The Flat Earth and Other Strange New Rebellions


You know, the long-held prejudice against science fiction among intellectual types is not wholly unjustified. This is especially true of the kind of science fiction written before the reformist movements of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as later forms such as Cyberpunk (I don't see SF as a viable literary form any longer; it's become a hobby circle medium, largely consumed by people who either produce it or would like to).

As much as I might have enjoyed some of the storylines and concepts of writers like Arthur C. Clarke, for example, he was incapable of writing recognizably human characters. This is not to single Clarke out, he was a veritable student of human nature compared to an Issac Asimov, say, or a Ben Bova.

Even a very good writer like William Gibson misunderstands the reactions people have to the ubiquity of technology, in that the more ever-present and invasive technology and science become, the more the majority of people resent it, not make a fetish of it.

People are addicted to their iPhones and other gadgets, but they are simple mediums- it's the content and not the technology itself that most people fixate on. In fact, studies have shown people are becoming increasingly technologically illiterate as our gadgets become more powerful.

One of the worries of the establishment media-- which is to say the government, since outlets like the major networks, the New York Times, National Geographic, and major magazines and newspapers are merely echo chambers for the government-- is the so-called "Anti-Science movement." This is a misnomer, since there are a number of different, sometimes mutually-hostile movements with often clashing interests put under this umbrella.

But what the government's mouthpieces and the people who fetishize totalizing government as a kind of substitute deity (such as the I Fucking Love Science crowd) are really worried about are people who don't unquestioningly accept the dictates of government and/or corporate science (there's hardly a hint of daylight between the two these days). This has become a pressing concern as the depth of corruption in corporate and academic science has gotten so overwhelming-- the peer review system is in danger of becoming a bad joke, for instance-- that the mainstream media can no longer ignore it.


In fact, many of these so-called "Anti-Science" people have done a lot more of the actual science attached to their pet causes than the I Fucking Love Science types, who in fact usually do nothing at all but post stupid "memes" on their Facebook. Many of them couldn't explain the scientific method to you if you held a gun to their heads.

Science has a become a substitute religion to these people, which is to say government science, which is just another way of saying they actually worship governmental power.  And a vindictive and totalizing power at that.

They may not readily admit to doing so, but will be forced to do if you walk them through the reality of their belief system. What real scientists will admit is that all science of any scale being done today is ultimately controlled by the government, specifically the Defense Department.

It's ironic, for instance, to see how apoplectic liberal scientists like Phil Plait get over Apollo skeptics, since it basically puts them in the position of defending the integrity of the Nixon Administration, SS officer Wernher Von Braun and his Paperclip Nazis and a gaggle of Scottish Rite Freemasons from south of the Mason-Dixon line.

Politics do indeed make for strange bedfellows.

But there's also the reality that the totalitarian control exercised over scientists today is much worse than anything scientists had to deal with from, say, the Medieval Church. In fact, the whole notion that the Church went around smashing science down where ever it found it is a myth.

On the contrary, the Church has long been a patron of science (particularly medical science) and the extreme cases such as Hypatia and Giordano Bruno had more to do with political issues than theological disputes. But try questioning the party line on global warming or any of the other new orthodoxies today and your career in science will be finished.

As political and corporate power exercise increasing control over science, they've branded all opposition to their hegemony as "anti-scientific." This has become one of the epithets you hear coming from progressives, who depressingly have become the absolute mirror image of the Religious Right of the 1980s and 1990s. Onetime independent sites like Disinfo and Salon have become hyperpartisan screech-engines, and are major mouthpieces for the "Anti-Science" propaganda campaign.

As the mask comes off and capital "S" Science reveals itself to be nothing but a submissive lapdog for the Globalists, I think we can expect strange rebellions from the totalizing status quo. Most of these may be marginal but you never know what's going to strike a nerve. I've spent the past couple of weeks trying to wrap my head around one of the strangest new rebellions, the surprisingly vigorous revival of the old Flat Earth Movement, an old fringe movement that's found an eager new audience.

