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How do people become cracks?

  1. Jul 23, 2012 #1
    Recently, I came across a website of a guy that has had a physics education, but for whatever reason, he rejects it. He seems more like a troll than a legit crack. However, this got me wondering: how do people become so delusional as to dedicate hundreds of hours writing such crap? Do you think they enjoy writing this kind of material? What motivates these people, and what begins them on this process? What kind of psychology underlies these people?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 23, 2012 #2


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    There have been several studies of this subject. Sorry I don't have any links.

    Basically, the delusional mind finds pleasure in "knowing" something that others don't. This holds for conspiracy theorists and crackpots in general. They will happily spend way more than just a few hundred hours "proving" their points.

    My advice ... ignore them and move on. There is nothing you can do.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2012
  4. Jul 23, 2012 #3
    I would like to add that some of them are actually mental.

    I know one guy who has too large an ego and whenever things don't go his way, rather than accept that he made a mistake, he blames others for conspiring against him (because logically, his premise that he is perfect, means it cannot be his fault). This led to him becoming a conspiracy nut.

    In a way, though, almost everyone must have at least one belief that is not based on empirical evidence, so the potential exists for self-checking to break. Even science. A law is "verified by experiment" not "proven true" because we know it's not necessarily, we just have faith that it will hold when tested to best of our current knowledge.
  5. Jul 23, 2012 #4


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    I don't understand your conclusion, where does faith come into it? If the proponderous of evidence points to something being true we hold it to be true until shown to be otherwise. Where is the faith here?
  6. Jul 23, 2012 #5
    Because that is itself a faith that the world some how has some kind of constant nature. You could be living in a simulator where the controller can flip everything by pressing one button. I am not saying we do. But we rate the possibility of it as "too low to matter" or "not relevant from our perspective" o whatever, all of which are faiths of a sort. I don't think they are incorrect. I just want to point out what we're doing is exactly the same as what cranks do, but less far along the same sliding scale.
  7. Jul 23, 2012 #6


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    I think you're confusing faith with tentative conclusion. As yet we have nothing to indicate that the principle of mediocracy and uniformitarianism do not hold and a series of experience that have shown them to be true. If it was ever revealed that this was not the case we would change our understanding.

    Faith is an assertion of absolute conviction of that which is not evidently true. That does not fit here.
  8. Jul 23, 2012 #7


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    It is true that the application of scientific method assumes that (1) there are rules, (2) we can understand those rules, and (3) those rules do not change without notice. However, that merely means that the enterprise of science is one gigantic test of a scientific hypothesis: that the universe logical in the sense specified by those assumptions.

    As Ryan says - no faith required. I certainly don't question those assumptions every day but, ultimately, if the universe is not logical in that sense, scientific method happily predicts its own demise.
  9. Jul 23, 2012 #8
    Faith: any strongly held conviction

    Looks good to me. Are you perhaps using a different definition?
  10. Jul 23, 2012 #9


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    Merriam Wbster dictionary


    3: something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs

    3a : a strong persuasion or belief

    Science doesn't use "faith", it uses "understanding" of results and evidence.
  11. Jul 23, 2012 #10
    Which is itself a faith ... Unless you can say you know absolutely, for certain, you can prove you aren't living in a simulator? What about string theory? So the people working on string theory, without the ability to verify it experimentally? what [STRIKE]are they working on[/STRIKE] drives them if it's not faith?

    I know scientists are sometimes upset by the word fatih because it has religious connotations, but not all faith is tied to religion.
  12. Jul 23, 2012 #11


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    This thread keeps going off topic.
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