Having an open mind is a beautiful thing. At our weekly staff meetings, Bourke Accounting employees are encouraged to share ideas. Whether it’s a proposal for a new business-related practice or a philosophical concept, all thoughts are welcomed (this extends to clients, too). Lively debates give us the opportunity to peek into each other’s minds while making things a lot more interesting.
It was during one of these meetings that someone mentioned the Flat Earth Society. I’ve heard of people who are convinced that our Earth is flat, but I never really gave it much thought. Without any study, I – perhaps evidencing a narrow mind – considered the idea on par with Lizard Men from Outer Space and 5G mind control.
Back around 500 BCE, the ancient Greeks deduced that our Earth is round. Since then, we have come to accept that we live on a spinning ball. However, in 1881, Samuel Rowbotham published Earth Not a Globe, a book arguing for the flat earth premise (Wikipedia.org). Rowbotham came to his conclusion using the “Zetetic method.” This belief system suggests that “sensory observations” are the only observations that can be trusted (Livescience.com). Therefore, if you perceive that the Earth is flat, the only possible “deduction is that it must actually be flat” (Livescience.com).
Stunningly (and incomprehensibly), the concept of a flat earth is gaining wider acceptance; YouGov reported that about one third of Americans (aged 18-24) believe our world is flat (Phys.org). Social media influencers, musicians and athletes are among the newly indoctrinated (Phys.org) and they are loud.
When confronted by any conspiracy theory, I always ask who gains from having the masses believe the party line and why do “they” want us to believe it. According to the Flat Earth Society’s website, the who in this case is every single government. The round Earth lie started during the Cold War, when all countries faked space travel to keep up with each other’s “accomplishments” (TFES.org). When the Cold War ended, the Flat Earthers contend, “space travel” programs continued to provide “them” with vast sums of money to embezzle (TFES.org). That’s right, every “astronaut,” pilot and official are all in on it.
Also, oceans don’t drip off into space because what we call “Antarctica” is actually the name of the huge sheets of ice that encircle our floating plate. No one has been there and pictures purported to be taken there are photoshopped. Not to mention, NASA guards the edges. With weaponry (Sciencesensei.com).
But, Sue, we can see other planets and they look round, so why would Earth be different? That’s easy: “Earth is not a planet…as it sits at the center of our solar system above which the planets and the Sun revolve” (TFES.org). Since Earth is so unique, it is folly to compare it with anything else we can observe in the night sky. Question answered.
Believing that the Earth is flat is pretty harmless. Although, in February 2020, “Mad” Mike Hughes – using a homemade rocket in an attempt to snap pictures of a flat Earth – did accidentally kill himself (Globalnews.ca), but this is not the norm. Flat Earthers are a calm bunch and, while I don’t share their belief, I’m happy these people are around just to make things interesting.
Feel free to discuss your unconventional views with your Bourke Accounting expert (if you can change Bill’s mind concerning anything, I will personally give you a dollar). Bourke Accounting specialists are a perfect mix of traditional bean counters and innovative iconoclasts; Bourke Accounting reps are able to think outside of the box while keeping a healthy respect for the box.
Written by Sue H.