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Old 9th July 2006, 04:57 PM   #1
Thomas
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The Quack-O-Meter

Quack-O-Meter is an interesting internet project. You type in the name of a person or the url of a webpage, and then the quackometer will judge whether the person or website has quack potential based on the words used on the related site(s). So the core philosophy is that quacks tend to use and surround themselves with certain words, while they stay away from others.

I tried a few names, and according to that site I'm not a quack, nor is James Randi, Richard Feynman, Charles Darwin or Carl Sagan (hey, I had to try). On the other hand, is Sylvia Browne, Uri Geller and Dr. MAS quacks.

While I'm pretty sure that there has to be flaws, and quite a few of them, then it seems to work quite well, given that it is fully automatized.

Test it yourself: http://www.quackometer.net/
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Old 9th July 2006, 05:05 PM   #2
hellaeon
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hahaha man, thats gold.

My bands site got an 'ok' but be careful! hahahaha
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Old 9th July 2006, 05:11 PM   #3
Kelly
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Oh, thank goodness I'm not a quack. Whew!!!

"Searching the web to find out about
Kelly Jolkowski

Total pages found for Kelly Jolkowski: 13500
Possible Quackery pages found: 13200
Possible Sceptical pages found: 2110

Analysing most suspicious web pages...

Blogger: User Profile: Kelly Jolkowski
http://www.blogger.com/profile/3884106
(0 Canards )

The Disenchanted Forest
http://cockamamieideasinc.blogspot.com/2005/05/uni
(0 Canards ) (not sure why this picked this one out..this is not my site)

The Disenchanted Forest
http://cockamamieideasinc.blogspot.com/2005/06/for
(0 Canards )


My guess is that this person is not a Quack!

Possible quackbusting web sites...


Paige’s Page: March 2006
http://paiges-page.net/2006_03_01_archive.html

skepticality - truth in podcasting ( skeptic critical
http://www.skepticality.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t="

I then entered the Project Jason website and received these results:

"Examining Site: http://www.projectjason.org/index.html

Fetching the web site...
Analysing Page...

Web site titled 'PROJECT JASON - ASSISTANCE FOR FAMILIES OF THE MISSING'

The black duck says...

This web site looks OK - but keep your guard up and don't rely on the black duck to spot all quackery!

This site has a has a currently measurable quackery content of 0 Canard

(The Canard is the internationally recognised SI unit for Quackery.)"

Last but not least, I entered my blog and it said the same thing as above. I am surprised, as you'd think it would pick up on enough to give some result.

I suggest the Quackometer needs a little work!
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Old 9th July 2006, 05:19 PM   #4
Paul C. Anagnostopoulos
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Web site titled 'PRINCETON ENGINEERING ANOMALIES RESEARCH'

The black duck says...

Average Quack Fodder. This web site has quite a bit of loosely defined terms and pseudoscientific language. It shows no sceptical awareness and so should be treated with a suspicious mind.

This site has a has a currently measurable quackery content of 3 Canard

(The Canard is the internationally recognised SI unit for Quackery.)
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Old 9th July 2006, 07:30 PM   #5
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whitehouse.gov - This web site looks OK - but keep your guard up and don't rely on the black duck to spot all quackery!
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Old 9th July 2006, 07:51 PM   #6
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Kevin Trudeau!!! Plugged him in and he gets:

3 Canards "This person has significant Quackery associated with them on the web!"

Ha!!!
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Old 9th July 2006, 07:58 PM   #7
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Stephen King comes in with 3 canards and
"This person has significant Quackery associated with them on the web!"

However the quack points come from a "Stephen King ND,"

Bad luck and woo make good stories, but they don't get you canards.
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Old 9th July 2006, 08:35 PM   #8
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I put in my name and found 0 canards but eight potential quackery sites. Of those, only four involved me and those four were were motorcycle/political in nature. Not sure where the quack comes from. The politicians I guess.
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Old 10th July 2006, 03:06 AM   #9
DeVega
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Hmm, that's strange - I got a zero canard rating for my website! www.deborahjmiller.com

It is my Fantasy author page - Obviously, I am just not working hard enough at being Fantastical!
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Old 10th July 2006, 03:17 AM   #10
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Web site titled 'TIME CUBE'

The black duck says...

This isn't really my bag. Way off the village pond.
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Old 10th July 2006, 03:22 AM   #11
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I have personal experience with the subject(s) of this particular page, and would have thought it would rate considerably higher.

Quote:
http://www.belifeful.com/aboutus.html

The black duck says...

I'm hearing faint quacks. This web site has some loosely defined terms and pseudoscientific language. It shows no sceptical awareness and so should be treated with a suspicious mind.

