Talk:Crank magnetism

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I vaguely recall a conversation (on Wikipedia?) about crank magnets being topics that attract cranks, rather than (as here) people who "collect" odd theories. I mention this only to sow confusion and discord, btw. Totnesmartin 20:10, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

For some reason I think of a crank magnet as a place, probably a website, that tends to draw cranks. Benn (talk) 11:21, 5 May 2018 (UTC)


Reading this was like massage school all over again. I'm still waiting for my teachers' unifying theory of traditional chinese medicine, homeopathy, rolfing, and osteopathy.--User:Brxbrx/sig 02:26, 19 June 2011 (UTC)


What do climate change denial, teabagging, birtherism (And it's varients), A-BC hypothosis and creationism all have in common? They all really, really annoy liberals. A lot. It might just be a form of confirmation bias: If someone believes that their enemy is 'pure evil' then they will be inclined to believe any form of quackery that casts that enemy in a bad light. It doesn't matter who the enemy is. The left, the right, Bush, Obama, the entire scientific establishment, the UN, Planned Parenthood... doesn't matter. They form a cluster of conspiracy theories, because people want to see evil there. This goes a long way to explain the strong correlation between forms of quackers that should have no obvious connection beyond a common enemy. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 2011-08-22T16:06:20

It is also partially distrust of the government; the sequence seems to be "the government lied about X" then "the government is probably also lying about Y" and then "OMG they're lying about EVERYTHING!".--Pere Ubu (talk) 15:26, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Additionally, if you'll notice, conspiracy politics has a minor inverse correspondence to the party presently in power; during the Clinton and Obama administrations, conspiracy politics tended to the right, while under Bush pere/Bush fils they tended to the left. --Pere Ubu (talk) 17:23, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
One of the more impressive examples of Internet trolling I've seen may actually shine a bit of light on how that sort of thing happens. I post on SomethingAwful, and for a while there was a rather notorious individual who went by TobleroneTriangular. He was famously called the "gold standard of fucking insane" due to his near-monomaniacal obsession with Libertarian-style goldbuggery. Eventually, he was revealed to have been trolling the whole time, and even explained how he maintained the persona for so long. His answer, in retrospect, may very well explain how crank magnetism happens.
Due to the length of the explanation, I'm posting it as a collapsible.
The best way I found was to take a bunch of unfounded statements like “gold is money” or “America is doomed if Ron Paul doesn’t win” or “Ron Paul hat immer recht” and to treat them as if they’re logically consistent with each other and unfalsifiably true. Then all you have to do is interpret events in the world in a way that attempts to brings them into line with those assumptions. The original statements don’t have to be that extreme but you don’t have to do this long before you’re having to come up with more and more twisted and paranoid logic to explain why your premises are correct and what’s actually taking place in reality is wrong.

To give one example: if it’s assumed that the media is biased against Ron Paul and that this bias exists because the NWO overlords who are behind the media fear him so much then as the stories about him get worse and worse that actually means his chances are getting better and better. Since the MSM’s role isn’t to inform but rather to condition its audience then the stories that run in it aren’t about what’s true or false but are a reflection of the will of its unseen political masters. Any positive stories about Ron Paul that get run can be dismissed as token and just window dressing to maintain the illusion of impartiality. At the same time anything negative the media says about Ron Paul must automatically be false because of the interest it has in him being defeated. It means that when something like Dr. Paul’s line in demented, paranoid newsletters comes to light what’s actually happening is he’s being subjected to more and more extreme propaganda attacks. And since it wouldn’t make sense to be attacking him like this if his chances were declining or staying the same then it must be because “they” know he’s on the verge of making that final electoral breakthrough and they’re doing everything they can to stop him. And the more elaborate and detailed and comprehensive the evidence against Ron Paul is the more that shows how well he’s doing: he’s so dangerous to the international finance cabal behind the media that they’d run the risk of forging literally thousands of documents just to try to stop him.

You only have to start by saying traditional polling methods consistently undercount Ron Paul’s voters because they don’t have landlines to ultimately end up advocating that Wolf Blitzer should have his throat cut on live TV ~pour encourager les autres~. The fun is getting from one to the other and bringing the reader with you.

-Soviet Hologram God (talk) 06:01, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

New Agers and the left-wing[edit]

They seem pretty connected to me. Tmtoulouse (talk) 21:01, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

They always seemed to be relentless hippie capitalists in my experience. Perhaps this is some strange American thing - David Gerard (talk) 21:09, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
some like that here, most anti-business. ТyrannisPlead 21:30, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
It really doesn't seem to feed into their politics in the manner of the religion-Republican complex, hence putting the claim there looking to me like a false balance. The motivation for the edit was clearly butthurt, rather than a desire to correctly represent New Agers - David Gerard (talk) 21:56, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, if Talsley's in anyway sincere, then New Age crap is prevalent on the right as well--"Shut up, Brx." 18:55, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
Liberal strawmen in some conservative books (Miachel Savage and Limbaugh) are altie dolphin worshippers who dance under a rainbow flag to gaia. Evil fascistoh noez 20:58, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

A potentially nice source[edit]

Haven't read it through yet, but The Role of Conspiracist Ideation and Worldviews in Predicting Rejection of Science from PLoS One, 2013 - David Gerard (talk) 17:48, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

The statistics[edit]

Has anyone actually made an attempt at measuring crank magnetism? Measuring the variable interaction between belief in various bullshit ideas? Anyone know what kind of journal or google scholar search terms might help track down sources?

It seems intuitive enough that it's true, but fundamentally, I'm realizing our article is coming from an anecdotal place. What if some crank ideas repel others? How would we know? ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 15:49, 20 April 2016 (UTC)