The PETA Ad That Encapsulates Modernity

It is, unfortunately, not really safe for work, or for children, and in a more extended sense, for people with eyes. And yet anyone who lives in the modern world will probably see worse on a frequent basis. Accordingly I’ll put it in the “click to read more” section so that only those who think it wise will look at it.

The text of the tweet presenting the add is:

“Traditional” masculinity is DEAD. The secret to male sexual stamina is veggies. 😉

The ad itself shows a number of men with large vegetables tied to their crotches in ways that visually suggest part of the male anatomy normally hidden beneath clothing. The first guy looks remarkably like a stereotypical rapist, there are one or two more men I’d never be willing to associate with and would strongly suggest any woman I know avoid too; there are also some normal-looking men, even a few over 50. They are mostly gyrating their crotches to make the tied-on vegetables swing around in ways that suggest that incarceration for public indecency is imminent.

Technically the idea that traditional masculinity is dead comes from the tweet rather than the ad, which limits itself to promoting vegetables for sexual stamina. That said, it’s a great symptom of modernity that “traditional masculinity” is equated, not with character traits such as strength, endurance, competence, loyalty, bravery, and so forth, but only with the procreative act (which one assumes will generally be neutered so as to avoid the actual procreation). It does follow, though, that when a man is nothing but a passive receptacle for sensations he will be conceptually reduced to his most sensitive body parts.

(As a side note, the ad is fascinating in that it’s theoretically promoting vegetables but is so creepy that it would be more effectively pro-vegetarian if it was nominally promoting meat.)

Probably the most notable aspect to it is that the general taboos against showing hardcore pornography in most public places keep the ad from simulating with vegetables the theoretical benefit being proposed. In consequence the attempt to suggest the proposed benefit is forced to become a solitary activity. This makes it not only creepier, but also a great symbol for modernity—it is a video of men celebrating themselves for things which are naturally ordered toward community. In modernity the individual becomes atomized and alone. As such, he becomes entirely sterile.

He can create nothing. All he can do is long for past glory and pretend that he has it.

Continue reading “The PETA Ad That Encapsulates Modernity”

Art & Architecture: Jonathan Pageau & Andrew Gould

A really interesting interview of Andrew Gould by Jonathan Pageau

The whole thing is interesting but the last ten minutes when they discuss a beer shop which Andrew designed are especially interesting.

The part which really caught my attention was when Andrew explained how it was he came to design the building the way he did—the owner gave him carte blanche to design something beautiful because, owning a number of other properties in the area, he wanted to try to raise the standard in the neighborhood.

This touches a really interesting point, both about architecture but about the wider social phenomenon of imitation. People like excellence and will try to imitate it. But the phenomenon requires someone who is willing to be better than he needs to be. People who merely get along don’t inspire anyone. There’s a curious problem embedded in that—once the person who was better than he has to be inspires others, the standard will be raised and he will not be only as good as he needs to be to keep up with the people he inspired. There is, however, also a countervailing force of people wanting to be more lax than they are; these two forces form a cyclical pattern of improvement and degradation which is readily observable in history. (How the strict Victorian period followed the lax Georgian period, only to be followed by the lax roaring twenties, for example.)

Leading Atheists Into Admitting They Reject Reason

A skill I’ve been refining over time is leading atheists who are trying to argue with me into admitting that they reject reason. Typically by getting them to say that the laws of logic aren’t true, that reason cannot reach truth, or that logic does not describe reality. If I were fourteen, I would probably do that because it’s a game and fun to outwit them. Since I will soon be bidding goodbye to my 30s, I have a practical reason for it.

Christians have a duty to give the truth to anyone who will accept it. However, modern technology (such as twitter, comments to YouTube videos, etc) has put each of us into contact with more people than one can possibly talk to in a lifetime. Worse, there is a minority of people who love to waste other people’s time who go around looking for people whose time they can waste. Since they will merrily go from victim to victim, one such person can waste the time of hundreds; this greatly magnifies the problem for those open to talking with strangers.