This site has a has a currently measurable quackery content of 2 Canard
(The Canard is the internationally recognised SI unit for Quackery.)
Here's a quote from the same page. What does it take, I wonder, to rate a "5"?

Quote:
In 1987, she took a three and a half year sabbatical from her busy Brookline practice to travel as a research volunteer to the Far East to introduce Chiropractic in South Korea and Beijing, China. While in Asia, she was exposed to the eastern philosophies of healing. Beyond oriental medicine and acupuncture, working with Qi Gong masters, Filipino psychic surgeons, Javanese and Sumatran shamans and traditional Thai healers brought much insight to her own work and the healing process. Further ongoing self study in the science of mind-body healing allows her to bring a unique perspective and understanding to her practice
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Last edited by Beady; 10th July 2006 at 03:24 AM.
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Old 10th July 2006, 03:39 AM   #12
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Both me and my website has 0 Canards. Better check out my username too....

Also 0 C for MRC_Hans, good. I thought my association with homepathy sites might... nevermind.

Dr. MAS, on the other hand: "This person has significant Quackery associated with them on the web!"

And Roger Coghill: "This person may be associated with Quackery!"

This is cool!

And, Jesus: "Serious association with Quackery!"
...Scoring 8C on most examined sites.

Very good!

Hans
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Old 10th July 2006, 04:52 AM   #13
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Very interesting, it seems that Erich von Däniken once again breaks the boundaries of woo! He accomplishes this incredible feat by spouting a literally impossible amount of nonsense.

Quote:
Total pages found for von Däniken: 522000
Possible Quackery pages found: 695000
Possible Sceptical pages found: 117000
Either that, or something's wrong with the page count.

Oh, and:

Quote:
My guess is that this person is not a Quack!
Fun site, nevertheless!

Last edited by SwissSkeptic; 10th July 2006 at 04:54 AM.
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Old 10th July 2006, 04:55 AM   #14
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Note that it looks for quacks, not for general woowoo. It specifically searches for health-related mumbo jumbo. I'm sure some free energy sites and fundie religious sites may also go free.

Hans
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Old 10th July 2006, 04:59 AM   #15
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You're right, I realised that right after posting when I looked at the keywords it searches for.
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Old 10th July 2006, 05:14 AM   #16
rjh01
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This site may need to be a bit more skeptical NCH
The quack says
Quote:
This web site is using alternative medicine terms. It shows no sceptical awareness and so should be treated with a suspicious mind.
How true.
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Old 10th July 2006, 05:15 AM   #17
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Web site titled 'THE BRITISH VETERINARY VOODOO SOCIETY'

The black duck says...

This web site has more quackery than my village pond. However, the black duck can spot a fellow sceptic!. The site is highly sceptical in language and is debunking.
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Old 10th July 2006, 05:16 AM   #18
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Moi: "This person may be associated with Quackery!"
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Old 10th July 2006, 05:21 AM   #19
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I tried my real name and screen name. Both came up 0 C. I tried the website of my firm. It came back as OK, which is a relief. We don't deal in woo. We deal in BS!
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Old 10th July 2006, 06:21 AM   #20
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Dr. Andrew Weil
Canards: 2
This person has significant Quackery associated with them on the web!
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Old 10th July 2006, 06:55 AM   #21
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Stevey Boy Russell aka The Barefoot Doctor gets a well-deserved 5 canards.
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Old 10th July 2006, 07:43 AM   #22
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Looks like it needs a touch of fine tuning: http://www.quackometer.net/?suspectquack=avery+dylan+

Quote:
My guess is that this person is not a Quack!
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Old 10th July 2006, 08:05 AM   #23
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My wife's best friend has these "services" listed on her site: LMT, CMT , Reiki Master, Aroma Bodywraps, Reiki, Wellness & Product Parties.

The Duck says "This person has significant Quackery associated with them on the web!" with 9 canards for her site.

I pointed this out to my wife and now they are both not speaking to me. They still speak to their chrystals though
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Old 10th July 2006, 08:21 AM   #24
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When you have it analyze its own self, it comes up with 1 Canard.

Quote:
This web site has more quackery than my village pond. However, the black duck can spot a fellow sceptic!. The site is highly sceptical in language and is debunking.

This site has a has a currently measurable quackery content of 1 Canard
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Old 10th July 2006, 08:47 AM   #25
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Nelson Mandela:

This person has significant Quackery associated with them on the web!

Aleister Crowley:

This person may be associated with Quackery!
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Old 10th July 2006, 08:54 AM   #26
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Gene Ray is absolutely quackery-free, hmmmmm.......
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Old 10th July 2006, 08:56 AM   #27
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It's clear now we need a Woometer. The Quack meter is only sifting out the quacks.
A Bleepmeter would come in handy as well!
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Old 10th July 2006, 09:18 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Both me and my website has 0 Canards. Better check out my username too....

