I don't understand how Flat Earth is a thing. 7 replies

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FileTrekker Über Admin

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#1 6 months ago

Like, I sort of knew about it, but assumed it was just an old occult, at best, a handful believe it in it today.

But no, these nutters are out in droves.

I stumbled on this channel, which Is really good and entertaining, but the number of Flat Earthers he has to debunk is amazing. 


They even do weird experements like spray a soccer ball with water and say because the water didn't stick to the ball, the oceans can't stick to the earth.

How stupid do you have to be to believe that?

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Plokite_Wolf VIP Member

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#2 6 months ago

There's a stark rise in people who believe things they see on fringe blogs to be the truth, and that everything else is a conspiracy.

Such people need to be exiled immediately should all attempts at reeducation fail.

Cocoa Loco

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#3 6 months ago

People be crazy yo.

Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#4 6 months ago

As the emphasis is increasingly placed on high degrees of intelligence and diligence, there's less and less point in being just moderately intelligent.

Mikey Über Admin

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#5 6 months ago
Posted by Nemmerle

As the emphasis is increasingly placed on high degrees of intelligence and diligence, there's less and less point in being just moderately intelligent.


Mikey - GameFront.com - Lead Developer

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#6 6 months ago

It's certainly an interesting predicament. But is it any more crazy than choosing to follow Scientology or any other wacky religion/cult? Yes, often you choose to follow a religion because your parents followed it, but it's no different. You hear something enough times, and have good reason to want to believe it and eventually you will start to believe it for yourself. You will feel your eyes have been opened and that you are right but everyone else is wrong. It's not stupidity, it's human nature, and I think it has an important lesson to teach everyone; that there is a constant struggle between believing something because we want it to be true and believing something because our logical faculties lead to some outcome. 

In the case of the flat earth belief, I think it was started as a practical joke but as with many constructs that are created as satire to see if anyone would take the bait, this one obtained a critical mass of believers and took root, gaining widespread influence. That so many have eagerly joined the movement highlights the massive failing of the educational system and the rampant mistrust of governmental authority. There is a push-pull effect here: a disturbing number of people are severely lacking of any physical understanding of the universe, while at the same time there are many who want to blame their problems on a huge government conspiracy and cover-up designed to keep humanity caged in a mental prison of false truths. 

Mr. Matt VIP Member


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#7 6 months ago

Flerfers are fucked. 

On the one hand, they have suffered from the very same breakdowns in rational thinking that lead people into religious beliefs. They exhibit the same kind of fallacious reasoning in their arguments, ranging from arguments from ignorance ("I don't see how the world could be round when it feels flat to me!!1") to special pleading ("only Earth is flat, the other planets are obviously round") and everything in-between. They are as emotionally invested in their beliefs as any theist, and just as prone to cognitive dissonance. There's often some overlap between Flerfers and religions in fact, particularly Christianity, as some people interpret certain Bible passages to mean that the Earth is flat.

And on the other hand, they're mired with the kind of paranoia that often drags people into becoming conspiracy theorists. Present them with any evidence that discredits their beliefs, and you immediately become "part of the conspiracy". You're in cahoots with NASA. Their whole schtick is cloaked in a built-in self-defence mechanism of deflection and distrust, which, combined with their inability to rationally evaluate reality itself, makes them harder to crack than my solid adamantium skull. This is coupled with the pleasant sensation of being "in the know" that many conspiracy theorists enjoy. Thinking that they have secret knowledge that 'They' don't want us to have, and that the 'sheeple' will never believe because we haven't woken up yet, makes them feel more important than they actually are in a world where they have fuck-all control over anything important, and in which they know, deep down, they aren't particularly significant.

Combine the two - religious fervour and conspiratorial paranoia - and you end up with an intractable position that both requires that you deny reality itself and immediately distrust anybody and everybody who tries to tell you all about reality. This in concert with feeling good about yourself for not falling for the conspiracy. There's probably no way out of that kind of thinking (or lack thereof) once you're there without some serious psychiatric help.

Flerfers are probably no more common than any other lunatic fringe group on the globe (suck on my random pot-shot, Flerfer fucks), but the fact that you've stumbled upon them on YouTube isn't especially surprising - it's their home base, and probably responsible for their rise in the first place.

Of course, if we taught critical thinking skills in schools as a matter of course, this kind of bullshit wouldn't catch on so easily, but here we are. Idiots see miracle cures for cancer on Facebook and then die because they won't go to the doctor, and idiots see sciencey-sounding Creationist and Flerfer articles and believe them, hook, line, and sinker, because they have no means of critically evaluating them for themselves. This is the world we live in, round or otherwise.

In any event, don't engage with them if you see them. It's beyond fucking pointless to argue with a reality-denying Flerfer. Save your efforts and go to the pub instead. Which is my advice for all situations, actually.

Last edited by Mr. Matt 6 months ago

Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#8 6 months ago
Posted by Mikey
Posted by Nemmerle

As the emphasis is increasingly placed on high degrees of intelligence and diligence, there's less and less point in being just moderately intelligent.



There are costs to how smart people are going to be if what you value is extremes of intelligence rather than the aggregate. If you celebrate Einstein too much, sooner or later everyone who's not a super-genius stops playing that game and goes to find one they can win. Flat earths and all that other crap represent games people can win. 

And you don't need to start off really stupid to come to that choice. As many industries automate middle-tier positions the pressure is going to be down onto the lower-status jobs. Someone who might previously have been a logistics planner, that required some intelligence, is now a fast food operative... and they might still have the potential to be as smart as they were when they were a logistic planner, but now they're a fast-food operative and that potential just lets them appreciate how fucked they are a little more.

Under those conditions, what are you going to do? Choose the reality where the best thing that can be said about you is you work at Burger King rather than McDonalds? The one that says 'Thank you for playing but you're not smart enough any more so you're about as valuable as Joe with 2 Ds at GCSE?' 

You can believe in a flat earth regardless of which fast food joint you work in.

Last edited by Nemmerle 6 months ago