Video: Flat Earther questions congressman and NY gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin

Originally published at: Video: Flat Earther questions congressman and NY gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin | Boing Boing

1 Like

Flat Earthers fell off the edge of the planet long ago.


With the Big Lie/Qanon contingent of the GOP taking over it will be interesting to see Lee Zeldin ostracized because he doesn’t believe in a flat earth or whatever other nutty thing they come up with next.


There should be more assertion of the syllogism: So you firmly believe in this outlandish evidence-less story so why do you unaccountably refuse to believe in this other evidence-less fantastic story? Believe that “trump won” (so you must) believe in “reptilian aliens live amongst us” kinda thing. (at the risk of pulling in all religious beliefs [ironic grimace emoji])

We really need more high-school level coverage of The Demon Haunted World sort of skeptical awareness.


I can’t even listen to the guy’s impassioned nonsense for its amusement value. What a tiresome waste of minutes of life on earth for every person there. Perhaps most of all the conspiratheorist espousing the theory.

I should have a different frame on it. Maybe I’ll try and apply that. This set of notions at least keeps the speaker entertained. It keeps politicians on their toes, exercising the skills for diplomacy they will need to deal with randomness in the populace.


Just a reminder to this death cultist MAGA candidate that there’s always someone with a crazier conspiracy theory out there.


“It’s the newest, hottest thing.”

Oh shit, did we Groundhog Day and it is 2014 all over again?


I am honestly baffled by these people.

Even if you take the conspiracy theories as a whole, these are on the batshit insane side of the scale.

If you have to perform mental gymnastics on an effort level 10x more than just the theory being false in order to justify it, your ‘theory’ is garbage…


On a related note, getting a notable amount of ‘chemtrail’ lunacy here in the UK lately…

I mean really, you’re saying that worldwide EVERY single airline and maintenence company kept this secret, that said chemicals are secret and manufactured in bulk with no leaks at all… seriously?


Flat Earthers are your reminder that conspiracy beliefs do not respond to evidence.

Every average person’s response to this kind of story is along the lines of “well how do they explain…” or “why don’t they just look at….”.

You cannot change these peoples’ minds with evidence, any more than you will convince a QAnoner that there’s no pedophilia ring in the basement of a pizza shop that has no basement. We have to address the way people think, and help with the pain that people are in which leads them to thinking this way. For those who can’t be reached, they must be marginalized and deplatformed.

Conspiracy thinking is never an information gap. Everyone always thinks it is, and that information will solve it.


Zeldin is Q adjacent, he’s not neccisarily vocally pushing it. But he’s involved with Marjory Taylor Green and close to a bunch of other Q-Nuts. He came out of the tea party wave, and is a hardcore Trump lackey. Heavily involved in promoting the big lie.

There’s a pretty good reason a flat earth guy would want to approach Zeldin about this.


Some of the big names are just grifting. They are too invested financially they just keep up the facade.

There are several examples of Flat Earthers managing to do real science and proving a round earth and they are just like, “Huh… interesting…”

Two best examples were the guys doing the light through holes in a board at different heights experiment, And the most damning, Bob Knodel’s 15 Degree per hour drift measurement with an expensive, high tech gyroscope that showed the earth was rotating.


I’d give good odds evangelicals will latch on to flat-earth nonsense - they fall for everything else.

Related - it’s been discussed here on BB - but there is an alarming correlation to flat-earth and racist ideologies. Maybe the stupid self-replicates…


Sure, but it’s a mistake to think they all are or even that most are. Most people I’ve talked to about Flat Earthers think they are all somehow joking or don’t “really” believe this stuff, but that dismisses what is a dangerous and very real cognitive issue in our society.

But importantly, they didn’t change their minds. They have a moment of cognitive dissonance, then brush it off because the belief system is too important to their identity. You can see this happen in real time on Oh No Ross and Carrie’s deep dive into that scene. They go out with a group doing those experiments and nobody changes their mind. You can see the dissonance on the face of a lady in the Netflix documentary about them when she encounters evidence like that. She doesn’t change her mind either.

Again, it is not an information gap problem and assuming it is will lead you astray about the seriousness and solutions to this problem.

Stop telling yourself comforting excuses to cling to the belief that people this off track cognitively can possibly exist. They do and we need to deal with them. These are the people who stormed the capitol on Jan 6 and think school shootings are staged. It’s the same people thinking in the same broken ways.


Yeah, I agree with your point. I think Bob is a grifter, but the other crew who did the light experiment (forgive me, I don’t remember who did that) are still true believers I think. And more importantly, the thousands who watch their own flat earth experts (grifters or not) debunk the flat earth don’t have an epiphany. It just gets shuffled out and “Water seeks a level!” just gets parroted louder.

I follow SciManDan who debunks flat earth and the other myriad tin foil conspiracies out there. Everything from free energy, to mud floods, to every rock vaguely shaped like a thing is a fossil of that thing.

While some people have reassessed their views and broken free, too many need literally cult deprogramming, which you can’t really do on a wide scale. :confused:

So yeah - while flat earth is “haha, look at the idiots”, the “Election was stolen/staged school shootings/Q Anon/etc” types are dangerous. And there is considerable overlap.


The candidate handled it pretty well. He gave a professional and calm response.

Is this person just doing this get a rise out of people or for satire? or is he a true believer? Is the distinction important anymore?

My guess is, he’s a true believer because he needs it emotionally.

He needs to believe he has key and important knowledge about something that many do not…because that means he is important. It means he can be an important protagonist driving an important story. He is now a spirited crusader fighting a deeply important fight for the truth. All of which also makes it important for people to listen to him.

Basically, wounded narcissism. This way he can just feel right without needing to do much work at all. Just look at evidence on a superficial level, and then rationalize away any contradicting evidence or opinions.

From what I can see, it’s clear that modern conservatism caters to this emotional state. Fox News and other conservative outlets also have monetized it - pull in viewers and keep them within their garden by playing on this need to feel valued, validated and vindicated. Of course all commercial media can do this. But most other outlets have business models which related more closely to verifiable evidence.

I’m sure I’m not the first to connect this to Alvin Toffler’s “Future Shock” thesis. Money made and political hay derived by providing an emotionally soothing balm to the ego, to people who are tired of learning new things and hurt by a world that seems to be proving much that they grew up with is wrong.


Where is Col. Buzz Aldrin when you need him?


“I don’t believe the Earth is flat because I’m not stupid.”
“Hey! Are you calling me stupid?”
“That’s right, well done!”
…Tirade of verbal abuse follows…
“Okay, security, get this nut out of here!”


I honestly think the answer to the second question is ‘no’. We worry way too much in politics about whether someone’s beliefs are sincere or not. Especially on the right, if beliefs are “sincere” then they are automatically demanding of respect and accommodation.

However motives matter way less than actions, IMHO. This guy is going around harassing people and voting away peoples’ rights for his stupid purported beliefs. It doesn’t matter if the beliefs are real or not. What he is doing needs to be stopped regardless.

Alternative medicine practitioners and “psychics” are another example. Much ink is wasted on whether these people truly believe in their treatments and abilities. It doesn’t matter. The harm is real either way, and the harm has to be stopped. I don’t care why they say they believe stuff.