Questions for Flat Earth Discussions

  • Questions for Flat Earth Discussions

    Posted by Omnivore on December 29, 2023 at 5:49 am

    Hi, folks–I know this is weird–but I’m in a discussion with people who believe the earth is flat (not a joke!) and claim to have surveying / construction backgrounds. I have some questions about surveying documents and I’d like to ask a surveyor for some help here.

    Example Question: In the transcontinental Triangulation (https://geodesy.noaa.gov/library/pdfs/Special_Publication_No_4.pdf) There are measurements of Observed Angles (pg. 589 in the PDF) with greater than 60 arc-seconds. I’m given to understand this is notation that was used, but I don’t understand it. Can someone explain this?

    In the same document, on Page 19 (20 in the PDF) there is a line “After rejecting values which were clearly inadmissible on account of local configuration, the following corrections were made to the positions first adopted . . .”

    The flat earth guys claim this means they threw out everything that ‘proved the earth was flat’–while it certainly doesn’t say anything like that, I’m wondering if anyone here can shed more light on what that means.

    I’m sorry if this is the wrong place to ask these questions. If it is, if someone could point me to a resource that can better answer them, I’d appreciate it.

    Thanks,

    -M.

    Omnivore replied 3 months, 2 weeks ago 9 Members · 17 Replies
  • 17 Replies
  • peter-lothian

    peter-lothian

    Member
    December 29, 2023 at 6:42 am

    Q: Why are the flat-earthers analyzing minutia of document that has been superceded a number of times in the past 123 years by superior measurement technology, methodology, and mathematical calculating capabilities?

    A: Because they just looking to yank people’s chains.

    As to your specific questions – one observation on that page is reported with greater than 60 seconds. Big whoop. The author may have intended this, or it may have been a typo. Subtract 60 seconds, and add 1 minute to the values shown. The math still works.

    About rejecting some values from the “deflection of the local vertical” from the calculations – the scientists found the measured values unrealistic. Probably outside the 3-sigma value of a normal distribution for the measurements, so relegated to the error category of a blunder, and thus discarded. Perfectly acceptable use of statistics in a multitude of disciplines.

    Tell your flat-earther friends that their time would be better spent playing video games in mommy’s basement.

  • Omnivore

    Omnivore

    Member
    December 29, 2023 at 7:02 am

    Almost all the measures in that document have more than 60 arc seconds. It isn’t a typo–I THINK it’s the way they did the notation back then (not “carrying the excess”)–but if someone knows the history, I’d like to understand it.

    As to what these guys are like: NO–they absolutely believe it. Some of them have cognitive dissonance because they realize how absurd it is–but trust me on this: until you encounter these guys, you just cannot have an idea how bad this is.

    The bad part is that they are spreading it–like a kind of degraded religion, they attempt to spread the flat-earth idea and they are better at it than you probably imagine is possible. I’m doing my part to make this hard (it happens in online spaces). But in order to do it, I need to be able to answer questions about these documents.

    Like I said, the notation seems to be the way turn of the century surveyors did it–but I don’t know why. I’m hoping someone here can maybe point me to a surveying historian or provide the material?

    Thanks. I’m not trying to be annoying here–It just looked like this is the place to go and ask.

    -M

  • Omnivore

    Omnivore

    Member
    December 29, 2023 at 7:06 am

    Oh! Also, I wanted to say: I am the one who selected this document because it shows, as I understand it, large area measurements with spherical excess. They claim the “Observation” measures are somehow manipulated to create spherical excess when they don’t have it from the natural measurements.

    But before I can use this to show how large area triangles come out to more than 180 degrees, I need to be able to understand why the notation works like this.

    If there is a better document that shows the same, by all means: please point me to it!

  • lurker

    lurker

    Member
    December 29, 2023 at 7:34 am

    Equally as foolish as believing the earth is flat is believing you can change the belief of the flat earthers by reasoning with them.

  • Omnivore

    Omnivore

    Member
    December 29, 2023 at 7:52 am

    There’s a lot of truth to this–but I’d like to be able to answer the questions. Are these super hard questions? Is there a historical source you can point me to which might be better?

  • RADAR

    RADAR

    Member
    December 29, 2023 at 8:28 am

    You can show a flat-earther facts; but you can’t make him think…

    But the earth is hollow; because you can’t prove that it isn’t!


