The internet is a wonderful thing. Much of the worlds knowledge at our fingertips. Blogs and online hangouts a plenty. It is wide open spaces for anyone with a desire to learn or explore. The information age is great.
The misinformation age though not so much.
I just recently encounted an avid flat earther who is also very religious, probably a YEC. And very much a crank. What is a crank? My definition would be someone who holds very firm opposing belief in areas where the evidence/understanding of the topic at hand is pretty much settled. They hang on to these beliefs despite the tons of evidence that shows they are mistaken. Often they will become highly agitated, aggressive, and relentless in their attacks on anyone holding a more rational view. And they will never ever admit any possibility they could be in error. They cling to these erroneous beliefs like a dog with a ham bone and will snap at anyone that gets close. There are lots of topics available for your friendly neighborhood crank to take up, but I will focus on the flat earth today.
The flat earth claim is a non starter for most of us. We already have a good understanding of the spherical shape of our planet based on many areas of study and evidence galore supporting the fact our earth is a sphere. Now the crank will handily dismiss this evidence. They will proclaim we have bought into the BIG LIE, we have been duped, deceived, NASA is in on the coverup! Only they (the crank) know the truth!
Now I encounterd my crank on Nans blog, (hi Nan!) and I made no attempt to hide the fact I was incredulous to their claims. They latched onto me like a dog with a ham bone and have been leaving me some interesting posts (if you are into the pathology of a crank) on my blog. I put them in the trash where they belong, but will reproduce them here as an example of crankism. Here we go:
“Evidence based shell? What do you know about EVIDENCE?
Perhaps you have SEEN evidence that the earth walked a quarter mile to pick up a can of tuna………oh wait, you HEARD……………by others who ASSUMED………….who heard by others who SUPPOSED………..who agreed with others who ‘did the math……………….’ who pretended to ASSERT………that your so-called ball spins @ 1,040 mph, orbiting at an alleged 67,000 mph…………
………while not person has ONE drop of EVIDENCE…….but a thousand THEORIES……………that the earth is guilty of the highest crime.
You crack me up. Evidence. A man who disavows the Creator, pretending to speak of Design…………
Your so called evidence is about as useless as a dictionary without words.
Gotta love the immoveable foundations of the earth, founded upon the floods………….as sure as true science testifies, and as sure as the good book so eloquently says.” (end of comment)
First note the overuse of the caps and the extended ellipses. Now let’s look at the assertions. First an insult to get started, since my blog is titled Evidence Based Reality, what would I know of evidence? Then this: “Perhaps you have SEEN evidence that the earth walked a quarter mile to pick up a can of tuna” I have to admit I don’t even know where this nonsensical claim came from, I probably don’t want to know. When it comes to the mind of a crank you probably do not want to delve deeper by asking questions 🙂
Next we get to the heart of the matter, that the rotation of the earth on its axis at 1040 mph, and its trajectory around the sun, which is roughly moving on that trajectory at 67,000 mph, is all the BIG LIE!
Then let’s with a sweep of the hand, dismiss all of the good scientific evidence we have for a spherical earth with this: “while not person has ONE drop of EVIDENCE…….but a thousand THEORIES……………that the earth is guilty of the highest crime.” Evidence is meaningless to a crank that has all of the answers don’t ya know?
Now this: “You crack me up. Evidence. A man who disavows the Creator, pretending to speak of Design” Again this one seems to be out in left field, as I do not speak of design, though I am an atheist. So we can give them a half right here.
Again a quick dismissal of the evidence with the hand wave: “Your so called evidence is about as useless as a dictionary without words.”
Finally a biblical reference with this: “Gotta love the immoveable foundations of the earth, founded upon the floods” I think when you start with the premise that your magic book is the end all be all source of facts, you have a flawed premise. One that requires the bending of reality to fit your preconceptions. I would posit that this behavior might be a key point, at the very core, of the emergence of a crank.
Now this: “as sure as true science testifies” Please note the assertion of the true science, but none forthcoming. Cranks have all of the true science, they just never have any to show you.
Now here is the other post retrieved from the trash, for your perusal:
Congrats digs. You have entered the realms of the hypocritical. You post about an alleged ‘globe,’ (global warming haha) then accuse someone of ‘derailing’ your post because you cannot with a straight face answer the criminal charges made by yourself.
Congrats. All atheists everywhere should be proud. Next stop: more shallow name calling, baseless nitwit comments, and a complete ignoring of what lies stare you in the face. Way to go, but its ok, I have ten thousand atheist clocks /i have cleaned in my basement, don’t need another rusty and broken one of yours. lol (end comment)
More of the same really. Insults, projection, the Big Lie, nonsensical claims of criminal charges, and finally a gross overestimation of their prowess. The hallmark of the crank. Note I did not name my crank. Most of you know who it is, I personally refuse to allow them any notoriety here. Although I don’t mind if it comes up in the comments.
You cannot afford to waste your time in discussions with fools. As the aphorism goes: never argue with a pig; bystanders won’t understand and it really irritates the pig.
The person’s comment is nothing but a long-winded statement equivalent to “you are wrong.” No rationale was made, so no response is necessary. It appears much like two children arguing (yes you are, no I’m not, yes you are, no …) who have forgotten what they were arguing about.
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Right. That has become my default position as soon as I realize I’m up against cranks, kooks, or crazies. It is best to ignore them (as hard as that is to do sometimes)
The other old saying being “never wrestle with a pig, you get all muddy, and the pig likes it.” I do my best to deny the pig the satisfaction it is looking for. As we know it is a no win situation, just walk away.
