Physics Forums Crackpot Index - Comments

In summary: If you're not sure whether or not to contact a physicist, you can try asking a mentor or science advisor.
  • #1
19,437
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This is primarily for fun, but given our experiences here at PF, it could be an excellent crackpot detector tool! Next time you read a post that sounds a bit off, refer to this index. It was compiled by PF staff and science advisors. The higher the point value, the greater the chance it's crackpot!

Read the index here
 
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  • #2
Greg Bernhardt said:
...
50 points: "I just discovered the laws of physics are wrong"
...

I just got 50 points in my kitchen this morning. But then again, it might be my FBD.

ps. Can you give that new kid, Emigman, half an infraction point for me. My kitchen is a mess! :grumpy:

pf.bucky.cubes.and.meniscus.problem.experiment.2013.09.08.1220pm.jpg
 
  • #3
I've read a lot about those so called "crackpots". However, I never found one here. I know there used to be a "Own research" or whatever it was called forum here, on PF, and that it was a festival for the "quacks" (?). Is there, perhaps, some lost topic, so I can read it? Link me!
 
  • #4
Crake said:
I've read a lot about those so called "crackpots". However, I never found one here. I know there used to be a "Own research" or whatever it was called forum here, on PF, and that it was a festival for the "quacks" (?). Is there, perhaps, some lost topic, so I can read it? Link me!
You generally need to be lucky to catch one before it gets deleted. Personally I've found hours around 8AM-1PM GMT the most abundant, as it would appear the mentors and admins are in their temporary unconsciousness/regeneration phase of life cycle around that time.

It would be fun to be able to access the deleted topics, if only to amuse yourself by playing micromass' bingo.
 
  • #5
Bandersnatch said:
You generally need to be lucky to catch one before it gets deleted.

True, we have an expert team of crackpot hunters. They generally look like this

attachment.php?attachmentid=140215&d=1377626442.jpg
 
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  • #6
Bandersnatch said:
You generally need to be lucky to catch one before it gets deleted. Personally I've found hours around 8AM-1PM GMT the most abundant, as it would appear the mentors and admins are in their temporary unconsciousness/regeneration phase of life cycle around that time.

It would be fun to be able to access the deleted topics, if only to amuse yourself by playing micromass' bingo.

In which sub-forums does one catch that? General Discussion?
 
  • #7
Crake said:
In which sub-forums does one catch that? General Discussion?

Usually the "Physics" or "Astro/Cosmo" forums
 
  • #8
Bandersnatch said:
You generally need to be lucky to catch one before it gets deleted. Personally I've found hours around 8AM-1PM GMT the most abundant, as it would appear the mentors and admins are in their temporary unconsciousness/regeneration phase of life cycle around that time.

That's true for some of them but for the rest of us those times are closer to our mornings at work :wink: in other words there is a time when the west-Atlanticans are asleep and the east-Atlanticans are at work so mentoring gets a bit patchy.
 
  • #9
5 points: Putting mentors / science advisors on ignore.

wow...

Is that like an auto-eject button on a James Bond car?
 
  • #10
I think claiming Newton was wrong should be 100 pts at the least xP
 
  • #11
I think it would be funny if you locked their account into a specific sub-forum (so that they can use PF, but only on that sub-forum).. A locked sub-forum, only those who get "labeled" as crackpots by mentors are allowed to post there. However, everyone else is allowed to read!

It would be amazing seeing them argument with one another, haha.
 
  • #12
WannabeNewton said:
I think claiming Newton was wrong should be 100 pts at the least xP

Then Einstein would get 100 crackpot points instead of 30.
 
  • #13
They sometimes seem to come in bunches, right around the time of the full moon. For some reason, this weekend has produced at lot of zombies posting, but I guess the moon must be full somewhere.
 
  • #14
Gee. I wonder if someone could use the whole list in a post. The ultimate crackpot.
 
  • #15
This looks like a fine sticky topic in the psychology sub-forum.
 
  • #16
yeah. It would be worthwhile to investigate whether the person suffering from crackpotitis is displaying symptoms of the acute or chronic progression of the disease. Is it of a hereditary nature. Or even contagious in which case how does one go about protecting oneself from becoming contaminated with the pathogen. Is there an incubation periiod during which time an individaul can become a carrier, to the time to a full blown progression. Is there a cure in sight. IMHO there is little understanding of its nature as there are a good many questions with very few answers.
At the very least we have a list of the symptoms to look for when suspecting someone is a sufferer.