    I hope everyone has a great day; I know I will!
    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by RADAR RADAR.
  • peter-lothian

    peter-lothian

    Member
    December 29, 2023 at 8:46 am

    “Almost all the measures in that document have more than 60 arc seconds.” I only looked at the page you quoted, and only one measure showed greater than 60 seconds in that column – 15 Mount Como shows 66.636 seconds. I didn’t look at the other pages, so I don’t know how you are coming up with “almost all”.

    I also thought you were addressing specific criticisms of this document from some flat-earthers. Sorry for my misunderstanding.

    Trying to explain geodesy to a layman is challenging enough. I wouldn’t waste my time with a flat earth fanatic.

  • holy-cow

    holy-cow

    Member
    December 29, 2023 at 9:24 am

    Show them the post squirl provided a few days ago showing flat-earther surfers falling off the edge of the Earth. It was in Off topic, chit chat forum.

    Posted by squirl on December 21, 2023 at 7:31 am

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by holy-cow holy-cow.
    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by holy-cow holy-cow.
  • Learner

    Learner

    Member
    December 29, 2023 at 10:09 am

    stand here

    HW77+R2 Glandore, County Cork, Ireland

    at the Drombeg standing stones. You can see the ocean on either side of the ridge and see the curvature of the earth…

    It doesn’t hurt that it’s beautiful too.

  • lurker

    lurker

    Member
    December 29, 2023 at 10:19 am

    Big time speculation here but I wonder how the units were read on the instruments they used. If you used say 1 vernier to obtain the degrees and then another to obtain the minutes and finally a third to obtain the seconds. Then it would be very possible to read to the minute and have a range of seconds that exceeded 60 for the reading on the final vernier. Again I have zero knowledge of what was actually being read to obtain the angles.

  • Omnivore

    Omnivore

    Member
    December 29, 2023 at 10:41 am

    Thanks for the help–I appreciate ppl taking time out of their holiday to even consider these questions 🙂

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by Omnivore Omnivore.
  • rover83

    rover83

    Member
    December 29, 2023 at 11:33 am

    Eh just show ’em the Thorntonbank wind farm:

    https://flatearth.ws/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/wind-farm.jpg


    “…people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.” -Neil Postman
  • Learner

    Learner

    Member
    December 29, 2023 at 11:42 am

    Cool images, Rover.

  • OleManRiver

    OleManRiver

    Member
    December 29, 2023 at 12:08 pm

    The seconds are more than 60 is for simplicity in math. For accruing angles and to apply the corrections which can take it above or below the 60 seconds mark.

    The same can happen for minutes or degrees. We all know that there is only 360 degrees in a circle. But in note keeping for geodetic work turning multiple angles you could double that. Easily. Doing the math in your head or on a piece of paper turning 16 sets with a 1/2” instrument. Later all would be reduced and such but for in the initial stage. Locking and unlocking plates made it just easier. It is also why many tried to never zero on object as you would be more likely to blunder the math. We turned 16 direct and reverse with an old wild digital transit. It could keep adding the angles as we measured on the 4 quadrants. So seconds added no transferring to minutes same for minutes degrees. It was purposely set up that way when running a certain routine. We recorded nothing digitally only by hand. On a form not a field book. After all corrections were made and data was deemed good the reduction would take place.

    As far as the flat earth folks are don’t loose sleep or time arguing. They are in another world most of them. Some just fall to the prey of those who influence them. I mean this was solved back in the 14 or 1600 lol.

  • BStrand

    BStrand

    Member
    December 29, 2023 at 12:22 pm

    Rather than give them answers that they’ll probably just ignore I would ask them what the point of tricking people into thinking the earth is curved would be. Or feign ignorance on the matter and ask them why it even matters whether the earth is round or flat. And then pick apart their responses the dumbest ways possible to give them a taste of their own medicine.

  • OleManRiver

    OleManRiver

    Member
    December 29, 2023 at 12:47 pm

    LOL that’s awesome. I like your style.

  • Omnivore

    Omnivore

    Member
    December 29, 2023 at 8:21 pm

    Thanks everyone. I think I’ve gotten what I needed. I appreciate the help! Happy new year (almost!)

    -M.

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