As with most of these movements there's a range of beliefs, but this video is a good place to get the basic bullet points. Essentially, it goes like this:  the Earth is a disk covered by a dome and surrounded a wall of ice that keep the oceans in. The Moon and the Sun orbit the Earth and the planets are just wandering stars. The space program is a hoax and there are no satellites. The Apollo missions were faked because space travel is impossible. All the zero G footage we've seen was done in high altitude airplanes, the same ones astronauts were trained in.

Flat Earth theory tends to be surprisingly Gnostic, in that the planet is a prison and there's no escape. The high altitude nuclear tests that the US and USSR undertook in the late 1950s were an attempt to punch holes in the dome but were unsuccessful. The movement tends to be anti-UFO, which I find a bit peculiar, given that if someone built the Earth as a prison wouldn't they want to keep an eye on it?

Every movement needs a rock star and the Flat Earth movement has Matt Boylan, a Canadian photorealist painter who claimed to have worked for NASA and been initiated into the secret at a party. Boylan doesn't offer any evidence for this and his credibility is somewhat... hazy, given the fact that he pushes the theory in a stand-up comedy act, in which he rolls out the world's worst Denis Leary impersonation.

Boylan also pushes a bizarre Stephen Hawking conspiracy theory that offers up an extremely dodgy interview with an alleged Hawking employee as 'evidence'. I have to wonder how committed Boylan is to all of this since he doesn't exactly project sincerity.

He seems to be a very talented painter, though.

You know me, I love a wild theory. But the only thing I got out of the Flat Earth material was just further evidence that NASA is full of crap. It makes no sense to me that the other heavenly bodies are all spheres but the Earth is not. The entire model just didn't ring true, especially since I've actually, y'know, seen the curvature of the Earth for myself.

But I got some fuel for my own fires, namely my own nutty conjectures that if all this NASA stuff is faked, maybe it's because planets like Mars and Venus aren't what they say they are. But I'm the first to admit that's conjecture- I'm not making YouTubes about any of it.

Flat Earth theorists believe that the globe model is used to diminish the importance of the planet and of humanity but I didn't really find that argument compelling, the same way I don't find the materialist extremists' theories that human life is some cosmic accident and everything is meaningless compelling either.

Poking around I saw a few people protest that the entire movement is a psyop, meant to discredit "Truthers" in general and Apollo skeptics in particular. Boylan's Vaudeville act didn't exactly dissuade me from that argument (one video has him expounding his views while slurping on wedges of grapefruit like a pig, as if consciously trying to be as repulsive as possible) and it certainly wouldn't be out of character for the Cryptocrats.

But animals in captivity are known to display aberrant behavior and human beings are no different. I expect more of this kind of thing as our lives become more controlled and our horizons continue to shrink.

As to science, I'm old fashioned- I think it should be above politics. Scientists may come to rue the day they all threw in with the partisan agenda, no matter how emotionally satisfying it might be to use science as a cudgel against one's perceived enemies.


42 comments:

  1. Anonymous Coward7:09 PM, April 12, 2015

    Still no full pan around shot [one of the Flat Earther's arguments] of the Earth using a freakin' GoPro. (I am not watching the whole thing which looks all the same at a glance.)

    1 hour of GoPro Space Pron

    NASA: Full GoPro Footage Of EVA-30 Spacewalk [VID]

    Breathtaking": NASA astronauts take you on a spacewalk with GoPro camera

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, the Flat Earthers argue it's all done in a pool but water is a dynamic medium. There are little wavelets and reflections and bubbles and all kinds of distortions that I'm just not seeing here.

      Delete
  2. Starting 59:15 notice how the station's hull bends with the same curvature of the planet. Most lens will turn flat land/view at some distance into spherical land/view and shall give the impression of a round rotating object as you move at the same altitude along its surface. I mean, the Earth here is distorting as well. It's _not_ "flat" 1:1 graphic so it is still up in the air as to what we are truly seeing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, as I said, I've seen the curvature of the earth for myself. I don't know how to account for that, seeing as that I'm not alone. I don't know, that's why I say this is not your typical "Truther" movement.

