The Earth Is Flat Because YouTube Videos Say It Is →

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Alan Burdick, for The New York Times:

If you are only just waking up to the twenty-first century, you should know that, according to a growing number of people, much of what you’ve been taught about our planet is a lie: Earth really is flat. We know this because dozens, if not hundreds, of YouTube videos describe the coverup […]

The modern case for a flat Earth derives largely from “Zetetic Astronomy: Earth Not a Globe,” a book published, in 1865, by a smooth-talking English inventor and religious fundamentalist named Samuel Rowbotham. I found a copy at a bookseller’s table in the corridor just outside the conference ballroom, alongside books about the Revelations and New Testament apocrypha. The vender, a friendly woman who looked to be in her late sixties, offered her thoughts on Earth’s flatness and the enshrouding secrecy; I moved on when she got to “the Jews.”

John Gruber comments:

[…] before the internet, kooks were forced to exist on the fringe. There’ve always been flat-earther-types denying science and John Birch Society political fringers, but they had no means to amplify their message or bond into large movements.

Thom Holwerda had a few words to say too:

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.


I have been thinking about this issue over the past few days and have begun to imagine how quickly we could wake up in a world where these sort of ideas are the new norm and round-Earthers become the group of people who are considered “kooks”, to use Gruber’s words. Politics are a great example of how quickly a certain point of view can take over the minds of a country or continent and we don’t have to look far — these are all things that are happening today in multiple countries around the world. I love the internet but I can’t help but wonder if humans, as a species growing up in many contrasting environments, won’t be able to handle our cultural and psychological differences.

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