Monday, August 04, 2008

Who Knew People Actually Believed This?

The BBC today had a profile of the Flat Earth Society, a loose association of people who believe the earth is flat. In typical British fashion the article takes an appropriately condescending and incredulous tone. I particularly like the picture of a satellite in orbit with caption If you're a flat-earther, this photo is fake.

Front in center in the article was a Canadian computer scientist espousing his nonsense views on the subject. Apparently no one falls off the edge of the earth because an ice wall in Antarctica completely surrounds the edges, and no one goes to Antarctica. Brilliant.

I'd long known of the Flat Earth Society, though I'd always thought it was a joke. Their arguments are so terrible, surely no one actually believes them. I'm far from an expert in physics, but even I can see the gaping holes in their logic. Putting forth the argument that people would fall off the bottom of a round earth: didn't we figure that out like 400 years ago? I think he also figured out why using grains of sand on a beach ball isn't the best analogy to use when you're talking about the Earth's gravitational pull on things on the surface. Alas, I fear I once again put too much faith in the intelligence of some people. Perhaps someday I'll learn that there's a lot of people in this world that are pretty stupid. And I'll probably learn that by discovering that I too am one of those stupid people.

I'll just close with an excerpt from this gem. Poe's Law, anyone?

The deeper I delved into the sordid underbelly of the Conspiracy, the more resistance and harassment I was met with, which only served to consolidate and solidify my beliefs. One time, I was on my way to collect a package of FE (flat earth) merchandise we had ordered for SWEFES, and a bird just flew out of nowhere and started biting my face! It drew blood, but I managed to get away. It was fairly obvious that it was trained to do this, it was completely unnatural behaviour. There was a guy in a suit and shades standing in a doorway, looking at me and talking into a walkie-talkie thing. As I ran down the street away from the bird, he left his position and quickly walked away into an alley. I don't believe this was actually an assassination attempt, rather just Them trying to scare me away from the whole scene, especially based on precisely what I was on my way to do.

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