The Flat Earth Society

Flat Earth Discussion Boards => Flat Earth Theory => Topic started by: 3DGeek on September 02, 2017, 05:01:04 PM

Title: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: 3DGeek on September 02, 2017, 05:01:04 PM
Careful observers of my recent posts may be aware that I've been rigging a gigantic logical trap for the FE'ers.

All of this debate about airline flight distances is VERY close to a perfect proof that no possible flat earth map can be true.

The ONLY remaining argument that Tom Bishop has is that he denies the maximum speed of an Airliner is known to us.

Well - I'm getting bored with that debate - the RE'ers have won it 20 ways.

So it's time to spring the next piece of the trap.

If Tom declares that people who make and fly airplanes have no idea how fast they fly....what is the one thing in the entire universe who's speed is DEFINITELY known?

It's the speed of light.

The speed of light (technically: "the speed of light in vacuum") is known to be an absolute universal constant...it doesn't vary by the slightest amount, no matter how it's measured - and it's the "universal speed limit" - nothing can go faster.

So if I could measure those distances using the time light takes to travel - then nobody could doubt the distances I end up with.

Ooohhhh!  Wouldn't THAT be cool?!

BACKGROUND:

Most computers contain a software tool called "ping" - I'm not sure it's standard on Windows computers - but Mac's and Linux machines have it installed by default and there are free versions of it that you can download for Windows too.   The Linux version (and probably some of the Windows downloadable versions of it) come with "source code" - which means that you can see how it works and verify that neither NASA, the US government nor anyone else couldn't have sneaked some flat-earth-coverup software into it.   (I just looked - they didn't!)

The name of the software ("ping") comes from the analogy of a sonar 'ping' from a submarine...but this is an internet ping.

What "ping" lets you do is to send a very short message to more or less any other computer on the Internet - have that message be instantly turned around and sent back to you.   Ping measures and displays the amount of time that took.

USING THIS HANDY TOOL:

Since we know that a message cannot possibly travel faster than the speed of light - we can use 'ping' to provide distance measurements to more or less any place on the Earth...with one caveat: We don't know exactly which undersea cable or satellite link carried the signal - and there will be some small delays in that signal due to the time it takes computer software to turn it around and get it back to us.

So if you take the 'ping time' and multiply it by the speed of light, what you know is that the target computer can be no FURTHER than that distance (but it may be somewhat closer).

What's more - on the Internet - I can log into some distant computer - and have it issue a "ping" to a third machine and report back to me how long that took.   

That means that I can measure times not only from my computer to any other machine in the world - but also from any machine I have legal access to, to any other point in the world.

Now - this is an interesting research tool for FE'ers:

For example, if I had access to a computer in Sydney Australia - I could "ping" a computer in Santiago Chile and know that the distance between those cities is no greater than some distance I can calculate.   The distance might be less than that calculation says - but it cannot possibly be more because signals along electrical wires and optical fibers can be no faster than that.

Now - Mr Bishop isn't going to like this very much.

It destroys his last remaining objection.

So, for example - I just logged into a computer in Silicon Valley, California and did a 'ping' to the Japanese culture center in Tokyo, Japan.  I got a 'ping' time that's around 71 milliseconds (0.071 seconds).

The speed of light is 299,800,000 meters per second.

 0.071 seconds x 299,800,000 meters per second = 21,300,000 meters.

But the 'ping' signal went from Silicon Valley to Tokyo AND BACK AGAIN - so the one-way distance is 10,700,000 meters or so...10,700 km.

So we now know - for 100% sure - that Silicon Valley and Tokyo are less than 10,700 km apart - which is ~6,600 miles.

The ACTUAL distance according to Google and Airline sources is 5,200 miles - but we know that the "ping" approach will produce numbers that may be too BIG - but can NEVER be too SMALL - so this is an expected result.   NO MORE THAN 6,600 miles.

Looking at BOTH of the flat earth maps that we have available to us, we can see that they both make the distance between California and Japan VASTLY more than that...so with just one simple software command, I've proved conclusively that both maps are WILDLY incorrect.

No underlying assumptions beyond the value of the speed of light.  Anyone here can try the same test...feel free...go nuts!

Oh...Mr Bishop...are you in trouble now?   I think so!

We can now use "ping" to verify that the distances for airline routes aren't a hell of a lot longer than they claim...sure the 'ping' approach can't show that they are too short - but it can definitely prove that the distance between Sydney Australia and Santiago Chile isn't two or three times what Qantas says it is...and that's enough to disprove BOTH of the current FE maps.

Anyone, anywhere on the Internet can happily ping computers and compare to the distances that any FE map you'll ever produce and INSTANTLY disprove it from the comfort of their own homes.

Oh dear, Tom...I do think your FE ideas are going to be in a lot of trouble now.

Now - it's possible that your very next reaction will be to claim that the number we have for the speed of light must be wrong.

You may be interested to know that I can tell everyone here how to measure the speed of light using just a microwave oven and a bunch of chocolate chips.

(Yeah - I know that sounds batshit crazy - but google it.)

So - "ping", chocolate chips and a microwave.  That's delivers 100% of the experimental evidence you need to prove that the word isn't flat.


Is this fun or what?!  :-)

More disproofs coming soon - I have lots of ideas left to go still!
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: 3DGeek on September 02, 2017, 05:10:07 PM
You might also like this resource:

   https://wondernetwork.com/pings

Note that the SHORTEST ping time you get is the one you should use...longer ping times can result from slow computers or because your message got routed in weird ways...again, times can be LONGER than the speed of light limit - but they can't be SHORTER - so take the shortest time for the most accurate distance.
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: Pete Svarrior on September 02, 2017, 05:16:57 PM
Your argument relies on so many misunderstandings of Internet topology and routing that I honestly don't know where to begin. Instead of trying to explain computers to you, I will attempt to illustrate one of the bigger problems with your proposal.

To give you a quick idea of why you definitely don't want to use this: the network latency between my home PC and the server this website is hosted on (two locations on two different continents) is lower than that between my home PC and the mobile phone in my hands. Using your level of understanding of the subject, it is therefore *possible* that my mobile phone (currently in my hands) is farther away from me than Donald Trump.

