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Stories from the Week
4 babies got herpes from ‘oral suction’ at circumcision
Anti-vaxxers wage war in Conn., lawmaker calls vaccines “witches brew”
Ted Cruz unwittingly makes himself pro-choice with outrage over vasectomy bill
Flat Earth Community Undeterred by Death of ‘Mad’ Mike Hughes
Ann Vandersteel: Is the Coronavirus a British/Deep State Plot to Prevent Trump’s Reelection?
Trump Names Mike Pence to Lead Coronavirus Response
Trump Has a Problem as the Coronavirus Threatens the U.S.: His Credibility
Fun episode; let’s all hope it still seems funny a year from now, when the COVID-19 pandemic has (hopefully) burned itself out.
I don’t think the Flat Earthers are necessarily stupid. They’re committed to a bizarre fantasy (which tends to open up all sorts of other conspiracy theories) and some of them are brilliant in the mental pretzels they twist to try and maintain that belief, because it serves a purpose for them somehow. I don’t know how to explain that kind of delusion, but I don’t think it’s just being dimwitted.
A lot of historians say banded mail never existed (that it’s just misinterpretation of an artistic convention). But I like to think it might’ve.
The way it was explained to me back in high school, in the late 80’s (yes, I’m more ancient that Noah), is that the Flat Earth Society was a rhetorician society. Members would pick a point that everyone knew to be false, and they would defend and “prove” the point as far as their rhetoric skills would allow. Basically, they were a bunch of cranks who loved to argue. A favorite hobby horse argument was “the earth is flat”. When interviewed and asked if they really thought the earth was flat, they would do a lot of verbal hand waving like “Oh, well it’s in our name, so that must be the case!”. But, when pressed, they would admit the joke and that it’s just being silly. The main point was honing rhetoric to craft a believable argument. It’s basically a debate club where accuracy doesn’t matter.
So, no, they didn’t believe it. They just saw the flat earth argument as a sort of “rite of passage”.
Though I’m sure you can see why “a debate club where accuracy doesn’t matter” would take hold in our society.
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