When in doubt, though it would be best to contact your friendly neigborhood physicist for a proper and qualified diagnosis, and recommended treatment.
 
  • #17
"I need some help to express this in maths."

"Maths isn't the right tool for thinking about this."

I have seen an example of the latter where he preferred a system of drawing arrows and adding them together. Apparently the arrows were completely unlike vectors (notably, they lacked an underlying system of rigorous thought - or indeed any thought at all).
 
  • #18
Greg Bernhardt said:
5 points: Obvious copy and paste
5 points: Wall of Text
20 points: No math shown

Desperate measures
5 points: Post offers a complicated analogy rather than a descriptive model

So 35 points for the OP so far.. ^^
 
  • #19
Digitalism said:
So 35 points for the OP so far.. ^^

haha yes, 35 points is not too bad though :D
 
  • #20
Can we have a Crackpot Award to go with awards like Community Spirit and Most Humorous?
 
  • #21
Pythagorean said:
Can we have a Crackpot Award to go with awards like Community Spirit and Most Humorous?

First few years we did have one, but since they don't stick around long, it doesn't make sense. :D
 
  • #22
Greg Bernhardt said:
50 points: Creating a sockpuppet to agree with you.

Man, that's sure a sad and desperate measure. But it's an entertaining thought. Sadly I know such things can happen. I've tried using sock puppets elsewhere, but they never agreed with me :confused:.
 
  • #23
sock puppets aren't very convincing without googly eyes; but then you just ruin a good pair of socks.
 
  • #24
Bandersnatch said:
You generally need to be lucky to catch one before it gets deleted. Personally I've found hours around 8AM-1PM GMT the most abundant, as it would appear the mentors and admins are in their temporary unconsciousness/regeneration phase of life cycle around that time.

Couldn't help laughing when I read this, Bandersnatch. This sounded like something from David Attenborough's documentaries.
 
  • #25
OmCheeto said:
I just got 50 points in my kitchen this morning. But then again, it might be my FBD.

ps. Can you give that new kid, Emigman, half an infraction point for me. My kitchen is a mess! :grumpy:

Who's that? :biggrin:
 
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  • #26
DennisN said:
The Crackpot is nowadays a rare sight on the Physics Forums. This magnificent creature, once ubiquitous in this part of the web, is facing extinction due to overhunting by the local admins.

Crackpots are omnivorous scavengers, sustaining themselves on any fringe science readily available in the environment. However, their digestive system tends to specialise with age, forcing them to maintain their chosen dietary composition throughout the latter part of life.

Characteristic of a Crakpot is the vacuous misinformation it extrudes to attract other members of the species, or when faced with predation. It is a substance resembling common science, if only under the most superificial scrutiny. When viewed under a microscope, however, it shows significant lack of coherence, while the reasoning lattice is ridden with sizeable holes, often arranged in aesthetically-pleasing patterns.
The exact composition of misinformation varies depending on the particulars of a Crackpot's diet, the prevalence of education in its breeding area, and the size of its ego glands.

In certain parts of the world, the misinformation is sought after by unscrupulous individuals, who collect and further disseminate it among the general populace. Thought to be a multi-million pound market, misinformation is sold in book and television programme form semi-openly, often under the guise of reputable science. Yet, despite the known adverse effects of its use, especially among the young and impressionable minds, the sale of misinformation remains a gray area both ethically and within the confines of the law.

While in the wild the Crackpot is nearly bereft of natural predators, only rarely stalked by the members of genus Professoria Academica, it is considered a pest by admins of scientific forums. Often killed on sight, traditionally with the ritual tribal weapon called "the banhammer".
It is hard to argue against the reasoning behind such a strict behaviour, as the crops cultivated by science forums are, without doubt, adversely affected by the Crackpot's misinformation. An unchecked infestation can easily spoil any valid discussion, subsequently requiring an inordinate amount of work to weed out the impurities.

As a result, the population of feral Crackpots dwindles in places like Physics Forums. Their future fate either starvation, or capture by the aforementioned misinformation cartels.
And even though there are other factors behind their seemingly inevitable extinction, including the widespread adoption of educational pesticides, or poaching by debunking websites, the actions of admins are certainly among the most immediate of threats.