If you rely on data so extremely inaccurate, you're very likely to leave yourself open to conclusions you don't want to reach.

And that doesn't even begin to address the fact that you still insist on reading the FET maps under RET assumptions.
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: rodriados on September 02, 2017, 05:23:45 PM
As a Computer Scientist, I am a bit ashamed I have never thought about pinging places myself, haha.

As I live in South America, almost below the Tropic of Capricorn, I can ping known server not only in Australia but in Africa as well.

Unfortunately, I'll have to do so during the night or dawn, as the link that connects my region to the global network is quite congested any other time.

But be sure I'll bring the numbers I get, even though I don't live in Chile.
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: rodriados on September 02, 2017, 05:28:15 PM
Your argument relies on so many misunderstandings of Internet topology and routing that I honestly don't know where to begin. Instead of trying to explain computers to you, I will attempt to illustrate one of the bigger problems with your proposal.

To give you a quick idea of why you definitely don't want to use this: the network latency between my home PC and the server this website is hosted on (two locations on two different continents) is lower than that between my home PC and the mobile phone in my hands. Using your level of understanding of the subject, it is therefore *possible* that my mobile phone (currently in my hands) is farther away from me than Donald Trump.

If you rely on data so extremely inaccurate, you're very likely to leave yourself open to conclusions you don't want to reach.

And that doesn't even begin to address the fact that you still insist on reading the FET maps under RET assumptions.

Actually, you cannot conclude witch one is the farthest from you. The only thing you can say for sure, is that those objects are no farther than the result you got.

And surely, even though you get results saying your phone could possibly be at Trump's hands, this is no counter-argument to this method.
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: 3DGeek on September 02, 2017, 05:29:28 PM
Your argument relies on so many misunderstandings of Internet topology and routing that I honestly don't know where to begin. Instead of trying to explain computers to you, I will attempt to illustrate one of the bigger problems with your proposal.
Firstly, computer networking has been a VERY large fraction of my career.  I think I know what I'm talking about.

The actual topology of the cabling and the number and speed of computers through which the message passes can only INCREASE the amount of time a "ping" takes...it can never DECREASE it below the speed of light over the distance between the computers.

That's a physical impossibility.

Now - I'm happy to admit that using 'ping' can make the distances seem BIGGER than they really are - but never smaller...not possible.

Quote
To give you a quick idea of why you definitely don't want to use this: the network latency between my home PC and the server this website is hosted on (two locations on two different continents) is lower than that between my home PC and the mobile phone in my hands. Using your level of understanding of the subject, it is therefore *possible* that my mobile phone (currently in my hands) is farther away from me than Donald Trump.

Again - I'm telling you that the ping time represents the LONGEST the distance can be.  So yes, it might say that your phone and your PC (which are 3 feet aprart) are 2,000 miles apart...that's definitely possible.   But if ping says that they are 1,000 miles apart - they can't possibly be 1,001 miles apart...no possible way.

Quote
If you rely on data so extremely inaccurate, you're very likely to leave yourself open to conclusions you don't want to reach.

Not if I'm super careful to explain that this is the case - which I'm VERY careful to do.

If (as the two current FE maps seem to assert) California and Japan are more than 12,000 miles apart - and 'ping' says that they cannot possibly be more than 6,600 miles apart then we know the map is WRONG - because even if there is an optical fiber laying on a perfectly straight route between those two directly between those computers - with no relays, no other intermediate stops - and if both computers run infinitely fast - there is no possible way for the message between them to travel there and back faster than the speed of light.

I agree that I can't prove that the distance is LESS than 6,600 miles...that would be to completely misunderstand the nature of the network...but I can prove that it can't be MORE than 6,600 miles.

Please don't treat me like an idiot.   I've thought this through VERY carefully - and I'm a networked computing professional.  I've written online games for one of the biggest online games companies in the world - and we lived and died by finding the shortest ping times!!

Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: Pete Svarrior on September 02, 2017, 05:37:22 PM
Firstly, computer networking has been a VERY large fraction of my career.  I think I know what I'm talking about.
I'm sorry to hear that. I frequently have to work with "technicians" who do not understand the basics of their field. It's very frustrating, especially since if you point out they're wrong, they just scream about how long they've been doing their job for.

The actual topology of the cabling and the number and speed of computers through which the message passes can only INCREASE the amount of time a "ping" takes.. .
Yes - potentially by a factor of 10. Or 100. Or 1000.

But if ping says that they are 1,000 miles apart - they can't possibly be 1,001 miles apart...no possible way.
Assuming you have ascertained the physical location of both machines, sure.

If (as the two current FE maps seem to assert) California and Japan are more than 12,000 miles apart
I'll just stop you right there. I honestly don't think there are any flat earthers here who would claim California and Japan are 12000 miles apart.

Please don't treat me like an idiot.   I've thought this through VERY carefully - and I'm a networked computing professional.  I've written online games for one of the biggest online games companies in the world - and we lived and died by finding the shortest ping times!!
To expand on my first paragraph: A couple of years ago I was performing a user acceptance test on a very poor AV installation. I pointed out to the contractors that they must have used unshielded cables for some part of their audio setup since you could clearly hear a distinct 50Hz noise. Their response was an outraged "we've been doing AV for 30 years!" Perhaps unsurprisingly, this did not change the fact that they needed to redo their cabling.
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: 3DGeek on September 02, 2017, 05:41:42 PM
As a Computer Scientist, I am a bit ashamed I have never thought about pinging places myself, haha.

As I live in South America, almost below the Tropic of Capricorn, I can ping known server not only in Australia but in Africa as well.

Unfortunately, I'll have to do so during the night or dawn, as the link that connects my region to the global network is quite congested any other time.

But be sure I'll bring the numbers I get, even though I don't live in Chile.

Thanks!

