The Crackpot Index: Measure your "Crazy" Ideas

In summary, John Baez's "The Crackpot Index" provides a humorous and satirical way to identify and score characteristics of individuals who present unorthodox or questionable scientific theories. These include sending unsolicited theories to strangers, claiming conceptual correctness despite lack of mathematical ability, and comparing oneself to famous scientists. Other resources, such as Warren Siegel's page and Edwin Taylor's article, also provide insight into the methods and behaviors of crackpots in the scientific community.
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  • #2
ahahahaha

10 points for mailing your theory to someone you don't know personally and asking them not to tell anyone else about it, for fear that your ideas will be stolen.

10 points for each statement along the lines of "I'm not good at math, but my theory is conceptually right, so all I need is for someone to express it in terms of equations".

40 points for comparing those who argue against your ideas to Nazis, stormtroopers, or brownshirts.

40 points for comparing yourself to Galileo, suggesting that a modern-day Inquisition is hard at work on your case, and so on.
 
  • #3
A friend and I went through the list and concluded that String Theory scored a 75.
 
  • #4
Pengwuino said:
10 points for each statement along the lines of "I'm not good at math, but my theory is conceptually right, so all I need is for someone to express it in terms of equations".

40 points for comparing yourself to Galileo, suggesting that a modern-day Inquisition is hard at work on your case, and so on.

I love the physics without math claims. Isn' t that a bit like cooking without food?

Have you seen that UPS uses this gag with the guy who is going to transport packages through a wormhole...if he can just work out the whole space-time continuum thing... :rofl:
 
  • #5
EL said:

Whether it is crackpot, only depends on personal views. Maybe there is people appreciate to it the possibility. But I admit it is not a constructive thing for doing.
 
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  • #6
ZapperZ had that thread on a pretty long time ago when he was..er.. grinding down some pots.

Pretty hilarious.
 
  • #7
Have to admit I wrote "Feynmann" or something similar once. Hope that doesn't make me a crackpot? :tongue2:
In fact where do you think the limit for being a "crackpot" goes? At 0?
 
  • #8
yu_wing_sin said:
Whether it is crackpot, only depends on personal views. Maybe there is people appreciate to it the possibility. But I admit it is not a constructive thing for doing.
No, what defines a crackpot more than anything else is the method by which they investigate science. Tied in with that is the investigation of subject matter that is generally accepted by scientists to be bogus. The things in "The Crackpot Index" are a refletion of that method.
 

What is "The Crackpot Index" and how is it used?

The Crackpot Index is a set of criteria developed by John Baez to measure the level of "craziness" in scientific theories or ideas. It is used to determine the likelihood that a certain idea or theory is not based on sound scientific principles.

What are some examples of criteria in "The Crackpot Index"?

Some examples of criteria in "The Crackpot Index" include the use of overly complex or obscure terminology, lack of peer-reviewed evidence, and claims of being persecuted by the scientific community.

Can "The Crackpot Index" be used to dismiss all unconventional ideas?

No, the Crackpot Index is not meant to dismiss all unconventional or controversial ideas. It is simply a tool to help scientists evaluate the validity of ideas and theories based on scientific principles.

Is "The Crackpot Index" a reliable measure of a person's intelligence or credibility?

No, "The Crackpot Index" is not meant to be used as a measure of a person's intelligence or credibility. It is simply a guide to help scientists identify potential red flags in scientific ideas and theories.

Can "The Crackpot Index" be used to determine the validity of a scientific theory?

No, "The Crackpot Index" should not be used as the sole measure of a scientific theory's validity. It is important for scientists to thoroughly evaluate evidence and data before drawing conclusions about the validity of a theory.

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