mersenneforum.org Proposal for new subforum
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 2005-09-08, 19:07 #1 ewmayer ∂2ω=0     Sep 2002 República de California 22×5×587 Posts Proposal for new subforum Inspired by the latest crank-maths 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 10-million-digit 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 number-theoretic 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 quite-mathematical-sounding) argumentation. In my opinion this is the most insidious form of crankery, because while it is generally just as useless as its more-blatant brethren, because it is couched in specious (and usually byzantine) mathematical "reasoning' it generally require time-consuming 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?
 2005-09-08, 19:29 #2 Wacky     Jun 2003 The Texas Hill Country 32×112 Posts I fear that it would not work. (1) The Cranks would have to be locked out of the "civilized" sub-forums 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.
 2005-09-08, 20:06 #3 Numbers     Jun 2005 Near Beetlegeuse 22·97 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 dont 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, dont 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 bona-fide crank has to contribute an article to the wiki before they can post in the forum.
 2005-09-08, 20:18 #4 Orgasmic Troll Cranksta Rap Ayatollah     Jul 2003 641 Posts While I like and support the idea of a cranks sub-forum, 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 sub-forum. 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?
 2005-09-09, 16:52 #5 cheesehead     "Richard B. Woods" Aug 2002 Wisconsin USA 22·3·641 Posts It seems to me that Ernst's idea is intended not to stop cranks from posting in the "civilized" sub-forums, but to provide a place for moderators to move crank threads out of the "civilized" sub-forums as soon as they notice them. The impossibility of preventing cranks from posting in "civilized" sub-forums 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 2005-09-09 at 16:55
 2005-09-09, 21:23 #7 Numbers     Jun 2005 Near Beetlegeuse 22×97 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,
 2005-09-13, 11:46 #8 cheesehead     "Richard B. Woods" Aug 2002 Wisconsin USA 22×3×641 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 2005-09-13 at 11:50
 2005-09-18, 17:49 #9 amateurII   Sep 2005 1002 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
2005-09-19, 23:12   #10
ppo

Aug 2004
italy

7116 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by ewmayer 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 jebeagles' "LL test speed up?" thread here.
can you tell us what's wrong with this thread ?

:surprised

2005-09-19, 23:43   #11

"Richard B. Woods"
Aug 2002
Wisconsin USA

22·3·641 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by ppo can you tell us what's wrong with this thread ?
Hmmm... There are errors in the August 18, 2004 postings of that "LL test speed up?" thread ( http://www.mersenneforum.org/showthread.php?t=2783 ), but they don't seem to me to be in the crank/kook/malfeasant category.

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