YouTube, breeding crackpots since February 2005

  • Thread starter mesa
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

So I was sent a message this morning by a young man who is passionate about a new type of 'Science' that he believes to be the 'truth'. Here is a small part of it:

"And please watch this movie to understand it, because really I don't like to talk with persons who wants to continue sleeping and they don't want never to wake up. Edit: removed link to crackpottery

I am seeing more and more of these types of messages in my inbox. At times I worry about society falling backward into a world ruled by the fools and cranks.

On a more optimistic note I found this link countering the Thrive delusion,

http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/disaster-by-design-whats-wrong-with-the-thrive-movement

It was written by one of the people who was interviewed for Thrives video, reason prevails here but I doubt this article will garner any where near the number of 'hits' as the crackpottery Thrive is spreading on YouTube.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
Drakkith
Staff Emeritus
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I'm not concerned. Practically every major crackpot video I see on youtube has a 80%+ downvote rate, meaning that even though it garnered a lot of attention, most people probably don't believe it at all.
 
  • #3
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I'm not concerned. Practically every major crackpot video I see on youtube has a 80%+ downvote rate, meaning that even though it garnered a lot of attention, most people probably don't believe it at all.
I am not usually concerned either (and for the same reasons) except now these people are getting better at the game.

The link I posted (*which has been removed by the moderators*) has 6,386,056 views with 93% of viewers liking it. These guys are getting better at this. Crackpottery is evolving :P


(*To the moderators about removing the link to this YouTube video, I understand the rule, "Linking to obviously "crank" or "crackpot" sites is prohibited" however the intent is to bring discussion about these types of videos, not to promote them and as such I believe the video link should be restored)
 
  • #4
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Youtube comments are a good indicator of the brainpower of the people posting them.

Sadly, I see comments of "fake" quite often on something that is known real which proves a major disconnect in the understanding of basic physics in the general population.
 
  • #5
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I see the "fake" comments as well, and these posts seem to be more prevalent as the delusions of crackpottery become more commonplace. When trying to have a discussion with these people I often receive 'rebuttals' along the lines of, "don't even talk to me unless you agree with me..." or something to that effect.

I see the crackpots are getting better at video editing and they love to quote famous scientists and previous publications as that convinces a gullible public into believing their words to be the new gospel.

Also everyone wants to believe they are smarter than those 'Scientists in their white coats' and these videos are effectively promoting this kind of thinking with the general population. They now seem to feel empowered with their pseudo science and it is a difficult thing to break through to start a real discussion.
 
  • #6
strangerep
Science Advisor
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[...]and it is a difficult thing to break through to start a real discussion.
Reminds me of this:

Kenny (in the movie -- while cleaning out a septic tank) said:
There's a smell in here that will outlast religion!
Crackpottery, mental illness and spirituality/religion/cults form a vast continuum. Tribes and larger societies probably could never have formed without this human tendency to feel closer to other people whose beliefs match one's own (or who can be convinced to adopt those beliefs without proper scientific evidence).
 
  • #7
jim mcnamara
Mentor
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2,252
I think I would categorize "thrive" as a conspiracy theory. Calling it crackpot maybe giving it more credit than it deserves.

The problem with crackpot stuff on PF is a valid issue. We get people who sign up repeatedly under different names to push the same wacko agenda, then create sockpuppets to do the same. We do not need more crackpot baggage here, IMO.

I do agree that the internet has allowed people with extreme points of view to expound their ideas - political or otherwise - to an extent never before possible. Skinheads, Jihadists, Religious gurus, Circle-squarers, and hatemongers in general abound. They get way more attention than they deserve. It has helped to skew politics in the US into a horribly disparate mess where a moderate view seldom has a chance.
 
  • #8
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My whole reason for being here is to get the straight dope which is rooted in physics.

I applaud the physics forums moderators for the job they are doing.
 

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