I’ve received various comments, in public and in private, that suggest that quite a few readers are wondering why a Ph.D. physicist with decades of experience in scientific research is spending time writing blog posts on things that “everybody knows.” Why discuss unfamiliar but intuitive demonstrations of the Earth’s shape and size, and why point out new ways of showing that the Earth rotates? Where’s all the discussion of quantum physics, black holes, Higgs bosons, and the end of the universe?
One thing I’m not doing is trying to convince flat-earthers! A flat-earther’s view of the world is so full of conceptual holes that there’s no chance of filling them. Such an effort would be akin to trying to convince a four-year-old Santa Claus devotee that the jolly fellow can’t actually fly through the air and visit half a billion homes, stopping to eat the cookies left for him in every one, all in one night. Logic has no power on a human whose mind is already made up. (If you’re an adult, don’t be that human.)
Instead my goals are broader, and more contemplative than corrective. Here are a few of them.