As a result, it is only practical to become efficient at weeding out people who are not talking in good faith. The difficulty is that since their purpose is not honest they will try to disguise themselves as honest questioners. However, they cannot hold an actual position or there quickly becomes nothing to say. If they pretended to some particular belief they would quickly end up where actual believers of that belief did, which is at the stalemate of differing perceptions of the universe. Hindus and Christians, for example, rarely argue because they simply have incompatible starting points, and there’s not to say about that.

When it comes to trying to waste the time of Christians, a popular approach these days is “lack of belief” atheism. I’ve written and done videos about this extensively, but the short short version is that they don’t lack a belief, they only pretend to, so that they can pretend that they don’t actually have a position. But of course since they live in the world whether or not God created the world and gives it purpose is of fundamental importance and unavoidable. By living, one either acts in ways compatible with God’s purpose for the world or one acts in ways incompatible with it. If the atheist is not living exactly as if God exists—and they never do—then he is behaving inconsistently with his profession that he has no idea whether or not God exists.

When this is pointed out to them they will try to squirm out of it in various ways, but in my experience the most popular, by far, is some variation of rejecting reason. “I’m not being inconsistent if contradictions can be true!” they say, only far less clearly. They don’t want to be clear, of course, because the moment one rejects reason the game is up. There’s no point in talking to a man who rejects reason.

This is both because language is fundamentally rational, and because nothing can possibly be achieved by trying to reason a man into a conclusion when he rejects reason. No matter how good your argument, he will simply reject some step in it because he can reject any step in it as his whim.

So, to sum up, when a stranger is asking questions on the internet and especially if they’re things he should already know with a few minutes of reading if he was actually interested, it can save a lot of time to force him into admitting some unpleasant consequence of his claimed position—or lack thereof. If he actually believes it, he’ll admit what comes along with it. If he’s just trying to waste your time, he’ll try to wriggle out of it and odds are very good he’ll deny reason.

It’s not an insincere denial, and those who deny reason tend not to have much foresight.

Lindybeige on Pushing Swords

From one of my favorite YouTube channels, Lindybeige, comes this video on why pushing swords is a movie convention and doesn’t happen in reality:

There’s one caveat to what he said—which otherwise I think generally correct: sometimes in fights you will see fighters pause with each other while both sides take a second to breathe. This is especially obvious in boxing where the two clinch and look like they’re hugging each other. It does seem possible, therefore, that two men having a duel—especially if they’re wearing mail and thus don’t need to worry about cuts to the body, only stabs—might both pause a moment in a position like this where they’re so close the other can’t generate substantial power. This actually ties into some thing which Llyod has said in other videos that people typically don’t like killing each other and often try to at least put it off if not outright avoid it. That said, this is a minor caveat and I think Llyod is correct.

Time Chasers

I recently came across a fascinating interview with David Giancola, director of the movie Time Chasers. A cult classic after it was aired on Mystery Science Theater 3000, Time Chasers is connected in my mind to Hobgoblins which was also an early movie from an independent director which became far more famous and made vastly more money than anyone expected once it was featured on MST3K. They’re also two of my favorite MST3K episodes.

About a year ago I started doing some research into Hobgoblins. Like all low-budget films, it made extensive use of a few locations. Then when re-watching Time Chasers, I realized how much bigger a film Time Chasers was. It had far more locations, more props, flying planes, a crashed car. The thing which really made me notice, though, was the fight scene on the wing of a flying airplane. It’s not brilliant, but all things considered it actually looks decent.

That’s hard. And not cheap.

That’s when I looked up the budgets for the movies. Hobgoblins had a budget of $15,000 while Time Chasers had a budget ten times that—exactly; it’s budget was $150,000. Though I discovered reading the interview that that’s not entirely accurate. Time Chasers originally had a $40,000 budget but then secured additional funding as it was going over budget (it took three years between the beginning of the project and the end of post-production). Still, a budget ten times as large shows.

