20050908, 19:07  #1 
∂^{2}ω=0
Sep 2002
RepÃºblica de California
2·13·443 Posts 
Proposal for new subforum
Inspired by the latest crankmaths thread, I would like to suggest a new subforum specifically for these kinds of threads. I propose to title it "Cranks, Kooks and Miscellaneous Malfeasants". This would serve as a home for threads which in the opinion of the moderators are either certain or highly likely to be wastes of time if taken seriously (or even if not, if they lead to flame wars, as crank and troll threads so often do.)
This is not meant to stifle discussion, but rather to encourage *useful* discussion, by explicitly contrasting it with useless (or extremely likely to be so) discussion, and thus providing a mechanism for forewarning readers and newbies as to the distinction. Properties which make a thread a prime candidate for the CKMM subforum could include (but need not be limited to) the following: 1) Obvious trolls, e.g. "I hav ritten a pogrom for my cellfone that is 10x faster than Prime95 and used it to find the first 10milliondigit prime, but I ain't tellin what it is until i collect the prise $$$. so keep searching, u losers." 2) Threads in which the author makes wild unsupported claims which are either provably false or extremely likely to be so. The aforementioned thread is a classic example of this, as is e.g. this one: http://www.mersenneforum.org/showthread.php?t=3965 Another example of this would be someone who admits they have little numbertheoretic experience but claims to have discovered an elementary proof of, say, the Riemann hypothesis or Fermat's last theorem. 3) Threads in which the author makes wild claims which are not provably false but still extremely likely to be so (e.g. "I have proved there are infinitely many Fermat primes"), which the author supports via obscure (but possibly quitemathematicalsounding) argumentation. In my opinion this is the most insidious form of crankery, because while it is generally just as useless as its moreblatant brethren, because it is couched in specious (and usually byzantine) mathematical "reasoning' it generally require timeconsuming analysis by knowledgeable people to find the worm in the core of the apple, as it were. An example of this: http://www.mersenneforum.org/showthread.php?t=676 Your thoughts? 
20050908, 19:29  #2 
Jun 2003
The Texas Hill Country
1089_{10} Posts 
I fear that it would not work.
(1) The Cranks would have to be locked out of the "civilized" subforums or they would just keep creating new crank threads. (2) Any Moderator "guilty" of moving a thread to this area would probably be tarred and feathered for doing so. 
20050908, 20:06  #3 
Jun 2005
Near Beetlegeuse
184_{16} Posts 
I am in total agreement with Wacky about his first point. The only way to stop them posting is to cancel their membership, and I don’t think that any of us want that kind of censorship. Therefore, I think the only way to deal with them is to ignore them. All they want is an audience, someone to take them just a little bit seriously even if only for five minutes. Ignore them, don’t even ask them to present a proof. Just ignore them and they will go away and seek their audience elsewhere. Maybe we could make into a game among ourselves; anyone who answers a bonafide crank has to contribute an article to the wiki before they can post in the forum.

