Cui Bono

“Who benefits?” The all-important question to ask in almost all matters.

But today I refer to it specifically in relation to conspiracy theories; to be more specific, those involving the Flat Earth.

Due to past proclivities, YouTube frequently tosses out conspiracy-related gems in the “recommended” pile, and of late there’s been quite a few tied to the Flat Earth. Most are tied to Elon Musk’s latest stunt. Most are about as intelligent as you would expect. (My favorite so far claims you can see the angles on the edges of the planet where they touched up the photo to make it round.)

Now I’m all for questioning things, regardless of how 100% true we may think they are. I’m also for believing – if only for a moment – some whacked out things and the conspiracies related to them because it’s fun. Evidence my interest in all things JFK, Jack the Ripper, Black Dahlia and Roswell.

But goddamn the Flat Earthers take the cake. My problem with them isn’t that they believe it. It’s that they come up with the most asinine explanations for that belief, and are unwilling to do simple tests. They’d rather sit there and claim NASA has been doctoring photos for the last century – never mind that NASA didn’t exist that far back, be gone, you troublesome facts! – or that all our measurements are messed up because we’ve been lied to these many hundreds of years so you “can’t” go in a straight line, or that gravity doesn’t exist, so if the world was round, everyone in China or Australia would just fall off in their best Sandra Bullock impersonation.

They claim there’s a magical ice wall (which us stupid globe theorists believe is Antarctica) that holds all the water in, while the Arctic North is actually just an island in the middle. But they can’t prove it, because NASA and the UN have a legion of boats that patrol the area and shoot anyone or anything down that tries to get close to prove it.

Aside from the idiocy of that statement – where’d they get the boats? How come nobody has seen them? Who was preventing this discovery before NASA and the UN existed? – there’s a real simple answer. You think a magic ice wall is keeping the water in and makes sure our lovely little disc, banana slice, cookie tray or other totally-flat-and-in-no-way-round planet stays in proper order?

Show me the ice wall.

“But we can’t, because NASA!” they scream. Really? We have telescopes that can probe the surface of Mars in hi-def. You’re telling me they can’t point at something that is, at best, a few thousand miles out and show me where it falls off the edge or is kept in by magic walls? What, is it completely invisible? Okay, then show me the boats, planes, radar dishes and secret alien bases keeping the truth from us. Surely you can do that, right? I mean, on a flat plane with the proper zoom you should have no trouble at all finding that, right?

It wouldn’t matter that all our instruments are tuned wrong, either due to mistake or design, because you’re not relying on planes correcting a circular path when we think they’re flying straight. Do a full 360 panoramic in a giant field in the middle of nowhere. Australia or Africa should suffice. It’s gotta be there somewhere, right?

But aside from all that, and wanting them to prove it besides via poorly researched and misunderstood concepts, there’s a real simple question they need to ask.


Cui bono? Who benefits? NASA and the UN, they say, because all that money that’s supposedly going to space flight and exploration, all the money they’re using to study the solar system and beyond or to contemplate terraforming Mars or the moon, is actually lining someone’s pocket or being spent on weird black ops to find the central core of the Hollow Earth and make peace with the reptilian overlords who dwell there or some other shit.

Okay. Fine. Who was to gain from this 2300 years ago, when the idea first started gaining popular traction? What did it matter or benefit ancient Greece to say the world was flat, round or a giant potato crisp floating in the sky? What did it continue to benefit the Italians and British when they came to the same conclusion? Where was the gain for America before NASA came along?

Show me that – with proof, if you please – and maybe we’ll talk. Maybe. Until then, maybe you should get that telescope going.

KA Spiral no signature

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