Crank

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For the drug, see Methamphetamine; for the exceptionally silly awesome movie, you need to be elsewhere
Question: Why do debunkers sound so moronic? Is it just because they have their heads stuck up the matrix? or is it their family genetics giving them a predisposition to slavery?
—busa, "Senior Member", David Icke forums[1]

Crank is a pejorative term applied to someone who holds extremely unorthodox views on a subject and is often very vocal about these opinions. A crank will usually maintain their viewpoint despite, or perhaps because of, evidence to the contrary. The crank is usually an amateur in the field they are arguing against, but sometimes individuals with expertise in that field will become a 'crank' (which can lead directly to pathological science); sometimes for personal gain, which is ironic because cranks often accuse rational people of being driven by personal gain.

Cranks emerge in all fields of study and hold a wide variety of inaccurate or unorthodox views, from being able to square the circle with a straightedge and a compass, to Biblical literalists in the creationism movement.

Synonyms include kook, contrarian, and crackpot (the latter of which has led to the creation of the term "psychoceramics" as the name for the study of such people). Cranks who believe a lot of nutty things at once are sometimes said to suffer from crank magnetism.

Contents

[edit] Debating a crank

It is not my nature to compromise and I resent it heavily when I have to. I would rather lose completely and suffer any penalty, up to and including death, than compromise.[2]

I'd rather be totally, completely, absolutely wrong rather than be wishy-washy and end up doing the "right" thing.[3]

Remember, it is better to be confidently wrong than to be diffidently right.[4]
Adolf Hitler Castaigne

If you value your time and/or sanity, then under no circumstances should you willingly enter into debate with a crank. A crank's cognitive processes are impregnable to all forms of logic, reason, evidence, and in extreme cases, basic facts.

Crank debaters tend to be much more motivated than you are. This enthusiasm is a big part of what makes them cranks. This means that the crank will have heard all of the common objections to their crankiness. The crank has memorized canned responses to each of them.

A common tactic of cranks is to hide behind elaborate rhetoric; if you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit. An extravagantly ornate lexicon filled with polysyllabic vocabulary will be utilized unnecessarily, inappropriately, and often erroneously, because if their opposition's comprehension is obfuscated, it's because their opponent is cogitatively inadequate and not because the crank malcommunicates. Never expect a fancy word such as "terse" to grace their tongues. Superfluous rhetoric itself is not proof of crankery, but is a good warning sign.

All of this has the practical upshot of rendering the debate a fantastic waste of calories.

[edit] The worst of the cranks

Well known cranks (in alphabetical order) and some of their "ideas" include:

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] Footnotes

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