I'm in the process of writing some code to do pings every few minutes over a 24 hour cycle and find the smallest - that yields the most accurate estimate.  I've already noticed a 69.8 ms ping from the Silicon Valley/Tokyo route...so that 6,600 'maximum distance' just got down to 6,510 miles...a lot depends on the server load at the far end also...I imagine the Japanese cultural center may be a busy site - so perhaps I should look for a less busy one to get better results.

But we MUST always bear in mind - this gives you the LONGEST that the distance between two places can possibly be.   That's enough for quite a few purposes though.
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: rodriados on September 02, 2017, 05:52:40 PM
As a Computer Scientist, I am a bit ashamed I have never thought about pinging places myself, haha.

As I live in South America, almost below the Tropic of Capricorn, I can ping known server not only in Australia but in Africa as well.

Unfortunately, I'll have to do so during the night or dawn, as the link that connects my region to the global network is quite congested any other time.

But be sure I'll bring the numbers I get, even though I don't live in Chile.

Thanks!

I'm in the process of writing some code to do pings every few minutes over a 24 hour cycle and find the smallest - that yields the most accurate estimate.  I've already noticed a 69.8 ms ping from the Silicon Valley/Tokyo route...so that 6,600 'maximum distance' just got down to 6,510 miles...a lot depends on the server load at the far end also...I imagine the Japanese cultural center may be a busy site - so perhaps I should look for a less busy one to get better results.

But we MUST always bear in mind - this gives you the LONGEST that the distance between two places can possibly be.   That's enough for quite a few purposes though.

Be sure to share the code with us. So we can be sure you haven't put any RE corrections in it.

By the way, I may even help you with that and let it running in my Raspberry Pi at home.
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: 3DGeek on September 02, 2017, 06:41:35 PM
Hehe!

I have a bunch of "ESP8266" computers - they cost $2 each and run on a couple of AA batteries.  They have WiFi - so I could rig one up with a bi-color LED and have it continually monitor the shape of the Earth showing Red for Flat, Green for Round and Yellow for Indeterminate!

That would make a REALLY neat Kickstarter reward!

I wonder how many people would buy an automatic flat-earth detector?

Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: 3DGeek on September 02, 2017, 08:09:38 PM
Oh - one important note:  If your internet provider is using cellular or satellite links to get to you, the additional time that this consumes will make your results much worse than if you have cable or DSL or some other high speed network.   That doesn't invalidate the claim that the distance will be no longer than your ping time suggests - but if the additional delays are so long, you won't have useful results.

With satellite internet, your data goes all the way up to a satellite in geosynchronous orbit - 35,000 miles - and then back down again.  That makes the ping times too long to be useful.  With cellular, your data may be bounced around and retransmitted quite a bit - and this too can stretch the ping times to the point of uselessness.

What best proves the point here is the SHORTEST ping times - and those come with high speed direct landline Internet.
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: junker on September 03, 2017, 12:56:45 AM
As a Computer Scientist, I am a bit ashamed I have never thought about pinging places myself, haha.

As I live in South America, almost below the Tropic of Capricorn, I can ping known server not only in Australia but in Africa as well.

Unfortunately, I'll have to do so during the night or dawn, as the link that connects my region to the global network is quite congested any other time.

But be sure I'll bring the numbers I get, even though I don't live in Chile.

Thanks!

I'm in the process of writing some code to do pings every few minutes over a 24 hour cycle and find the smallest - that yields the most accurate estimate.  I've already noticed a 69.8 ms ping from the Silicon Valley/Tokyo route...so that 6,600 'maximum distance' just got down to 6,510 miles...a lot depends on the server load at the far end also...I imagine the Japanese cultural center may be a busy site - so perhaps I should look for a less busy one to get better results.

But we MUST always bear in mind - this gives you the LONGEST that the distance between two places can possibly be.   That's enough for quite a few purposes though.

A simple cron job and bash script could easily take care of this for you.

Aside from that, I agree with Pete. You aren't proving much here. I don't want to get into an argument about who is better at networking, but networking engineering is a large aspect of my career. I mostly take issue with your absolute smugness towards Tom when your entire premise is flawed, as Pete pointed out.

It is weird to see you devolve into such childish behavior since your arguments are usually decent (or at least interesting to discuss).
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: StinkyOne on September 03, 2017, 01:44:19 AM
Sysadmin here. Interesting idea, using ping to map longest possible distance. I have concerns that the flat Earthers are going to take any long reply times and use them to their advantage. Sounds like most of us in this thread understand the problems with internet topology, latency, etc. There are so many variables with this method, it should make for a lively debate. I do wonder if traceroute wouldn't be a better option. We can glean a little information about the physical path the packets take and still get a round-trip time.
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: Ga_x2 on September 03, 2017, 10:29:10 AM

[...]Aside from that, I agree with Pete. You aren't proving much here. [...]
I fear that you guys aren't getting the point. Both "maps" presented so far, imply absurd distances between given points  (e.g. between South Africa and South America in the unipolar, or between USA and China in the bipolar) one single shorter ping disproves them.
Repeated pings between continents might also slowly get to an almost realistic result, as the distances listed get shorter.
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: 3DGeek on September 03, 2017, 01:50:28 PM
A simple cron job and bash script could easily take care of this for you.

Indeed...that's what I'm doing.

Quote
Aside from that, I agree with Pete. You aren't proving much here. I don't want to get into an argument about who is better at networking, but networking engineering is a large aspect of my career.

OK - so there are a lot of people who know how the Internet works here.

Here is a statement which you should be able to agree with:

"The shortest obtainable ping time between any two stations - multiplied by the speed of light and divided by two - is the upper limit for the maximum possible distance between those two stations."


I make no further claims for the technique beyond that.

Notice "maximum possible distance".  I'm not claiming that this is the actual distance - only that the message could not possibly have exceeded light speed.

Quote
It is weird to see you devolve into such childish behavior since your arguments are usually decent (or at least interesting to discuss).

