Bureau 42’s Guide To Spotting Crackpots

I tried very hard to resist the urge to write this. I really did. Unfortunately, I succumbed. You can find our guide to spotting crackpots here.

6 replies on “Bureau 42’s Guide To Spotting Crackpots”

  1. Maybe, just maybe, this latest failed prediction of the world’s end will make a few 2012 doomsayers reconsider their laughable conclusions.

    But I wouldn’t put money on it.

  2. Well done. The error analysis is a particularly nice touch.

    (Side note: the Bible does actually state outright that Jesus died within a few hours of being crucified. So for somebody working from the Bible as an accurate reference document, that’s not an arbitrary assumption.)

    I’m curious: You say at the end, “These almost invariably result in circular logic.” Knowing you, I’m wondering if you have a specific example in mind that makes you need the “almost”?

    • A footnote has been added to amend the “day of death and crucifixion different” bit. As for the circular logic bit, the 2012 people seem to use linear, if highly flawed and assumptive logic. I’m seriously tempted to critique that theory and autodynamics in later articles.

  3. As a former Catholic, now Atheist, I must say I find these sorts of people amusing, but any person who really followed the bible would believe he was doing them a favor by making these predictions.

    Mark 13 32-33 says that nobody can know when the end will be.

    So if you follow that “logic”, anyone who claims to know when the world will end is actually ensuring that the world will not end at that date/time, since someone knew it would happen then and that is, by the aforementioned citation, impossible.

    Even if you view the bible as a work of fiction, it can be quite amusing at times

  4. I noticed this part of the writeup as well. The Bible states that Jesus did die on the cross on the day of the crucifixion. Therefore your allowance of assumptions should assume that as well.

    However, the mention of the Gregorian calendar was spot on. Why do these crackpot predictors ALWAYS miss that part!!??

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