In the interview David Giancola mentions that they get compared to movies where the catering budget was larger than the entire budget for Time Chasers. I think it’s worth noting that the reason it gets compared to big budget movies is that while it’s not nearly as good as a big budget movie, it’s comparable. Hobgoblins is not. And I think it’s impressive that David Giancola managed to accomplish that at the age of twenty (to twenty three) on such a small budget.

I’ve said before (though I forget whether I said it on this blog) that the biggest fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000 are probably people who would love to be part of making a movie. There’s a magic to movies. We enjoy MST3K so much because we know that we’d happily make a cheesy movie if that’s all we had the budget for. We’re really laughing at ourselves.

Though we also enjoy thinking about what we’d do better. For example, I wouldn’t name the main villain Generic Corporation. (It took me something like ten viewings to realize that’s what Gen Corp. stood for.)

But ultimately I think this is why Time Chasers works so well for Mystery Science Theater 3000. It feels like it’s within reach, but it’s pretty good for something that’s within reach. So, hat’s off to David Giancola. He made a much better movie than most people would have on such a small budget.

And watching it with Mike, Crow, and Tom Servo has given me many hours of enjoyment.

Breathless

If you’re not familiar with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, he’s probably best known for songs about murder (Where the Wild Roses Go, Stagger Lee, Henry Lee) or apocalyptic situations (Red Right Hand). The murder is often related to sex, by the way. Which makes it especially interesting that Nick Cave also wrote this song:

It sounds like a love song and is, but it’s a love song to God.

Nick Cave isn’t much of a believer—according to his wikipedia page he said in an interview:

I’m not religious, and I’m not a Christian, but I do reserve the right to believe in the possibility of a god. It’s kind of defending the indefensible, though; I’m critical of what religions are becoming, the more destructive they’re becoming. But I think as an artist, particularly, it’s a necessary part of what I do, that there is some divine element going on within my songs.

Oh, those nasty religions which insist that people should be good instead of just giving into every impulse that they have, and that they have a nature and can’t be anything that they want. They’re so mean with the way that they get in the way of everyone’s fun. But Nick Cave has a career in entertainment to think of and most entertainers are degenerates of one kind or another and degenerates crave little as much as they do affirmation. But when it comes to a songwriter, look to his songs, not to his interviews.

And in his songs we find a love song to God.

Blackmail Spam

I’ve periodically seen (and heard about) spam emails which attempt to blackmail the recipient. They’re an interesting phenomenon, and tend to use the form of starting out with “you’ve been hacked and your password is [common password]”. I’ve seen some variations, like “password”, “a1b2c3”. I forget the name for that but it’s an interesting technique where by being specific you throw out most of your potential audience but seem to have information you shouldn’t to the small bit that remains.

One such story I’ve heard was about a con artist who selected 4096 names and addresses from the phone book, then sent each of them a letter introducing himself and giving a free tip. He picked a stock and to half said that it was going to go up, to the other half that it was going to go down. The stock then went up or down, and he threw out the half for whom his prediction was wrong. He then did the same thing to the remaining 2048 people, dividing them in two again. Finally he was down to only 4 people but from their perspective he had made 10 accurate predictions in a row! It couldn’t be chance!

Obviously this is less sophisticated, but it’s interesting for other reasons, too, so I’m going to go through it and point them out.

Subject: Frauders known your old passwrd (a1b2c3). Password mut be changed.

I find it very interesting that it starts out as if it’s from someone in a position of authority, which I suspect is just for the obvious reason of getting someone to read it. I’ve also heard that spammers don’t spend much time on plausibility because only very gullible people will fall for the scams anyway. Curious start, though.

Hello!

