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Flat Earthers, Conspiracy Culture, and Why People Will Believe Anything

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  • Flat Earthers, Conspiracy Culture, and Why People Will Believe Anything

    Flat Earthers, Conspiracy Culture, and Why People Will Believe Anything

    Since 2015, there has been a spectacular boom in a nearly 200-year-old delusion — the idea that we all live on a flat plane, under a solid dome, ringed by an impossible wall of ice. It is the ultimate in conspiracy theories, a wholesale rejection of everything we know to be true about the world in which we live. Where did this idea come from?

    Weill draws a straight line from today’s conspiratorial moment back to the early days of Flat Earth theory in the 1830s, showing the human impulses behind divergences in belief. Faced with a complicated world out of our individual control, we naturally seek patterns to explain the inexplicable. The only difference between then and now? Social media. And, powered by Facebook and YouTube algorithms, the Flat Earth movement is growing.

    At once a definitive history of the movement and a readable look at its expansive, absurd, and dangerous present, Off the Edge introduces us to a cast of larger-than-life characters, from 19th-century grifters to 20th-century small-town tyrants to the provocateurs of Alex Jones’s early-aughts internet, whose rancor sowed the early seeds of our modern division. We accompany Weill to Flat Earther conferences, where we meet moms on vacation, determined creationists, scammy YouTube celebrities and their victims, neo-Nazi rappers, and even a man determined to fly into space in a homemade rocket-powered balloon — whose tragic death proves as senseless and absurd as the theory he set out to prove.

    Incisive and clear-eyed, Off the Edge tells a powerful story about belief, exploring how we arrived at this moment of polarized realities and explaining what needs to happen so that we might all return to the same spinning globe.

    Kelly Weill is a journalist at the Daily Beast, where she covers extremism, disinformation, and the internet. As a leading media voice on the role of online conspiracy theories in current affairs, she has discussed Flat Earth and other digital fringes on ABC’s Nightline, CNN, Al Jazeera, and other national and international news outlets. She lives in New York.

    Shermer and Weill discuss:
    • how Flat-Earthism is ultimately a conspiracy theory about how NASA and the government are covering up the biggest secret in history,
    • how Flat-Earthism is a proxy for other conspiracy theories, such as 9/11 truth, QAnon, and anti-Semitic beliefs about nefarious Jewish organizations conspiring to achieve world domination,
    • Weill’s experiences attending Flat-Earth conferences and getting to know the believers in the theory,
    • Flat-Earth arguments and why they’re wrong,
    • how the new Flat-Earth theory is similar to but differs from historical ones,
    • the nature of belief: do flat-earthers really believe what they claim?
    • the binary/black-and-white thinking of conspiracy theorists,
    • the tribal nature of conspiracy theories (us vs. them),
    • the role of social media in propagating conspiracy theories,
    • Should social media companies be regulated? Broken up?
    • What about free speech?
    • how censorship of extreme conspiracy theories fuels their followers to recruit more members.

    If you enjoy the podcast, please show your support by making a $5 or $10 monthly donation.

  • #2
    Turtleback Spambot thinks the earth is flat!

    Comment


  • #3
    Originally posted by B-Large View Post
    Turtleback Spambot thinks the earth is flat!
    ...and that the moon landing was faked. 🤣

    Apparently, it's true that fundies are especially susceptible to conspiracy theories insofar as they've already made ample space in their heads for crazy ideas like those found in the Bible, etc.

    Comment


    • #4
      Originally posted by B-Large View Post
      Turtleback Spambot thinks the earth is flat!
      It's not? I for one think we are all sailing on the back of a giant sea turtle in space...

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by ElwayMD View Post

        It's not? I for one think we are all sailing on the back of a giant sea turtle in space...
        Lunar eclipse.

        Comment


        • #6
          Originally posted by L.A. BRONCOS FAN View Post

          ...and that the moon landing was faked. 🤣

          Apparently, it's true that fundies are especially susceptible to conspiracy theories insofar as they've already made ample space in their heads for crazy ideas like those found in the Bible, etc.
          It's so easy to debunk too. Just the simple questions raised by this one article torpedo's the whole thing.

          https://news.climate.columbia.edu/20...-would-happen/

          Comment


          • #7
            🤔 Left scientism
            Attached Files

            Comment


            • #8
              Left scientism 🤣
              Attached Files

              Comment


              • #9
                This sounds familiar.

                Robbie Davidson, who organizes the annual Flat Earth International Conferences, is a Canadian who espouses a Biblical worldview and opposes what he calls "scientism."

                You lose when you have to substitute terms to win like replacing science with scientism. Are you not confident enough in your argument against science itself?

                Comment


                • #10
                  Scientism is an unwarranted application of science in situations that are not amenable to scientific inquiry.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Originally posted by Ark View Post
                    This sounds familiar.