I had a lot of respect for Tom right up until he implied that my own daughter is an "untrustworthy murderer" (apparently, EVERYONE in the Navy is tarred with that same brush) - and he not only refused to apologize when I pointed out that this was a ridiculously sweeping and patently untrue statement  - but actually doubled-down on it in a subsequent PM.  He delivers more offense in that one statement than I could ever do in a million posts.   He has lost my respect - and that of many others in the process.   If you're being an honest, unbiassed sysadmin - then you should issue similar strong and public warnings to Tom Bishop.
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: junker on September 03, 2017, 04:43:43 PM

OK - so there are a lot of people who know how the Internet works here.

Here is a statement which you should be able to agree with:

"The shortest obtainable ping time between any two stations - multiplied by the speed of light and divided by two - is the upper limit for the maximum possible distance between those two stations."


I make no further claims for the technique beyond that.

Notice "maximum possible distance".  I'm not claiming that this is the actual distance - only that the message could not possibly have exceeded light speed.

Sounds good. My concern was that this would simply devolve into another thread about maps, when it is acknowledged (at least by me) that FE does not have an official map and that is a big flaw indeed. But since there are threads discussing that topic ad nauseam, no need to do it again here. Aside from that, I think it is an interesting topic and at least worth seeing what the numbers say, even if inaccurate (acknowledging that distance cannot be beyond the maximum of the ICMP echo/reply), mostly because it just sounds kind of fun.


I had a lot of respect for Tom right up until he implied that my own daughter is an "untrustworthy murderer" (apparently, EVERYONE in the Navy is tarred with that same brush) - and he not only refused to apologize when I pointed out that this was a ridiculously sweeping and patently untrue statement  - but actually doubled-down on it in a subsequent PM.  He delivers more offense in that one statement than I could ever do in a million posts.   He has lost my respect - and that of many others in the process.   If you're being an honest, unbiassed sysadmin - then you should issue similar strong and public warnings to Tom Bishop.

Ah, okay,I understand your animosity now. While I did split and move those posts, I should have given a warning for off-topic posting. I would still request you stop making him the focus of your posts and just let your arguments speak for themselves.
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: Rounder on September 03, 2017, 05:18:00 PM
OK - so there are a lot of people who know how the Internet works here.

Here is a statement which you should be able to agree with:

"The shortest obtainable ping time between any two stations - multiplied by the speed of light and divided by two - is the upper limit for the maximum possible distance between those two stations."


I make no further claims for the technique beyond that.

Notice "maximum possible distance".  I'm not claiming that this is the actual distance - only that the message could not possibly have exceeded light speed.
With Intikam enjoying a well deserved lifetime ban, nobody remains here who will argue against against the light speed limit.  On the other board there are at least two threads in which he declared that ping times proved the internet moves at 6x the speed of light and therefore Intikam is a genius and Einstein an idiot.  This was largely because he thought that when you ping a Google server from (in his case) Turkey, the ping always goes all the way to California and back.  He had a bunch of us on his "naughty list" who pointed out that Google has lots of servers in Europe, and few in California.

I like this "upper bound" methodology.  If we can get some participants from the southern continents, we can find good upper bounds east-to-west below the equator, in areas where FE and RE appear to differ the most (according to the Gleason map at least).

Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: 3DGeek on September 03, 2017, 07:26:54 PM

OK - so there are a lot of people who know how the Internet works here.

Here is a statement which you should be able to agree with:

"The shortest obtainable ping time between any two stations - multiplied by the speed of light and divided by two - is the upper limit for the maximum possible distance between those two stations."


I make no further claims for the technique beyond that.

Notice "maximum possible distance".  I'm not claiming that this is the actual distance - only that the message could not possibly have exceeded light speed.

Sounds good. My concern was that this would simply devolve into another thread about maps, when it is acknowledged (at least by me) that FE does not have an official map and that is a big flaw indeed. But since there are threads discussing that topic ad nauseam, no need to do it again here. Aside from that, I think it is an interesting topic and at least worth seeing what the numbers say, even if inaccurate (acknowledging that distance cannot be beyond the maximum of the ICMP echo/reply), mostly because it just sounds kind of fun.

The obsession with maps is the "finding" that it is possible, using easily obtainable data, that it is not just this-map or that-map that is broken - but that NO POSSIBLE flat earth map can ever reproduce a particular dataset of flight distances.

This is MUCH deeper than showing that (say) the bipolar map is broken.

If my argument about "quadrilateral cities" stands - then the earth cannot possibly be flat, no matter what.   This is a make-or-break thing for FE'ers.

If you guys can't find a way to comprehensively disprove the flight distances published by airlines - then it's game over.  Logically, you'd have to admit defeat and that the world isn't flat.

He Who Shall Not Be Named has made some half-hearted efforts in that direction by claiming ridiculous things like that airline manufacturers don't know how fast their airplanes can fly...which, honestly fall below the "rationality bar".

But, as another way to attack this problem of "knowing distances" - the ping-time approach produces another sanity check on the airline data.

This may not allow us to disprove ALL FE maps - but it would put hard constraints on them.   With enough ping-time data from around the world, we'd be able to say things like "No FE map is correct if it shows the distance from Silicon Valley to Tokyo to be more than 6,500 miles"...and we'd be able to pile on more and more of those constraints.

The precise mathematics required to produce proof that the world isn't flat from a large number of such data points does exist.   But it would be hard-to-impossible to explain to the more math-challenged people around here.

However, using this data does conclusively invalidate all known FE maps with the greatest of ease...and I'm 100% confident that no FE map could be made that would survive this test.

But to my mind, the airline flight distance data is demonstrably correct - unless you're prepared to push the bounds of rationality to deny them.
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: 3DGeek on September 14, 2017, 07:06:35 PM
Hi! My name is Rory of the wip channel Nerdism. I would love to interview a true dedicated "Flat Earther". I could add someone on Skype or discord for a private session on the beliefs behind your group. I myself am not a flat Earther, so I would love to pick your brain! Please comment below with your Skype/discord and age! Have a great day!

I would pay to see it if you got Tom Bishop and 3D on the same video.  We have discussed a debate.  A live one would be great.