I have bad news for you. 19/09/2018 – on this day I hacked your OS and got full access to your account [redacted]. On this day your account [redacted] has password: a1b2c3

The friendliness is interesting, given that this is an attempt at blackmail. Anyway, we see the use of the common password which will be right for only some people.

So, you can change the password, yes.. But my malware intercepts it every time.

How I made it: In the software of the router, through which you went online, was a vulnerability. I just hacked this router and placed my malicious code on it. When you went online, my trojan was installed on the OS of your device.

This starts off plausible, but after that (mostly) only works in movies. Hacking a router is a start, but you can’t just “install a trojan”. Trojans are programs which do something real but also have a malicious payload. Routers don’t automatically install software onto client machines every time those machines go online.

Worse, it’s been a while since almost all web traffic has switched to SSL, which, granted, a router can try doing a man-in-the-middle attack on, but that’s not easy since these days browsers make it hard to trust self-signed certificates. Again, we see a surface veneer of plausibility. Much like science fiction.

After that, I made a full dump of your disk (I have all your address book, history of viewing sites, all files, phone numbers and addresses of all your contacts).

This is pretty boiler-plate for these sorts of emails. Kind of a standard “I have power over you”. Now is when it gets interesting:

A month ago, I wanted to lock your device and ask for a not big amount of btc to unlock.

It’s interesting that it’s using the generic “device”. The English in this one is fairly good; enough that I wonder if the occasional “foreign speaker” mistakes are a put-on in order to disguise where this stays generic.

But I looked at the sites that you regularly visit, and I was shocked by what I saw!!! I’m talk you about sites for adults. I want to say – you are a BIG pervert. Your fantasy is shifted far away from the normal course!

I’ve got to say that I love the idea that the criminal who was planning to break your computer and ransom your data was utterly shocked by pornography. I think it makes a certain amount of sense in terms of trying to set the tone, since the blackmail that is to follow depends upon a sense of shame in the victim.

And I got an idea….
I made a screenshot of the adult sites where you have fun (do you understand what it is about, huh?). After that, I made a screenshot of your joys (using the camera of your device) and glued them together.
Turned out amazing! You are so spectacular!

The faux-friendly tone is quite interesting, especially when coupled with a sort of flattery. I wonder if the idea behind the flattery is to pretend to knowledge that the story would have be true to have, or something else. Possibly it’s just to try to amplify the sense of shame in the victim.

I’m know that you would not like to show these screenshots to your friends, relatives or colleagues. I think $719 is a very, very small amount for my silence.

And here we finally get to the blackmail. (Incidentally, “I’m know” is an odd mistake. And someone who doesn’t speak English natively seems unlikely to use “huh?” so correctly in the preceding paragraph. And they got the second sentence correct including punctuation.)

Also curious that there’s no reference to having looked at the victim’s online banking and saw that he can easily afford this.

Besides, I have been spying on you for so long, having spent a lot of time!

This may be the part I find most interesting—the blackmailer is basically appealing to a living wage theory of the time-value of work. He’s put so much time in, he deserves a lot of money!

Pay ONLY in Bitcoins!
My BTC wallet: 1J5SXcupgaq2tUas5S7wVtf7evJp6YC3LJ
You do not know how to use bitcoins? Enter a query in any search engine: “how to replenish btc wallet”. It’s extremely easy

Curious that they include instructions to search rather than actual instructions. On the other hand, writing good instructions is hard work and the willingness to do hard work is not why criminals get into crime, by and large. (note: I didn’t redact or change the bitcoin wallet because, well, why should I?)

For this payment I give you two days (48 hours). As soon as this letter is opened, the timer will work.

Now we’re basically in the realm of complete fantasy. Email clients don’t send read-receipts any more and haven’t for a long time. Granted, the blackmailer has (in theory) installed a trojan on the victim’s computer, but in that case why not say that he’s watching via the webcam? Of course, that might prompt the victim to take immediate action which would make him find out it’s a hoax.

