A Recent Idea
If you have spent any time scanning around the web you may well have come across the idea that the earth is flat. No this is not a discussion of an ancient mythology of some sort which modern historians have not really pinned down but which makes for great sectarian fodder in the intermural Christian battles.
Actually this is quite recent. I have heard of the existence of flat-earthers for several years and although my curiosity was piqued, it was not sufficiently aroused to seek out this phenomenon.
A Place for Bizarre Ideas
I know there are some bizarre ideas on the web, and quite frankly, that is a good thing generally. The web is a good place for such things to get aired and critiqued. We should not let anyone get away unscathed from having to demonstrate or prove their ideas. That goes for the “mainstream” as well as the fringe. Just as in a court of law an expert witness must meet certain standards, we should not accept anyone’s analysis or theories about anything without some establishment of expertise or authority.
Our sources should be available to all for examination. Having said that, I have never been a big fan of the “de-bunkers” whose mission in life is the destruction of ideas and arguments just for the sake of that destruction because it is their mission. I find that in their quest for new material they have a tendency to run on a bias track of their own, and they get sloppy, often stooping to the attack of the presenter of an idea rather than the idea itself. So inevitably we all then have to measure the messenger into the equation. This in short hand can lead to glib dismissals, and often angry and vitriolic exchanges where persons are attacked and ideas are totally irrelevant.
What a track record of deception or error on the part of a particular messenger should do for us is heighten our awareness and sharpen our wits when evaluating a specific message from that person. If over time we discover this to be consistent we may well then decide to avoid any further ideas from that person. And that is fair. We only have so much time, and if an idea or statement is really off the wall or bizarre, we may well not have any interest in pursuing it.
I say all of this as a general overview because not long ago I was asked this very question. How do you separate the truth from the BS on the web? The answer is, not always that easily. And the truth is that we all have authorities that we trust and right or wrong we have to start from there. It is much the way that Dr. Jordan Peterson describes the balance of chaos and order, recognizing that we start from a place of order and step into chaos in measured amounts in order to learn, to change, to grow. It is the chaos that brings the new ideas, and it is the structure of order that makes sense of them.
So what is the point of all of this and what about the flat-earthers? Well, I have found that one of the ways to filter ideas on the web is to use a kind of rule of thumb. Come to find out that the underlying principle of this rule of thumb is in the Hermetic principles, or Natural Law as some would call it. Without going into the detail of those principles I have developed an instinct of sensing the extreme. That is to say that when an idea carries itself into an extreme, and further tends to interpret the world around it always and only through that lens, I become very cautious.
And of course, whenever you are researching, particularly on a platform like Youtube, be wary of the expressions, “what they don’t want you to know“, “what they don’t want you to see“, “what has been concealed from the public for X amount of time” and my favourite, “watch this now before they ban it from the web” and a whole host of variations of the them. Those titles are known as “click-bait” like the news oriented sites using “breaking news” or “so-and-so owns so-and-son in epic confrontation” or basically any kind of extreme characterization of the feelings or motivations of the people in the video. Usually quite mundane.
Generally speaking, when motivations dire are attributed to someone else to catch your attention and investigate, you will find that the content is a pale representation of the extreme claim of the title.
So What About the Flat-Earthers?
What made all of this come to mind is that I accidentally ran across one of the sources for this flat earth phenomenon and at first I didn’t even realize it. This guy, by the name of Michael Tellinger, may well be the originator. I don’t know, but he certainly is an advocate.
Magnets and Levitation
I was looking on Youtube at some videos demonstrating some of the lesser known properties of magnets and in particular the way they act with respect to copper plate. Quite fascinating. This led into at look at magnetism generally and what it is, and also the levitation that can be achieved with magnets and copper.
The key word “levitation” brought up a video in which Michael Tellinger advances a principle of a Toroidal field or sphere that surrounds a magnet and he also shows the principle that some kinds of insects use to fly which more closely resembles levitation than the airlift that we associate with winged flight of birds, etc. He advances that the idea that it is sound that creates that levitation effect when using certain shapes in an array. From there he speculates that the builder of the Coral Castle, a mystery to this day, used this principle to move extremely heavy blocks of coral into place.
All of this is reasonable speculation, although I would like to see someone demonstrate the use of this principle. It may be true but to my knowledge, other than the builder of the Coral Castle, nobody in recent times has done so, and he did it in secret. If it is true it would be awesome technology to know.
Taken To Extremes
When we follow Michael Tellinger we find that he is combining the principle of the Toroidal field with the idea of sound based levitation to base most of his theories. And in the end it is the Toroidal field principle that leads him to see the earth as flat, in the heart of the sphere. Immediately I realized, when seeing this, was the error of taking a newly discovered principle and then applying it to everything in the universe. It is quite possible that this principle in action is all around us and there are possibilities and applications as yet undiscovered in the use of this principle. I would love to know more in the practical sense, but it is this universalist enthusiasm that leads to the conclusion that the earth is a flat disk, despite the evidence that most of us have seen all of our lives and can see in more pronounced effect from the window of a passenger jet.
And then, of course, we find that Michael Tellinger is not just someone studying new ideas and seeking the explanation for old events in ancient history, a worthy venture, but we see that his ideas have taken him into philosophy, politics and even into creating a town in Africa. It has some of the appearance of a cult in fact. In some ways Tellinger discredits himself. I can understand his enthusiasm but I definitely think he has overshot. I would say that a little sober reflection on his theory should tell him that it is not universal in the sense that it is the overriding principle of the universe, but rather it is one more part, however significant and exciting.
In this way, someone in a hurry will encounter these ideas on magnetism and sound and once they get to the flat-earth theory they will write off the entire package. Sad, because it looks like there is more to be seriously researched. But as long as people like Tellinger fall off at the deep end the really interesting study into the effects of sound frequencies will be left to those that may or may not have been able to connect this idea with the achievements of the ancients, which I think is the one of the most exciting parts of this.
Instead they write it all off as the ravings of a flat-earth cult leader.