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Is the Earth Flat? Let’s Get Nuts

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Originally published via Armageddon Prose Substack:

“Drive yourself insane tonight
It’s not that far away and
I just filled up your tank earlier today”
-Alkaline Trio, ‘Mercy Me’

Being a masochist, I have subjected myself now to multiple debates in various fora regarding whether the Earth is a sphere or a plane, each somehow sillier than the last.

I would, I concede, be totally useless in flat Earth debate, as I barely got a C in astronomy in college, a course I signed up for on the assumption it would consist of star-gazing through telescopes, which I could do very well while high, only to realize too late to drop it that it involved math — and not regular math, but, like, super-complicated math.

But here’s my two cents on flat Earth anyway.

First, in matters involving potential mass deception on the part of the authorities, it’s important to ask the critical question, which is: cui bono?

Who benefits?

The premise of the flat Earth theory is that governments and scientific bodies have been lying to the people for hundreds of years about the true shape of things for some nefarious, unspecified reason.

The problem I see is that I can’t imagine what that purpose would be. Who would benefit and how from hoodwinking the planet about the Earth being a ball? 

In nearly all cases of The Science™ lying — for instance, COVID warlord Fauci and his accomplices covering up their filthy little fingerprints all over the Wuhan lab and running with the ¨natural origin¨ lie — there is some discernible institutional or self-interest at play.

What is the utility of tricking a planet full of people into believing the Earth is round when it’s really flat?

A central thrust of the flat Earth argument centers around NASA’s moon-landing that allegedly never actually happened. While I have seen mildly compelling evidence (again, with no real astrophysics expertise to properly vet it) that the moon landing may have been a theater production, ultimately whether it was or wasn’t I have no idea.

But even if it were taken for granted that it was, that doesn’t logically lead to the conclusion that the whole theory of the round Earth is a lie. The government lies all the time about everything it feels inclined to lie about. We know this. It very well may have been that the moon landing video was staged, as the United States was in a footrace with the Soviets to conquer the moon so as to demonstrate the superiority of the free market and democracy and whatever.

That the government is a deceitful institution doesn’t prove the Earth is flat or anything like it.

The logical non-sequiturs like this abound from the flat Earth people, which is the biproduct of a toxic stew of a failed education system as well as another factor, my ultimate takeaway: Trust in institutions of authority has collapsed because they are transparently untrustworthy. In such an environment, people readily accepting that the governments of the world collude to lie about the shape of the Earth is the predictable result.

Via Leverhulme Trust (emphasis added):

“There is a crisis of trust in modern societies. Public confidence in the central institutions of representative democracy has been declining since the 1980s. Conspiracy theories play a key part in this process. At the same time, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 made Western governments increase the surveillance of their citizens, curtail civil liberties and launch the so-called “war on terror”. Lack of trust on this scale shown by governments towards the people further fuels the emergence and spread of conspiracy theories targeted at governments and states.
 So there’s a mutual cycle of mistrust.”

One characteristic of the Slavs, having spent time around them, that I have come to admire is their willingness to dismiss out of hand any government narrative or state media story they are told, having been lied to for so many decades by their communist overlords about the pettiest of things. In the West, this sort of deep-cutting skepticism is still novel as we were universally taught to trust and respect “the experts” and government on the basis that they were theoretically democratically accountable and transparent.

Those days are over. It’s a New Age.

Today’s it’s round Earth denial; tomorrow it’s dancing for rain.

But it’s not just collapse of institutional trust that is propelling the crazytrain; we’re also converging on an unprecedented technological revolution that no one — not even its hubristic architects — fully understands.

All signs point to things getting super weird super fast. ¨Novelty continues to climax,¨ as Terence McKenna´s interviewer put to him in his questioning.

¨It’s only going to get weirder. The level of contradiction is going to rise excruciatingly, even beyond the excruciating present levels of contradiction. So, I think it’s just going to get weirder and weirder, and weirder, and finally it’s going to be so weird that people are going to have to talk about how weird it is. And at that point novelty theory can come out of the woods, ah, because eventually people are going to say, “What the hell is going on?” It’s just too nuts, it’s not enough to say it’s nuts, you have to explain why it’s so nuts.¨
-Terence McKenna

Ben Bartee, author of Broken English Teacher: Notes From Exile, is an independent Bangkok-based American journalist with opposable thumbs.

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