Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The RakeOnRake Theory

Oh, my, it is seldom that we come across anything as perfectly formed as this bit of nuttery.

Think about it. The first requirement of crackpot claim is that the author acknowledge that others have laughed at him in the past:

Almost 18 months ago I shared these sketches, which didn't go over very well here.

Second, you must acknowledge your lack of formal training:

I'm not an engineer.

You must claim that you make up for that in real-world experience:

I've worked in construction and read lots of books on building....

Undercut by a dubious claim:

...and I operate a lot in the failure mode through taking on the repair of hopelessly broken stuff other people consider garbage, and when I'm building stuff for my own use I deliberately underbuild it to try to generate instructive failures.

A humorous anecdote about past mistakes helps establish you're human:

My first project was as a five-year-old--a chair that provided an interesting (and instant) shear failure when I sat on it.

Next comes the "someday I'll be famous for this" claim that is common to crackpots of all stripes:

I have reason to believe that one of these days you're going to see some diagrams from more authoritative sources that look something like these.

And then comes the completely incomprehensible "theory", with no explanation:

When people respond predictably with cries of "What the hell is that supposed to be?", it helps to say that if you don't understand, something must be wrong with you:

If your co-workers have any questions, intelligent or otherwise, please forward them. That you were unable to intuit the obvious implications of rakeonrake suggests that, if they're anything like you, they won't have any at all.

Wow. Hat Tip to Willim Teach. Arrrrr!

PetGoat was one of our honorees for quote of the year in 2006, and I have no doubt he will be in the running this year.