Archive for the ‘Flat Earth’ Category

[READ: June 25, 2022] The End of the World is Flat

I received this book at work and was instantly intrigued by the title and the blurb that described “A comedy featuring Christopher Columbus, a tech billionaire and a local delusion.”

The book opens with Christopher Columbus waiting to be given the go ahead to sail around the globe.  His flat earth sailors all believe that they will fall off the edge of the earth, but Columbus is convinced otherwise.

Then the story jumps to the present. Mel is the head of the charitable company called Orange Peel.  Mel single handedly created and developed orange peel with a singular goal in mind: to get anyone involved with maps (from teachers to Google) to stop using the Mercator map which is inherently flawed both in design and in the way it makes South America look less significant.  Rather, they should use the orange peel map projection (it looks like four small ovals attached to each other).

If you don’t know what any of this refers to, its worth looking into the history of maps to see just how wrong our standard (Mercator) understanding of the globe is.

When Google agreed to change their usage of the Mercator to the Orange Peel she feel that her job was done.  Mel had created a small but influential company and yet they had completed their goal–there was nothing more for them to do.  She intended to quietly close up shop and give everyone an excellent reference.

But the board that Mel had hired to look after things for her had other ideas.  They didn’t want to end things there, so they asked her assistant Shane to meet with a billionaire who had an idea for the next stage of the company.

While Mel was talking to Google, Shane was talking to tech billionaire Joey Talavera who is married to Crystal Vardashian.  The last name there is a non too subtle jab at someone (although Crystal turns out to have a level head and some good ideas.  But I’m not sure if Talavera is supposed to be someone or other.

Anyhow, Talavera talks to Shane, shows off his amazing house (one of his houses) and then says he wants to dump a lot of money at Orange Peel to promote his own cause.

Back in the boardroom when Mel saw the proposal (just before she walked out) she thought it was a joke,  But the board saw money in it and so, they agreed to take on Joey’s idea.  Which is that they world is flat and everyone knows it–but higher up people are working to keep it under wraps. (more…)

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