My friend Ezequiel decided that since he was visiting Newfoundland, Canada, he would visit Fogo Island. Curious by nature and a collector of data, he had to see in person one of the four corners of what the members of The Flat Earth Society consider to be the map of the world. He showed me photographs of the place and its explicative sign, and then I began to ponder the fact that, truly, we believe what we want to believe.
Yes, there is a genuine organization, begun in the nineteenth century, that continues believing in the theory that the Earth is flat. It has fanatical followers, sincere defenders of this idea. The Flat Earth Society, founded in the middle of the twentieth century, came into existence to investigate this “theory” at an international level. And despite all scientific advances and existing information, the Society remains quite active—they even hold an annual conference. The Internet, the Web, made a global movement out of its own particular truth.
The polemic tweets of the President of the United States this past week remind us that theories denying social advances remain alive and well. In Trump’s case, the theory is that all the problems in his country have their origin in immigration, and that is why it must be combated. Defending this theory is as absurd as defending the notion that the Earth is flat. Particularly in a country built by immigrants. But unfortunately, this idea seems to have more support than it would appear, and not only in the United States and Europe.
Through the Web, we are making these “truths” into global movements that end with their leaders on top before taking us to the end of the world that, according to The Flat Earth Society, seems to be in a wall of ice in Antartica…