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How to tell a flat earther from a comedian

If our planet were spherical and rotated, airplanes could not fly. This is the plot of a Tik Tok video in which a young man wants to convince us that the Earth is flat. In his speech he uses as an example planes that fly “from Spain to Teruel”, but that will never reach their destination: if they travel in the opposite direction to the rotation, they will go too fast and will pass by; and if they fly in the same direction, “they will never get to the place” because the Earth goes faster and escapes.


you can do it at home if you want it is very easy. #cristiandelatierra #parati #fyp

♬ original sound – La Gorda

Don't panic: this is a humorous and parodic video, the work of @cristiandelatierra from Cádiz. On Twitter it has been received between applause and laughter, but more than one has taken it seriously and has put it as an example of how bad we are, with comments such as “friends, finish your studies” or “and that these people have the right to vote. ”

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Yes Someone has doubts, they can go into their account and see that it is full of funny videos, including a few with very good material on conspiracy theories. For example, in another of them he explains that it is a lie that there is a hole in the ozone layer because if not, all the oxygen would have escaped. To confirm this, he proposes an experiment that “you can repeat at home”: breathe.

Even so, we should not make the mistake of laughing at those who have taken this comedian seriously. Many of the responses to the tweet that popularized the video mention the Poe's law, according to which it is very difficult to distinguish an extreme ideological position from its parody. This law was coined in 2005 by Nathan Poe, during a discussion about creationism in a forum. In fact, the original text refers only to these ideas: “Without an emoticon that winks an eye or some other clear display of humor, it is completely impossible to parody a creationist in such a way that someone cannot confuse him with one of truth. ”

At the end of the day, what Cristian exposes in his video is not so different from what many flat-earthers say. For example, these conspiranoids have very long dissertations about what are the “real” routes of airplanes and insist that a spherical Earth is absurd because that would mean that in Australia they live upside down. No kidding, they have their own memes about it and they mean it. At least so I think.

In fact, it is not difficult to turn any conspiracy theory into a joke without changing a single letter Like the idea that we are inoculated with chips in vaccines or that Stanley Kubrick filmed the arrival on the Moon. But this is not all to laugh at flat-earthers (for once), but as a reminder that all hype is bordering on self-parody. If we don't know if someone is joking (or if someone believes that we are) it may well be because the debate has become so disfigured that we are losing contact with reality.

And that usually happens often in politics and in networks, among many other topics and without the need to get into conspiracies. For example, a few days ago the deputy of Vox Macarena Olona shared a video in which she assured that “Don Julio Anguita, nowadays, of whom he would be deeply proud is Vox.” Was he serious or was it a sketch of The intermediate? Another example: a company fires 900 employees for Zoom. Was it real news or a dystopian satire in the style of Black Mirror?

Like many tweeters with the false flat Earth, I find it increasingly difficult to distinguish. Although, without a doubt, I would prefer that half of what I get was a joke that I did not catch.

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