Part of a series of posts of ideological turing tests.
I had originally intended this post to be first in the series, as an illustration. Then suddenly the existence of alien life was in the news, so I went with that one. But I already had this written, so figured I'd post it.
Ideological Turing Test
It is plainly obvious from immediate observation that the world is flat. This is the position we all start with, and have to be brainwashed out of. But I need to be clear about exactly what a "flat Earth" means.
Firstly, "flat" doesn't mean smooth like glass -- there are mountains, hills, valleys, etc. That's quite apparent. Flat here is more describing the earth's topology, that the Earth does not wrap back around itself. A flat sheet of paper, and one that has been crinkled or crumpled up, are topologically identical.
Many people think that by a flat Earth we mean that the world is shaped like the Mercator projection map your school teacher used to put up. Then it's easy to make the argument, flight times from Main to France are much much shorter than flight times from Panama to Senegal. Whether you measure it in time, in distance, or in fuel expended, it's always more from Panama to Senegal, than Maine to France.
Obviously this wouldn't make sense if the Earth were shaped like the Mercator projection. But that doesn't mean the Earth isn't flat. It just means the Earth isn't shaped like the Mercator projection.