                    Robbie Davidson, who organizes the annual Flat Earth International Conferences, is a Canadian who espouses a Biblical worldview and opposes what he calls "scientism."

                    You lose when you have to substitute terms to win like replacing science with scientism. Are you not confident enough in your argument against science itself?
                    Gee, where have we heard that term before?

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Originally posted by Ark View Post
                      Scientism is an unwarranted application of science in situations that are not amenable to scientific inquiry.
                      Not sure such situations even exist nowadays.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by Ark View Post
                        This sounds familiar.

                        Robbie Davidson, who organizes the annual Flat Earth International Conferences, is a Canadian who espouses a Biblical worldview and opposes what he calls "scientism."

                        You lose when you have to substitute terms to win like replacing science with scientism. Are you not confident enough in your argument against science itself?
                        You just debunked their own thread. I have plainly stated many times I’m not proposing flat earth. You have falsely accused me of such. The Bible is about Jesus.

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by Ark View Post
                          Scientism is an unwarranted application of science in situations that are not amenable to scientific inquiry.
                          It helps to know the biblical worldview & theology. Satan is a created being. Powerful & with much knowledge. This led to pride and a fall (Ezekiel & Isaiah). In Satan’s fallen pride he believes that it is only knowledge which keeps him from being able to be his own god.

                          So, knowledge without God, hoping to be your own god. God proclaimed in Genesis that separation from Him leads to death. This turned out to be accurate. Satan still believes it is only knowledge that keeps him from being god.

                          Hopefully you can see the futility of the situation. Neither Satan, nor man will be god. Early science was founded by believers. They saw the laws and math as order by the Creator and thus it could be studied. Now, it largely excludes God to the point of censorship.

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Originally posted by B-Large View Post
                            Turtleback Spambot thinks the earth is flat!
                            Ark just said you lost. When you have to lie about someone, than you lose.

                            You cannot produce a single quote. I think that is against board rules. Defamation.

                            Comment


                            • #16
                              Originally posted by L.A. BRONCOS FAN View Post

                              Not sure such situations even exist nowadays.
                              Scientism is only a philosophical view. It's not right or wrong, and it isn't science. It's such an uncommon term that my computer thinks it's misspelled and puts a red squiggly line under it.

                              Comment


                              • #17
                                Originally posted by L.A. BRONCOS FAN View Post

                                ...and that the moon landing was faked. 🤣

                                Apparently, it's true that fundies are especially susceptible to conspiracy theories insofar as they've already made ample space in their heads for crazy ideas like those found in the Bible, etc.
                                A pre-existing condition! LOL

                                Comment


                                • #18
                                  Originally posted by W*GS View Post

                                  Lunar eclipse.

                                  LOL... that is awesome!

                                  Comment


                                  • #19
                                    Richard Dawkins ‘aliens’
                                     

                                    Comment


                                    • #20
                                      L.A. BRONCOS FAN

                                      Al Gore warns of melt in 5 years….get this…12 years ago 🤣🤣🤣🤣
                                       

                                      Comment


                                      • #21
                                        🤣🤣🤣 Click image for larger version

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                                        • #22
                                          Click image for larger version

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ID:	69554 🤣🤣🤣

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                                          • #23
                                            Don’t forget to make your $5 monthly donation

                                            Comment


                                            • #24
                                              Originally posted by L.A. BRONCOS FAN View Post

                                              ...and that the moon landing was faked. 🤣

                                              Apparently, it's true that fundies are especially susceptible to conspiracy theories insofar as they've already made ample space in their heads for crazy ideas like those found in the Bible, etc.
                                              The Bible was actually way ahead of its time when it comes to science, in many respects. But you’d never get that from reading Shellback’s posts. 🤦‍♂️

                                              Comment


                                              • #25
                                                Let's not confuse dishonest politicians with scientists.

                                                On 14 December 2009, during a speech at the Copenhagen Climate Conference, Gore cited newer research from the same group, saying: “These figures are fresh. Some of the models suggest to Dr [Wieslav] Maslowski that there is a 75 per cent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years.”

                                                That statement put Gore in hot water when Maslowski told the Times of London that his data did not allow for such a prediction:
                                                “It’s unclear to me how this figure was arrived at,” Dr Maslowski said. “I would never try to estimate likelihood at anything as exact as this.”

                                                Mr Gore’s office later admitted that the 75 per cent figure was one used by Dr Maslowksi as a “ballpark figure” several years ago in a conversation with Mr Gore.

                                                The claim that Gore “predicted” an ice-free Arctic in 2014 is a simplification of these events. However, Gore was definitely guilty in these cases of cherry-picking science or playing loose with the details of that science.

                                                Comment

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