The Earth is flat: dealing with fringe viewpoints in the pervasive internet era


#21

Doesn’t the same side of the moon always face the Earth, or am I remembering wrong?


#22

You remember right… Which just reinforces the flat earth theory.

Naturally the moon and the sun are artifacts attached to invisible tracks which allow them to move around the sky. The sun and moon never set, they just recede into the distance.

This is a real flat earthier belief. You would think just taking them to the ocean and having them watch the sun rise or set would make them realize… But no they just don’t see it the way we do.


#23

I don’t think you can “deal” with them, not in a democracy and with a free internet, just educate people and try and make sure the truth (or your side, depending on what the belief is) comes out on top.


#24

Destiny, a somewhat popular Twitch streamer and YouTtuber, likes to get into controversial discussions with some of his viewers about controversial subjects. If you can tolerate about 45 minutes of Discord audio chat (where there seem to occasionally be other people in the chat), this is a conversation he had with a flat earther several months back. It’s incredible to listen to the justifications they (flat earthers) make that ignore all evidence and science. (Note: It’s not really necessary to actually watch the video - it’s just his desktop showing the Discord chat.)


#25

Flat Earthers also believe there is an electronics-destroying supermagnetic field at the edge of the earth that also modifies the memories of anyone who gets close enough to see it so that they forget it’s there.

So, you know, no way to prove the flatness wrong–even if you saw it, you’d forget!

Jesus fuck I hate this planet’s inhabitants sometimes. Most. All?


#26

I worded that wrong, was trying to refer to the moon cycle. Not sure how you could explain the moon cycle with a flat earth.


#27

I do wonder about some of these professed “Flat Earther” folks though. I wonder if they’re really serious or if they’re just trolling.

I mean, there are 7 billion people on the planet. So sure, there are bound to be some large number of people that believe any number of dumb things. I am confident that you could find a couple hundred people (0.0000028% of the planet’s population) who believe literally anything. And I mean “literally” literally.

But an organized group of several thousand Americans who honestly, uncritically, believe the planet is flat and who ALSO are mentally adept enough to speak in complete sentences and utilize the Internet? I dunno. The rocket guy appears to be touting the Flat Earth stuff to raise funds for his rocketry hobby; I’m not sure he honestly believes it.


#28

What I don’t get is why? I mean, most fringe beliefs–contrails, black helicopters, even the Protocols–you can associate with particular political or other types of value systems and desires. But flat earth? What purpose does it serve?


#29

Having spoken with a prominent “member” of the “movement” (which isn’t really anything organized at all, in fact quite to the contrary), for him is was almost about being contrary for the sake of being contrary; instead of having exclusive faith in the experience of others designated as experts (or just understanding basic science, but whatever), going out there and putting more faith in your own experience because only you can be the expert in that. It’s an attempt to claw back a sense of control over one’s life by disavowing the powers that be.

“So what’s the most basic thing everyone says is true?”
“The Earth is round.”
“Screw that, I say the Earth is flat until I prove it to myself, because I look left and right and see nothing but flatness so that’s what I believe in. I understand this is almost certainly wrong, but I won’t accept it until I experience it.”

That said, it’s not an organized thing and each adherent will likely have their own variant on why they “believe” the Earth is flat.


#30

Makes a sort of sense, though one could certainly argue it’s more laziness than anything else. If you really want to assert control by denying groupthink, start by critiquing modern capitalism I’d say…


#31

Yeah, I agree wholeheartedly.


#32

I commend this idiot on making his own contribution to my deadly, deadly traps program, and using it to kill himself.

In terms of whether believing stupid things is protected, sure it is. Anyone can believe whatever they want.

And my right to ostracize and make fun of them for their idiotic beliefs is absolutely protected under the first amendment.


#33

What a convenient tautology.


#34

I was on mile 15, day two, of a trek to climb a mountain peak, and my female companion and I had completed +3600 feet over 5 miles.

“OH NO,” she exclaimed!

“What? What’s wrong?” was my reply.

“Ross and Carrie,” she said.

Kid you not. About gave me a heart attack.


#35

I do not get this reference at all?


#36

The day prior, we had been discussing our favorite podcasts, as we both engage in solo, outdoor activity. She had adamantly stated that, “Oh no! Ross and Carrie,” was the best podcast, though I had contended in favor of QT3, 3MA, and Sawbones.

Hearing, “Oh no!” after many miles generally indicates a packing error. Usually either a suspension failure or a loss of a vital item somewhere on the trail. With a timeline to complete a climb, losing a critical item is damning; the miles can’t be recovered.

TLDR: she tricked me in order to support an esoteric podcast. I like that podcast now, though!

ACTUAL TLDR: Totally strayed from the topic. I apologize.


#37

Are you a malfunctioning AI? That’s the most “insider joke with someone you don’t know” reference I’ve ever seen.


#38

I mean, Tom mentioned said podcast, so it wasn’t completely random.


#39

I’m going to steal this once I get my friends to listen to the podcast.

I’m embarrassed how long I’d been listening to their show before the significance of the title hit me. I’d been thinking it was just some dumb wacky name.

-Tom


#40