It’s also curious that it’s 48 hours. It’s short enough one can’t put it off indefinitely, but it’s also plenty long enough to do some basic searching and find out that this is a common hoax. And to install anti-virus software and find out that there are no trojans. (Though there’s some mention of this later.)

I think the idea is that there’s supposed to be a relatively short timer which will cause the victim to panic and act before thinking, but why two whole days rather than, say, 60 minutes or 4 hours or something short enough that there isn’t much time for non-compliance?

After payment, my virus and dirty screenshots with your enjoys will be self-destruct automatically. If I do not receive from you the specified amount, then your device will be locked, and all your contacts will receive a screenshots with your “enjoys”

I think that the automatic self-destruction of the evidence is a nice touch. It suggests that one doesn’t need to trust the villain to obtain the desired result, though about a quarter of a second of thinking about it would make such assurance worthless (if for no other reason than the villain could be lying about the automatic self-destruct). Presumably, though, they’ve discarded the quick witted as potential victims anyway.

I hope you understand your situation.
– Do not try to find and destroy my virus! (All your data, files and screenshots is already uploaded to a remote server)
– Do not try to contact me (you yourself will see that this is impossible, the sender address is automatically generated)
– Various security services will not help you; formatting a disk or destroying a device will not help, since your data is already on a remote server.

This is an interesting attempt to head off common responses. Of course, since this is a hoax, the real intent is to prevent the victim from finding out that there’s no virus. Still, it’s curious that it suggests alternative courses of action. I suppose they will arise anyway since everyone’s first thought will be how to get out of this situation without paying, so shaping the thoughts in a direction that’s unlikely to work is to the blackmailer’s benefit.

P.S. You are not my single victim. so, I guarantee you that I will not disturb you again after payment!

Interesting that the blackmailer takes thought for the possibility that he’s lying, or will be back for more, and tries to head this off. I wonder if it’s partially the result of blackmailers never stopping being such a common idea in murder mysteries? Could that popular form of entertainment have made life slightly harder for real-life blackmailers? It’s an interesting idea.

This is the word of honor hacker
I also ask you to regularly update your antiviruses in the future. This way you will no longer fall into a similar situation.
Do not hold evil! I just do my job.
Good luck.

This sign-off is very curious. Presumably the blackmailer doesn’t actually care what the victim thinks of him—and has no hope of the victim thinking of him in a friendly way, anyway—so it must serve some other purpose. Making the hoax seem more real? I remember reading C.S. Lewis commenting on how the art of including irrelevant details to make a narration seem more real was part of what distinguished the modern novel from more ancient tales; could this art be used in hoaxing in this manner? Or possibly it’s akin to the stage magician’s art of redirection? If the blackmailer can get his victim to focus on whether or not the blackmailer has a black heart he will forget to ask whether the blackmailer actually has the evidence he claims? It would, after all, be very easy to include a screenshot from the claimed video as proof, were the blackmailer actually telling the truth.

Of course, it’s easy to read too much into such a scam. There’s no proof that I know of that anyone has actually fallen for it. The victims of such a scam are not likely to come forth and tell the world they’ve been scammed since it would be admitting exactly what they wish to conceal, and for no gain since the odds of recovering money sent to an anonymous bitcoin wallet are not high. And without knowing how successful the scam is, there’s little we can tell from it besides what a scammer—who possibly has no experience—thinks is likely to be a good scam.

That said, I still find it interesting from the perspective of someone who writes murder mysteries since those tend to be stories that involve at least one amateur—the murderer. But there are often more; red herrings are almost always, by definition, people who are not practiced. After all, if they were skilled, they’d be the murderer, not a red herring.

Secular Celebrations Have to Suck in the Modern World

I’ve occasionally seen atheists who crow about how Christmas is a secular holiday as well as a religious one. This has always struck me as odd because the secular celebration of Christmas is awful and has been for a while. C.S. Lewis has an essay about it, and he died in 1963. Why (some) atheists are proud about something that people start complaining about in late November, I don’t know.