      Delete
    2. At _that_ depth it may be that our eyes' lens receive the same fish eye warping. Evolutionarily speaking, the brain wasn't required to filter it out as it wasn't a part of our daily lives to prove advantageous or otherwise. For example, I think the image through the lens in our eye is upside down, the brain mirror flips it for the entity perceiving it. Though there've been cases where this processing isn't in agreement with ours. One person, alive today, reads the newpaper turned 180 degrees, and she sees the world the same way, but she is not disorientated in the least.

      Delete
  3. Hey Chris,

    I'm going through a very dark time at the moment, my life and romantic relationship is in serious flux. I've been thinking about the psychology of narrative-making, how and why we lie to ourselves, or fictionalise aspects of our experience, and the role of truth in all that.

    In connection with your post I think that captivity does breed aberrant behaviour for sure. But I also think that the level of toxicity of that aberrance is strongly correlated to polarisation. I mean to say, as the elites consolidate everything - smashing workers rights, destroying healthcare, driving profits ever upwards whilst claiming austerity for the poor is necessary - our societies and psyches continue to fragment, atomise and polarise.

    You used the term nano-identities in an earlier post, and I think that's a perfect description of where we are culturally, politically and socially. In this sense we're not looking at polarisation as much as we're looking at de-coherence. Some of this is good but much of it is bad in the sense of personal empowerment. But I think the basic psychological mechanism driving this de-coherence is one of polarisation. To put a finer point on it, it's the insanity and cognitive dissonance absolutely required in one form or another to accept the widening gulf between the powerful and the powerless. That's the most salient and dangerous polarity in our world right now.

    The reason psychopathy is so fertile right now is because a caged entity will either rage against the bars of its cage or give up and become hopeless - but a caged entity that is also forced to render a narrative about how its jailers are trying to love and nurture and protect it for its own good? That caged entity will eventually lose its soul as well as its mind. Especially when it can see a vast field of other caged beings, but isn't allowed to articulate what it sees.

    What I mean is - so much of mainstream discourse is a bizarre and disturbing high-theatre where various voices try to convince themselves and us that the power differentials in our society are just and noble and even 'natural'. Yes, your power-elites are completely trustworthy despite all evidence to the contrary. Such a notion is patently absurd and demonstrably untrue, but it is the governing conceit upon which our societies and thus our psychologies are based. This breeds madness, psychosis, destructuralism, discordianism, strange new rebellions and new weird opportunities. Some of it good, much of it bad.

    ReplyDelete
  4. (...continued)

    People need to remember that the governing implicit notion in our minds and our societies is that we are not permitted to tell the truth. Because the truth will leave us hopeless, targeted, ridiculed, outcast or killed. People might look up to Fox Mulder, but who the fuck actually wants to be him? His life is exhausting, haunted and dangerous. I think because of this polarisation and de-coherence people attempt sub or half-consciously to gather up pieces of the truth even in their estranged and traumatised state, or they attempted to commandeer old fallacies and weird bits of kitsch as a statement of reclaiming some kind of personal power. An entity in a cage, told essentially at gunpoint to love and fellate his jailers can come up with some pretty warped and tweaked stories.

    I'm beginning to realise that I've essentially hated myself for most of my life for being a Psychic and Intuitive and for being aware of my own Shadow-self, and that same aspect in others. As you say, as our horizons continue to shrink and our experiences become ever more controlled we will see more aberrant behaviour, because the lies we will need to tell ourselves to endorse the situation will become ever more labyrinthine and twisted. I mean, in many ways we are living in a 'flat' Earth, aren't we? Spiritually, emotionally and culturally flat. A world of fascism masquerading as multiculturalism. A world of glamour and surfaces and 'reality' tele-vision. I suspect that we haven't seen the last of weird literalism and kitsch spiritualities and resurrected cliques. I think it's evidence of an imagining sentience still trying to operate under immense psychological pressure, within a system that is clearly eating it alive despite most voices being silent on the matter.

