I recently watched a live broadcast from SpaceX as they performed yet another launch.
This one was of interest to me - as each of their developments tend to be. I watched as they succesfully launched and recovered both stages of a satellite deployment rocket, all automated - that was quite a thing to see. The most recent one, however, was the re-use of a first-stage rocket they had previously launched. What this means for the future of space travel and orbital engineering is a massive reduction in costs over time.
The space age is cool. But I digress.
What I noticed in the comments - and yes, I broke the rule of never reading the comments - was a significant amount of...what I hope was trolling, from supposed flat-earthers.
So I have spoken about conspiracy before. In my opinion the truth is almost always 1) visible if one simply looks and 2) worse than the theory itself. Quite often, they fall down at a very basic question, and that question is one word.
Let's take 9/11 being an inside job. Why would the administration do it? To justify war against several nations in the Middle East? If we cast our eyes back a few years, we find US troops kicking in doors and dragging folks away without needing a terrorist attack to justify it. Even after 9/11, the British people in particular didn't want war. It happened anyway, because administrations do what the hell they want when it suits them, and people protest and are angry and then nothing changes anyhow.
There's quite a few war-justification conspiracy theories, it turns out - including the US knowing that Pearl Harbour was going to happen ahead of time and letting half their navy get scrapped to justify war against Japan. Again. Why? We could take a lesson from how Hitler justified war against Russia and began Operation Barbarossa in June 1941. What did they do? Dress up a bunch of prisoners in Soviet uniforms and shoot them half a mile across the border. Simples.
Anyone remember The DaVinci Code? That's a nice theory too. Apparently a significant proportion of the New Testament and a large swathe of religious activity since has been put in place to conceal the fact that Jesus was married, had children, and that his bloodline is extant today. Again, we ask ourselves. Why? Except this time, we have nobody who really benefits from that being kept a secret. If we believe that the New Testament is gospel (fnyar) truth anyway, we're in kind of serious trouble - but half of the West thinks he was a blonde white guy anyhow, and now his apparent bloodline would be banned from entering the US.
Some folks think we didn't land on the moon, either - because we apparently didn't have the technology but we had to come across as beating the Russians, so after burning all the money and time we did on research on how to achieve what we (let's face it) did actually achieve, we then constructed the moon in a TV studio and just pretended. Six times. Even going so far as to fake a bunch of failures, make fake moon rocks and other assorted japes, just to keep the Russians from thinking they won the space race. Or at least, I think that's the motivation. I'm confused as to why we'd pretend about it.
Which leads me back to the flat earth.
There's been something of a resurgence in this particularly odd belief in the past ten years or so. Shaquile O'Neil has come out as being a flat earther - but then, the guy who founded Boko Haram was, too. You know, the terrorist group that abducted a bunch of schoolgirls.
As per the usual formula, The Truth is being kept from us. According to the theory, the earth is actually flat, and every single proof against that (of which there are a huge amount) are either constructed by those in power or coincidences. The entire scientific community is in on this, it appears - and by necessity, so must every single pilot and sailor be. Needless to say, there needs to be some serious bending of the laws of physics to explain how we're on a flat plane rather than a sphere, too.
So completely disregarding all of the evidence that even regular old folks like you and I can access - the earth casting a round shadow on the moon causing a crescent moon, the horizon actually being curved and that curve being more pronounced the higher up one goes, that kind of thing - the biggest question I find myself asking is...why?
Why would we be lied to, about the earth being flat?
Who actually benefits from that? Whose power relies on us believing the world is round? Whose profits demand that we believe it, and act in certain ways? Which organisation has the time and resources to pay off essentially the entire world to make us believe that the earth is round, and why the hell would they bother?
I can understand why people would want to think 9/11 is an inside job. It's easier than the truth - that it actually happened the way we think it did, that a bunch of hijackers achieved their goals (mostly) and did a lot of damage. I don't understand what comfort or solace or happiness can be achieved by believing the earth to be flat.
So I'm genuinely curious. Does anyone who reads this blog believe the earth to be flat? If so - why? And why wouldn't it be round?
Just a thought.