RorySD - I'm not an FE'er (I guess "skeptic" would be more correct - but "Outright disbeliever" would be accurate).    I've been trying to push the quality of the anti-FE arguments up a notch from "Why don't we fall off the edge" stuff (which is competently explained by the FE'ers) - and look much more carefully into why the FE concepts simply cannot be true.

A live chat might be interesting.  I'd do a live-text event.  I'd have to think about whether I'd want to video-skype though.   There are some VERY strange people on TFES, and I wouldn't want them knocking on my door and harassing my grandkids.

But I'm guessing you just want to talk to the actual FE'ers.

Be warned of a few things:

1)  Their ideas are mostly superficially plausible - it takes some careful thinking to find ways to demonstrate that they are entirely incorrect.
2)  There are usually at least two or three different (and incompatible) explanations for everything in FE theory - so not everyone you interview will say the same things.


Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: 3DGeek on September 15, 2017, 03:48:08 PM
I've been trying to push the quality of the anti-FE arguments up a notch from "Why don't we fall off the edge" stuff
Am I right in thinking you were the guy who came up with the idea of pinging a bunch of servers to establish distances? Because, honestly, that took it a few notches down from the usual permanoob stuff.

You CLEARLY didn't understand that thread.  I did not claim that "pinging a bunch of servers" would "establish distance".   I claimed that it would establish MAXIMUM POSSIBLE distances between two computers on the Internet (they might easily - and will generally - be closer than that).

If you misunderstood that point, then may I suggest you go back and read what I ACTUALLY said.

If someone shows us a Flat Earth map - and it can be shown that a "ping" between computers located in two cities on that map returns faster than the round-trip speed of light time (as is the case between Silicon Valley and Tokyo for BOTH of the current FE maps)...then we have conclusively proven that this map is incorrect.

Is it possible to make a flat-earth map (that doesn't look like Pangaea!) that passes this test?  I kinda doubt it...but I can't rule it out.

So this is a procedure that may allow us to check any FE maps that are proposed here - and reject the ones that can be proven to be impossible.   That's a useful technique for FE'er and RE'er alike - so you should welcome it.

Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: Pete Svarrior on September 16, 2017, 07:54:01 PM
You CLEARLY didn't understand that thread. [essay follows]
I see your understanding of the concept of brevity is just as poor as that of computer networks. But thank you for confirming that you are indeed the person I thought you were.

That's a useful technique for FE'er and RE'er alike - so you should welcome it.
Why should I welcome something that's fundamentally flawed at concept level? Why should I allow for it to garner anything other than ridicule? If we don't point it out early, some poor sods may get the wrong idea and think that there's some merit behind this idiocy. As I already said: you've taken the average quality of RE counter-arguments down a few notches. You do whatever you want with that information.
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: xenotolerance on September 16, 2017, 08:01:59 PM
Yikes dude, lay off the haterade
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: 3DGeek on September 17, 2017, 02:14:47 PM
You CLEARLY didn't understand that thread. [essay follows]
I see your understanding of the concept of brevity is just as poor as that of computer networks. But thank you for confirming that you are indeed the person I thought you were.
That's a useful technique for FE'er and RE'er alike - so you should welcome it.
Why should I welcome something that's fundamentally flawed at concept level? Why should I allow for it to garner anything other than ridicule? If we don't point it out early, some poor sods may get the wrong idea and think that there's some merit behind this idiocy. As I already said: you've taken the average quality of RE counter-arguments down a few notches. You do whatever you want with that information.

So, to be clear, you believe that a "ping" (a data packed traversing the Internet) can travel faster than the speed of light?   I presume you do not think that - so MAYBE you're under the illusion that the packet result might be cached somewhere...which would indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of how "ping" works.   The suggestion didn't seem to "garner ridicule" from anyone but you - so it's likely that you're simply not understanding the concept.

Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: Pete Svarrior on September 17, 2017, 03:48:29 PM
So, to be clear, you believe that a "ping" (a data packed traversing the Internet) can travel faster than the speed of light?
To be clear, I never came close to saying anything that could be interpreted that way.

so MAYBE you're under the illusion that the packet result might be cached somewhere...   
Instead of guessing what I said (and getting it extremely wrong), could you perhaps consider reading what I said?

The suggestion didn't seem to "garner ridicule" from anyone but you
Much like everything else you said, this is painfully incorrect. Your suggestions have garnered criticism from FE'ers and RE'ers alike. We know this because we have a written record of them doing so in this forum. Yes, there were also a few idiots who voiced support of your flawed methodology - that's why it's particularly important to keep pointing out its flaws.
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: Ga_x2 on September 17, 2017, 03:55:14 PM
3D, I'll parse it out for you, as far as I understood it amidst the general personal attacks, because he finally explained it clearly in another thread: he says that pings are order of magnitude slower than you think, therefore your result in the "Japan experiment" probably pinged somewhere way closer to you than in Japan.
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: 3DGeek on September 18, 2017, 03:04:19 AM
3D, I'll parse it out for you, as far as I understood it amidst the general personal attacks, because he finally explained it clearly in another thread: he says that pings are order of magnitude slower than you think, therefore your result in the "Japan experiment" probably pinged somewhere way closer to you than in Japan.

I absolutely agree that ping times will always be SLOWER than the speed of light.  Over short distances (hundreds of miles) the delays through routers and switches dominates the ping time - so the results aren't much use.  But over intercontinental distances, the times are dominated by the speed of light delays through the cables connecting us.

This means that the ping time can (and always IS) longer than the speed of light round trip.   I do not deny that.

What is not "getting through" is that under no circumstances can it be FASTER than the round trip light-speed.  So we can't use this technique to say "The distance between X and Y is Z kilometers" - but we can say "The distance between X and Y cannot be LONGER than Z kilometers".   That may not be a particularly useful statement, but it is undoubtedly true...and that's what I claim.

Since all known FE maps drastically increase distances across oceans (mostly in the Southern Hemisphere) compared to RE maps - we may say:  "The FE map says the distance between X and Y is N kilometers - but our 'ping' test proves that the distance must be less than Z kilometers.  If N is greater than Z, then the Earth isn't flat.

