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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

 

Saga of a mad pseudoscientist

Ok, this post has nothing to do with cars, so I am once again invoking my seldom-used rule that anything about mad scientists is on-topic here. Pavel Tsuprak, if that's his real name, claims to be a scientist. And he sure doesn't seem to be right in the head, so that qualifies his story. Barely. He's giving mad scientists worldwide a bad name with his antics, but they're so bizarre I just had to write about them here.

The whole thing came to my attention when someone at the Absolute Write Water Cooler found that Pavel was promoting a book on what appears to be quack cancer therapy on message boards. The fact that he was only 19 was some cause for concern - with only a high school education, would this teenager really be the best one to look to for cancer advice? The book had been printed by PublishAmerica, a dubious company nicknamed PublishAnything for their tendancy to print books without actually having read them.

As if that wasn't enough, someone - almost certainly Pavel himself - began to promote the book with reviews written under a variety of names but all in a similarly semi-literate writing style. These reviews claimed that, among other things, the book appeared on Dr. Phil. So on top of questinable qualifications, we've got dishonest advertising.

When things really began to go crazy was when a negative review appeared. Suddenly, our semi-literate promoter sprung into action, furiously pounding out five-star reviews in the hopes of driving the bad publicity off the page. At times, you could even reload the page after reading the latest crop of reviews and find two or more posted, with reviews pouring in at a rate of seven or eight in an hour. To compensate for poor writing skills, the source of these reviews often resorted to cutting and pasting positive reviews from other cancer-related books.

After seeing such bizarre misconduct, Dawno took it upon herself to order a copy of this book and book and see if it had been put together in a similar fashion to the reviews. It didn't take her long to find the first example of content stolen off the web. In fact, it appears that the bulk of the book was actually cut and pasted verbatim from various copyrighted websites. At times, the author even copied captions while grabbing stretches of text and left out the pictures. Not much original content at all.

Stay tuned. This could be very interesting.

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Comments:
Hi Matt! I plan to do more digging this weekend - I'll update on AW. Thanks for your support.
 
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