Thursday, August 05, 2004
The new flat earth
At some point people stopped believing the earth was flat and started believing it was round. And at some point they will no doubt go back to believing it is flat. Wouldn't it be interesting if the earth actually changed from being flat to being round at the exact moment the beliefs changed? Perhaps the beliefs were just changing to reflect the reality of the time. Actually, I can see how the earth might be flat. In his epic poem Milton, William Blake talked about his visionary perception of the earth as "one infinite plane." I think he was seeing it from a fourth-dimensional vantage point. After all, if you could step outside the three dimensions and see the round globe from every angle at once, what would you have? An infinite plane. Well, it may not be quite the same as the flat earth of the two-dimensional thinkers who preceded Galileo, but call it the flat earth of the future, which we will all eventually embrace and will be taught in schools. The symbol of my publishing company Qubik Books is the tesseract, the four-dimensional square. That is the higher-geometry precursor object to what Blake is talking about. I don't know if too many people have noticed that Blake quotation, but if anyone has, I bet it is someone in The Flat Earth Society. They actually posit that Earth is flat from the standpoint of the fifth dimension, and have topological reasons to support their hypothesis, which I do not understand. They have also proved that neither Idaho and North Dakota exist, and that the earth is hollow and populated inside by either green-skinned women or Nazis. I think I would rather start my own Flat Earth Society more as a political movement, and call it something like the Plane Truth Party.