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Quis custodiet the custard?
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Every now and then, searching the web on this or that
topic will lead to a site with what appears to be a lot of
information, usually protesting the subject at hand. Quite
often, these sites will consist of massive walls of tiny
links to various subpages within the site,
examples of huge problems related to the topic, and
perhaps a few
seemingly random images thrown in to boot.
But does the site contain useful information poorly
presented, or is it just the insane ramblings of a
Surprisingly, that can sometimes be difficult to determine.
Sometimes delving into the site's information will slowly
reveal a manifest personality disorder in the form of a
persecution complex, but just as often it won't.
As a public service, wackjob-or-not.com will provide you
with its honest, unbiased opinion as to whether the site
comes across as, well, a wackjob. Site owners can submit
their site for review, along with filling out an online
questionnaire detailing information about themselves and
their site. The questionnaire would include such items as:
What is your site about?
Are you for it or against it, and why?
Why is it especially important to you?
Do you think your site might come across as a bit kooky to
the average viewer (be honest)?
Are you currently employed? If so, what do you do for
work? If not, what do you normally do for work, and how
spend your time during the day?
Do you currently have a home? If so, please describe it
briefly (house, apartment, group home, Mom's basement,
cardboard box under the freeway, etc.):
Are you using a library or other public computer to answer
In order to submit the site for review, the site must meet
certain requirements that help establish quasi-legitimacy;
these factors include site age, amount of content,
relatively frequent updates of content, and so on.
review of the questionnaire and a perusal of the site,
wackjob-or-not.com will post its verdict as to whether
the site operator is earnest in his beliefs but a sloppy
webmaster, or that he simply forgot to take his
Thorazine for a
year or two.
No guarantee is made as to the accuracy of
the information, and no attempt is made to verify
the site for completeness or correctness. The only thing
you get with a wackjob-or-not.com seal of approval is that
least one person, who is presumably sane (and has seen
quite a few web pages produced by certifiables), believes
owner is probably not crazy. In the age where
instantaneous mass communication is in the hands of
anybody who can turn
on a computer, that actually carries some weight.
This site is actually quite useful in case you get a red light camera ticket in California, but you'd never guess that from just a quick glance at the site design (see the Action/Legis subpage for an even more egregious example of web design that screams nutcase!) [ytk, Sep 19 2012]
This guy has everything figured out [leinypoo13, Sep 19 2012]
(?) Crank dot net
This site claims to be able to distinguish cranks (and crackpots) from ordinary folks. And it presents links to lots of "crank" sites. So, if the site you are concerned about is not listed here, perhaps it is OK? (Or maybe too new to have been listed yet...) [Vernon, Sep 21 2012]
[marked-for-deletion] redundant [FlyingToaster, Sep 21 2012]
||certified or certifiable?
||Is sanity really something that needs to be enforced so strongly? If there really is a sanity then sane people should be able to identify it right away.
||//certified or certifiable?//
||I wish I'd made that the tagline, [rcarty].
||//Is sanity really something that needs to be
enforced so strongly? If there really is a sanity then
sane people should be able to identify it right
||You'd think that, but sometimes it's not so obvious. I
know of a couple of sites that could easily be
mistaken for insane ramblings, but actually provide
useful information provided by someone who is both
passionate about the topic at hand, and a just a
spectacularly lousy web designer. (see link for an
||I think there's sort of a free culture online that is creative because it's unregulated, and moving towards sanctioning thought is not good for everyone.
||I always secretly hope the crazies are right [link]
||I read the Timecube link [leinypoo13] and it is one of your better ideas but I couldn't see how to give you a bun for it.
||The timecube knows your intentions.
||haw, when you get to the bottom of the timecube page there's a "page 2" link. Seemds redundant somehow.
||I'd hate for them to rate this site...
||Facetiousness notwithstanding, overall this site
actually does pretty well on the crazy-meter. The
design is quite clean and most of the content is fairly
lucid. For reference, though, the profile pages of
certain users (and by certain users I mean
[beanangel]) might rate as high as two or even three
fruitcakes (out of four) if taken on their own.
||Somehow everything seems clearer when explained in 144 point type. And red, red is good for the summaries.
||Because anyone unemployed or living in poor conditions is
a whackkjob amirite?
||I wonder what would happen if you treat the timecube as
encrypted data and attempt decryption. Maybe every
tenth word counts. Or every third underlined word. Or the
second letter of each blue paragraph. Or it uses
||//Because anyone unemployed or living in poor
conditions is a whackkjob amirite?//
||Other way around. Many, if not most, insane people
are unable to hold down a job due to their disability.
Having a job and a home is then a very strong
indicator that you're /not/ insane, but not having
either isn't necessarily dispositive that you are
(although if you're unemployed and homeless, but still
have the time, resources, and ability to maintain a
website, that's certainly a indicator).
||If you continuously maintain a site dedicated to cranks and crackpots...
||How is this not the same as my "amimadornot.com" idea? I mean, it may be, but how?
||^ yeah, that's the one I was looking for. <link>
||Ummm... Other than the fact that they're both
are they the same?
||One is a site where you can go to post rants with the
expectation that they're going to sound rabid so
can vote on how off-the-handle you sound with your
(acknowledged) wild rantnot that anyone actually
poster to actually be suffering from the purported
||The other is a third-party verification system to allow
owners to improve their credibility with the general
establishing that they are apparently not suffering
actual mental illness, despite the appearance of their
voting whatsoever, no public comments solicited
during the review process, and no imitating the
mentally ill (an obvious
deliberately appear insane would be determined to
the scope of the site, and a rating request thus
||I'd own up to it if the idea were truly redundantas I
several times in the pastbut I'm really not seeing
||I probably wasn't paying attention. I have no strong feelings about it.
||looks like one you submit a rant, the other you submit a ranty website.
||One site takes and allows voting on rants written by sane
people who know they are ranting. The other reviews sites
that appear to be written by someone who potentially has
an actual mental illness, and attempts to determine
that is the case or not by analyzing the site contents and
direct contact with the site owner out of context, in order
to establish (or undermine)
the credibility of the content.
||But, yeah, apart from the fact that what is submitted is
different, and what happens after you submit it is
different, and the focus and intent of the site is different, I
||Retired physicists get up to online mischief, and they might be on SS dole and having to use library terminals and free website services. If you stumbled into a rant against QM and a wall of equations, the critical fact is: where did they get their PhD, and can you verify that it's real? (And ask for links to their publications on scholar.google.com)
||Also, what if *half* of a site is sane/useful? You'd then have to rate the individual pages in the site. For example, my own amasci.com is part science education, part amateur physics hobby, but also part Tesla-worship and with extensive links to paranormal and crackpot nutcase sites (no UFOs but plenty of antigravity and perpetual motion.) Hmmm, maybe I should make things easier by moving the crackpotty part to a separate domain name. It's like wearing a tweed jacket to some meetings, a grubby t-shirt and tinfoil-covered hat to certain others. Hmmm.
||Below from THE ONION: Raving lunatic obviously took some advanced physics: "It's hard for the layperson to differentiate schizophrenic ramblings like 'Modernity chunk where the sink goes flying on the ping-pang' from legitimate terminology like 'Unstable equilibria lie on the nodal points of a separatrix in phase space.'"
||[wbeaty], you read my thoughts.