    Anyway, sorry if my thoughts are a little scattered. Rough times for me. But I hope this gives you at least a little grist for your mill, Chris. All the best.

    Peace

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm truly sorry life's been having at you, Raj, and I hope there's a light at the end of this tunnel you're trudging through soon. I think a lot of us have been where you are right now and can feel your pain. That being said, this is some truly brilliant shit you're laying down here- amazing insights. All I can do is nod my head and say "yeah". And offer up that sometimes our hardships are a crucible, a time when we are molded and bettered. And though life may be kicking your ass around a bit you're most certainly on top on the ball here. Bravo.

      Delete
    2. Your words ring true Raj. Keep digging for what is real. Respectfully, Dennis.

      Delete
    3. Raj, thank you for your heartfelt missive. Like Dennis says, your words ring true.

      My own journey has been one of a moderate degree of worldly success achieved by the dubious strategy of straddling two worlds. It's a difficult dance. Consequently I am not suffering materially at the moment, but the cost is profound psychological pressure as the disconnect intensifies between the bullshit I endure (and am forced to evangelize) and what I know to be the truth.

      I sincerely hope this dark period passes for you, the clouds part, and the sun shines down some joy in your life.

      Delete
  5. I've also seen the curvature of the Earth, but apart from that it's possible to deduce from observations of the changing declination of stars as one travels north or south, and that you get completely different stars when you go far enough.

    BTW, I was in Portland, Oregon just over a week ago (no UFOs or sasquatch to report, sadly) and I used the Portland Hilton's internet kiosk one day (my wife was sponsored to stay there, too expensive otherwise). Secret Sun is blocked there. What have you done to upset them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, that's funny. I guess my theorizing on the Millennium Hilton made people in the PR department a little nervous. A sample. http://secretsun.blogspot.com/2008/12/stairway-to-sirius-death-and.html

      Delete
  6. I've spent my whole adult career in the STEM world (so far)... but the "Yay Science!" crowd (and the "Neu Scifi" generation that overlaps with it so much) has always rubbed me the wrong way for reasons I never could quite articulate (beyond the obvious pseudo-religiosity of it).

    I used to try to explain that (just to choose an example) "Evolution! Because Darwin!" is just as reflexive and unthoughtful a position as "Creation! Because Jesus!". They are in fact the mirror image of each other, and either slogan reflects the Death of Thought. But people get so easily offended these days, what's the point?

    That said, STEM work is limited by money, like every other damned thing in this world at the moment. You either work for those willing to pay... or one doesn't work at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed. In my professional world, anything considered worth doing now requires extremely expensive instrumentation and difficult-to-obtain biospecimens. Good luck paying for it unless it furthers the NIH's research agenda.

      Delete
    2. Exactly. It doesn't bode well for science in the long run. This IFLS thing is just empty political posturing which leads inevitably to backlash. What's the response to that eventuality?

      Delete
    3. Michael, you're not unique or alone. I think a lot of people in the field agree with you, which is why I included that cartoon. It's amazing how simplistic and extreme everything has become in the past few years on the Internet. It's depressing to see such kneejerking over important issues like science and I know people like yourself in the STEM field worry where it's all leading to.

      Delete
  7. "In fact, studies have shown people are becoming increasingly technologically illiterate as our gadgets become more powerful."

    I've read pundits online who have (one assumes) seriously put forth the opinion that we don't need to know anything anymore, that these devices are somehow an extension of the person and all one need do is Google search the subject/location/details. One wonders what such "extended" persons will do when the batteries run out.

