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Looking for life on a flat earth
By Thom Holwerda on 2018-06-12 00:34:45

For days now, I've been pondering whether or not to post a link to this story, but after a talk with my closest friends about how much we despise anti-vaxxers - they just had their first baby - I feel like the story in question highlights a very uncomfortable truth we have to face.

If we can agree on anything anymore, it's that we live in a post-truth era. Facts are no longer correct or incorrect; everything is potentially true unless it's disagreeable, in which case it's fake. Recently, Lesley Stahl, of "60 Minutes", revealed that, in an interview after the 2016 election, Donald Trump told her that the reason he maligns the press is "to discredit you all and demean you all so that when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you". Or, as George Costanza put it, coming from the opposite direction, "It's not a lie if you believe it".

This is an article by Alan Burdick, who decided to investigate the "flat earth movement" by going to a flat earth conference and speaking with the attendees and speakers. It's a revealing piece that makes it clear flat earth crackpots are deeply intertwined with virtually every other crazy conspiracy theory, with the "flat earth theory" serving as an umbrella to all other conspiracy theories. Add in large doses of antisemitism, creationism, and Christian extremism, and you've got the general feel of the flat earth movement.

The uncomfortable truth we have to face is not that the earth is flat - don't worry - but that insanity like this used to remain confined, isolated, and harmless. Thanks to the internet, however, this insanity is free to spread and infect others, causing real harm to real people. Whether it's believing that the government is spreading dangerous chemicals through the air in form of "chem trails" or abusing, harming, and even murdering your and other people's children by not vaccinating them - it's the internet that allows this dangerous insanity to spread and cause real harm.

The internet is one of the greatest inventions of mankind, but it's also having dark, unsettling effects on our society that we need to address. I don't have any solutions, but we better start doing a better job of arming ourselves against the constant barrage of attacks on science, or we risk our society descending into chaos.

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RE[2]: Bias
By Thom_Holwerda on 2018-06-12 14:03:41
> As explained by Thom, it relates to the Internet and the cultures it creates.

OSNews is not only but also about Operating System news.


Over the years, I've come to accept that whenever someone says something along the lines of "omg this isn't OSNews Thom ruined the site omg", they almost always mean "I disagree with this article so to solve my cognitive dissonance I'm just going to mindlessly attack a rando editor".
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RE: Comment by Parry
By r_a_trip on 2018-06-12 15:45:28
No, it is bound to be a perspective effect. Things far away appear smaller than things close by, so by seeing further and further away, you must reach a point where an object simply becomes to small to discern. Do this for a broad view and the objects too far away to see clearly will form a line.

Making up stuff is fun...
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Internet definitely exascerbates it, but....
By gan17 on 2018-06-12 16:30:37
... the whole "post-truth" thing isn't all that new. Putin's been doing it for years, Israel's been doing it for decades, warmongers have been doing it for centuries, and religion has been doing it for millennia.
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Comment by Rudiza
By Rudiza on 2018-06-12 16:33:41
So the plan is simple.

We find the most popular, most outspoken flat-earther and we start a crowdfunding campaign to get him/her on a space shuttle as a tourist.

If they are 100% convinced the earth is flat they should have no objections going and recording everything using their own equipment.

Once they come back down we see if they are still convinced the earth is flat.

P.s I am a firm believer in the flat earth theory so maybe we should me first.
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Simple plan to assist the flat earth movement
By Rudiza on 2018-06-12 16:35:48
The plan is simple. We find the most popular, most outspoken flat-earther and we start a crowdfunding campaign to get him/her on a space shuttle as a tourist.

If they are 100% convinced the earth is flat they should have no objections going up and recording everything using their own equipment.

Once they come back down we see if they are still convinced the earth is flat.

P.s I am a firm believer in the flat earth theory so maybe we should me first.
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Comment by sj87
By sj87 on 2018-06-12 18:21:35
I find it very peculiar that you end up writing such a hit piece on another basic privilege, the freedom of speech or freedom of information, on the very day that the USA rolled back Net neutrality laws.

The flat earth societ has got nothing do with the fact that they are brought together in the internet. No, they are born because USA as nation embraces being crazy and dumb and paranoid. I am not sure why USA seems to so high in, say, mental illnesses (just look at the number of school shootings and related mass murders), but it is a fact that they are. USA is also home for most of the loonies who form most of any conspiracy mongering group.

P.S. Did you know that violent video games are the reason people are killing other people?
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RE: Comment by Rudiza
By daedalus on 2018-06-12 18:51:06
It's not a bad idea, though all that will happen then is that the rest of the flat earthers will just say that whoever was sent up is a sellout, has been paid off to change their mind, etc. Just like the Bielefeld conspiracy. Or, they might say he or she was in a simulator the whole time (see the UK reality TV series "Space Cadets" from a few years back, where they apparently convinced a bunch of *cough*gullible people that they were in space).
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Thom: be careful maligning creationism
By cacheline on 2018-06-12 20:03:29
This website, http://apologeticspress.org/ goes to great lengths to point out arguments for creationism in well-thought out ways. They go so far as to put bibliographies on their many (around 40 years worth) articles and documents. They quote well known scientists (including evolutionists and other hostile witnesses), in context, with ways for you to go verify details independently.

I would challenge you to examine a few articles to see what I'm talking about. It's not my intent to debate it here (I've found most online debates do nothing to help anyone), just to encourage independent research.
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The power of soy
By v_bobok on 2018-06-12 20:19:37
creationism, and Christian extremism
...Is bad, but (radical) Islam is a-ok, right. This is exactly the reason Donnie Cheetos and his army of "my little monsters" won in 2016, while his liberal opponents were too busy jacking off each other in their "safe space" hugboxes. But somehow the "alt-right" is just about white racists & religious extremists exclusively. It's a media construct, that a lot of tech-libs believe to be the reality we live in. You'll get a helluva wakeup call one day, I can say that much.
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RE: Comment by model500
By v_bobok on 2018-06-12 20:35:17
"Pseudo free market capitalism, consumerism and corporatocracy is totally the way forward!"
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