Slowly but surely, because it is a good idea, the Quantum Randi Challenge (QRC) generates interest behind the curtains. Some think that because of this, it is all over, but they are mistaken. Several researchers wanted to properly quote the QRC despite of it finding still no support by ‘professional’ journals on the grounds that it is “extremely important but just not quite right for our fine publication”. “Quantum Randi Challenge” is now available as a proper, even peer-reviewed (see acknowledgements) scientific paper [http://arxiv.org/abs/1207.5294*].
The paper explains why the issue still grows in relevance, why there is an anti-quantum movement, i.e. pseudoscience different from pro-quantum mysticism, especially among scientifically literate people, and why the QRC is a better idea than the established ‘professional’ ways in which I am told to behave to be taken seriously. The QRC is designed so that people like Scott Aaronson, who we need to do more important stuff with their time, do not waste it:
“Before, I’d actually given Joy some tiny benefit of the doubt — possibly misled by the length and semi-respectful tone of the papers refuting his claims.” (emphasis added) from: Scott Aaronson on wasting incredible amounts of time with the Joy Christian affair
As the QRC paper also explains, increasingly often established ‘professionalism’ merely feeds a cycle that pseudoscience exploits. Without certain valid, but also quite useless refutations like these (do we need refuting one equals two?), a particular example of pseudoscience would have never gotten the funding and book deal and all that it has gotten. More importantly, it should never have wasted our time.
Straw-man: “So why do you waste your time with it then, mister righteous glass house dweller?”
I do not! The concept of the General Randi Challenge (as defined in the QRC paper) since its very inception, is NOT attacking any crackpots, but does the very opposite: Positively educating people about the relevant issue while simultaneously avoiding communicating with crackpots and avoiding that our agenda is given to us by pseudoscientists.
Why do so many clever people let the dimmest bulbs out there dictate what is important to them?
Example 1: Discussing endlessly the ‘detection loophole’, which is a technicality**: Not a promising research direction if looking objectively at the pile of interesting problems, not our agenda, their agenda!
Example 2: Silly 3000 dollar bets that, because of quantum mechanics, crackpots will win in some of the future world-branches regardless how unlikely: Not a good idea, very bad idea actually for didactical reasons (QRC-Challenge is NOT a bet!), not our agenda, their agenda!
If you are interested in combating pseudoscience effectively rather than just enjoy battling pointlessly with morons and giving them exposure: The QRC has already shown quite some effectiveness where it was applied, yet it needs your support! It needs people who can make it an attractive internet application (nobody yet does it – you can be the one! Instructions), and moreover it needs people who make the QRC known, not to boost my ego, but because that is how Randi Challenges work:
“Randi challenges work simply by being known to exist while never having been overcome, despite the large rewards which would follow from meeting the challenge. This effectively refutes pseudoscientific claims according to which the challenge could easily be met. Pseudoscience exploits well meaning engagement in argument in order to undermine science by artificially creating the appearance of a dispute between experts where there is none. Randi challenges allow scientists to publicly refuse to give a platform to pseudoscience without strengthening the perception of censorship and establishment conspiracy.” from: Quantum Randi Challenge
* Archive moderators categorized it again as history/philosophy just to annoy although there is again no history or philosophy in there and after it was already endorsed for the quantum archive no less – big surprise when people ‘extensively’ cross-list. Sorry hist/phil guys, it is not me spamming your category with stuff that obviously does not belong there.
** If the detection loophole is some “further fact” quantum complementarity (Bell’s missed fifth position), it is even less classical, baring classical super-determinism and being a brain in a vat or virtual reality suit on some evil planet in a seven dimensional universe – which is always a logical possibility.