    Lack of knowledge leads to uncertainty in dangerous or even unusual situations. Knowing how to apply first aid, find your way without a map, or make a fire without matches may be rarely-applied skills, but they instill confidence. Learning situational awareness and how to analyze your environment with an aim to predicting the consequences of actions around you aid not only in avoiding danger or achieving a goal, they make it more likely you'll do the same in situations you've not trained for. No time to Google it when the stampede starts, the hail falls or the train goes dark in the tunnel. Oh, well, I can always post a selfie of it to Tumblr, I guess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You raise some very important points and I remember raising similar points during one of Tim Leary's virtual reality preachathons. He got very annoyed at me, but it turns out I was right. It's 20+ years later and his VR vision is still on the drawing board but real world skills have withered and caused a lot of damage because of it. How many people today know CPR?

      Delete
  8. Nuclear weaponry is another “given” that is under serious review as people realize how the spiritual apocalypse has been refitted with a “scientific” veneer to keep the fear at least on simmer for the materialist literalists (the imagination challenged)- Plus, some of those detonation films have some serious Zapruder grade anomalies and its been admitted that the Disney adjunct, Lookout Mountain Air Force Lab, processed them- So we have one conventional view, a spheroid Earth, rejected but another conventional view, nuclear weaponry, gets to stay because they were used to try and punch holes in the “dome”- The attempt is supposed to be enough to prove the dome’s existence, I take it? This build your own burger method can be amusing but its seems to me a good deal of this is steam being released by frustrated artists who could use some mentoring and disciplined work habits- And girlfriends-

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I'm pretty sure that a lot of US servicemen witnessed nuclear explosions for themselves during texts. But this is the whole rabbit hole aspect of what I call the ontological circle jerk- you can question everything but where does it leave you? That's really the issue for me. A line of inquiry should have some kind of reasonable end point.

      Delete
  9. From Moses:
    "I've read pundits online who have (one assumes) seriously put forth the opinion that we don't need to know anything anymore, that these devices are somehow an extension of the person and all one need do is Google search the subject/location/details. One wonders what such "extended" persons will do when the batteries run out."

    Not just that - trusting your world to a search engine means you are bounded by what is available to search. I imagine one day people will put on a "Google Glass" and look around, and their friends will be replaced with advertisements.

    Flat earth:
    Hmm. It is odd that when standing in the middle of a salt flat, which has gravity radiating outwards presumably, that it doesn't look like a big contact lense. In other words, if you looked at some friends through binoculars twenty miles away, they should be tilted away from you, which would be their version of walking upright and level.

    Right?????

    I can't parse it. Maybe the globe part is real and the geometry is perceived or experienced as flatness due to some heretofore unexplained effect.

    The effect for humanity is the same. We are trapped here, flat earth or solar system light years from another star.

    -JonS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The FET model just doesn't work for me. I love a good outre theory as much as the next guy, but there needs to be some internal logic. That's where FET fails- I'm not feeling the logic.

      Delete
  10. Christopher Knowles I am so glad, so grateful you are on this planet right now, whatever its shape - - and that you are sharing your divine mind with us...and Raj - altho I am sorry for your suffering - (oh man the suffering of this realm, wtf!) - but I connect greatly with your comments also... my battered tattered consciousness is revived once again... (much gratitude to you both) ...

    ReplyDelete
  11. I like this trend, only because it raises important epistemological questions. How do we know what we claim to know? Most of what we understand as "truth" has been handed down, in one form or another, by authorities.

    How would you *know*, from personal experience, that the earth was a sphere unless you had traveled around the world by your own navigation skills? Or at least, yourself, performed the necessary celestial measurements and understood the mathematics that led to a spherical conclusion?

    This is a real problem, and at the spiritual level only truly addressed by gnostics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, this is part of the Flat Earth argument- no one has been in space so no one can say for sure. But I'm pretty sure I've seen the curve of the earth- was that an optical illusion?

      Delete
    2. Well, if it *were* (or *were not*) an optical illusion, by whose authority would you know that? See how tricky it becomes?

      In reality, we can never truly "know" much. We accept many things as provisionally true because believing them has pragmatic value, and the ultimate truth does not really matter from a pragmatic perspective. For other things, we keep contradictory "truths" compartmentalized. For example, I keep my mainstream/conventional narrative about human history front and center in my professional life and outer social life, but keep the narratives discussed here (and closely related blogs online) or closely held in my inner social circle.

