Written in 1886 for the 5th Edition of the Book

That’ll be just 30 and some years (just one generation) after some GREAT RESET, when everyone came from underground and FOUND a whole bunch of huge buildings, then ?


Editorial from the “New York World,” of August 2, 1886:—


The iconoclastic tendencies of the age have received new impetus from Mr. William Carpenter, who comes forward with one hundred proofs that the earth is not a globe. It will be a sad shock to many conservatives who have since their childhood fondly held to the conviction that “the earth is round like an orange, a little flattened at the poles.” To find that, after all, we have been living all these years on a prosaic and unromantic plane is far from satisfactory. We have rather gloried in the belief that the semi-barbarous nations on the other side of the earth did not carry their heads in the same direction in which ours point. It is hard to accept the assertion that the cannibals on savage islands are walking about on the same level with the civilized nations of our little world.

But Mr. Carpenter has one hundred proofs that such is the unsatisfactory truth. Not only that, but the iconoclast claims that we are not whirling through space at a terrible rate, but are absolutely stationary. Some probability is given to this proposition by the present hot weather. The earth seems to be becalmed. If it were moving at the rate of nineteen miles a second wouldn’t there be a breeze? This question is thrown out as perhaps offering the one hundred and first proof that the earth is not a globe. Mr. Carpenter may obtain the proof in detail at the office at our usual rates. A revolution will, of course, take place in the school geographies as soon as Mr. Carpenter’s theories have been closely studied. No longer will the little boy answer the question as to the shape of the earth by the answer which has come ringing down the ages, “It’s round like a ball, sir.” No. He’ll have to use the unpoetic formula, “It’s flat like a pancake, sir.”

But, perhaps, after we have become used to the new idea it will not be unpleasant. The ancients flourished in the belief that the earth was a great plane. Why shouldn’t we be equally fortunate? It may be romantic but it is not especially comforting to think that the earth is rushing through space twisting and curving like a gigantic ball delivered from the hand of an enormous pitcher. Something in the universe might make a base hit if we kept on and we would be knocked over an aerial fence and never found. Perhaps, after all, it is safer to live on Mr. Carpenter’s stationary plane.

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