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Impressive Works of Crackpots?

  1. Oct 19, 2013 #1
    Check out TempleOS: http://www.templeos.org/TempleOSV0107.html [Broken]

    It's incredibly impressive work. He wrote his own operating system.

    It's unfortunate he's totally insane (schizophrenic).
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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  3. Oct 19, 2013 #2


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    For much of his adult life, John Nash was a complete crackpot, burying himself in numerology he thought contained clues to encrypted messages from outer space.
    That doesn't mean he wasn't a genius , but as he himself has admitted, it was never in the periods of intense madness he was able to produce anything worthwhile, but in those lucid spells he also had.
  4. Oct 19, 2013 #3
    He's still alive at age 85.
  5. Oct 19, 2013 #4


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    Well, with no disrespect to him, we only have his word for that. But we all know that everything on the web is true, of course :smile:
  6. Oct 19, 2013 #5


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    Taking into account all limitations he has listed, it doesn't sound like some very complicated task. That's not to say it is easy, but it is something that reasonably skilled IT engineer/programmer/whatnot should be able to do. After all those studying computer sciences spend three years of their life to learn something, don't they?
  7. Oct 19, 2013 #6


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    I even dated a guy who wrote one (admittedly primitive).

    IMO, if the only reason this is newsworthy is because the guy has mental illness, then it's not very newsworthy.
  8. Oct 19, 2013 #7
    It's open source.

    It took him 10.2 years. I would hardly call it a simple task.
  9. Oct 19, 2013 #8


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    It only means he is slow. IMHO weeks for a prototype.
  10. Oct 19, 2013 #9


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    In the early 1970s I worked did operating systems and compilers - added new features, and upgraded a Fortran II compiler to Fortran IV. You can find the results if you visit the IBM 1130 Museum! This was mostly assembly language, plus a bit of machine language.

    It is not "really difficult" or "complex" - it only requires organization, very good programming skills, and lots of time and effort. You do NOT need to be a genius, though it does help to be highly focused, and you need a good memory for details. It is not a job for everyone.

    The problem with computer software is that the hardware is always changing, resulting in a never-ending need to update and upgrade your code. Include a few bugs and you are really busy. Over the years I have written several systems with over 100,000 lines of code - systems which were done for commercial or industrial clients, and which had to work.

    Of course it may require genius if your operating system has to simultaneously interpret the bible! I can barely get by Deutsch, so I would hardly dare speculate on ancient Hebrew and Koine Greek!
  11. Oct 19, 2013 #10


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    I think a lot of the crackpottery I've read is remarkable and impressive for its sheer crackpottedness.
  12. Oct 20, 2013 #11
    I think it's wrong to discuss John Nash in these terms. He was afflicted with mental illness (schizophrenia). As already stated, the science he produced in his lucid periods was solid. He was not, nor is not a crackpot.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
  13. Oct 20, 2013 #12
    I think it's pretty impressive considering all the applications he's written for it on top of just the operating system.

    In a way it's hilarious how out of his mind he is, and to see that madness transcribed into a whole operating system is pretty fascinating, but at the same time it's sad when insanity and religion mix, because they often feed off each-other as in this guy's case.
  14. Oct 20, 2013 #13
    It looks like a neat toy. And his illness does nothing to detract from the sensible part of his work.

    And I've always thought of crackpottery as that stubborn ignorance, coupled with an appropriately inordinate amount of arrogance; NOT any effects resulting from "force majeure" conditions like an illness.
    That's just a bad roll of the cosmic dice.

    I wouldn't call him slow.
    More like impressively focused considering the circumstances.
  15. Oct 20, 2013 #14
    That's true, must be hard for him to focus when he's got to wrestle with all those crazy thoughts all the time. Even in the video and his presentation of the OS he seems to struggle to stay focused on any one thing in particular.
  16. Oct 20, 2013 #15


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    A crackpot is not someone who is mentally ill, not by a long stretch. That certainly isn't what this site means when it references crackpots in the rules. A crackpot is someone of sound mind who subscribes to pseudo-scientific beliefs not due to ignorance IMO.

    With regards to your question there are a variety of intelligent people capable of great works in one field yet are complete crackpots in another. Like how some people can be completely logical in a subject like vaccination but subscribe to crackpot beliefs when it comes to free energy. For a real world example you could check out Frank Tipler who is an established mathematician but who has spent a lot of time creating a theory about how everyone will be resurrected at the end of time.
  17. Oct 20, 2013 #16
    Yeah. But if you are able to persuade millions to share your delusion...

    Politics aside, here is a list of famous crackpots. http://dukespace.lib.duke.edu/dspac...CRACKPOTS, Complete Parade rev.pdf?sequence=4 CG Jung and Wolfgang Pauli both harbored poltergeists. That's one reason they hung out together: they had something in common.

    I've never seen any crackpottery that impressed me scientifically other than my own. I am impressed though at the marketing ability of some crackpots. There is Nassim Haramein, who convinced some rich guy in Maui to sponsor him. He has a number of disciples, including Jamie Janover, who is a marvelous hammer dulcimer player. Jamie tours giving lectures. Among other things, they teach that the pyramids were created using energy from hand-held black holes, show slides of alien skulls, etc.

    Then there is David Birnbaum [German for pear tree] who recently sponsored a colloquium at Bard College in honor of his own book, Summa Metaphysica http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/oct/19/david-birnbaum-jeweller-philosopher in which statements such as "The cosmic trajectory is from the bottomless VOID to the limitless EXTRAORDINARY" were presumably discussed with a straight face. Bard College philosopher Gary Hagberg explained, "He has financial resources that dwarf the rest of us." Another rich crackpot is Foster Gamble and his Thrive DVD. Foster is an heir to the Proctor and Gamble fortune and has a thing about tori. He has invested 4.5 million $ into this project. It's better than blowing it on crack.

    Then there are crackpots who convinced large numbers of people to commit suicide. The undisputed champ was Adolph Hitler, who believed that the stars were created when large chunks of ice fell into the sun. L Ron Hubbard of Scientology fame was NOT a crackpot: he didn't believe that stuff for a second. There's Dr. Rupert Sheldrake who's had some popular success with morphogenetic fields, which seems to be based on Goethe's scientific work. He got far enough that Freeman Dyson interviewed him. Rupert is the hero of the Scientific and Medical Network, an association of crackpot professors and doctors from the UK. That's the classiest crackpot stuff I know.

    Their science may be utterly bogus, but these people are much more successful than I. I'm impressed.

    The only work of written crackpottery that I somewhat like is by Juliet and Jiva Carter, whose book Worldbridger I read from cover to cover. I doubt anyone else here would enjoy it.

    The growth of crackpottery is astonishing to me. It's what's happening, the dominant movement of our era, like drugs in the 60's or disco in the 70's or leveraged debt in the 80's to 00's. I don't see the attraction myself.
  18. Oct 21, 2013 #17
    Isaac Newton is what this thread reminds me of.

    "Newton also dedicated much of his time to the study of alchemy and biblical chronology."
    Such would be considered crack pot at the time, and today.

    This trend does seem to be used by the movement of crackpot over peer review today, that is a trend that seems to be growing in the general public.
  19. Oct 21, 2013 #18

    http://rsnr.royalsocietypublishing.o.../62/3/289.full [Broken]

    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  20. Oct 22, 2013 #19
    And what good is that anyway if time has run out?
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