Friday, March 17, 2017

Kissimmee Baby

Sometimes, you tap into the rhythms of life, and things just fall in place like a perfectly-dealt game of Crazy 8s.

Just as I sat down to write about how people could believe that earth is flat (or is only 6,000 years old) the phone rang, and it turned to out be a recorded announcement from a phone # in Kissimmee, Florida, purporting to be the Internal Revenue Service. The "IRS" was calling to let me know that I am in arrears (pause for laughter) in my taxes, and by calling a phone number they mentioned 128 times, I could settle the matter.

Well, crooks might be crooked, but they ain't stupid, and if there were no profit to be made by calling random citizens and scaring the fiduciaries out of them by claiming the IRS is on the warpath for them, they would not spend time or money running that scam. Take a group of any 100 citizens (and wouldn't you like to!) and there will always be at least one who will fall for these cheap tricks, and there will be some who believe there's a magic pill that will dissolve their body fat overnight, and some who believe earth is flat.

One who is numbered among that last group is Kyrie Irving, a professional basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who spent an abbreviated (one year) college career at Duke University, where the odds are that he must have walked by a classroom at least once in which an astronomy professor was describing the wonders of the solar system.  

He should have sat in on that class for an hour or two.

But, during the recent NBA All-Star weekend, Irving showed why he is a stranger to the Phi Beta Kappa selection board by saying he believes earth is flat. Irving was born in Australia but raised in New Jersey, and somewhere along the lines of his journey he came to believe that "This is not even a conspiracy theory. The Earth is flat. The Earth is flat. … It’s right in front of our faces. I’m telling you, it’s right in front of our faces. They lie to us."

It's always "them."  Them and their lies and their science.

Let's turn to Dr Neil DeGrasse Tyson, a noted scholar (which makes him one of "them," I suppose, to those opposed to schooling.) Dr Tyson told TMZ, "We live in a free country, so you ought to be able to think and say whatever you want. If he wants to think earth is flat, go right ahead – as long as he continues to play basketball and not become head of any space agencies. My point is if you have certain limitations of understanding of the natural world, stay away from jobs that require that."

Tyson then said we ought to launch everyone who is on the same page as Irving into space and only allow them back once they all agree they were wrong. 

Image result for flat earth
“Does it matter to you that I believe the world is flat?” Irving was saying as the stunned crowd at the All-Star game asked for details of his round-earth denial. "It really doesn’t matter. The fact that it’s a conversation, I’m glad it got people talking like this."

Because there's nothing else to talk about?

I hope that machine "from the IRS" will call back, now that we have something to talk about.  And Kyrie, please read a book about earth, and you might get a round to it.

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