Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Go sit in the corner

Humorist Eric Snider pointed me toward an interesting web resource called ConservaPedia. This is like a free, user-edited encyclopedia for very stupid people who vote basically the same way I do.

As Eric points out, stuff like this is one of the reasons that many left-leaning folks feel comfortable stereotyping right-leaning folks are not very bright. I thought the article was funny, but I decided I should go check it out the site and see if it was as goofy as Eric made it sound. (He's a very funny guy, so things often sound sillier when he talks about them.)

Conservapedia proved to be a lot dumber than I expected. Among my favorite nuggets of idiocy is the claim that the earth is flat, as proved by Bible passages about the "four corners of the world." Personally, I don't take passages like this so literally, but to my way of thinking even if you really want to take it literally, you have to consider a couple of other possibilities. Which is really what I want to talk about today.

First, if the world really has four (and only four) corners, and it's flat, then this tells us not only that the world is flat, but also that it is a quadrilateral of some kind. So it's not a hexagon, for instance.

But we run into some problems. For instance, the Bible does not say that the earth's four corners are angled at ninety degrees. So, assuming the earth is flat, we are still left with a very interesting question: What shape is it? I mean, you could have a parallelogram or a trapezoid, which I think we all would agree are much more fun to think about than a square or rectangle. You could even get some kind of funny straight-edged boomerange shape, right?

But let's set this aside, and move on to intriguing possibility number 2. Again, assuming that we have a flat earth with four (and only four) corners, we still don't know that these corners are on the outside. They could be on the inside. So maybe the world is a vast, infinite plane with no corners and no ends on the outside, but with a big square hole in the middle, with four corners. Why not? This fits the Biblical requirement just as well as anything else. The hole is a bit problematic, because the water would all pour through, but I'm not sure how square-flat-earthers handle the water problem, either.

Because, if you think about it, unless the world is completely flat, then it has more than four corners. Like, if it's a square box deep enough to hold the oceans, then it has eight corners. There's only four on the top, true, but there's eight overall, which is more than the Biblical specification. Of course, maybe the square is not completely flat. Maybe it's deep in the middle-- like maybe the world is a square, but it's flexible like cloth, and it's being held at the corners by angels, but in the middle it's full of water and land and animals and such. That way it's still got only four real corners, but it allows for a three-dimensionality that the original, square, totally flat earth model doesn't allow.

And speaking of three-dimensionality, here's a third interesting possibility. Assuming that the earth has four (and only four) literal corners does not mean that it has to be flat. If the earth was a pyramid with four triangular sides, then it would still have four corners. (They wouldn't be ninety-degree corners, but the Bible does not specify the angle, so I think we're still within the specifications.) So why not a tetrahedral world?

So, if there are any flat-earthers among my imaginary readers, I would be pleased to hear which of these various models you favor. Although I think a careful, and of course, excruciatingly literal reading of the Bible forbids commenting on blogs. Which, I think, is why Blogger has disabled this feature on my blog. Thanks, Blogspot!


Sunday, March 25, 2007


Looks like my stupid free commenting thing has died and taken all my comments with it. Bummer. Sorry, imaginary readers. I'll try to get something worked out ASAP so you can once more share your wisdom with the world.


(UPDATE 03/27 : I'm attempting to turn on the Blogger.com commenting feature, but it looks like it won't do anything for my old posts.)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Firely season 2

It looks like an independent production company is trying to give us a second season of Firefly, the best gorram science fiction show of all time. And they're bringing it back, because it is just too pretty for us to let it die.

So unless you want to go to the special hell, please fill out the survey and let them know you want to see this show get re-launched.



Friday, March 16, 2007

The New York Times crushes my dreams again

Seriously, when I read things like this, I remember a tale of my late-marrying uncle. Upon being told that marital bliss was, in fact, not 100% bliss 100% of the time, he allegedly shouted something like, "Don't spoil the illusion! It's the only thing keeping me going!"

I feel you, dog. I feel you.


Friday, March 02, 2007

Ravaged and plundered

"What have they done to the earth? What have they done to our fair sister?" I don't know, but I'm pretty sure I know whose fault it is.



(UPDATE : Related.)