20050908, 20:18  #4 
Cranksta Rap Ayatollah
Jul 2003
641 Posts 
While I like and support the idea of a cranks subforum, I don't think that cranks are the powder keg in the math forum. The big issue causing the most detractions from math discussion is amatuer mathematicians asking questions without the requisite knowledge.
There are a few natural solutions to this, but I think each of them has a fundamental flaw: 1) Create a newbie forum. The problem with this is that newbies usually tend to post in a general forum rather than find a specific forum. Also, it might give off a bit of an elitist vibe to shuffle off the 'lesser' mathies to a subforum. 2) Create an advanced forum. I doubt this would help as there really aren't many advanced threads happening. I think this would end up a ghost forum. 3) Create a FAQ. Problem: Newbies don't read faqs. That's how we know they're newbies. Any other ideas? 
20050909, 16:52  #5 
"Richard B. Woods"
Aug 2002
Wisconsin USA
2^{2}×3×641 Posts 
It seems to me that Ernst's idea is intended not to stop cranks from posting in the "civilized" subforums, but to provide a place for moderators to move crank threads out of the "civilized" subforums as soon as they notice them.
The impossibility of preventing cranks from posting in "civilized" subforums is irrelevant to the feasibility of Ernst's proposal.    And now I see that the "Cranks, Kooks & Miscellaneous Malfeasants" subforum has been created. Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 20050909 at 16:55 
20050909, 19:17  #6 
∂^{2}ω=0
Sep 2002
RepÃºblica de California
2×13×443 Posts 
Started a bit of housecleaning in the Math Forum
Yes, drunk with my new powers, I did a bit of housecleaning in the Math Forum...it's an ugly job (and I'm sure to incur the ire of some whose threads have been moved), but somebody's gotta do it:
Moved sghodeif's "new theorems about primes" thread here. Moved sghodeif's "Why they don't believe?" thread here. Moved David John Hill Jr's "On a continuing indefinitely sequence of Mersennes" thread here. Moved the " Reshetnikov Criterai" [sic] thread (and corrected the typo in the title) here. Moved tinhnho's "please help me, cal expert" thread here. Moved clowns789's "Multiplication Tendency" thread here. Moved the "Amateur's Suggested Prime Sieve" thread here. Moved devarajkandadai's "Maths QuizII" thread here. Moved devarajkandadai's "Maths Musings V" thread here. Moved the "Riemann Hypothesis is false?????" thread here. Moved jocelynl's "stage 3 of P1 ?" thread here. Moved devarajkandadai's "Maths Musings III" thread here. Moved devarajkandadai's "Maths TutorialsI" thread here. Moved shaxper's "To create a real random number" thread here. Moved bouayoun's "conjucture [sic] in mersenne number" thread here. Moved devarajkandadai's "Maths QuizI" thread here. Moved Cyclamen Persicum's "M(M(127))" thread here. Moved synergy's "New post for us 'crackpots'" thread here. Moved synergy's "Bob, I'm calling you out!" thread here. Moved synergy's "Question of efficiency: Test VS Generator" thread here. Moved synergy's "Question of efficiency: Test VS Generator" thread here. Moved illmanq's "The 40th known Mersenne prime, 2209960111 is not PRIME!" thread here. Moved devarajkandadai's "Maths Musings II  A Narrow Escape" thread here. Moved devarajkandadai's "MATHS MUSINGS IMaths & Teaching KungFu" thread here. Moved amateur's "New Prime Test?" thread here. Moved drizzts's "Matlab fzero help" thread here. Moved maheshexp's "New way to Find (X^Y) % M" thread here. Moved devarajkandadai's "Maths & Detective Stories A prallel [sic]" thread here. Moved jebeagles' "LL test speed up?" thread here. Moved devarajkandadai's "Downloading Maths" thread here. Moved devarajkandadai's "Carl Pomerance" thread here. Moved svempasnake's "Trying goldbach conjencture [sic] with 128" thread here. Note that I didn't move jasong's "I know I'm a kook..." thread to the CKMM subforum because even though jasong freely admits to being a kook, his thread asked an honest mathsrelated question in a nonoffensive way and did lead to some useful discussion (albeit along with a bit of flameage, but the ratio was not unreasonably tilted toward the latter.) Similarly, there are several threads which are certainly candidates for the CKMM but where I'm still waffling  typically because although the thread's origin lies in crankery, it did stimulate at least *some* useful discussion. Here are some typical typical examples of threads in this borderline region: http://www.mersenneforum.org/showthread.php?t=3815 http://www.mersenneforum.org/showthread.php?t=3822 http://www.mersenneforum.org/showthread.php?t=3901 http://www.mersenneforum.org/showthread.php?t=4164 http://www.mersenneforum.org/showthread.php?t=3191 My inclination in such cases is to err on the side of caution and leave things be. (But posters with an abnormally high ratio of their threads in this category, consider this to be fair warning.) That's enough for one morning  I'll start on page 3 of the Math threads tomorrow and continue to work backwards. Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 20050909 at 19:18 
20050909, 21:23  #7 
Jun 2005
Near Beetlegeuse
2^{2}·97 Posts 
Could you please confirm whether this is as well as or instead of Alex' proposed Research Forum. In other words, are we now going to have three 'Maths' forums instead of two, or merely two instead of one?
Thanks, 
20050913, 11:46  #8 
"Richard B. Woods"
Aug 2002
Wisconsin USA
17014_{8} Posts 
Ernst,
synergy's http://www.mersenneforum.org/showthread.php?t=2978 thread is titled "New prime test (or generator)", not "Question of Efficiency: Test VS Generator" as duplicately listed above. Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 20050913 at 11:50 
20050918, 17:49  #9 
Sep 2005
4_{16} Posts 
Please remove my thread!
I demand to remove my thread from the Mersenneforum altogether.
You have no right to HUMILIATE me for honestly trying to solve a problem There is nothing false or wrong with what I suggested, it is slow, but so is EVERY factorizing method!!!!!!! You have deeply disappointed me not only in the Mersenneforum, but in the whole mathematician community. So, please, remove my thread ASAP. Thank you amateur 
20050919, 23:12  #10  
Aug 2004
italy
71_{16} Posts 
please explain
Quote:
:surprised 

20050919, 23:43  #11  
"Richard B. Woods"
Aug 2002
Wisconsin USA
2^{2}·3·641 Posts 
Quote:


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