But thinking about it, it occurred to me that in the modern world, or at least the modern (rich) west, secular celebrations have to suck. This is because they literally can’t be about anything. Let me explain.

Traditionally, festivities were used to make real (by experience of pleasure) the hidden reality being celebrated. Whether it’s the glory of something in the past, the glory of something recurrent, or the goodness of God, people would eat foods they couldn’t always eat and play games they couldn’t always play to feel the reality of the goodness being celebrated.

The modern west, however, so totally indulges all of its senses that this is no longer possible. Even the few people who don’t eat a diet which is primarily candy (mostly in the form of candied foods), they have access to a rich variety of delicious foods. It’s very common that special meals are things like Turkey, Ham, and other stuff which was once sumptuous but is not generally the worst meal you’ll have all month.

People would decorate to please the eyes, but with modern printing, TV, phones, etc. we look at bright colors and pretty images all day long. Looking at the same decorations for a few hours is a sensory downgrade from normal.

People used to use expensive perfumes to stimulate the senses, but perfumes have become so cheap that they’re everywhere. Scented candles would be a dime a dozen except for inflation.

People would sing songs and play music to stimulate the ears; we listen to music so much it fades into the background. I literally had to stop and listen to discover that the grocery store was playing “Christmas” songs. (The scare quotes are because most of them are really winter songs.) Most of the time I don’t notice that music is even playing.

The modern west is so saturated in sensory stimulation that we ignore most of it as noise. This leaves us unable to use sensory stimulation for celebration. (This is probably why drinking to excess is so popular—most people spend most of most days sober, so being drunk is at least is a change, if not exactly a good change.)

This is not a problem for religious holidays, because we still have something we’re actually celebrating. On Christmas I will go to mass and be happy. Even the pointless sensory stimulation that we will carry on because it’s tradition can remind me of “the reason for the season”, and that is good.

But a purely secular holiday has no such advantage. There is no secular reason for secular Christmas, and none of it works. It’s a bunch of bother to have a worse time than normal. (Atheists will also say it’s nice to spend time with family, but if they actually liked it they’d do it more than once or twice a year.)

This is a real problem for atheists and will only get worse as technology gets better. This is going to have an effect on our culture, though I’m not sure what that effect is. Perhaps atheists will be bred out of the population before it has much of an effect. Still, I think that this is going to be influential. (Another possibility is that secular celebrations will become purely traditional not because anyone likes them but for the satisfaction of a connection to the past.) It will be interesting to see.

80s Movie Ending

For many people, and especially those who grew up in the 1980s, there was a type of movie that’s very recognizable. The example which most stands out in my mind is The Goonies, but there were a ton in a similar style. Which is why I found this short film so funny:

As a fun side-note, the movie Roller Boogie seems to be the first 80s movie made, which is very curious because it was made in 1979 and includes the clothes and hair typical of the (late) 1970s, making it quite a curiosity. (The basic plot of the plucky kids who have to save the thing from the businessmen who want to foreclose on it in order to build something else probably pre-dated Roller Boogie, I just haven’t seen an example of it earlier.)

The Magic of Lighting in Photography

This video, which is apparently a trailer for a music video rather than a documentary about the power of lighting in photography, is absolutely fascinating:

If you take pictures, or even just look at pictures, it is worth watching this video in full because it shows you just how powerful the effect of lighting is.

Part of where lighting gains its power, by the way, is that our brain does an enormous amount of processing on the images it gets from the eyes. Not only does it remove the blood vessels and the blind spot in front of our optic nerve from what we perceive based on its knowledge of what it is that it’s looking at (the origin of many optical illusions), it also does color correction.

