Date: Mon, Jan 22, 2018 at 8:54 PM
Subject: Still in Turkey
We have been busy in a leisurely way for the past few months. Nothing much worth writing about. We got residence permits for two years so that we can come and go without worrying about visas. We were told that there was no minimum maximum lengths of coming or going but afterwards found information that indicates that if we stay away for more than 6 months it would invalidate the permit. So we need to take a closer look at that. We need to take Alegria outside the country to reset her 5 year permission to stay but right now the weather is not very conducive.
Rain and excess wind every few days. Last night we had hail. The only weather windows have been on the weekends which, of course, means dealing with officials outside normal hours. So we have used that as an excuse to sit tight and wait for better weather during the week. I must admit, though, that we have not checked to find out whether our assumption is correct, that there are extra costs to doing paper work on the weekends! We also have been doing preparations for the outing at a snail’s pace. To the point where even with a weather window during the week we might not be able to go out. Dave got the prop cleaned enough but that was a month ago so it probably needs redoing.
A couple of days ago we had a fascinating call from a guy on FB. We had gotten really curious about the thinking of Flat Earthers, and Dave had gotten into an exchange with one who, not being able to defend his position, simply called him names. He moved on to another believer and posted a question. Instead of getting a written response, the computer rang! Never had that happen before. It was 4 AM his time but we ended up spending an hour (?) talking with him. It was fascinating. I would sum up my take of him as openminded, courteous, brainwashed, evangelical. He was certain of his position based on his logic and the conviction that we were duped by our lying government. He was the first flat earther we have talked to who was able to articulate his position and actually acknowledged some of our points with “that’s interesting” and seemed to be trying to figure out how to square it with his views.
As near as I can understand him, he started out with a belief that the government could not be trusted. They lie all the time. So that created doubts about the claim that the earth is a globe. I mean come on, how can anyone be expected to believe that New Zealanders could live upside down on the bottom of a globe and not fall off? Anyone knows that kids have to hang on to the spinning merry go round or get flung off, so why should we believe that we can spin so much faster on a global earth and not get flung into space or even feel the centrifugal forces? And when presented with the issue of boats dropping over the curve of the ocean, it is dismissed at “perspective” by which I believe he means “optical illusion”. I mean, it is pretty obvious that we can’t trust our eyes — because of perspective – when parallel railroad tracks appear to converge in the distance. Water is ALWAYS flat, there is no way that it could be shaped like a ball (unless frozen) and if it appears to be, then that is just another example of “perspective”, i.e. optical illusion.
All the arguments in the world won’t help him overcome that childish logic because his trust in the explainers is zilch. There were a couple of times when he actually acknowledged that there were internal inconsistencies in his view but a lack of understanding of some points did not translate to a problem with his view but only with his understanding of it. At which point he admitted that he was going on faith. On his belief in God.
He remained polite, acknowledged that we had different views, did not call us stupid, but did seem to be convinced that if we studied the correct information from sources better able to explain reality, then we, too, would ‘see the light’.
He did understand that there are people deliberately trying to confuse people so that they would not know what to believe, including themselves, and would trust no one. The puzzle to me, is why he decided that the flat earthers were not in that category. I can only figure that basic science and math never made sense to him. Other wise he said things that made total sense, and we had the feeling that he was not shy of brain cells.
Meanwhile, we watch with disbelief the childish behavior of partisan bickering not only on FB but also in the hallowed halls of Congress. The ruling oligarchy has definitely gotten the hang of multiple tactics for maintaining their monopoly on power and access to ever more wealth. Divide and conquer. Fear. Mix fact with fiction to create self doubt and confusion. Attack every little pushback. Overwhelm. Wholesale spying. Overrule rights. Ignore laws. Election fraud. Harp on the negative.
Scarily, maybe we are underestimating the effect of poor schools, poor nutrition, and poisoning. If we are as smart as we like to think, then why could we not explain the global earth to some one willing to listen? That is really scary.
I want to plan for a better future rather than just slow down the march to a worse one. With many people fearful of too much change too fast and everyone arguing over what we would like that future to be, it appears that we are stuck. With discussion limited to sound bites and ‘likes’, ideas are not being generated as fast as they could be. We ARE making advances on all sorts of fronts and I need to stay positive and believe that we will find solutions in the time available. Talk about a leap of faith!
I’d be interested in your view of a ‘better world’. What would it look like?
My grandfather who was a Wa State senator told me while out working on the oyster beds, “if you are not a crook when you go in, you will be when you get out”. Speaking of Gov’t of course. Perhaps any position of power. That has stuck with me since a very young age. I have often wondered if this earth is not just a stepping stone, as we move into the cosmos. Will we want to take the crooks my grandfather mentioned, and the fellow Dave and Robin mentioned, or will we want to take only kindred spirits to our little spot in the universe? If we take the kindred spirits, how many of them will work out the way we would like? Or will the human propensities make our edens just like the one we are in now, and we will still be faced with the same problems, of humans in positions of power, abusing those positions? In many cases just as now, unwittingly?