So, should you ever see the wild Crackpot rear its magnificent head from between the neatly trimmed lines of scientific topics, take a picture. Copy and paste. Save the memory of the nature's exuberance for posterity.

CoeufXt.jpg
 
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  • #27
Bandersnatch said:
You generally need to be lucky to catch one before it gets deleted.

Sometimes we do leave one of their threads around, if they took a subtle approach so we didn't recognize them immediately, and there was useful discussion in the meantime. For example:

https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=708068
 
  • #28
Bandersnatch said:
The Crackpot...

:rofl:
 
  • #29
zoobyshoe said:
Then Einstein would get 100 crackpot points instead of 30.

OK, I'll bite. Where exactly did Einstein proclaimed that Newton was wrong? Incomplete, an approximation, sure. But wrong? Would someone proclaim that and then write a tribute such as this?

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/einstein-on-Newton.html

Zz.
 
  • #30
greg said:
Claiming Newton is wrong
In that case are you claiming that Sir Newt On was right on the account that light was composed of particles then it would travel faster in a denser medium like water but if it were composed of waves, then a denser medium would slow it down while he maintained that light was particles, not waves...chalk me up 60 points :biggrin:
 
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  • #31
Bandersnatch said:
The Crackpot is nowadays a rare sight [...]

:rofl: :thumbs: Hilarious!

I started to write some biological description before, but I did not feel inspired and I did not get any further than:

"
Crackpot (Fractum scaphium sciphus)

Habitat: Youtube, Vixra, Wordpress
Distinct calls: "Newton", "Einstein", "Feynman"
"

I can't say I know Latin, but it ought to be more or less correct; Fractum scaphium sciphus ought to mean "broken pot". It might be fractus instead of fractum, though, I don't know.
 
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  • #32
DennisN said:
:rofl: :thumbs: Hilarious!

I started to write some biological description before, but I did not feel inspired and I did not get any further than:

"
Crackpot (Fractum scaphium sciphus)

Habitat: Youtube, Vixra, Wordpress
Distinct calls: "Newton", "Einstein", "Feynman"
"

I can't say I know Latin, but it ought to be more or less correct; Fractum scaphium sciphus ought to mean "broken pot". It might be fractus instead of fractum, though, I don't know.

Keep it at Homo crackpotus.
 
  • #33
Just came across a new quote today -- hadn't seen this exact one before...

"Please take me seriously, I know proving <insert conjecture/theory here> is not easy but I may have just proved it for a special case"
 
  • #34
ZapperZ said:
OK, I'll bite. Where exactly did Einstein proclaimed that Newton was wrong? Incomplete, an approximation, sure. But wrong? Would someone proclaim that and then write a tribute such as this?

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/einstein-on-Newton.html

Zz.
From your link:

Einstein said:
The whole development of our ideas concerning natural phenomena, which has been described above, may be conceived as an organic development of Newton's thought. But while the construction of the theory of fields was still actively in progress, the facts of heat radiation, spectra, radioactivity, and so on revealed a limit to the employment of the whole system of thought, which, in spite of gigantic successes in detail, seems to us today completely insurmountable. Many physicists maintain, not without weighty arguments, that in face of these facts not only the differential law but the law of causality itself—hitherto the ultimate basic postulate of all natural science—fails.

The very possibility of a spatio-temporal construction which can be clearly brought into consonance with physical experience is denied. That a mechanical system should permanently admit only discrete values of energy or discrete states—as experience, so to say, directly shows—seems at first hardly deducible from a theory of fields working with differential equations. The method of [Louis] De Broglie and [Erwin] Schrödinger, which has, in a certain sense, the character of a theory of fields, does deduce, on the basis of differential equations, from a sort of consideration of resonance the existence of purely discrete states and their transition into one another in amazing agreement with the facts of experience; but it has to dispense with a localization of the mass-particles and with strictly causal laws. Who would be so venturesome as to decide today the question whether causal law and differential law, these ultimate premises of Newton's treatment of nature, must definitely be abandoned?
Einstein is saying Newton's view isn't working anymore. He doesn't like saying it, but he's saying it.
 
  • #35
berkeman said:
Just came across a new quote today -- hadn't seen this exact one before...

"Please take me seriously, I know proving <insert conjecture/theory here> is not easy but I may have just proved it for a special case"

I am not convinced it was a crackpot. 32+42=52 - I have just proven Pythagorean theorem works for a special case :wink:
 

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