Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Flat Earthers are Dumb

Yeah, I know, not much of a revelation there. Anybody who lives near the ocean can prove that the Earth is at the very least curved with a simple spyglass. Train it on a ship traveling away from you on the water and you will see the bottom of the ship disappear before the top. This is because of the curvature of the Earth, and it's probably how the Greeks initially figured out that the Earth was round. Nobody really believed it was flat until Medieval Europeans came along. But anyway...

A flat earther decided to fund a scientific experiment that would demonstrate the Earth does not rotate. But according to a new Netflix documentary, all his experiment managed to prove was that the Earth does indeed rotate. So like any good scientist would do, he went ahead and ignored the results.

One of those Flat Earthers is Bob Knodel, who hosts a YouTube channel entirely dedicated to the theory and who is one of the team relying on a $20,000 laser gyroscope to prove the Earth doesn't actually rotate.
Except... It does.

"What we found is, when we turned on that gyroscope, we found that we were picking up a drift," Knodel explains. "A 15-degree per hour drift. Now, obviously we were taken aback by that - 'Wow, that's kind of a problem.' We obviously were not willing to accept that, and so we started looking for easy to disprove it was actually registering the motion of the Earth."

You know what they say: If your experiment proves you wrong, just disregard the results!

"We don't want to blow this, you know?" Knodel then says to another Flat Earther. "When you've got $20,000 in this freaking gyro. If we dumped what we found right now, it would be bad? It would be bad. What I just told you was confidential."

I suppose in this day and age of fake news a resurgence of this nonsense was inevitable. You have to wonder, too, how much of it is a scam. The flat-earther who was going to prove the Earth was not round by flying a rocket less high up in the air than the top of the Willis Tower in Chicago is a good example. You're going to fly a rocket when you could get better data by riding an elevator up to the top of a tall building. Better still, get on airplane with the cheapest ticket you can find. Even shorter flights usually still climb to around seven miles.

But maybe my problem with this has to do with some residual resistance to the idea that people are this stupid. I have to keep reminding myself to look at how smart the average person is and then take into account at least half of them are dumber than that.

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