Now, admittedly, the FE'ers do not claim to HAVE a map of the Earth - but we can say (definitively) that the ping times between Silicon Valley and Tokyo disprove both the unipolar and bipolar maps that have been shown here.

We can also use this tool to test whether future FE maps are at least superficially valid.

The idea that a computer somewhere between Silicon Valley and Tokyo actually returned my ping is ludicrous.

The entire purpose of having "ping" packets is to time the packet.  The Internet protocol uses two special packet types - this protocol is also used for the "traceroute" tool - which allows you to figure out which computers are forwarding the ping messages to their destination.

I can use 'traceroute' to verify my ping distance...

1  ip-66-33-208-1.dreamhost.com (66.33.208.1)  2.282 ms  2.328 ms  2.359 ms
 2  ip-208-113-156-13.dreamhost.com (208.113.156.13)  2.153 ms  2.186 ms  2.220 ms
 3  ae1-0-bdr1-iad1.dreamhost.com (208.113.156.5)  0.207 ms ip-208-113-156-9.dreamhost.com (208.113.156.9)  0.169 ms ae1-0-bdr1-iad1.dreamhost.com (208.113.156.5)  0.178 ms
 4  xe-2-1-0.er5.iad10.us.above.net (208.185.23.133)  0.307 ms ae-65.a03.asbnva02.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.196.241)  0.667 ms xe-2-1-0.er5.iad10.us.above.net (208.185.23.133)  0.465 ms
 5  ae-70.r05.asbnva02.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.5.195)  38.457 ms  38.258 ms ae16.er4.iad10.us.zip.zayo.com (64.125.31.78)  0.802 ms
 6  zayo-ntt.iad10.us.zip.zayo.com (64.125.14.70)  6.457 ms ae-10.r22.asbnva02.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.2.21)  0.875 ms ae-2.r22.asbnva02.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.2.120)  1.025 ms
 7  ae-69.r06.asbnva02.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.5.193)  35.608 ms  35.821 ms ae-69.r05.asbnva02.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.5.191)  37.130 ms
 8  ae-2.r22.asbnva02.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.2.120)  0.593 ms ae-2.r10.dllstx09.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.4.82)  38.641 ms ae-10.r22.asbnva02.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.2.21)  0.529 ms
 9  ae-0.a00.dllstx04.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.4.170)  42.566 ms ae-1.a00.dllstx04.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.4.202)  42.497 ms ae-6.r22.dllstx09.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.5.12)  38.267 ms
10  192.80.16.162 (192.80.16.162)  36.848 ms  36.984 ms  40.931 ms
11  * ae-0.a00.dllstx04.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.4.170)  36.889 ms ae-1.a00.dllstx04.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.4.202)  36.864 ms
12  192.80.16.162 (192.80.16.162)  35.483 ms * *

Notice that the last few computers are xxxx.ntt.net - "NTT" is "Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Public Corporation"...which clearly shows that my traceroute definitely made it to Japanese soil - and the time between the last US node and the first NTT site is the one where the ping time jumps from 6-ish milliseconds up to 36-ish milliseconds.

This is CLEAR evidence that my packet really did cover no less than the distance claimed.

Short-circuiting a 'ping' (eg by having some intermediate computer return the ping ahead of the final destination) would break a whole lot of the Internet's most important parts.   It categorically does not happen...and traceroute shows that it didn't happen in this case.

I agree that timing (say) an HTTP request and response wouldn't prove a darned thing - because all manner of intermediate computers might choose to cache the result and return it to you quicker than the destination computer might have done.  But ping message types are sacrosanct.  NOBODY screws with those!

Read:

    https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1122

(The bottom of page 41 and on into 42).
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: Psychotropic on September 18, 2017, 03:31:44 AM
There are still a few problems here.

Yes the domain of the last hops are ntt.net, but that doesn't mean the endpoint must be in Japan.  Even if the IP block seems to be in Japan, it can be announced anywhere they want.  A more telling point is that in the host name is a clear physical identifier of Dallas, and Ashburn right before it.  After seeing that it brings into question why a source in Silicon Valley is routed almost immediately to the other side of the country.

As I alluded to in the other convo going on about this, there is a relatively "easy" way to fix this - know for sure where the physical end points are beforehand instead of guessing it afterwards.  For example your company has an office in San Jose and in Tokyo with servers in each office.

Edit:  I admit I'm unsure if you originally said the source was Silicon Valley or Texas, but still the problems I mentioned and the fix are still accurate.  This ping stuff seems to be spread over like 5 threads, difficult to keep track of it all.
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: Pete Svarrior on September 18, 2017, 07:14:22 AM
3DG, part of your problem is that you jumped into this community without familiarising yourself with it. You continue to assume, time and time again, that any criticism of your sorry attempt at methodology must be caused by people not understanding ICMP pings. Thus, you keep responding to criticisms by re-explaining it ad nauseam. Nobody here needs that. Meanwhile, the problems with your idea remain largely unaddressed.
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: 3DGeek on September 18, 2017, 02:06:27 PM
There are still a few problems here.

Yes the domain of the last hops are ntt.net, but that doesn't mean the endpoint must be in Japan.  Even if the IP block seems to be in Japan, it can be announced anywhere they want.  A more telling point is that in the host name is a clear physical identifier of Dallas, and Ashburn right before it.  After seeing that it brings into question why a source in Silicon Valley is routed almost immediately to the other side of the country.

As I alluded to in the other convo going on about this, there is a relatively "easy" way to fix this - know for sure where the physical end points are beforehand instead of guessing it afterwards.  For example your company has an office in San Jose and in Tokyo with servers in each office.

Edit:  I admit I'm unsure if you originally said the source was Silicon Valley or Texas, but still the problems I mentioned and the fix are still accurate.  This ping stuff seems to be spread over like 5 threads, difficult to keep track of it all.

