I had the pleasure of watching this documentary the other day. It was a lot better than I expected it to be. It gives a lot of insight into the growing flat-earth community and the history behind it.
It actually reminded me of a few years back when this movement was really taking off. I watched several flat-earth youtube videos. That was a fascinating rabbit hole to say the least. Youtube probably sent me there because I was watching other conspiracy stuff like 9/11 and friends.
This guy is basically the main focus of the documentary. Apparently, he is pretty famous within the community. He talks about himself a lot and even has a t-shirt that says, "I am Mark Sargent". His fame within the community goes to his head a little bit. I'll give him a free pass. It feels like this community he's built around himself is a huge part of his life.
"I couldn't leave even if I wanted to."
Many within this community even go so far as to say they can't leave. These outcasts have formed bonds with each other and don't have anywhere else to go.
This documentary tries to stay unbiased but it definitely leans toward poking fun at people who believe in in a flat earth. It would have to in order to be palatable to a wider audience. I was actually expecting it to be a lot worse, but towards the end very good points are made in favor of avoiding elitism.
Surprisingly, the best point made in the documentary is that insulting the intelligence of people who believe in conspiracies is the worst thing mainstream society can do. These people aren't dumb, intelligence is not the issue. When you run around ostracizing people for their beliefs this is extremely counterproductive behavior.
You can't build bridges and engage in healthy dialog by calling someone a fucking idiot for their belief system. The superiority complex that the vast majority of scientists have is a far bigger problem than the people they are criticizing. This applies to all walks of life. I would say doctors are the worst. Atheists are a close second.
I myself am an atheist. I think religion was co-opted by the elite thousands of years ago. It is a means of control. The message has been tainted. Send your money now.
I think the multiverse is far too complicated for the human brain to comprehend. Religion is either completely made up or serves as a gross oversimplification as to what is actually going on around us.
But that's just what I believe, and I seem to be in a small minority. What practical purpose could it possibly serve to insult those who think differently? My delusions of grandeur are already strong enough as it is, thanks.
They never bring up religion in Behind The Curve, but I feel like this is a Christian thing. Correct me if I'm wrong, it just feels like this is a faith-based conspiracy theory. For whatever reason, you have to start out with the idea that the Earth is flat and then set out to prove it.
This encourages strong confirmation bias. The truth is a moving target. If you keep shooting in the same place one is bound to miss. If you want to know the truth you have to be willing to change your perceptions based on the evidence presented.
However, I think we can all agree that there is a lot of weird stuff going on with NASA and outer-space in general. It's not hard to see why people would start coming to some pretty wild conclusions.
Division in the ranks!
My favorite part of the documentary was finding out about the argument of whether our flat earth has a dome or not. That really cracked me up.
How could anyone believe XYZ?!?! They must be fools!
Honestly, my experience with people who believe in outlandish conspiracy are actually "smarter" than average. There are multiple kinds of intelligence, so I might be playing favorites here, but it takes a lot of intuition and extrapolation to go against what you've been told and come to a new conclusion.
The irony of global thinking.
Conspiracy theorists are global thinkers. They start with sweeping generalizations and try to deduce how the world works by using this top-down approach. From this perspective, it's easy to see how a smart person using critical thinking can come to a wrong conclusion.
We know that money rules the world. We know that very few people have a lot of money and are willing to do anything to get more. We know that controlling information has always been important throughout history; now that we are in a digital age this is exponentially more true. Data has been monetized and weaponized.
What do you get when you add all these facts up? Literally anything. You can't trust ANYTHING! If profit or power can be gained from manipulating perception, then we must assume that is happening. We all have to pick and choose what we believe and hope we are right. Oh, sweet irony that it was "global" thinking that brought flat-earth conspiracy into the world. How marvelous!
If you know for a fact that the Earth is round, which one is worse:
- Believing the Earth is flat.
- Believing everything you are told.
No matter what we believe, we have more in common than not.
Robust diversity is just as important as solidarity.