Who knew that there were still a lot of flat-earthers still around? But there are apparently enough to merit a convention in Birmingham. Not a very big convention though. This is the first Flat Earth Convention in the UK and around 200 have attended. I get this information from today’s Observer magazine.
The main belief, obviously, is that the earth is flat and round like a pancake. So why do we not fall off? Because it is surrounded on all sides by the Antarctic, a huge impassable wall of ice. (Clearly the explorers who made it to the North and South Poles were delusional or made it all up.) The whole things is protected by a dome and is not hurtling through space but rooted to one spot.
Another theory is that the earth is not round but diamond shaped and supported by huge columns. Better still. If you walk off one edge you will appear, through a strange quirk of time and space, on the other side. Now that must be really confusing: you trip off one country and find yourself in another.
I find myself wondering if the conventioneers have read Terry Pratchett’s Disc World books. They could stand as a kind of bible for the flat-earthers.
Those who attend the convention are not old fogeys who gone a bit do-lally. Young people attend and search their phones for photoshopped images of the earth as seen from space, because, of course, flat-earthers are another kind of conspiracy theorists and often believe that other similar “lies” have been told to us over the years, if not centuries.
They are also people who have found a meaning to life by discovering the Flat Earth movement. They tell how they were “bored and frustrated with life”. As a rule, they feel better for having had their flat earth epiphany. One of them says, “I think a big part of it is to do with lies we’re being told. And not being in control of your own life.”
So it’s all part of a protest movement is it? I bet they’re all Brexiteers as well.
Quote different from the conventioneers are the rich men with super-yachts who, when the whim takes them, send their chef off in a helicopter or seaplane to purchase a particular item of food they fancy for lunch. Althpugh theybprobably don’t believe they can sail off the edge of the world, theirs is still an entirely alien way of living.
If a boat is big enough to need an elevator between floors, can it really still be called a yacht? Indeed, does a yacht have floors?
Life is said to be less than super for the people who work on these super-yachts. Why do they put up with it? Because it is often their dream job. Crazy people!
Yesterday I read about De Clérambault’s syndrome:- a well documented mental illness, a delusional disorder in which the affected individual, most usually a woman, falls in love with a man, with whom she has little or no prior contact, and convinces herself he is in love with her. The man is often older and of higher social status. I was reminded of the film “A la folie, pas du tout” (English title: “He loves me, he loves me not”) starring Audrey Tautou. A young art student falls for an older man, decides he is also in love with her and almost wrecks his life. I never knew it was a recognised mental condition!
The world is obviously full of mad people, convinced that their belief is the true one. I am tempted to say that they are mostly harmless but, unfortunately, some of them affect the world runs.