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I added a section on crank characteristics. It's just an outline for now. Some of the line-items could be linked as they have specific pages in the wiki. — Unsigned, by: Olinga71 / talk / contribs 01:04, 2 June 2013‎

I added a long list of characteristics to the Crank article. I would appreciate critiques and additions.— Unsigned, by: Olinga71 / talk / contribs

I have removed it. It smelled badly of sweeping generalizations and "stamp collecting" - it was just a list of alleged characteristics with no attempts at synthesis. What was the purpose of creating it in the first place?
Oh, and discussions about the content of specific articles should be done on the talk pages of those articles. In this case - Talk:Crank. I suggest any further discussion of the list to be confined there.--ZooGuard (talk) 09:59, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

The purpose was to start a general list in a similar vein to John Baez's Crackpot Index (specific to physics) and get the synthesis worked in later. It seemed entirely relevant to the article. Had I known this place was dominated by antisocial psychopaths even worse than Andy Schafly I wouldn't have bothered. I certainly won't be back. Olinga71 (talk) 17:09, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

It's a good practice to put work-in-progress in your userspace (as a subpage of your user page), not leave it in an article, and work on it there until it's ready for inclusion.
Note that your contributions is not lost - it's still in the article history and can be restored or retrieved as easily as it was removed.
And the part about psychopaths is just funny. If you are this prone to hyperbole, not coming back sounds a good idea.
(Why the plural, by the way? The only user you have interacted with so far is me, and I'm hardly dominating the wiki...)--ZooGuard (talk) 17:21, 4 June 2013 (UTC)


I don't see how 'contrarian' is a synonym for 'crank'.

Wiki definition: "A contrarian is a person who takes up a contrary position, especially a position that is opposed to that of the majority, regardless of how unpopular it may be."

Just because you're in the minority with your opinion doesn't mean you're a crank. I understand atheists are a minority in some countries. Nullahnung (talk) 05:39, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

The list of people[edit]

Do we want it? Ikanreed (talk) 15:49, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Since everyone is worried about legal risks I'd say just keep the dead ones. Trick (talk) 15:52, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
I may simply be displaying my colossal legal ignorance, would listing only the dead ones necessarily provide a guarantee against lawsuits? In other words, can defamation/libel/whatever suits be brought by the family on grounds of "smearing someone's memory" (or something along those lines)? ScepticWombat (talk) 15:58, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
There are no guarantees. Anyone can sue for anything. My understanding of what's going on is an intent of risk mitigation. Dead people, at the very least, don't have business reputations, and don't sue on their own behalf. That's a couple of big risks. Ikanreed (talk) 16:02, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
I get that listing only dead people is less risky than listing living ones. I was merely curious as to whether any of you know if the family (or perhaps the estate?) of a deceased person would have a reasonable chance of a successful lawsuit by claiming "smearing of the deceased's memory" and/or possibly bad reflections on the family or what have you? Or whether such cases are more likely to be dismissed with the argument that they have to be filed directly by the person being defamed/libelled/or whatever? It's an honest question and I'd really like to know, since such issues are important to keep in mind when operating online. ScepticWombat (talk) 18:45, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Why Dr. Kevorkian?[edit]

Unless we're basing it on some other beliefs of his that I'm not aware of, I don't understand why he's on this list. What part of believing that we have the right to end our own lives rather than having suffer through lengthy terminal diseases with no hope of a cure counts as being a crank? Jwebb13 (talk) 23:21, 8 December 2015 (UTC)


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.[1]

I'd rather be totally, completely, absolutely wrong rather than be wishy-washy and end up doing the "right" thing.[2]

Remember, it is better to be confidently wrong than to be diffidently right.[3]
Adolf Hitler Castaigne

It feels wrong to include a RW user. Moved here unless ppl disagree. αδελφός ΓυζζγςατΡοτατο (talk/stalk) 22:45, 25 June 2016 (UTC)

I disagree. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 22:47, 25 June 2016 (UTC)
Me too. It's an excellent example of what's wrong with cranks.--JorisEnter (talk) 22:53, 25 June 2016 (UTC)

On physics crankery[edit]

An interesting read. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 09:46, 11 August 2017 (UTC)