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Giving Up On FT

When I write I try to lay the story out and then present evidence and let the reader decide. Unless there is solid conclusive evidence one way or the other I try to be open minded in my presentation and let people make up their own minds. There’s always stuff I can’t fit in or go into in as much depth as I would like simply due to word counts and time constraints. We’re not told how to write anything and there is no party line to toe so different people will have different approaches and agendas. Apart from the articles mandated by MI5 of course, then we have to write what they tell us. But I’m not allowed to tell you about that.
Hmmmm....what just happened?

I thought Amy Winehouse was dead?
She’s only 27, too young to be dead!

So we brought her back!

So er, not even the Flat Earth article than? Oh well.
Ha, well, to be fair, I probably will enjoy that one, I find it interesting how people come up with weird explanations for how the planet could be flat. It's also quite relevant to me as I'm listening to Pratchett's "Small Gods" which covers this topic in an amusing way. So, no, your article is one of the high points in that issue!
It strikes me that the world in which the magazine now finds itself is a very different kettle of fish to the one that existed in its early days. Nowadays - largely, but not solely, due to the existence of the internet - we live in a world of two parallel orthodoxies: the established order - of science, philosophy, medicine, politics etc - and a contrarian order which I think virtually everyone would accept entertains at its extreme the most untested, unqualified, ridiculous and dangerous ideas imaginable. Only, thing is - I say 'extreme' - but in this orthodoxy the extreme has, for very many people, effectively become the norm; one thing the current unpleasantness has underlined it is that a not insignificant proportion of society now source all their 'knowledge' from this side of the street.

Nah. I really think you're overplaying this one. As `Forteans` no doubt we have done a few searches on Youtube and so on for ghosts and UFOs and the like and so, of course, we are the ones who get fed the kind of kooky material that our demographic profile suggests we might like - you know, the Flat Earther type stuff. It is a mistake, however to assume that this is as prevalent as it appears to us that it is.

My guess is that most people are going on the net to read the Mail online, to see what Katy Perry is up to these days, to learn how to apply cresosote to their garden fence, to watch The Last Night of the Proms and to share funny pictures of cats. They'll be getting feeds related to those areas of life. They won't know that some people believe the earth is hollow or that people are filming planes standing still in the sky and so forth.

Just to give a very recent example of what I mean. I was sharing a drink with two other male buddies/colleagues a few days ago and happened to mention - in passing -that something was a bit like `a Mandela` (referencing the `Mandela effect`). One of those present knew what I was talking about - simply by dint of the fact that I had introduced the concept to him before. The other person there - a guy about two decades my junior and pretty `switched on` - was nonplussed by the term and I had to go through the laborious process of explaining to him what it was all about (and when I had done so he was somewhat incredulous and dismissive).

Now, the `Mandela effect` must have been doing the rounds on the internet now for...oh...about ten years and, if you were to ask me I'd have said that the net has been pretty much soaked with it. But here was an intelligent, informed `normal` guy in his thirties to whom it is completely new (and outrageous).
Nah. I really think you're overplaying this one...

To be honest, given what's going on in the world just now - the millions of hits snake oil salesmen and the inexhaustible peddlers of conspiracy theories get on a regular basis, the regurgitation of their ideas by politicians and celebrities, not to mention some of the most powerful men in the world - I thought 'not insignificant proportion' was leaning way to this side of modest. Unqualified contrarianism is basically a significant strand of the current normal; maybe not so much in the mainstream media - but then these days it's competitors so overshadow it in terms of reach that to many people it's almost irrelevant.
That's an excellent point, @Spookdaddy - when the general mood across the globe is paranoid, when mistrust is the norm, where fantastical explanations are more accepted than factual, where can FT stand? It's supposed to be iconoclastic, and I'd agree that's exactly what it's doing, in the spirit of Fort, but in a way he'd never have anticipated. I can't even begin to think how he'd react now - a hardline scientific approach?