      I think the key may be to figure out where the Truth is truly important, and make it your business to personally empirically verify the critically important propositions. Typically, for me, this narrows the field to strictly spiritual, emotional, and interpersonal matters (or else very narrow professional concerns).

      Delete
  12. One reason I accept global warming is that it doesn't seem to be anyone's interest for it to be true. Whether you're a guy who wants to make as much money as possible by any means necessary, or someone who thinks economic growth is the only way out of poverty, global warming blocks your agenda. Why would anyone fabricate it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Global climate change is certainly true. Anthropogenic global climate change is likely true. However, it does absolutely serve the interests of elites, in that it provides justification for further centralization of power in the hands of elites who "know better". E.g. Al Gore living opulently while preaching austerity.

      Delete
    2. When these guys stop single-handedly leaving carbon footprints the size of some developing nations, then I'll take them a little more seriously.

      Delete
  13. Al lives close to a gravitional mystery spot. Light curves, space time in flux. Part of a gravity well that does not play by the rules. Affects the wealthy. Back in the day, no one in their right mind would even consider visiting, unless invited.

    Holy ground, and pretenders. Hard to see how some will not get kicked out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure what you're referring to here. What do you mean?

      Delete
  14. I'm going to try to reply to some of these amazing comments later today. Been up to my neck in it, and don't get me started on the taxes thing...be back later.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Boylan's a performance artist; the idea is to build a character and see how far it goes (obviously he's done a fine job). I know because I've played the same game in Art School.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Either that or he's like a lot of prodigies and flipped his lid. I've seen that happen. I'm not inclined right now to see him as a parodist. We'll see what the future brings.

      Delete
  16. This all a plan to take us back to the dark ages. And prevent any of us slaves escaping our masters via interstellar travel. Our oligarchs intend to whoop it up before they kill themselves and take the rest of us to HELL with them.

    ReplyDelete
  17. The geocentric universe has serve our masters well which why they have threaten and murdered to support it. They are narcissist who crave adoration from their subjects and enjoy torturing and killing because that is all that meaning to their existence. That why they fear their toys ability to possibility to escape their clutches.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hey Chris, please watch my latest Flat Earth interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R77j9rUuky4 And if you have any unanswered questions check out the International Flat Earth Research Society forum: http://ifers.boards.net Your confirmation bias or perhaps a curved airplane window are responsible for thinking you've seen the Earth's supposed curvature. Amateur balloons sent up all confirm a completely flat horizon which rises to the eye of the observer all the way up. This is only consistent with an extended flat plane: http://www.atlanteanconspiracy.com/2015/01/flat-earth-horizon.html Peace

    ReplyDelete
  19. Eric, I did a lot of research before doing this piece and only touched on the FET because I thought the crisis of faith in Science was more salient. I think confirmation bias is a strange accusation for my personal observations of the earth's curvature since I was neither expecting to see nor processing the debate at the time. As I said the model just doesn't work for me though I'm certainly interested in the phenomenology of the movement itself. I may not agree with you but you have my blessing to irritate and cajole the scientific establishment. I'd have to see a lot more convincing evidence than any I've seen before (as I've said I'm always up for an outre worldview) but I appreciate the Gnostic cosmology of the FETers I've seen.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Matt Boylan doesn't believe in the dome, so nice try. Also, I didn't realize comedy wasn't a valid way of pointing out life's oddities. OH WAIT, "If you're telling people the truth, be dawn sure you're making them laugh" (paraphrased)-George-Fucking-Carlin. The earth IS flat, it's the globe that is the prison. It's "Prison Planet".

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh and by the way, you've never seen the curvature.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Eric Dubay, does the sun travel faster in the southern summer than in the northern summer as by FET the southern summer path must be much greater yet still there is only 24 hrs in a day?

    ReplyDelete