Also 0 C for MRC_Hans, good. I thought my association with homepathy sites might... nevermind.
Well, you're OK, but putting in Rolfe's real name gives:
Quote:
This person may be associated with Quackery!
What can they mean?

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Old 10th July 2006, 09:25 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Dragon View Post
Stevey Boy Russell aka The Barefoot Doctor gets a well-deserved 5 canards.
And Gillian McKeith's site gets 6!
Quote:
The quacking noise is deafening. This web site is riddled with loosely defined terms and pseudoscientific language. It is throwing in scientific jargon and may be doing this to give an appearance of knowledgablity. It shows no sceptical awareness and so should be treated with a suspicious mind. It also looks like this site is trying to sell stuff. Buyer Beware!
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Old 10th July 2006, 10:01 AM   #30
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And, er, this site gets 8!
Quote:
Web site titled 'COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE GROUP: HOME PAGE'


The black duck says...


This web site has more quackery than my village pond. It shows little or no sceptical awareness and so should be treated with caution!


This site has a has a currently measurable quackery content of 8 Canard
I think a little recalibration is in order.
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Old 10th July 2006, 10:27 AM   #31
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Blog'd!
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Old 10th July 2006, 12:01 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Hyparxis View Post
It's clear now we need a Woometer. The Quack meter is only sifting out the quacks.
A Bleepmeter would come in handy as well!
I proposed a Universal Bullflop Scale here.
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Old 10th July 2006, 01:26 PM   #33
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Thanks for all the thorough testing you lot have done! Well spotted MRC Hans - the quackometer is fine tuned to spot Quacks - hence, von D scores a zero. Maybe the next step is a Crankometer - but I think that might be a little tricky unless someone can come up with a theory of how cranks operate and use words in the similar way to what quacks do.
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Old 10th July 2006, 01:32 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by lecanardnoir View Post
Thanks for all the thorough testing you lot have done! Well spotted MRC Hans - the quackometer is fine tuned to spot Quacks - hence, von D scores a zero. Maybe the next step is a Crankometer - but I think that might be a little tricky unless someone can come up with a theory of how cranks operate and use words in the similar way to what quacks do.
Hi lecanardnoir, and welcome to the forum!

So is the site your doing? If so, nice work.
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Old 10th July 2006, 01:33 PM   #35
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Well, you might get some clues in my Doggerel Index. (How many times can I plug this thing in one day? Stay tuned to find out.)

Of course, the trouble with cranks is that they've got more variety than those Harry Potter every flavor jelly beans.
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Old 10th July 2006, 01:35 PM   #36
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Well, you might get some clues in my Doggerel Index. (How many times can I plug this thing in one day? Stay tuned to find out.)

Of course, the trouble with cranks is that they've got more variety than those Harry Potter every flavor jelly beans.
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Old 10th July 2006, 01:48 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by BronzeDog View Post
How many times can I plug this thing in one day?
Originally Posted by BronzeDog View Post
How many times can I plug this thing in one day?
Depends on how many times you double-post, I guess.
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Old 10th July 2006, 01:51 PM   #38
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Yep - the quackometer is my plaything. It started from the depressing realisation that quacks are quite an unimaginative bunch. They are dead easy to spot when you know - almost without thought. And yet, so many people are so easily taken in by their canards. If people knew simple rules like 'anything with the word detox in it is suspect, then the quacks might not get so far. Wishful thinking...

Their approach is very formulaic - simple recipes such as
- having a 'holisitic' approach.
- using new 'energies' and 'vibraitons' that 'western' medicine has not tuned into.
- appeals to ancient wisdoms e.g. reiki, qi gong etc
- appeals to 'magic' words such as toxins, rebalancing that mean lots to woos but little to science,

and so on...

The language used is almost always a sure give away and so automation is a possibility. The hardest people to spot are nutritionists - almost always quacks. They combine the dead obvious (eat your greens) with bonkers science (see Gillian McKeith). At least in the UK, 'nutritionist' is not a reserved title, so someone who calls themself this is almost always quacking.

Anyway, your comments will allow me to make a few fine tunes - add words to the dictionaries that are not there - and, maybe soon, some new features!
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Old 10th July 2006, 01:57 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by lecanardnoir View Post
Thanks for all the thorough testing you lot have done! Well spotted MRC Hans - the quackometer is fine tuned to spot Quacks...
I still think your assessment of Edzard Ernst and his department is a little wide of the mark.

Welcome to the forum!
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Old 10th July 2006, 01:58 PM   #40
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I knew someone would beat me to running Jesus.

http://www.quackometer.net/?suspectquack=jesus
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