Flat Earth Thinking, At The Supreme Cart

The Supreme Cartographer, known perhaps
As the final word in the world of maps,
Was told that science had recently found
(To his great surprise) that the world was round.
That as accurate as his maps might appear
He’d improve them at once by assuming a sphere
The idea was new, but the data were strong
And in hindsight it should have been clear all along
It may be unsettling, different, or strange,
But the world is a sphere, and the graphics must change

The Cartographer, though, had (it seemed, since his birth)
Been consistently drawing a pancake-flat earth
These round-planet notions were modern and bold
And the data, while solid, were not very old
“Supposing I change” he surmised, with a cough,
“And a ship finds the edge of the world and falls off?”
His world had been flat now, for thousands of years,
Doing fine, till this radical notion appears.
“The data are strong, but tradition is stronger…
Let’s keep the world flat for a little bit longer.”

Inspired by Justice Alito:

The one thing that the parties in this case seem to agree on is that marriage is very important. It’s thought to be a fundamental building block of society and its preservation essential for the preservation of society. Traditional marriage has been around for thousands of years. Same-sex marriage is very new. I think it was first adopted in The Netherlands in 2000. So there isn’t a lot of data about its effect. And it may turn out to be a — a good thing; it may turn out not to be a good thing, as the supporters of Proposition 8 apparently believe.

But you want us to step in and render a decision based on an assessment of the effects of this institution which is newer than cell phones or the Internet? I mean we — we are not — we do not have the ability to see the future.


  1. The Lorax says

    Modern same-sex marriage was adopted in modern times. Wow, what a revelation.

    Homosexual relationships, however, are so old that they’re traditional.

    So, that settles that then, right? … right?

  2. justsomeguy says

    So his entire argument is “new things are bad?” Or just “new things are very suspicious and should be handled with high scrutiny?”

  3. Cuttlefish says

    I keep hearing “The Lottery”, and the justification of “this is the way we’ve always done it”. Nothing more.

  4. iknklast says

    OK, this explains an answer we got from our boss not too long ago. When we asked about a change, and why this major change had been so sudden, he told us it wasn’t sudden, he’d been boss for five years, and had thought about it off and on over that time. So, the definition of sudden is merely subjective, depending onl how long you’ve known about it. So the definition of traditional is whatever Alito thinks it is. No matter the fact that marriage as we know it (and as we knew it in the all-popular 1950s) isn’t really two millennia old. Surely someone was thinking about setting it up that way all that time, and all the other ways in which marriage has been practiced were just waiting until they decided to make it so. Then, it was traditional. I don’t know – that’s very confused. But then, so is Alito.

  5. Matt G says

    So the SCOTUS is looking at this not as an issue of justice, but at its possible effects on society? Sounds like a certain logical fallacy….

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