Flat earth

Five Live interviewed one of the blokes from this organisation on the radio last night.

He claims we live in a sort of snow globe - a flat disc (obviously quite a deep disc) enclosed by some sort of barrier. The antarctic wraps around and keeps all the water (oceans) in. He didn't actually say what shape it is.

The entire space programme is a fiction from US / USSR to keep the true story quiet.

They say that since this is true, the whole thing was created by some other (clearly) external force / deity / race.

Bonkers?

JamieWednesday posted:

Um, we do know.

I certainly hope so, otherwise the spherical trigonometry I learnt and practiced whilst studying Astronomy at University was all for nothing. 

Hang on a minute though, I'm pretty sure I haven't used spherical trigonometry since I left University, so perhaps it was a waste of time after all, and after all it was a long time ago? 

Maybe it was all a con trick and Terry Prachett was right all along?

Seriously, like you, I reckon that quite a few of the people in the interview may indeed have discovered irony. However, there are almost certainly an unfortunate few, possibly those who rely on Breitbart, Trump or Wikopedia, (sorry Richard) who genuinely do believe.  

 

Scientists and cyber philosophers have put up the speculation that our complete understanding of reality is none other than virtual programming by some higher intelligent aliens. We and what we know is some ultimate hologram confection.

Perhaps a flat earth dome paperweight for some high ranking super being.

http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTIwMFgxNjAw/z/X5MAAOSw9uFW-awv/$_1.JPG

Yes, I did mean ~4.5 billion years, not million. 

Slip of the keyboard (or the brain).

Of course, I could always start a new cult centred around a 4.5 million year old earth.

By the way, does anyone live on the other side of our flat Earth? I guess that's a daft question - they would simply fall downwards, wouldn't they?

Hmack posted:

Yes, I did mean ~4.5 billion years, not million. 

Slip of the keyboard (or the brain).

Of course, I could always start a new cult centred around a 4.5 million year old earth.

By the way, does anyone live on the other side of our flat Earth? I guess that's a daft question - they would simply fall downwards, wouldn't they?

We all do !

Gravity acts upwards on us ! It's the Earth's gravity that acts downwards - 'cos it's heavier !

Don Atkinson posted:
Hmack posted:

Yes, I did mean ~4.5 billion years, not million. 

Slip of the keyboard (or the brain).

Of course, I could always start a new cult centred around a 4.5 million year old earth.

By the way, does anyone live on the other side of our flat Earth? I guess that's a daft question - they would simply fall downwards, wouldn't they?

We all do !

Gravity acts upwards on us ! It's the Earth's gravity that acts downwards - 'cos it's heavier !

Ah, but do those in the Flat Earth believe in the laws of Gravity?

Surely our conventional laws of gravity would be incompatible with the concept of a flat earth, otherwise the flat earth would very quickly become a sphere, and we can't have that, can we?

Hmack posted:
Don Atkinson posted:
Hmack posted:

Yes, I did mean ~4.5 billion years, not million. 

Slip of the keyboard (or the brain).

Of course, I could always start a new cult centred around a 4.5 million year old earth.

By the way, does anyone live on the other side of our flat Earth? I guess that's a daft question - they would simply fall downwards, wouldn't they?

We all do !

Gravity acts upwards on us ! It's the Earth's gravity that acts downwards - 'cos it's heavier !

Ah, but do those in the Flat Earth believe in the laws of Gravity?

Surely our conventional laws of gravity would be incompatible with the concept of a flat earth, otherwise the flat earth would very quickly become a sphere, and we can't have that, can we?

....it would be a complete "balls-up"..........

....science would never be insane again

I wonder if the flat-earth people believe the sun is flat as well.  In fact, is anything truly spherical?  It's all very confusing.  The fact that anything at all exists, from atoms with Naim written on them, flat or otherwise, to supernovas, defies all logic known to humankind.  The existence of matter cannot be explained.  The shape of it is less of a mystery, though perhaps is perspective dependent.  Those debating whether the earth is flat need to start thinking out of the box, and find something deeper to really keep them awake at night. 

SongStream posted:

I wonder if the flat-earth people believe the sun is flat as well.  In fact, is anything truly spherical?  It's all very confusing.  The fact that anything at all exists, from atoms with Naim written on them, flat or otherwise, to supernovas, defies all logic known to humankind.  The existence of matter cannot be explained.  The shape of it is less of a mystery, though perhaps is perspective dependent.  Those debating whether the earth is flat need to start thinking out of the box, and find something deeper to really keep them awake at night. 

you mean like "bottomless pits", "black holes" and "ghouls"

Don Atkinson posted:
SongStream posted:

I wonder if the flat-earth people believe the sun is flat as well.  In fact, is anything truly spherical?  It's all very confusing.  The fact that anything at all exists, from atoms with Naim written on them, flat or otherwise, to supernovas, defies all logic known to humankind.  The existence of matter cannot be explained.  The shape of it is less of a mystery, though perhaps is perspective dependent.  Those debating whether the earth is flat need to start thinking out of the box, and find something deeper to really keep them awake at night. 

you mean like "bottomless pits", "black holes" and "ghouls"

Actually, I was thinking of the lovely Naim strap-line 'Go Deeper'.  So many connotations.