Sorry - I did the traceroute from my PC, here in central Texas - the original ping experiment was done from a server in Silicon Valley.
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: junker on September 18, 2017, 02:23:51 PM
I have split the posts from the debate interview request thread and moved them here.
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: StinkyOne on September 18, 2017, 05:48:51 PM
Yeah, I think once you get past Pete's condescending attitude, his point is relatively valid. You need to know, without a doubt, where your endpoint physically sits. If you can't prove that, then no FEer is going to accept any of your data. We spend more time trying to get our data validated at a level no FEer would ever apply to themselves than we do talking about actual ideas. We are dealing with people that at best are prone to not trusting established science. Someone like Tom would never accept your data.
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: xenotolerance on September 18, 2017, 07:24:56 PM
The first lesson is that there is no "if" - No flat earth believer is going to accept any data that suggests a round earth. "Someone like Tom would never accept your data" is true without qualification.
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: Pete Svarrior on September 18, 2017, 07:50:59 PM
Just for fun (I'm not trying to make any strong point here, please treat everything as merely anecdotal), I've pinged the website of my University from home. I know the precise location of both machines (one's right in front of me and I really hope it actually exists, and I've visited the other site on multiple occasions) - an average-sized Svarrior can walk that distance in 20-30 minutes. The times I've measured were in the ballpark of 119ms-138ms.

I guess it's not incorrect to say that my campus is less than 35,000km away from me. It's just also not very useful.
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: Curious Squirrel on September 18, 2017, 07:58:01 PM
Just for fun (I'm not trying to make any strong point here, please treat everything as merely anecdotal), I've pinged the website of my University from home. I know the precise location of both machines (one's right in front of me and I really hope it actually exists, and I've visited the other site on multiple occasions) - an average-sized Svarrior can walk that distance in 20-30 minutes. The times I've measured were in the ballpark of 119ms-138ms.

I guess it's not incorrect to say that my campus is less than 35,000km away from me. It's just also not very useful.
That seems a fairly long ping. Traceroute would be interesting there I think.

But yes, this reminds me very much of a 'brain test' thing I recall. 5 questions, each along the line of "Give me a range that will have the distance of the Nile river in it." Obviously the smart thing to do is say something like "5 miles long to 15,000 miles long." Correct, but not very helpful if actually trying to find the length of the Nile river.
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: Pete Svarrior on September 18, 2017, 08:04:16 PM
That seems a fairly long ping. Traceroute would be interesting there I think.
It does, allegedly, go to London and back once, but that's quite insignificant for my location.
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: 3DGeek on September 18, 2017, 11:34:59 PM
Just for fun (I'm not trying to make any strong point here, please treat everything as merely anecdotal), I've pinged the website of my University from home. I know the precise location of both machines (one's right in front of me and I really hope it actually exists, and I've visited the other site on multiple occasions) - an average-sized Svarrior can walk that distance in 20-30 minutes. The times I've measured were in the ballpark of 119ms-138ms.

I guess it's not incorrect to say that my campus is less than 35,000km away from me. It's just also not very useful.

I absolutely agree.  Somewhere, there is some horribly slow piece of equipment in the way - and I won't deny that this can happen.  Some ISP's use geostationary satellites to transmit data instead of land lines.   Some routes have to go through a lot of "hops".

But AGAIN you're arguing something I agree with you on and missing the WHOLE POINT OF THIS.

The ping time CANNOT tell you how far away something is.    I don't deny that.

What it CAN tell you (and we can debate whether this is useful or not) is the MAXIMUM distance it could be from you.  Light cannot exceed 300,000,000 m/s no matter what.

So, yeah - in your case, it says "The server in the closet over there is AT MOST 35,000km away"...which is a true (but entirely USELESS) piece of information!   I could not agree more!

BUT if ping says (in effect) "The server in Tokyo is AT MOST 6,600km away" - and *both* of the FE maps that I've seen say that's it's much, MUCH further - then the ping time did actually, conclusively, prove something quite significant.   It actually proves that both maps are WRONG. (Which Tom doesn't deny of course).

Now, you're right - I could come along tomorrow and do the exact same test and be told that Tokyo is AT MOST as far away as the moon...and that doesn't help much.

But if the ping time EVER comes back with a usefully short time - then I've proven an upper limit on the distance in a manner that is beyond rational dispute.

This might allow us (with the right access to the right machines) to say (for example) the FE claim that Sydney Australia to Santiago Chile is no more than (I dunno) 10% further than Qantas airlines claim it is...which would be concrete proof that Qantas are not claiming flight distances that are wildly too short...as Tom has been claiming.

My experiments with the Dallas/Tokyo and SiliconValley/Tokyo ping suggests that the shortest ping times do indeed match RET distances between those to place to within a useful percentage...enough to prove conclusively that the two FE maps are indeed CRAP.

The technique is valid for the narrowly stated claims that I make for it.

Your efforts to tarnish it by REPEATEDLY saying that I'm claiming accurate distances - when I'm ABSOLUTELY not - seems to indicate that you're either being deliberately and knowingly incorrect or you're not as knowledgeable about the simple laws of physics and the way ping packets travel as you seem to think you are.

Honestly, I don't care which it is.  Either way - I now know something useful that can be used in the future - even if you're not going to accept it.
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: Psychotropic on September 19, 2017, 12:15:33 AM
I understand what you are trying to test and I think it could be potentially useful as a supporting argument for RE, but you still need to know the true physical location of your source and destination first.  The traceroute provided goes through the above.net colo facility in Ashburn VA and ends in Dallas, not Japan.  You just need to find some nodes that are known to be in a certain physical location.

To play devils advocate, I do not know with absolute certainty that a node with a hostname of  ae-2.r22.asbnva02.us.bb.gin.ntt.net is in Ashburn or that  ae-0.a00.dllstx04.us.bb.gin.ntt.net truly is in Dallas, but it doesn't make much sense to have nodes in Japan named like that.

It looks like the ntt infrastructure is sending you to the nearest colo facility they have to the source, which is Dallas and you are in central Texas, so that all seems pretty normal to me.

