The world is flat!

The problem with irony is that it all too often gets tangled up and lost in the conversation, and then people start losing their senses of humor.

But the world is flat.

Unless you live on a mountain, when you walk outside, the ground is flat, and, as far as your senses reach, the flatness is fairly uniform.

Even if you live on a mountain, it is the fundamental flatness of the world that allows you to get around the mountain without everything turning into fun-house changes in the direction down.

Of course, there are those of us who have experienced the larger world. Some people actually work in the larger context on a daily basis -- pilots, both of the air and of the sea, architects, particularly those who build things on the scale of skyscrapers and sports stadiums, astronomers and astronauts, etc.

But even those of us who don't deal daily with the curvature of the earth, if we consider the larger context and the smaller, local context we live in, it becomes clear that the sense of the earth extending around us forever has limits. And if there are limits, the earth must be an object with a center. And if there is a center, down will be towards the center. Anything else makes no structural sense.

And that all means that the local flatness implies roundness in the large.

Irony abounds in nature, as well.

What does that have to do with freedom and the costs thereof?

There is no conflict between the local principle of flatness and the global principle of roundness. The two principles are expressions, in context, of a single physical principle.

The (appearance of) paradox or (impression of) irony results from not understanding, or not thinking about the larger context.

One of the greatest tools of the enemies of freedom is the principle applied out of context.

Another of the greatest tools of the enemies of freedom is the argument between people who insist on seeing only one context.

Do the flat-earthers have a leg to stand on? Some of them are sincere. Sincerity may not be an excuse for being wrong, but that's not the point.

Those who are sincerely arguing against the popular understanding on any principle are arguing for the validity of their point of view. They are defending the validity of their local context.

Think this through. Let's go back to stepping out your front door. (Or even rolling out of bed.) Unless you have some really unusual job, you do not think about the roundness of the earth when you wake up and get out of bed, nor when you step out the front door. Well, you might, but you don't have to. The roundness of the earth is mostly irrelevant to your daily context, and what relevance it has is indirect.

You are not going to be re-orienting yourself to the changes in the direction down on a minute-to-minute basis. You have a local context, and in that context, the earth is flat. (Unless, for example, you are currently living in the space station up there.)

The natural tendency for water to swirl clockwise or counter-clockwise in a drain, and the general wind current forces which result from the rotation of the earth are indirect evidences. When you have to make an adjustment to those, it is not an adjustment of the direction down. In the case of a cyclonic storm, you may adjust by such things are going down into your storm cellar, but the direction down is not changing while you do so. Unless you live in Kansas and your name is Dorothy or Toto.

Your local context is valid, and you don't want to set the flatness of it aside just because the earth is round in the larger context.

Your local context is valid.

You may not be understanding it perfectly, and you may not be operating perfectly within it, but, if you have to adjust, you have to make the adjustments yourself.

Others can't adjust things for you, even in the rare case that they are completely right and you are completely wrong. But that's a topic for another rant.

Local, individual context is valid.

Therefore, freedom is a social axiom, even if you can't bring yourself to accept it.

And social attempts to abridge individual freedom, whether by attempting to remove choice, or by attempting to remove consequence, are not without contrary effect. (But that rant is for another time.)

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