This weekend at Skepchick we got an email from a guy with some “scientific theories”… and he pointed us to where we could download his research. The link was over 99% (not kidding) content that was illegally obtained multimedia sources. I opted not to take a look at his “evidence” supporting his “theories” because it was pretty obvious that it was not scientific, a theory, or anything insightful.
When someone tells me “I have a scientific theory about that!” and “I stole my research off the internet and looking at it is completely illegal.” What they are saying to me is: Hi. I’m kind of crazy… and not crazy in the colloquial sense, I’m totally diagnosable and I don’t like how my meds make me feel so I don’t take them and I hope that cat I just beheaded wasn’t yours and if it was, sorry but he was transmitting my thoughts to the Russians via satellite.
It’s kind of the same way that websites which include yellow and red highlighted text are 100% scams, woo, and conspiracy guys… just like anything with an outer-space-themed hurts-your-eyes background and/or blinking text and/or animated clip art. No one legit uses anything like that… in fact, it’s become so cliche that I’m actually starting to believe that all web-designers are skeptics.
What’s your favorite “this is woo” red flag? What makes you say, “I don’t have to listen/read any further ____ tells me all I need to know”?
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear daily at 3pm ET.