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I think the best action is to edit their comment in your favor before posting it. Change it up a bit to suit your liking. Christians do that all the time in real life so it should be a welcome gesture. 🙂
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The “Oh No Ross and Carrie” podcast has recently done a five-part series on the flat-earthers. It’s really entertaining! First episode is here: http://ohnopodcast.com/investigations/2017/11/7/ross-and-carrie-traverse-flat-earth-part-1-pizza-shaped-earth-edition
I’m giving it a listen, but if it continues to loop segmetns I’ve already heard I’m going to lose my friggin mind. 🙂
I haven’t had that problem, but I don’t know what platform you are using. I just click “download” and listen on Windows Media.
Yeah, me too. Just my usual luck rearing its ugly head. I am fine with it, been with me as long as I can remember. I feel sorry for my kids who inherited though.
I have a hard time thinking he believes what he spouts. I think Poe. Hugs
Could be a Poe. But I hold in reserve the possibility that people exhibiting this brand of personality issues, do exist. So could be a Poe, but also could be something quite real. The world may never know in this case.
Hugs back at ya 🙂
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I actually find this person rather comical with all his “flowery” defense of something he thinks he knows about. However, he does tend to wear out his welcome in a hurry.
For the most part, I’ve found it best not to engage in discussion with him — altho’ I recently did because he tried to avoid answering a direct question. (He never did answer it.)
Probably the best way to deal with individuals like this is to simply ignore them. If they don’t get feedback, it takes away all their fun.
Merry Holiday! 🙂
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Well now that I know what we are up against, this was my first interaction with the individual, I agree. Not engaging in conversation is probably the best course of action.
I noticed the tendency to avoid answering questions too. You may recall I asked twice if the sun revolves around the earth, and instead of answering, they pressed forward with more nonsense.
The attention I think is part of the allure for individuals like this. So while it’s best not to engage, that works on two fronts. It denies them the interaction they crave, and it pisses them off that no one takes them seriously enough to argue with them 🙂
Merry Holiday, I quite like that! A Merry Holiday to you as well Miss Nan.
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More info is available than ever before but certainly not smarter.
What a funny/not funny post. I didn’t even know flat-earthers were a “thing” until a couple months ago when I stumbled across one. I was absolutely dumbfounded by his claims. I said we had pics from space which clearly showed planets as spheres…to my astonishment he said all the space pics were LIES from the government. Then he went into crazy christian ranting, which is my cue to disengage, but holy crap that was an online experience I won’t soon forget. After googling I was dismayed to find out there’s actually a flat-earth movement and of course it’s driven by christians.
And here I thought the YECs were the worst-case scenario. I stand corrected, and it almost gives me the urge to pray to the non-existent god to save us all. Jeebus Christ!
Yes, it is strange knowing they actually exist! When there is a lot of compelling evidence (I mean lies from the gubmint) to the contrary.
I’m pretty sure as far back as recorded history, they knew or stronlgy suspected the roundness of the earth. To deny it now with all of the modern tech (I mean lies from the gubmint) is beyond silly, bordering on the insane.
Something about not being able to reason a person out of a place they did not reason their way into…I think.
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Sorry it took me so long to catch this comment needing approval 😃 You are now wholeheartedly approved and most welcome!
I sometimes wonder, do people… no sorry, mentally-ill characters… prefer to be “Shock Jocks” ala Howard Stern or the worst, Rush Limbaugh for attention-seeking personality disorders? The behavior is most certainly in the DSM-5 and is manifested in this form by this guy. Hmmmmmm. 🤔
There is some sort of personality order issue of one kind or another, perhaps a combination of a few, I’m sure. I’m not sure if they are in it for notoriety or they really are this messed up… Either way there is an odd engine there as a driving force that most people would not understand when they run into it.
I have no degrees in psychology, but I was married to a gal once that made me pretty good at spotting the tell tale signs of multiple personality disorders. ( Look up schizoaffective disorder) , better yet, here:
It ain’t pretty up close and in person, it ain’t pretty when I see signs of it on the net either. In fact there are times I suffer from a tad of PTSD when I run into these people, it isn’t much more than a apprehensive gut check and some blood pressure elevation, but I sure as hell notice it.
Dealing with delusions, and massive bi polar swings, would inevitably start an argument that was impossible to win. You can’t argue with one holding a delusion, and the answers or accusations they give you come in off topic or out in left field. Or if they sense that you are effectively countering their position with good logic and reason they immediately jump to another deluded position.
Remind you of some internet exchanges with religiots? It’s bad enough on the internet, but you can get up and walk away from the internet. If the problem is in the house with you and is fucking relentless, it can get ugly.
That gal commited suicide somewhere around 20 years ago or so. We had 2 kids, I spent probably around 15 years with her (we were young when we got together, and this disorder starts to show anywhere from early to late teens in women, I had no idea what I was getting into). So…like I said, I have no formal degree in psychology, but I pretty well know when I run into the phenomenon… when I get the apphrehensive gut check it’s time to find the door. I’ve been there and done that. 🙂
IMO, psychology (or similar) degrees will never take the place of up close and personal.
Sorry you had to go through the experience … glad things are better now.
Thanks Nan 🙂 I had lots of up close and personal.
I often felt like a prisoner of war in that relationship. I stayed on for the kids, it was hell.
Again, thanks, and I’m steal- borrowing Scotties line…
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