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  • Hoaxers

    Back in September 2012 there was a goofball who came on the scene, a student according to his bio from some backwater hole in Ontario.

    He had this habit of posting preposterous claims that provoked numerous responses from the sages around here, well-meaning people who went to some pains to correct his errors, usually providing well-reasoned responses backed by copious information, often with links to websites or reference to printed works.

    I played his game, too, until I got suspicious. It dawned upon me one day that this student was goading us into doing all his homework for him. From his postings, I became convinced he had a term paper to write on the Second World War and had hit upon the idea of surreptitiously recruiting the membership here to do his research. At that point I stood down and quit providing said poster with information and resources.

    In any case, his plan worked like a charm. Between September and mid-December 2012, when he disappeared, he racked up a record for posts per day and had many very knowledgeable take his bait, rebutting his assertions and educating him as to where and why his theories fell apart. Come December, when his paper was due, he disappeared, never to post again. I'm sure he got a good mark on his paper. After all, we wrote it.

    I felt stupid. I was fairly sure of my hunch, but that was confirmation. I thought then that I should have said something publicly, and felt worse. No one likes to be made to look a fool.

    So. I'm not saying our pet lizard from Mexico is a hoaxer. Some people truly are "intellectually challenged". Nevertheless, the cause and effect is the same — asinine posts eliciting a volume of responses from well-meaning (if misguided) members attempting to rebut some of the most ridiculous hypotheses in forum history. I'm sure everyone is familiar with the adage: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!". Once again, my spidey senses are tingling.

    Food for thought?

    Regards
    Scott Fraser
    Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

    A contentedly cantankerous old fart

  • #2
    Interesting! I think you're on to something there.
    Whiskey for my men, and beer for my horses.
    TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
    Bock's First Law of History: The Past shapes the Present, which forms the Future. *

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    • #3
      How does posting up preposterous scenarios help you get an historical paper done? I don't see much if anything in any of my responses that would be of value to someone doing that.
      To do your scenario one would have to post on specific actual events changing them into utterly ridiculous scenarios and then hope that responses would correct the errors with historical information on actual events.
      I don't think there are many academic courses of study where you engage in speculative history and fiction outside creative writing.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
        How does posting up preposterous scenarios help you get an historical paper done? I don't see much if anything in any of my responses that would be of value to someone doing that.
        To do your scenario one would have to post on specific actual events changing them into utterly ridiculous scenarios and then hope that responses would correct the errors with historical information on actual events.
        I don't think there are many academic courses of study where you engage in speculative history and fiction outside creative writing.
        Go back and re-read some of the threads. Pay particular attention to the responses that begin: "That's impossible because..." Well-meaning people try to set the record straight, providing information and sources in the process. That's how it works.

        Now I don't know if our lizard has an agenda or whether he's just a kook, but the net effect is the same. It has happened before. I simply find it hard to believe that anyone could have as much background knowledge yet fail to grasp the fundamental dynamics involved. What better way to get detailed explanations of events than to troll a forum where so many people have in-depth knowledge and are willing to oblige? Just sayin'.

        Regards
        Scott Fraser
        Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

        A contentedly cantankerous old fart

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        • #5
          Sounds like management material to me?
          How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
          Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

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          • #6
            Dont Feed the Troll

            Dont Feed the Troll

            Dont Feed the Troll

            Dont Feed the Troll

            Dont Feed the Troll

            Dont Feed the Troll

            Dont Feed the Troll

            Dont Feed the Troll

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            • #7
              Dont Feed the Troll
              Been saying this for months
              The Purist

              Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

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              • #8
                Now that he's caged it's kind of fun.
                Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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