We’re used to thinking of an object as having a color based on what light it reflects but this is only partially true. A red ball does, in fact, absorb green and blue (etc) and only reflect red, but the light which reaches our eyes is dependent on what light hits the ball. In white light, the standard description of color more-or-less applies. But in, for example, blue light, no light comes back from the ball and it looks black. In red light, the same amount of red light comes back from a red ball as comes back from a white ball, so the white ball looks red. Or, depending on how our brain decides to interpret it, the red ball looks white. That’s the basis of those secret messages which were printed in blue against a red squiggly background. In white light the squiggles dominate our ability to see images, but in red light (usually achieved by using red cellophane as a filter) the red squiggles look no different than the white paper and so disappear, while the blue text which was the same brightness (in white light) as the red squiggles now show up as black.

There’s all sorts of interesting tricks which can be pulled off with light, too, because the red, green, and blue photo-receptors in our eyes are not equally sensitive. Green seems the brightest to us, so you can make the colors of, for example, tropical fish pop more by illuminating them with lights that have a lot of red and blue but not much green; thus the amount of red and blue which reflects off the fish compared to the overall brightness is higher and they look more colorful (this is why they always look better in the pet store unless you invest in the special lights for your home aquarium—on the plus side those lights are better for aquarium pants, too).

There are similar considerations when lighting people with little pigment in their skin. Light which has too much red in it can easily make their skin look very reddish.

There’s another curious effect which is that the overall quantity of light will change things because every photo-receptor (whether in a camera or an eye) has a maximum amount of stimulation. If you can use so much light that you can exceed the maximum amount of stimulation, you can “wash” the colors out as everything tends towards white since the relative balance of colors changes. You can use tricks like this to lighten or darken someone’s skin in a photo shoot, for example.

Cameras don’t like by commission, but they lie by omission all the time.

The Great Ptolemaic Smackdown

If you haven’t read The Great Ptolemaic Smackdown by TOF, you really, really should. It’s the history of the overthrow of the ptolemaic theory of the solar system to the present heliocentric theory of the solar system. Gallileo is involved, but is not the primary subject. It’s really quite fascinating and more than worth the time to read it. Two tidbits, to wet your appetite:

TOF once wrote an article entitled “The Great Ptolemaic Smackdown and Down ‘n Dirty Mud-Wrassle” which described the century-long progress from the first seriously-worked out heliocentric mathematical model to the final overthrow of geocentrism.  A century, more-or-less, is generally what it takes for quantum mechanics, general relativity, and sundry other theories to progress from “wild hypothesis overthrowing the wisdom of the ages” to “standard model,” so there was nothing unusual in the resistance to heliocentrism from the scientific establishment of the day.  As Max Planck once put it, a new scientific theory gradually gets accepted by scientists because “all the old scientists have died.”  

and slightly later:

Before you laugh at your ancestors, TOF invites you to prove that the earth is, contrary to your senses, in wild and careening double motion: spinning like a top and whipping around the sun without (somehow) leaving the Moon and Air behind, and without everyone stumbling around like dunkards.  You are not allowed to appeal to authority or to the success of NASA, or suchlike things.  You’ve got eyeballs and armillaries, and that’s pretty much it.  Go. TOF will wait here.

Astonishingly, Late Moderns, who hold heliocentrism as a sort of holy doctrine, are generally unaware of the empirical evidences that would justify it; while Early Moderns, who thought geocentrism dough-face obvious, were well aware of the evidences that falsified heliocentrism. These evidences, plucked variously from Aristotle, Oresme, and Riccoli follow; but be it noted that both Oresme and Riccoli also supplied rebuttals for most of them and Aristotle cautioned against taking his cosmology as more certain than he himself did…

It really is an excellent history of the time, and you really, really should read the whole thing. It explores why the scientific establishment of the time was set against heliocentrism—for example, they didn’t much care whether the earth was at the center or the sun was at the center, but the idea that the earth was moving contradicted all available evidence both on the earth and of astronomical observations. Go read it. You’ll be glad that you did.