A Crackpot’s Justification – Gabor at it again!

Gabor Fekete is at it again. I can tell, because whenever he starts one of his e-mail campaigns of crackpottery, people Google his name and I get a spike in traffic on this here blog. Over the last few weeks, Gabor has taken the awarding of the Nobel Prizes as a new opportunity to spread the word about his crazy theories.

It appeared that old Gabor had taken me off his mailing list, because I didn’t any of his new waves of spam until my colleagues and visitors to this blog brought them to my attention. Since my last post on old Gabor, I actually received the estimable honor of being contacted by the man himself, who apparently actually reads my blog! You can even see some of his comments on my previous post (though he was trying to pass himself off as other people.) Unfortunately, he was not a big fan just yet. He accused me of libel, of hurting his “authority”, and he threatened to take my site offline. If you’re reading this, he apparently failed. His messages to the FBI have also apparently not garnered much response, because I am still anxiously awaiting them to break down my door.

I didn’t remove anything I wrote about this persistent crackpot, and instead invited him to comment directly on what I had written. If he was right and I was wrong, surely he could find some way to defend himself and demonstrate where I had erred? I even offered to provide him with a platform to share his thoughts more openly, for example in the form of an interview. He unrespectfully declined. Never say science did not extend you an olive branch, Gabor!

So what is he up to now? Before the Nobel prizes were announced, Gabor impersonated (as he often does) professional physicists in a spoofed e-mail, in which he recommended himself for a Nobel prize. According to him, almost all Nobel prizes in history have been awarded for absolute nonsense. He, however, has solved all of modern physics, there is nothing left to be done, and everyone else is doing “psuedo-science.” Therefore, obviously he should receive the Nobel prize, and here is a glowing recommendation from Prof. This-and-that. Please reply if you agree!

It didn’t work. The Nobel prize in physics was ever so unjustly not awarded to Mr. Fekete. Cue the follow-up e-mail.

Again Gabor impersonates an actual Professor in physics, this time pretending that this person laments the ridiculous decisions made by the Nobel committee. It’s all because the committee consists mostly of evil psuedo-scientists who just won’t let poor Gabor catch a break!

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve seen these e-mails. If not, you can get a glimpse in the comments on my previous post. So why am I even writing all of this?

Lucky boy that I am, because Gabor contacted me to get my content pulled off the internet, I still have his e-mail address. I felt it was my duty as a gentleman and a scholar to seek him out once more to get his views on all of this. Science should be impartial, so we should have Gabor’s side of the story before we judge him too harshly, don’t you agree? So I fired off this e-mail:

From: Me
To: Gabor Fekete
Subject: Your new campaign

Dear Gabor,

I noticed that you are impersonating physicists once more, this time in an attempt to make people believe that these physicists think that you deserve the Nobel prize in physics for your work. Why exactly do you think this would work, and don’t you think this deception is immoral?

Cheers,
Marco

His methods are obviously ridiculous. I hope that people will either realise the e-mails are spoofed, or otherwise assume that the person sending it is another crackpot. In any case, I cannot imagine anyone actually reading his e-mails and thinking, “hey, this guy is a genius, let’s give him a Nobel prize!” So why does he bother? And all these nasty methods of spoofing e-mails, spamming scientists, threatening to report them to the FBI… how does he justify that?

I wasn’t really expecting any response, but I received one within half an hour. I won’t reproduce the entire e-mail as it was not particularly polite, but I’ll quote Gabor on his key message:

This already works and the end justifies the means.Gabor Fekete 2015

There you go. The end justifies the means. Gabor implicitly admits to what I was accusing him of, and his justification is mundane but telling. He knows his methods are not sound, but this is irrelevant in the face of his crusade to get his theories recognized. I don’t know in what sense his method “already works” (would love some insight into that) but whether it is a delusion or not, Gabor believes that his methods are helping him reach his goals, and those goals are worth all this trouble.

Marco is a theoretical (bio)physicist, currently engaged in unraveling the sequence-dependent dynamics of DNA molecules to earn his PhD at Leiden University. Other passions include literature and history.

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9 comments

  1. Ian

    It appears Gabor is heating up his e-mail spam. The interval between e-mails has dropped to just over 8 hours. I’ve had lots of crackpot e-mails over the years, but he’s the first to veer into spoofing of e-mails, invasions of privacy by tracking IP addresses, and direct threats, albeit absurd ones.

    I’m beginning to wonder if some more concerted response is necessary from the community. I don’t know EU law very well, but I have to imagine spoofing e-mails is illegal. I know they have very strict privacy laws. I think it might be time to follow up with authorities in Hungary/the EU or perhaps at least his ISP. My general rule of thumb is that crackpots are generally harmless and ignoring them is the best course of action; however, this one is starting to get out of hand.

  2. Ray Russ

    Just received my special, little email from Prof. Gabor Slobberdonkey. I must admit to an almost aberrant fascination with his blatherings given that they’ve never failed to entertained me upon reading them.

  3. Matthew A. Sawtell

    Well, get ready for another spike in traffic, he is at it again. However, given the spam filters, alot of his “show and tell” was left out. I do not know where he dug my business e-mail out of, but at first brush it appears he is culling any changes for those that are now doing work with CERN. Regardless, if he really wants to have “an audience” I would suggest to him that the China Daily BBS would be a wonderful space for him to stand on his soapbox and wax poetically to anyone that is willing to listen.

  4. Keith

    The 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics has been announced, and our friend Gabor has missed out once again. When can we expect to see the next wave of spam threatening to have anyone who doesn’t support his theories sent to the gulag?

      • Keith

        I haven’t seen anything from him – apparently my workplace’s spam filters are now able to keep him out. I did see someone post about him on Twitter, though.

        • Keith

          Spoke too soon – I got another Gabor email today, ostensibly from Duncan Haldane of Princeton University (one of the recipients of this year’s Physics Nobel).

  5. Albert A. G.

    You might be interested to find out that there are 135 “Gabor Fekete”s in LinkedIn — talent agents, realtors, CEO’s, mostly in Hungary. Is that even his real name, or is it like an American choosing “John Smith” for a pseudonym?

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