Quickies

Skepchick Quickies, 2.4

Jen

Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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15 Comments

  1. I like the idea of educational sites disguised as scams. The term “rude awakening” comes to mind. The world needs more of these.

    I wonder if it’d be ethical to set up a phishing scam that takes someone’s personal info, immediately discards and then informs the person of precisely how gullible they’ve been. Same sort of thing with 419 scams, “herbal supplements”, urban legends, trojans…

    For example, you could do a trojan that lies dormant on the user’s machine until a certain date, then pops up a message saying “Remember that email attachment you opened a few weeks ago? Well, funny thing about that…”, and then uninstalls itself.

  2. Some questions the Computer Tan site forgot to address:

    “I have an LED-backlit/OLED monitor. Will Computer Tan work for me?”

    “I have a CRT monitor. Will Computer Tan work for me?”

    “I’m afraid said CRT monitor is giving/has given me cancer. Will the UVB rays from your service generate enough vitamin D to cure it?”

    I’ll try pirated versions of their software first. If it doesn’t work, I’ll sue for the money I didn’t spend.

  3. Oddly enough, I support Forensic Astrology. If you are going to go full on bat shit crazy, why limit yourself? How about Cuisine Astrology? Plumber Astrology? Car repair Astrology?
    Of course the problem with these wingnuts is they may actualy hinder actual forensic work, which is difficult enough. How do you find the birthday of a body? Phrenology?

  4. Re: cannabalistic cures
    I am filled with profound and humble gratitude that, over the great span of human existence, I live in a time where I can read this article and know none of its “cures” have any curative power.
    If humanity had not developed, codified, and taught the principles of the Scientific Method, we’d all be looking for murder victims to lay out under the light of a moon for a day and a night so we could strip, cure, and consume his flesh.
    The people who came up with this stuff were our intellectual and genetic equivalents. They were just ignorant. If we took a population of kids today and seperated them from logic and reason, they would still come up with answers to what ails them. Their answers would be just as bizarre, ineffective, and magical and they would hold to them with the same vigor. After all, ignorant people are not just ignorant of the facts, they are ignorant of their ignorance.

  5. @Steve: I remember an email hoax that made the rounds through my college’s email system a few years ago that was similar to what you are describing. The email said that the University needed to verify your account information and requested the user’s password and login name. I never responded to it because the whole thing was obviously dubious. But anyway, about a week later every email account hosted by the college was forwarded the emails of every person who fell for the hoax (complete with username and password). Hopefully they won’t be so gullible next time.

  6. Had a read of one of the forensic astro posts. Well, partly read and mostly skimmed or ignored much of the rest. It’s all over the place in describing the events of the crime. One glaring mishmash is ascribing two different times of entry, almost an hour apart. Given the details supposedly revealed via the astro reading that’s a big, big time difference. Big enough to make the story rather incredible.

    Of course those of skeptically minded already know it’s incredible from the outset, but one thinks the author would have read their own story before publishing it to ensure it was at least internally consistent.

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