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Internet Sanity Verification
  (+3, -4)
(+3, -4)
  [vote for,

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 interesting information, usually protesting the subject at hand. Quite often, these sites will consist of massive walls of tiny text, links to various subpages within the site, various “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 schizophrenic? 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 owner 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 do you 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 this questionnaire?

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. Following the review of the questionnaire and a perusal of the site, wackjob-or-not.com will post its verdict as to whether they believe 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 anything on the site for completeness or correctness. The only thing you get with a wackjob-or-not.com seal of approval is that at least one person, who is presumably sane (and has seen quite a few web pages produced by certifiables), believes the site 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.

ytk, Sep 19 2012

http://highwayrobbery.net 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]

Timecube http://www.timecube.com
This guy has everything figured out [leinypoo13, Sep 19 2012]

(?) Crank dot net http://www.crank.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]

Am_20I_20mad_20or_20not_3f#1203284120 [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.
rcarty, Sep 19 2012

       //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 away.//   

       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 example)
ytk, Sep 19 2012

       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.
rcarty, Sep 19 2012

       I always secretly hope the crazies are right [link]
leinypoo13, Sep 19 2012

       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.
AusCan531, Sep 19 2012

       The timecube knows your intentions.
leinypoo13, Sep 19 2012

       haw, when you get to the bottom of the timecube page there's a "page 2" link. Seemds redundant somehow.
FlyingToaster, Sep 19 2012

       I'd hate for them to rate this site...
RayfordSteele, Sep 19 2012

       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.
ytk, Sep 19 2012

       Somehow everything seems clearer when explained in 144 point type. And red, red is good for the summaries.
Phrontistery, Sep 20 2012

       Because anyone unemployed or living in poor conditions is a whackkjob amirite?
Voice, Sep 20 2012

       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 stenography.
Voice, Sep 20 2012

       //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).
ytk, Sep 20 2012

       If you continuously maintain a site dedicated to cranks and crackpots...
Phrontistery, Sep 21 2012

       How is this not the same as my "amimadornot.com" idea? I mean, it may be, but how?
nineteenthly, Sep 21 2012

       ^ yeah, that's the one I was looking for. <link>
FlyingToaster, Sep 21 2012

       Ummm... Other than the fact that they're both websites, how 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 other people can vote on how off-the-handle you sound with your (acknowledged) wild rant—not that anyone actually believes the poster to actually be suffering from the purported mental illness.   

       The other is a third-party verification system to allow site owners to improve their credibility with the general public by establishing that they are apparently not suffering from an actual mental illness, despite the appearance of their site. No voting whatsoever, no public comments solicited during the review process, and no imitating the mentally ill (an obvious attempt to deliberately appear insane would be determined to be outside the scope of the site, and a rating request thus declined).   

       I'd own up to it if the idea were truly redundant—as I have several times in the past—but I'm really not seeing the similarity here.
ytk, Sep 21 2012

       I probably wasn't paying attention. I have no strong feelings about it.
nineteenthly, Sep 21 2012

       looks like one you submit a rant, the other you submit a ranty website.
FlyingToaster, Sep 21 2012

       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 whether 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 guess they're… both websites?
ytk, Sep 22 2012

       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, Sep 23 2012

       [wbeaty], you read my thoughts.
4and20, Sep 23 2012


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