SongStream posted:

I wonder if the flat-earth people believe the sun is flat as well.  In fact, is anything truly spherical?  It's all very confusing.  The fact that anything at all exists, from atoms with Naim written on them, flat or otherwise, to supernovas, defies all logic known to humankind.  The existence of matter cannot be explained.  The shape of it is less of a mystery, though perhaps is perspective dependent.  Those debating whether the earth is flat need to start thinking out of the box, and find something deeper to really keep them awake at night. 

They believe the sun is only a hundred miles from the earth.

Anyone remember the Hamlet cigar advert fron the 1970s, starring Avon from Blake's 7 as Columbus sailing towards the horizon, declaring the world round?

For those that don't remember, the series of Hamlet adverts were based around someone doing something normal and falling victim to circumstances, cueing lighting up a cigar and accompanying music (Bach's Air on a G String). in this case the trigger was the appearance of the waterfall at the edge of the evidently flat Earth, the end of the film being them sailing over the edge with Avon drawing blissfully on his cigar. I've just googled and it was apparently 1979, and is available on uTube. I haven't seen it since it was aired all thise years ago, but I can still hold the images in my mind. 

I wonder why no one has provided definitive proof by launching a weather balloon from somewhere closer to the edge of the world; using it to raise a camera pod with a 360° fisheye lens and photographing the edge of the world from an altitude of about 120,000ft.

That's really a very simple thing to do and the technology has all been available since the 1960s.  50 years and still no one has done this; not very enterprising these flat Earthers.

In theory that might  work, presumably appearing as an oval extending far more one way than the other. But first it is necessary to decide where is near enough to the edge, and I’m not sure anyone’s decided yet.  However, even once that is decided and the ballon sent up, gravity would pull the centre bottom of the camera assembly to point towards the centre of the disk that is Earth (Greenwich), and so the optical distortion would present Earth as a disk even though viewed from near the edge.

IB, it will work as...

1  The disk will appear as an ellipse (instead of appearing as a circle).  Note that only the ratio of the major and minor radii needs to be established as we're not here trying to determine absolute dimension only relative geometry.

2  The rectilinear distortion of a fisheye lens is predictable and deterministic.

Deconvolving the image using these two mathematical models will yield the precise shape and layout of the earth.  The inclination of the camera will also independently detect if there is a different between the geometric centre and gravimetric centres of the earth (and my thanks for pointing this out!).

If a set of rectilinear corrected optics are additionally present then these can be used as an independent check on the deconvolution process detailed above.

An alternative, and even better, approach would be to launch a rocket that could carry cameras - maybe even a manned one? - to go round the back of the disk and see what’s there...

Oh, that has  already been tried... But of course the outcome has all been lies and conspiracy to hide the truth of the Earth being flat (fake news in today’s parlance). And that of course will be the cause of your proposed approach similarly showing the world as disk centred under from any greatly elevated viewing position, due to genuine photos being ‘got at’ and tampered with to create an illusion the world as a disk.

 

I'm more than a little bit worried now!

I may be heading out to Australia for a short time next year, and it has occurred to me that Australia might be a little too close to the edge of the World for comfort. Does anyone know what would happen if my aeroplane travels a little bit too close to the edge on my journey, or heaven forbid, actually strays over the edge. What would be my chances of surviving as catastrophic an event such as this? 

Using a rocket doesn't work, it's exactly the same as circumnavigating the world.  The rocket doesn't go underneath the disk, all that happens is that it flies round in a circle above the world (the same applies whether you go turnwise or widdershins).


Also, don't forget that when flying in a commercial airliner, comparing the appearance of the horizon at low altitude to the appearance of the horizon at high altitude isn't a valid test either...

The lower pressure at high altitude distorts the cabin and particularly distorts the plastic windows, so causing the horizon to appear curved even though it's not actually curved.

Hmack posted:

I'm more than a little bit worried now!

I may be heading out to Australia for a short time next year, and it has occurred to me that Australia might be a little too close to the edge of the World for comfort. Does anyone know what would happen if my aeroplane travels a little bit too close to the edge on my journey, or heaven forbid, actually strays over the edge. What would be my chances of surviving as catastrophic an event such as this? 

Don't worry, it can't fly off the edge, all that 'll happen is that it will get turned around and start flying round the edge (see previous discussion of the rocket for details).

It might still run out of fuel while doing it though - and if that happens then there's always the risk of it falling into the ocean and getting dragged over the rim-falls, never to be seen again.  All that remains of such aircraft are just some odd bits of debris that get caught and churned around in the eddies near the rim (those eddies are otherwise known as the roaring 40s).  This is why some aircraft have just 'disappeared'.

It seems as though the ice barrier sometimes called Antarctica is incomplete and there may be passages under the ice to the rim falls.  This explains why submarines have been able to pass under the north pole, but haven't managed to pass under the south pole.

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