Crank Dot Net
my site review

Addendum 8-25-00:
I've now discovered that this site is maintained by and represents the opinion of only one person. He appears to be in his thirties, lives alone and likes cats and hip-hop music. He has an education background in physics and mathematics but works as a programmer, i.e. he has no accomplishments in the fields for which he was educated. I suspect that he is somewhat bitter and has created this site to express his bitterness. So ... ... is the product of one individual straddling the middle between the amateurs and the professionals. He has made a podium for his absence of original thought just as I have for a "presence". Very well.

aving received a review by Crank Dot Net, I thought it only fair to review their site. When I found that my site was listed there, I sent them an email thanking them for the listing but suggesting that I be placed under a different category ... something other than "new age" which I believe to be a misplacement.

This site (a Service to Humanity List, protecting all from the blight of wrongheaded ideas) must be fairly new because I haven't come across it before and my listing contains a piece of my "splash" page which I only installed about two months ago. It appears to be an ad type site to show off the html skills of its authors ... 7 Sisters web design service.

I examined their "code work" to see if they really knew how to do this type of thing and found it to be of excellent quality. They don't use a programmed wysiwyg editor but rather work the code by hand. Also, their navigation is excellent and done in the noframes mode which is somewhat more difficult than frames. So I can say, based upon my four years of doing this, that if one wanted a good Web Page Service, they would probably do a fine job.

This is a kids page

It shows in the content. Well ... there is no content actually. It's just OP content (other people's).

These are college age kids with no critical experience in the areas they seek to capitalize on. You can tell they haven't been on the Web for more than about a year or two because they put up a "list" ... and as every savvy surfer knows ... lists are now passe'. They are universally considered to be of little value ... because ... this function has been completely taken over by search engines.

To be useful a site must now project original content.

What I would like to see is a crank site that offers at least a few sentences of critical appraisal. If someone says to me "You are a crank", it carries no meaning for me. I get insulted on my D-board and by email fairly often. I need some meat on this bone ;o).

However, when you write even a few sentences, you reveal yourself to the reader. You must "take a chance" and "drop your pants". Comments like they make here Crankish, Cranky, Crankier, Crankiest and Illucid simply aren't enough to draw surfers. They are looking for something original in a site. If they want a list of cranky sites all they have to do is "Yahoo!"- Alternative Physics or the like.

My advice to the Webmaster

Is ... Put more of yourself into the site. Try to be a "rabble-rouser". This will get you a lot of attention ... and ... that's what this site is about, isn't it?

Make an entry something like this for every site on your list:

Ebtx - This guy is a nut and a half. To read what he has to say, you'd think he was God's gift to Earth. His transparent distortion of logic is a critical embarrassment. Some of the most poorly written pages on the Net. If you go to this site, don't say we didn't warn you! A real clunker ... :- (
And bring some aspirin ... and send me some too.
Actually, I would love it if some well-known scientist stated publicly that my site was the "worst on earth". I would get so much traffic that I would have to invoke my 3Gig limit to prevent extra charges at Hiway. But that will never happen because of Velikovski. Today, all scientists know that any attention paid to "crank" ideas only causes them to proliferate through the culture. Hence, their only option is to ignore. Which they do with absolute regularity.

Also, lose the ad banners. Everybody knows that you don't get any money for this. Most sites with banner ads just put them on to look like they are "busy" ... so busy that some business would pay them to sport their ads. But, if you really were busy ... I would get hits from your page on my referral stats which I don't. Ergo, you probably get about 30 unique visitors per day (probably less).

Do what I tell you to do and you will really prosper. There is no site on the net I know of which offers "refined insults".


The reasons for "crankery"

The advancement of science requires - absolutely - what I call "forced" induction (as opposed to "free" induction - what animals do). This requires that you go off on your own to think independently. The extent to which you "go off alone" determines whether you will become an acceptable scientist or what you call a "crank". Unfortunately, the originality of your ideas is tied inextricably to the measure of your "aloneness".

Other people act as guides and supports (a frame of reference) upon which you can rely to "set you straight" when you stray into the realm of the "illucid". As I have said, "Self delusion is the bane of induction". I know this to be true from extensive personal experience. It is a real struggle to keep one's thoughts on track without the assistance of other readily available opinion.

Thus, if a scientist at Cern has a really bad idea, he may mention it to a colleague who says,
"Did you slip on a bar of soap in the shower? Don't you remember the "X" factor we were just talking about last week?"
And then the first guy says,
"Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Forget it."
Now he's back on track in less than ten seconds.

Someone alone however, may struggle for weeks in the same situation, unable to see a simple thing that another disinterested person would notice immediately. He may pursue the wrongheaded matter to some new bizarre conclusion and believe that he has found the Holy Grail. And the more effort he has put into it, the less he will be willing to give it up.

Therefore, if you go off alone you tend to become a "crank"... but if you remain with the herd you tend to discover nothing new, i.e. and become a "pundit".

There is a Gaussian distribution here.

There are perhaps five or six thousand individuals who actually try to do "forced induction" at the highest level. Half of them fall on the left 'crank" side of the distribution and half fall on the right "pundit" side. Each half needs the other.

You could make the case that the "extremes" ought to be cut off. But I would say, "Who is to decide the cutoff point?". I certainly wouldn't want to make such a momentous decision. Hence, I don't criticize other people's stuff in general since I understand how difficult it is to produce anything at all.

The same applies in the larger sense to wide groups of individuals. If the "ship of science" (or one of its smaller boats) decides to drop anchor and wait for the truth to come to it ... they will stagnate and you will find that many more "cranks" pop up to point out the paucity of perpendicular progress ... at the same time offering new and evermore bizarre solutions to present problems.

This is actually the present situation. The physics establishment has decided that they can proceed by experiment alone (data gathering) and that the data will tell them what to "induce" next.

In fact, it will.

But this is the method of the animal population ... free induction. It is highly accurate but it takes forever to get where you want to go. Hence, humans have opted for "forced induction" (they try everything and see what works ... fast progress with lots of mistakes). So their relative stagnation has engendered a new "raft" of adventuresome "cranks".

It really doesn't matter though

As long as a free exchange of ideas is possible (in the political sense), then I don't see any need to protect anyone from either new ideas or stultifying academia. The truth will win out easily and eventually in an open forum.

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