So as I said a few posts ago, all of this is easily addressed by knowing for sure beforehand the location of your source and destination.
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: Obviously on September 19, 2017, 05:34:19 AM
Dear RE people, I suggest that as a general strategy we should refrain from complex proofs like this and really press on the simpler, easily observable stuff.

The FE has obvious holes in relation to concepts like gravity, momentum, inertia, as well as motion of planets and stars. Notice, for example, that when the topics like the sun's movement or video and photographic evidence come up, there's usually a sudden hush on their end (because this is the kind of stuff they have no logical explanations for). We should press on with these topics until flerfers run out of excuses.

[/plea]
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: Psychotropic on September 19, 2017, 05:45:34 AM
Dear RE people, I suggest that as a general strategy we should refrain from complex proofs like this and really press on the simpler, easily observable stuff.

The FE has obvious holes in relation to concepts like gravity, momentum, inertia, as well as motion of planets and stars. Notice, for example, that when the topics like the sun's movement or video and photographic evidence come up, there's usually a sudden hush on their end (because this is the kind of stuff they have no logical explanations for). We should press on with these topics until flerfers run out of excuses.

[/plea]

Curious, and this has nothing to do with the reply I just made to you on another thread, but who do you consider FE'ers in this thread?
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: Obviously on September 19, 2017, 05:50:47 AM
Dear RE people, I suggest that as a general strategy we should refrain from complex proofs like this and really press on the simpler, easily observable stuff.

The FE has obvious holes in relation to concepts like gravity, momentum, inertia, as well as motion of planets and stars. Notice, for example, that when the topics like the sun's movement or video and photographic evidence come up, there's usually a sudden hush on their end (because this is the kind of stuff they have no logical explanations for). We should press on with these topics until flerfers run out of excuses.

[/plea]

Curious, and this has nothing to do with the reply I just made to you on another thread, but who do you consider FE'ers in this thread?

I meant this more as a general statement, and I figured that there'd be more RE'ers reading this thread than others.
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: Psychotropic on September 19, 2017, 06:08:05 AM
Dear RE people, I suggest that as a general strategy we should refrain from complex proofs like this and really press on the simpler, easily observable stuff.

The FE has obvious holes in relation to concepts like gravity, momentum, inertia, as well as motion of planets and stars. Notice, for example, that when the topics like the sun's movement or video and photographic evidence come up, there's usually a sudden hush on their end (because this is the kind of stuff they have no logical explanations for). We should press on with these topics until flerfers run out of excuses.

[/plea]

Curious, and this has nothing to do with the reply I just made to you on another thread, but who do you consider FE'ers in this thread?

I meant this more as a general statement, and I figured that there'd be more RE'ers reading this thread than others.

Ah, you said "complex proofs like this" so I figured you were speaking about something/someone specific in this thread.


Edit - it would be great if you could not post things like that in this thread, it adds zero value, is completely off topic, and is not helping to move it forward (FYI, in case you don't fully understand the subject matter, this is all about something that could help RE)
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: Pete Svarrior on September 19, 2017, 08:52:48 AM
Your efforts to tarnish it by REPEATEDLY saying that I'm claiming accurate distances - when I'm ABSOLUTELY not - seems to indicate that you're either being deliberately and knowingly incorrect or you're not as knowledgeable about the simple laws of physics and the way ping packets travel as you seem to think you are.
Nah, I already explained my objections to the precise narrow conditions you're trying to use. Packets on the Internet travel so slowly that, for any two locations you've actually physically ascertained, you're going to get a "maximum distance" that's practically meaningless. Virtually everyone else here gets this.

I understand what you are trying to test and I think it could be potentially useful as a supporting argument for RE, but you still need to know the true physical location of your source and destination first.  The traceroute provided goes through the above.net colo facility in Ashburn VA and ends in Dallas, not Japan.  You just need to find some nodes that are known to be in a certain physical location.

To play devils advocate, I do not know with absolute certainty that a node with a hostname of  ae-2.r22.asbnva02.us.bb.gin.ntt.net is in Ashburn or that  ae-0.a00.dllstx04.us.bb.gin.ntt.net truly is in Dallas, but it doesn't make much sense to have nodes in Japan named like that.
Thank you for your excellent point (and apologies for missing it the first time around) - I should have looked at the hostnames instead of trying to reason about the practicality of his measured times. Nonetheless, it looks like my assertion that the machines were most likely on the same continent was correct!
Title: Re: Dropping the other shoe: A new distance metric.
Post by: Ga_x2 on September 19, 2017, 10:31:58 AM
Your efforts to tarnish it by REPEATEDLY saying that I'm claiming accurate distances - when I'm ABSOLUTELY not - seems to indicate that you're either being deliberately and knowingly incorrect or you're not as knowledgeable about the simple laws of physics and the way ping packets travel as you seem to think you are.
Nah, I already explained my objections to the precise narrow conditions you're trying to use. Packets on the Internet travel so slowly that, for any two locations you've actually physically ascertained, you're going to get a "maximum distance" that's practically meaningless. Virtually everyone else here gets this.

I understand what you are trying to test and I think it could be potentially useful as a supporting argument for RE, but you still need to know the true physical location of your source and destination first.  The traceroute provided goes through the above.net colo facility in Ashburn VA and ends in Dallas, not Japan.  You just need to find some nodes that are known to be in a certain physical location.

To play devils advocate, I do not know with absolute certainty that a node with a hostname of  ae-2.r22.asbnva02.us.bb.gin.ntt.net is in Ashburn or that  ae-0.a00.dllstx04.us.bb.gin.ntt.net truly is in Dallas, but it doesn't make much sense to have nodes in Japan named like that.
Thank you for your excellent point (and apologies for missing it the first time around) - I should have looked at the hostnames instead of trying to reason about the practicality of his measured times. Nonetheless, it looks like my assertion that the machines were most likely on the same continent was correct!
Pete, I owe you an apology, I had misinterpreted your intentions in coaching your objections the way you did. You might be (and I quote) a condescending prick, but you are a honest condescending prick  ;D
You also shouldn't accuse people of lying, wenn being dense would be a sufficient charge.  :-\