RationalWiki:Articles for deletion/List of minor cranks

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List of minor cranks | Result: Deleted[edit]

List of minor cranks (edit|talk|history|protect|delete|links|watch|logs) – (View log)


Damn, that was quick. I actually thought there was some promise to the idea. There are so many whackadoos out there. The big ones stick in your memory, but a compilation of all the little fringe also-rans would be a handy reference. Maybe not "cranks" though. It gets the point across, but we can just do more quoting of their words if the intention is to be pejorative. How about "stars"? They aren't too bright, there are a lot of them...MatsFan (talk) 19:24, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown. --Castaigne (talk) 21:49, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Nothing wrong with documenting obscure bits of crankery, although a shift in emphasis from the person to the idea would work best. Plus cites. Lots of cites. BicyclewheelModerator 22:10, 6 February 2015 (UTC)


  1. Bunch of nobodies who may not like character assassination Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 16:57, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
  2. Agreed. Calling people cranks is probably something we shouldn't be doing. - Grant (talk) 17:00, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
    Well, no. We shouldn't be doing it unjustifiably based on personal opinions in a hodgepodge list with iffy inclusion criteria. But cranks exist and substantiated accusations of crankery can be sourced. Caution is the watchword. And this article isn't it. Ikanreed (talk) 17:25, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
    Directly calling someone a crank is still not a good idea. Highlighting how their ideas are cranky is a different story. - Grant (talk) 17:41, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
    You cannot separate a person from their ideas; they are one and the same. But the issue is moot now. --Castaigne (talk) 18:03, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
    From a legal perspective the two are indeed quite different, at least when it comes to what we say about someone vs. what we say about their ideas. - Grant (talk) 18:09, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
    You can and must separate them. But that separation doesn't mean there exist exactly zero cases where a person can be called a crank, just that extreme judiciousness and highly qualified, properly attributed third party support for the claim is necessary. We're in a BLP cleanup right now. Ikanreed (talk) 18:10, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
    I find it hard to imagine a source that could be considered appropriate support for calling someone a colloquial, catch-all term like "crank." - Grant (talk) 18:26, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
    Do not must at me. And yes, if they are separate, then there does exist exactly zero cases where a person can be called a crank. If Gene Ray is separate from his ideas, then he is not a crank; it is his Time Cube ideas which are a crank. He is thus perfectly not-a-crank since he is not his ideas. See? --Castaigne (talk) 18:29, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
    No, the "must" is there because of our BLP push, and it's well-reasoned due to the legal issues the RMF has had recently. Like it or not, defamation is something we do need to be concerned about. - Grant (talk) 18:32, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
    Then if that is a fear, we should engage in mass deletions of living persons in order to protect ourselves. After all, in the USA anything may be litigated as a defamation. --Castaigne (talk) 18:33, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
    Right, so perhaps ensuring we're not actually defaming people is a good idea. - Grant (talk) 18:37, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
    Then I recommend that we remove the sentence that "Gene Ray is anti-Semitic, homophobic, racist, and batshit crazy." All of those could be considered defamatory by him, and therefore actionable. I assume that the RMF would be unable to sustain the costs of proving otherwise in a court of law.
    "Can be litigated", and "justifiable" are two distinct concepts. Cutting the latter decreases risk, cutting the former is paranoia. Ikanreed (talk) 18:36, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
    As much as I haven't been agreeing with Ikanreed that much lately, this is one case in which I am. Of course, catch-all terms like "crank" and "quack" can be quite difficult to reasonably justify. - Grant (talk) 18:39, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
    I'm sorry, I really don't see the difference between the two concepts you are referring to. Either it can be litigated or it cannot; if we're going to fortress up, then it should be done right and proper. But that's not for me to decide; I'm just a peon, not a boss. --Castaigne (talk) 18:43, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
    Well, the thing is that understanding why things are helps, no matter who you are. Baring contrary evidence, you're trusted to make the right choices, but you need to be fully informed first. So why the distinction exists: Can you imagine someone going "Hey these people are saying things about me online that are driving my customers away, and it's not true!" Forget the purely legal aspect for a moment. If they can believe for themselves, that the things we're saying about them personally, are untrue, they're far more likely to sue. So if we stick to stating objectively true things about people and criticizing the ideas they have, it mitigates that chance. Ikanreed (talk) 18:56, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
    I disagree with that entirely. It doesn't matter if objectively true statements about the Kent Hovinds or Paul Elams of the world are made; they're going to sue your ass anyway because you disagree with them. The Roca Labs case is a perfect example. This is how the woo world operates. --Castaigne (talk) 19:08, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
    Actually, Hovind sued on the basis of us listing precisely which crime he was accused of incorrectly. Ikanreed (talk) 19:11, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
    And eventually he will sue you on the basis of listing it correctly. Because Hovind. That's just how a Hovind do. (Not that it really matters. I've already blanked out the page. My page. Not Hovind's page.) --Castaigne (talk) 19:18, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
    Hypothetically, yes he could, but this concern is strictly pragmatic. This is the new standard and the reason for it. Just think on those reasons in the future. Nuance and judgement calls are still going to happen. Ikanreed (talk) 19:23, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
    Then my pragmatic response is simply to be safe rather than sorry. Printing nothing that could be used, period, is more certain (which is the most important thing) than trying to guess whether people will agree with a "nuance" or not. --Castaigne (talk) 19:33, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
  3. Yeah, no. Proper article for any who deserve it (or add to to do), but not this - David Gerard (talk) 17:22, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
    That's just it; none of these people deserve their own article. No article should exist on a single person unless you can get at least 5 good long paragraphs out of it. --Castaigne (talk) 17:28, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
  4. For reasons outline above. Carpetsmoker (talk) 17:38, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
  5. There's no reason to include, for example, everyone's crazy aunt who swears by homeopathy, only the people with any real influence. So, to the circular filing cabinet.CorruptUser (talk) 18:39, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
  6. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:16, 6 February 2015 (UTC)


  1. I cast greater minor crank, and do 2d3 points of Intelligence damage(assuming I can make a successful touch attack). Ikanreed (talk) 17:03, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
  2. Very well. Go ahead and delete, I guess. --Castaigne (talk) 17:26, 6 February 2015 (UTC)