Monday, March 14, 2016

The Scum Of the Flat Earth

I never like to paint any group of people with the same broad brush. But let me say this right now: if you are someone who thinks there is something to this flat-Earth idea, then there are people you need to distance yourself from if you want anyone to take you seriously.

I could talk about people who just spend time running people down, or leaving troll reviews on my book without having read it, or who go out of their way to twist words to "win" a point instead of actually proving anything.

But I don't have to go into any detail about any of that. All I really need to do is reproduce one meme. One disgusting meme from one low-life flat-Earther. Here it is:

Anyone who resorts to this kind of attack is not fit to lick the tires on Stephen Hawking's wheelchair. This is a man who has done brilliant work for decades in spite of a debilitating disease that would have ended a lesser man's life.

Meanwhile, the flat-Earthers sit in front of computer screens and re-post pictures of the Chicago skyline and troll tweets from astronauts and, if they're really ambitious, participate in Google hangouts while making fun of people who have actually done more to make their sorry lives easier than they will ever know.

When you encounter these people, do yourself a favor and run the other way. If you are one of these people, do us all a favor and climb back under your rock.

As for the rest of you flat-Earthers, it's time to put up or shut up. Stop with the cute (or offensive) memes, stop with the same tired arguments that Rowbotham failed with 150 years ago, and stop calling every one else's evidence faked or an excuse unless you can come up with substantial proof that the Earth is what you say it is.

If you really want to convince anyone, do your damnedest to disprove you own hypothesis. And I don't mean by watching YouTube. Think gravity is fake? Then devise a controlled experiment that can be analyzed by anyone, with full data disclosure, that shows how density and buoyancy can substitute for gravity. Do your own version of the Cavendish experiment.

Want to show that water doesn't curve? Replicate Wallace's version of the Bedford Level experiment, with witnesses, photographs, and full documentation. If you want to make it easy on yourself, do it on a frozen lake. Some lumber for a couple of towers and markers, a tall ladder, and a telescope. That's all you need. Have at it.

Want to explain sunsets on a flat plane? Don't run coins across the surface of a table; build a scale model of your flat disc, and photograph your sun positions from the ground. Publish your results, your assumptions, and your methods so that anyone can repeat them.

And if you try to prove the flat-Earth model by disproving the globe-Earth model, you have to keep two things in mind: first, you can't actually prove one model by disproving another, and second, you have to get every detail of the model you're disproving right. No taking pictures of the moon and the sun in the sky at the same time, and claiming that the globe model says this is impossible. No canards about how day and night should be shifted around every six months, or how a lunar eclipse should happen with every full moon. Do your homework, or go home.

If you are doing legitimate work, then the world will look and listen. But if all you can do is make fun of those who disagree, to tear down the hard work of great people to make yourself feel big and important, then you don't deserve to call yourself a seeker of truth.

You'll be nothing but a bottom-feeder. Or just the scum at the bottom.

ADDENDUM: The trolls have not only been attacking my book (no surprise), but my other book and my stories as well, and even a book written by my son when he was in the third grade. Honestly, is this the kind of behavior exhibited by true seekers of truth?

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