Flat-earth obsessions apparently on the rise

CNN has a new article speaking of the rise of flat-earthism.

While everybody not in that set doesn’t even see a need to take it seriously, much less rehearse the evidence for people, are there other lessons here for us to take in? Aside from looking on in morbid curiosity?

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Number 2 is such a classic:

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While I cannot help but believe many flat earthers are just clowning around, much like the attendees at Comic-Con or Burning Man, those who hold the position siting religious convictions seem on some level be doing so as a sacrificial offering, an act of martyrdom so to speak. They seem to relish the idea of accepting abuse and humiliation for their beliefs, but of course have the benefit of course of enduring no real suffering. I think that same sort of self-flagellation also motivates some in the YEC community, though suspect I should duck when saying that.

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Someone that I know is a hard-core conspiracist and considered flat-earth for a short time. I think she is somewhat bi-polar and has had some trauma in her life, and this seems to give her some control, because she knows the ‘Truth’ about 9/11 and has a cause worth almost all of her waking hours. It has messed up a lot of her relationships, sadly, and it is impervious to arguments.

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I like number 4. My first thought seeing this article was Terry Pratchett fans gone wild.

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“Echo chamber pot” should be a thing.

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On a serious note, I think it’s probably that some people are super “suggestible,” not that they are stupid. Which is ironic considering how much effort they put into telling other people that they are gullible and have swallowed a lie.

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Agreed. It is a good line, though. :slightly_smiling_face: (…“Some people are starting to take it as a challenge.”)

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The woman I was referring to is quite intelligent, and has a couple of brilliant adult children.

(My first reply to you was # 9/11, I just noticed, before posting this one.:slightly_smiling_face: No, it was yours that is 9.)

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It should go without saying that the flat earthers are dumb, but I feel as though the counter arguments we make need to be better than ‘where is the edge?’ or ‘why are other planets flat?’ (the flat folks don’t think the earth is a planet, and that planets are just little floating lights above the earth)

Yeah - I’m pretty sure (though not entirely) that this is a kind of “culture” of difference. As @jpm also suggested above, there are other motivations in play. It could also be part of a way for “information age dissidents” to attempt to saturate information sources with enough mis-information so as to create a self-fulfilling prophecy about how untrustworthy it all is. If you don’t like the truth around this or that - then just dilute it with as much trash as you can inject. Russia, China, and other nations have apparently been on to this for years now.

Can i ask something. I see a lot of people (not specifically here) calling others stupid. I mean is there a medical word for stupidity? Does it even get cured?

No, Nick, you can’t cure stupid.

Actually, you are good to point it out that calling people names is not very gracious. My wife would not tolerate my kids saying such, and does not tolerate me doing so either.

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Yeah my friends kinda use these names sometimes. I hate hearing them. I always remind them to not say these. They have been more careful over time

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Also i read that stupidity means basically ignorance. Or to much adore for a point of view that you might have or someone else got you into. So i think it can be cured

Just last night I was walking around outside after sunset, and the bottom of some storm clouds were wonderfully lit with a beautiful magenta and red hue from the Sun that had dipped below the horizon. At that moment, I wished a Flat Earther had been with me. The very fact that the Sun goes below the horizon (while still lighting half the Earth) and doesn’t change size all day should be enough evidence for anyone who could be convinced by evidence. We haven’t even touched on pictures from space. Ships disappearing over the horizon from the bottom up is another good one:

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While I’m sure the condescension is felt, I think most of us are skeptical that intelligence has much to do with it - it is probably more about ideology, tribalism, persecution complex … as @jpm mentioned above. They probably don’t think of themselves as ignoring mountains of evidence. Perhaps some think of themselves as astutely disregarding mountains of disinformation spread by deceitful conspirators, while bravely holding on to whatever little piece of evidence they deem to have gone their way. Once you have cocooned yourself into that tribe, your filters will thereafter ensure and protect your ideology.

As a separate question, I wonder how uniform flat earthers are as a tribe. The CNN picture featured the flat earther with a cross on his cap. Are the majority of them Christians? of a certain political affiliation? Affluent (or not) social status? What homogeneity [or diversity] could “their tribe” be said to have?

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