Where have all the crackpots gone?

Crazy people are still everywhere, but I am interested in the special case of physics and math crackpots. In the good old days of webpages, usenet and blogs they were always there, explaining the real truth about physics and math with their animated gifs and blinking headlines.
I remember quantoken, plato, plutonium and a young lady who was convinced black holes are driving volcanoes, but there were many more and it seems that they all disappeared from my internet.
What happened to the crackpots?

Perhaps my internet habits changed, but google trends suggests that something changed indeed.


google trends: "crackpot", 2004 - 2019


google trends: "crackpot index", 2004 - 2019

I am thinking "crackpot index" is a good proxy for a search related to physics and math crackpots.
Furthermore, I did a simple twitter search for "crackpot" and "crackpot physics" and found nothing related to the category I am talking about.
There is still viXra, but the number of papers posted there is surprisingly small (a total of 31k vs 1.5M on arXiv *).

So what happened to them? Did they all move on from disproving relativity and quantum theory to disproving the moon landings? Did they all become 9/11 truthers etc.? Or does the noise and general madness on facebook and twitter drown them out?

They might be an overlooked species, threatened by extinction, if we don't act soon ...


(*) I do not want to suggest that all papers on viXra are crackpot material, I read somewhere that about 15% get published in journals (whatever that means nowadays), and a significant part of arxiv is garbage.

4 comments:

CapitalistImperialistPig said...

I'm not sure. I don't have many nowadays, but then I don't write about physics much either.

There are still a bunch on Quora.

wolfgang said...

Fernando does not count 8-)

CapitalistImperialistPig said...

Glad to hear you aren't in Bahamas today.

wolfgang said...

I hear that it was not that bad in Nassau ...