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The crackpot index is a number that rates scientific claims or the individuals that make them, in conjunction with a method for computing that number. While the indices have been created for their humorous value, their general concepts can be applied in other fields like risk management.
Baez's crackpot index
The method, proposed semi-seriously by mathematical physicist John C. Baez in 1992, computes an index by responses to a list of 36 questions, each positive response contributing a point value ranging from 1 to 50. The computation is initialized with a value of −5. An earlier version only had 17 questions with point values for each ranging from 1 to 40.
Presumably any positive value of the index indicates crankiness.
Though the index was not proposed as a serious method, it nevertheless has become popular in Internet discussions of whether a claim or an individual is cranky, particularly in physics (e.g., at the Usenet newsgroup sci.physics), or in mathematics.
Gruenberger's measure for crackpots
- Hubbard, Douglas W. (2009-04-27). The Failure of Risk Management: Why It's Broken and How to Fix It. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9780470387955.
- Staff, Wired. "Every field of study deserves its own Crackpot Index". WIRED. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
- "Crackpot index". math.ucr.edu. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
- "Crackpot index". 1996-11-10. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
- Chris Caldwell. "The PrimeNumbers' Crackpot index". Retrieved October 23, 2007.
- Fred J. Gruenberger. "A Measure for Crackpots" (PDF).