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Crackpot Quotient


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What is with the high number of cranks around here of late?


An (incomplete) thread list from the side.



Tribal morality, Lack of...


A long rant by someone about why they're so abused.



Massless Energy & Nothing.


Anti-relativity time-cube junk as far as I can decipher.


Reverse Racism


Has somehow descended into beating back holocaust deniers.







Steady State Universe


Haven't read it but the vibe isn't good from the get go...


Was Einstein Right when he...


Yes. Unless he thought he was wrong. Then he turned out to be right.


Flags on the Moon


Moon landings are real. Thank you.


Global Warming a fake?






Maybe I just haven't been here long enough, but it seems like the ratio of "Crazy Timecube Relativity Deniers" vs "Actual Interesting Science" has gone up around here.


Or maybe I just come at the wrong times, when all the interesting threads are inactive. Don't get me wrong, I've made my share of stinkers in the past - but it seems we've got a high number of people who come in, make semi-coherent posts about how "Einstein SuX0rz!" and then are never heard from again.


(Debatably better than having them stick around...)



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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, I have a suggestions. You know how you can "rate" threads?


Could there be a "crackpot flag" that if enough people flag a thread as crackpottery it would automatically get moved to strange claims, and drop off the "recent threads" list on the right.


Say a dozen votes for "crackpot" gets your thread moved to strange claims - or at least some kind of "crackpot corner."


Or if you want to be diplomatic about it - "Non-mainstream 'science.'"



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I disagree with the implied tone of this thread. While I myself have seen topics/threads which would fall under the designation of 'crackpot' I can ignore them or contribute reality/fact to them.


They burn themselves out naturally or the poster is so off base they leave or get themselves banned. The problem solves itself.


What bothers me about taking a thumbs up/down approach is that is a subjective opinion. One example is the mentioned thread Flags on the Moon. I re-read the thread and found that its purpose was legitimate. The poster was looking for examples to counter a crackpot idea. There is no control over what a later poster decides to post but there sure is alot of control over whether that stays (via moderators) or continues (via replys). But is that a legitimate reason to flag a whole thread as 'crackpot' with its purpose being to enhance the argument ability of a non-believer in the crackpot theory?


If your going to approach this why not delete/mark the whole of the Theology forum with a thumbs down, the home to the majority of crackpot theories (in my not so humble, subjective opinion). Will you place the Spaceship design thread under such a designation?


One morning a few years ago in a chat I frequented, a woman in her 40s came in with some very basic questions about stars, suns, planets and what you see in the sky. I explained as best I could the differences. The other person there (who had a much greater knowledge of this topic) kept pretty quiet. After the woman left the other chatter spoke about the ignorance and lack of understanding this 40+ woman had.


We talked about that and I explained there were people around me who had no interest in this subject. They werent going to become astronomers when they grew up, they wanted to get married and have a family and this crap about white dwarfs and red giants was a waste of their time. They HATED the topic then. And I wondered if this poster was one of those people who now had wanted to learn something, carrying some baggage from bad info handed out in the lifestyle this person lived in. Crackpot theory or environmental influence?


The sciences have an elitist air about them now, simply due to the complexity of much of their domain. I dont know that this forum, should begin to adopt such a demeanor if its goal does encompass expanding knowledge and access. For every one crackpot that posts, theres a hundred people who just may be reading and lurking and learning from the legitimate responses. Would one consenquence of becoming another Simon from Idol (thumbs up/down) deter people from asking questions? Would it reinforce their preconceived ideas that science is just too big for me to wrap my head around?

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Cedars, your points are all valid. But there is a distinction between people looking for answers, and people looking to stuff their answers down other people's throats.


The spaceship design thread is not a crackpot thread, it is a community writing effort (and a stellar one at that).


I think a crackpot mark would probably make the posters think twice before following up their own posts, and perhaps look ahrder for evidence they can post.


Of course, the *real* crackpots will just ignore it...

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The spaceship design thread is not a crackpot thread, it is a community writing effort (and a stellar one at that).


I used it as an example because you wont be able to back up the premise in that thread either. I am not saying I havent enjoyed reading that thread, I have. That doesnt mean everyone enjoys it the same as I do. And labeling someone a crackpot discourages open discussion.


Just how hard would it be to get the required number of people to vote crackpot in the theology forum?


I think a crackpot mark would probably make the posters think twice before following up their own posts, and perhaps look ahrder for evidence they can post.


One of the things I like about this forum is the effort (though sometimes unsuccessful) to keep personal attacks to a minimum. Labeling someone a crackpot is an insult and a personal attack (regardless of its being true or not). I dont know how one can get around that idea while implementing the label.


Of course, the *real* crackpots will just ignore it...


Yes they will. Their threads get moved to strange claims and they get bored, or they get banned and its a private matter between mods and posters, unless a poster decides to make it public.


I do appreciate your response to my hesitation for implementing this idea as a forum standard.

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  • 4 months later...

Okay, so the only threads that seem to get any attention in Physics and Mathematics anymore are the ones about how wrong General Relativity is, pointless debunking of people's ridiculous Grand Unified Theories.


Okay, so honestly, I'm just pissed off that the math geniuses here couldn't help me with my (for real) math problem about polythetic sets and übercomplicated Venn diagrams, and how it's quickly moving down the page as people post more and more of their stupid self-indugent "Einstein was wrong" BS.


WAAAAAA... Poor me. :ideamaybenot:



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