than them believing something based on faulty calculations.
My hope is in creating this 'storehouse of resources', it'll not only be beneficial for the 0.00001% of flat earthers who are ready to give up their belief, but it will help me move on from wanting to engage in the debate, having taken it to its logical conclusion.
And that's not to say that I won't debate - but I'd rather they came to me to do it. I'm starting to feel that seeking them out is rude. It's like going into someone's house and telling them where they're going wrong. We're all going wrong somewhere. But we'll come to addressing those things in our own good time.
I'm also contemplating the benefits of flat earth belief. Not only for them - making friends, being excited about things, investigating the world, creating content - or for myself - learning about geometry, astronomy, psychology, etc, and how to best interact with people who have diametrically and seemingly incomprehensible beliefs - but perhaps for the world at large.
Some people say: "think of the children! They want to teach this in our schools!" Well, maybe they will one day, and maybe those kids will learn to have a better understanding of the planet they live on, as well as how to think critically, how to debate, and how to understand others than they would have done otherwise.
And some will believe it, and spread it, and perhaps it'll all go 'pear-shaped', but perhaps that's the way it will go anyway. If lack of critical thinking skills and mistrust are the problems, they're going to find an outlet somewhere. It's not a facts-based issue, it's a beliefs-based issue. And that's far more complicated than simply telling people their model doesn't work.
The crux of this for me, now, is: how can I stay nice? How can I keep myself and them happy? How can I best deal with and serve others?
That seems like a good set of skills to work on, whatever side of the fence one sits. There will always be something that separates us from others. But it doesn't mean we can't maintain our civility and understanding.
Maybe that's the whole point. Maybe that's why God sent us flat earth belief in the first place.
Also, we mustn't forget that sometimes people just like to butt heads - and even though we might oppose each other vehemently in the moment, we love it really, and can even look back fondly on our 'adversaries' once the dust has settled.
Should we avoid that? Shun the beneficial aspects of combat and 'the proving ground'? Seems like those things have been around for a long time (rutting and the alpha male and defending the territory an' all that).
I dunno; jus' askin'.
I noticed that someone with the moniker Rory had put a bunch of anti-flat earth videos on YouTube, so unless it is an amazing coincidence I guess that is you! I like two things about them: 1) the calm matter-of-fact presentation, and 2) they are short . I hope you manage to keep your calm when the likes of Phuket Word start 'debunking' you. Even the admirable Miles Davis resorted to a cuss-word today!
P.S. You look much better in the videos than in your thumbnail here, which really doesn't do you justice.
Yeah, the avatar picture wasn't my best look.
Thanks for the props; I appreciate that. I'm gonna do some more and then mostly stop. I'm actually looking forward to Phuket Word coming for a visit - he's gonna have to invent a whole new flerspective to explain that Mount Rainier shot.
I have been posting often on the flat earth society website. Since I'm a retired merchant marine officer and commercial pilot, there's no way I could believe in anything but a round earth. Right from the start I didn't expect to convince anyone. My biggest benefit was relearning a lot of things needed to effectively present the round earth argument. It's been a while since I really was engaged with the basics of celestial navigation. Last year was my final year at sea and we all used GPS. It was so easy that you can forget the math & science behind it all. The joke was really on them. I had a great time and was able to relearn a lot. It looks like this will likely be a retirement hobby for me and I'm looking forward to doing more research on interesting subjects involving science & math. I probably won't stick with the flat earth group too much longer because all the same arguments just keep getting recirculated with no real purpose to it except to build up the post counts on their website.
Apart from general accusations regarding the shape of the earth, most flat earth types I have contact with make very few claims at all. As soon as you ask any specific question (such as whether the moon is also flat) then it quickly becomes clear that whatever else they may get up to, thinking beyond earths flatness is not a priority.
Flat earth is more a state of mind than a quest for knowledge. Of course, many are simply trolling. And many are actually mentally ill. The best remedy is therefore a change in lifestyle. A shift in priorities. And only the flat earther can do that.
I can't help but respond to flat earth posts. As long as they are posting new observations purporting to debunk the globe, I think it is worthwhile for someone to be offering a critical examination of their claims.
Debunking flat earth claims simply requires an average to slightly above average level of critical thinking skills (and an internet connection), so it is a hobby open to numerous people. Whatever gaps I may have in knowledge of astronomy, navigation, physics etc, I'm a quick Google search away from an answer from a reputable source.
The claim investigation becomes like a game, a game I call "find the fallacy". Sometimes the error isn't immediately apparent and requires digging. When you find it, it is a true "aha!" moment. You get to actually apply science, which for those of us who don't work in a STEM field, is a lot of fun. For me personally, the level of science involved in investigating flat earth is at the perfect level of being challenging enough to hold my interest, but not overwhelming to the point of discouragement. I have learned a lot in researching flat earth. Flat earthers encouraged to research this topic..I did and it merely strengthened my knowledge of our beautiful blue marble ball earth!
I would add, one could conceive of a semester long high school level course called, "Earth...Flat or Globe", one that features basic observations and analysis, even hands on...and I feel that kids would leave this course with a much better appreciation of their skies and the world around them...far more than I ever had from any science courses I ever had (I was more of a 'fine arts' guy, so take that with a grain of salt)
I think that there are people out there trying to make a living as a flat earth believer, even though they really aren't. There are some talk show types, UTubers, and others who talk the conspiracy talk, and the flat earth paradigm fits right in there. I'm seeing some efforts to write a book and sell some merchandise. I can't say that I can criticize that kind of entrepreneurial spirit too much.
During the 1960's we had the hippy movement and it lasted a while. The flat earth movement will have to burn itself out after tourists start going into space and taking pictures. Some will probably hang around because the flat earth society is just their way to 'stick it to the man'. In the mean time I'll continue the study of astronomy and how the solar system works. When I feel feisty I can go over the the flat earth website and try a little debunking. I don't think that I'll convince many but I believe in the old idea that if you can't write out something that a 12 year old would understand, then you probably don't understand the subject well enough yourself.
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