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Praise Appology to Censorship - I was wrong

  1. Nov 19, 2012 #1
    Back some time ago, probably around Sept. or Oct. 2009, I criticized you, the Admins, for
    not having a crackpot section.

    My argument was that perhaps some good scientific research could be suggested due to
    trains of thought started by crackpots and that by outright censoring the crackpots rather
    than continuing to provide them their own section, then some bright idea may be snuffed
    out or delayed.

    I take it back.

    I take it completely back.

    I am a self educated individual with little more than a high-school education. My self
    learning comes mostly from suffocating myself in mostly BBC and PBS documentaries, looking
    up everything and anything I've herd and do not understand, and just remaining curious
    about the world in general. (Not a Couch-Potato curious, but an actual "Let's take the time
    to look it up or try it out" curious.)

    About 6 months ago I've received a new coworker. This individual is a believer in the
    Samuarian (spelling?) tablets, the 12th planet, and that our intelligence and evolution comes
    from an alien race that came to earth to acquire gold because - despite their ability to
    travel billions of miles in ships that would dwarf our pyramids - could not simply make gold
    by rearranging Protons, Electrons, and Neutrons.


    After dealing with this individual for the past half-year I have come to realize one thing: It's
    a religion. Chem-trails, conspiracy theory, Ancient Astronauts, Crystal Skulls of power,
    etc... etc.. etc... blah blah blah.... it's all religion.

    But these are religions with one minor difference: In the standard and major religions, it's
    not simple nor easy to prove them correct or incorrect - instead a whole education rewrite
    may be needed. With the Crack-Pots it is quite easy to prove them incorrect, they just
    simply refuse to believe proof or to even hear it.

    I no longer have the patience for individuals that CHOOSE to remain stupid. I can forgive
    those that simply do not know better, or those with lesser mental capability that cannot
    comprehend evidence they are presented with. But those that CHOOSE to remain stupid
    when they are capable of more? I have no patience, tolerance, nor time for them and refuse
    to humor them in the slightest.

    I completely and with out reservation apologize for my prior criticism of your censorship
    guidelines and thank you for attempting to squash these pseudo-factual sciences and
    histories. I now fully appreciate your attempts to spare the rest of the community from such
    crack-pot beliefs that hold back the quality of life and educational average for the rest of
    the human race.

    May they not procreate.

    Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 19, 2012 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Thanks, and welcome...back?

    A couple of books you might be interested in that delve into the link between the logic of conspiracy theory and religion:
    "The Demon Haunted World" (By Sagan)
    "Among the Truthers" (not sure of the author)

    The first is more about religion itself and the second is obviously more about conspiracy theory, but they both discuss how the mindset works and the similarities are striking. Having already figured this out for yourself, it may just confirm what you already know, but I've found them interesting.

    More to the point:
    Yes, that's why we don't allow that sort of thing here. There really isn't any point in talking to a true believer because scientific reasoning has no effect on them. So it gets in the way. There is sometimes the issue of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, but I personally make a quick attempt at teaching those who are just ignorant when they bring in crackpottery; but on a very short leash and I probably often go over the line of what our rules technically allow. There are some people who can be taught if they aren't too far gone, but we just need to close the discussions before the true believers notice the conversation and swarm in (and they do -- they're like vultures).
  4. Nov 20, 2012 #3
    Never left, i just tend to read a lot more of the forums than I post. I see how the site is directed more to professionals and upper grade students of graduate and post-graduate college levels. For examples - the maths are all Ancient Greek to me spoken with a Chinese accent through sign language, so I don't even try to understand the specifics of things which are over my head. Just grabbing the general idea for expanding my existing knowledge of the world.

    My questions of "We made the dust bowel through man-made climate change in the early 1930's, then contributed to fixing it. Can we fertilize the Sahara?" and "Could the ISS be modified into a long term space vessel for Lunar or Mars transportation?" I see as too Low-Brow to ask here Hahaha. (I do enjoy theoretical pondering and experimentation when possible.)

    As far as the books - they do sound extremely interesting. Due to my tight household budget (18k/yr) it will depend more on if i can get an E-version or find them on Google Books to read. But I do appreciate the suggestion :biggrin:

    BTW - I download YouTube documentaries on my IPad to listen to while I'm spending 12 hours driving at work. ( just a check for BBC Full or Documentary Full gets a lot of youtube results on Google) If you see any interesting ones you'd like to share I'm always up for new entertainment at work. (I find "Educational" to be Entertainment, and the "Entertainment" section of my newspaper good for cleaning up doggie poo - Best use EVER for it!.)
  5. Nov 20, 2012 #4
    They taught us in school to study the evidence then decide what to believe. This is not what actually happens in the real world though. The great majority of people simply believe whatever their friends believe, no matter how weird. It makes a certain amount of sense: if you don't agree with them, then you will have no friends. And who wants that?

    The rise of these bizarre myths really interests me. We didn't have stuff like this when I was a kid. I guess its because so many people do not believe the media anymore, so something has to fill the vacuum. I have a friend who is a Scientologist. Thousands of people believe that stuff, which is like bad science fiction.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  6. Nov 20, 2012 #5


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    I disagree w/ this somewhat. Yeah, the math stuff may often tend towards more knowledgeable folks, but I'm pretty much self-taught in physics, certainly entirely self-taught in cosmology and quantum mechanics (to the modest extent that I understand either) and a great deal of my knowledge comes from this forum. Also there are a lot of high school students and undergrads here along with other interested amateurs such as myself.
  7. Nov 20, 2012 #6


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    Staff: Mentor

    PF is for everyone who wants to learn more.

    Sure, sometimes it gets technical, but not everything can be explained by handwaving - besides, with handwaving it is easy to fool people, while the math can be checked.
  8. Nov 20, 2012 #7


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    Dearly Missed

    As for your idea that crackpottery is just like religion, you are absolutely right.
    That is why the very first subforum at PF that was deleted was the..Religion sub-forum, some 7 or 8 years ago. :approve:
  9. Nov 20, 2012 #8


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    I'll second WaxyChicken's sentiment. I used to be a member of another physics forum where crackpottery was allowed. Signal-to-noise was asymptotic to zero, and one particularly abrupt drop motivated me to leave. One of the last wave of nutcases happened to mention that this place had had the good taste to ban him, so I thought I'd come and have a look. I like it a lot better here. I actually learn physics here. :smile:
  10. Nov 20, 2012 #9
    In case you know somebody else with other or similar crackpot ideas, just introduce them to each other. You'll be off the hook in no time. :approve:
  11. Nov 20, 2012 #10

    But i don't think I'd be able to stand having 2 of them around!!! I'd probably just quit and make do with disability claim of "So sane in this state that i cannot work" hahaha (Arizona - don't move here if you love intelligence.)

    I'm wondering - they have found part - and may eventually find the entire - DNA sequence that is responsible for higher than average intelligence.... Maybe some day they'll find a Crack-Pot / Gullible / Obama is a Muslim that follows a Crazy Christian Evangelist and is a terrorist bent on taking away your guns and placing America in a Jihad war so that he may destroy his own country gene. (no, let's not get into politics and ruin a good thing in this thread! :rofl:)
  12. Nov 20, 2012 #11


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    If your going to do this riff, you've got to put Hussein in there.
  13. Nov 20, 2012 #12


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    Staff: Mentor

    Thank you for your feedback, it's time to close this.
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