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Can we quantify Perl crackpots?

I heard about the Crackpot Index on last week's This American Life. John Baez (a mathematical physicist) uses it to rate "potentially revolutionary contributions to physics" such as proofs that special relativity is misguided, and so on. Assign yourself points for each statement that describes your theory. The more points you get, the more loony you are.

For example,

  • 10 points for each claim that quantum mechanics is fundamentally misguided (without good evidence).
  • 10 points for each statement along the lines of "I'm not good at math, but my theory is conceptually right, so all I need is for someone to express it in terms of equations".
  • 10 points for claiming that your work is on the cutting edge of a "paradigm shift".

Some of the more general statements might apply to Perl (or programming, really).

  • 1 point for every statement that is widely agreed on to be false.
  • 10 points for claiming that your work is on the cutting edge of a "paradigm shift".
  • 20 points for naming something after yourself.
  • 40 points for comparing those who argue against your ideas to Nazis, stormtroopers, or brownshirts.

Can we expand the list? I know Perl has had it share of cranks (maybe more than other languages?) and they usually are loony in the same way. Without assigning absolute points (we'd have to rank things against each other and we don't have the whole list yet), what's on Perl's list? Note, a perfectly reasonable project or idea might match a couple points, but that doesn't make it loony. A true loon with match many points at the same time.

  • High points for mentioning code hiding through obfuscation.
  • Medium points for coming up with a new templating system.
  • Lots of points for designing a new CGI parser.
  • Medium points for reorganizing CPAN into an "Enterprise Perl".
  • Low points for using Quantum::Superpositions un-ironically.
  • Low points for mentioning Larry Wall, Damian Conway, or Randal Schwartz
  • Medium points for spelling the name of the language in all caps (PERL) or arguing that it started as an acronym.
  • Low points for arguing "Well, people will never use it like that anyway".
  • Medium points for saying "Design pattern" (heh, I'll get those points).
  • Medium points for creating a new MVC framework (hi Randal!)
  • Medium points for using source filters without being Damian, or using them in production.
  • Very high points for arguing that you don't need strictures or warnings.
  • High points for creating a non-Inline module to make Perl code look like the code from some other language.
  • High points for rewriting a replacement for a core piece of Perl technology.
  • Medium points for being Ingy.
  • Minus medium points for being Ingy (making this the Ingy Paradox).
  • Very high points for forking Perl (you laugh, but people have tried it).
  • Medium points for creating Perl subsets (i.e. you can't use map)
  • Low points for writing a book published by WROX, or has "Dummies" or "Idiot's" in the title.

Okay gentle monks, have at it. I'll compile the list later and we can then assign points to it. Maybe someone can even turn it into a little online quiz.

brian d foy <>

In reply to The Perl Crackpot Index by brian_d_foy

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