Be Reasonable: Episode #056 – Martin Liedtke


This month, Marsh is joined by Martin Liedtke from Flat Earth British, to talk conspiracy theories, symbolism and the truth of the Flat Earth.

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  1. #1 by Phil on October 29, 2018 - 13:37

    I knew within the first 2 minutes there would be a mention of Freeman of the land, are flat earthers becoming parody’s of themselves?
    Marsh, how you get through these without screaming i will never know?? Love it well done!

  2. #2 by kevin omalley on October 29, 2018 - 16:34

    Sweet mother of pearl. How do you manage to hold your temper?
    Amazing.

  3. #3 by Woody on October 29, 2018 - 17:09

    I got two minutes in on this one before having to shut it off. Evolution is a conspiracy? All his credibility (such as it was) was gone at that point.

  4. #4 by Rob on October 30, 2018 - 08:50

    At 12:20 he mocks the idea of an astronaut doing a spacewalk plugging a hole in the ISS by putting his finger in it and nobody thinking about a micrometeorite. The astronaut was inside the ISS (not outside), the hole was about 2mm across so easily temporarily blocked by putting a finger over it (not in it), and everybody’s first thought was a micrometeorite. https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/satellites/a22888068/iss-leak-astronaut-finger-tape/

  5. #5 by Dangbh on October 30, 2018 - 09:33

    I’m genuinely intrigued by the relationship between the use of language and these beliefs. I’m well aware that I may be indulging my confirmation bias here, but both this chap and the last flerfer I listened to on this show are an absolute car crash of malapropisms and misunderstood idioms. I’m sure this isn’t the first time I’ve noticed this and I do (idly) wonder if there is something about the processing of language that translates to the processing of ideas.

    But even on a more casual level… As an English speaker, if you don’t even understand what such a commonly used phrase as ‘take it with a pinch of salt’ means, then how much of what people say must you be completely failing to understand?

  6. #6 by Dean M on October 31, 2018 - 21:01

    Marsh….how do you do it? Martin lives in a very different world than most. Sounds like he doesnt trust anyone at all. 10 out of 10 to you for keeping control.

  7. #7 by Jason on November 1, 2018 - 00:27

    Yikes! This fellow made the previous interviewee look like a paragon of critical thinking by comparison. Unfortunately he seemed to simply not understand most of Marsh’s questions, and usually just reverted to ranting about our mysterious malevolent puppeteers. Although this guy seemed a little too far off the deep end (the passing remark about his deciphering ancient decoded messages was the biggest LOL moment for me), it was certainly interesting to see how wide the gap can be between flat-earthers.

    Hats off to Marsh, as always, for being a wonderful rhetorical role model.

  8. #8 by Chris on November 2, 2018 - 22:18

    The fact he was baffled that if this planet is a sphere why he could see a volcano that was a hundred miles away was amusing. On a clear day we can see Mt. Baker while crossing the Evergreen Point bridge that spans Lake Washington near Seattle.

    In the late 18th century Captain George Vancouver dropped anchor in the middle of Puget Sound. He named many of the mountains like Rainier, St. Helens etc that he could see from there.

    Obviously, Mr. Liedtke has never been around many hilly and mountainous regions.

  9. #9 by Chris on November 2, 2018 - 22:30

    Article about Captain Vancouver’s crazy day naming stuff after his friends in our little corner of the world:
    http://www.historylink.org/File/5359

    Add to it, we can also see the Olympic Mountain range from Seattle, it is also over a hundred miles away. Mr. Liedtke needs to get out more. Especially since his head sounds like a very scary place.

  10. #10 by Muz on November 3, 2018 - 05:46

    Dangbh: I usually attribute what you’re seeing to the rise of the self educated ‘Renaissance Man’ which in turn seems to be related to the fall of what would be called a Liberal Arts education.
    The more severe woo advocates like this seem to be intent on figuring out the world on their own and from their own isolated, contrarian, egocentric perspective. (and from reinforcing communities of similar people).

    They seem to have shunned or not had any actual intellectual guidance and had to osmose what it is to sound and seem smart. It’s like cargo cult reason- all the trappings but not the essence.

  11. #11 by Finav on November 18, 2018 - 21:12

    Dangbh :Iā€™m genuinely intrigued by the relationship between the use of language and these beliefs.

    Yes… I was thinking precisely the same thing. The question is, how might one begin to explore this question scientifically? Let’s hypothesise that there is a correlation between poor use of grammar, incorrect use of idioms, misapplication of technical terms etc. and a propensity to hold conspiratorial believes. There are certainly many people who have similar linguistic tendencies, yet they do not engage in conspiratorial thinking. Similarly, there are people who are highly articulate, but who nevertheless hold conspiratorial believes (Republicans with deep-state theories, for example). Does the fact that both types of people exist kill the hypothesis? No, because obviously there is more than one way to become a conspiracy theorist.
    Then there is the question of causality. Wittgenstein wrote “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” Is all this woolly thinking caused by linguistic inability; or does linguistic inability result in woolly thinking? I think Wittgenstein’s point was that language and ability to reason are inextricably linked.
    Theorising aside, I actually found this interview incredibly sad. The interviewee appears to live in constant fear of a world in which invisible, nefarious masters control everything and create a web of deception to deceive us. I see a lonely man on a path to become ever lonelier the more he raves.
    Huge kudos to Michael again for keeping it cool and civil with yet another profoundly delusional individual.

  12. #12 by Dirk on November 22, 2018 - 19:23

    Dangbh:
    There is indeed such a connection… see the following article for an in depth discussion of exactly what you’ve described:
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/acp.3486

    People who interpret metaphorical statements as literal are more likely to believe nonsense bullshit.

  13. #13 by Dave Glubrecht on January 4, 2019 - 11:57

    You start the interview talking about robust (yet polite) debate, yet you fail at getting him to answer a single question. Every time a question is asked he diverts to outside control or something else.
    I only found one of your questions to be anywhere near “robust” (about how either answer confirms his idea and lack of false-ability) and that was not even on topic.
    Very disappointed to see someone who claims to be a skeptic and talks about having robust debate with something as easily disproven as flat earth not ask tough questions.
    The whole show sounded like a promo for FE.

  14. #14 by Jim on January 26, 2019 - 22:52

    I think I may have spotted a flaw in his otherwise airtight claims. He says that the libraries (which are owned by “Them”) are being closed by “Them” in order to take the books online and thus alter the content. Er, considering “They” own the libraries anyway, why would they have the unaltered books in there in the first place?

(will not be published)