Note: Updated on May 7th, 2006
The story about the crackpot book “The Final Theory” (by Mark McCutcheon) has taken a new – and rather surprising – turn.
As described earlier in Lubos’ blog, Anthony Kirmis’ tried to post a 1-star review of “The Final Theory” back in August 2005, but it did not survive for much more than one week. Many other people experienced that their 1-star or 2-star reviews were deleted. However, as of today, there are 289 reviews of the book, with a staggering 2-star average, mainly because of around 200 1-star reviews which suddenly have appeared on amazon.com.
I commented on this book earlier here. The book claims to describe the “final” theory of everything, ignoring – for example – the existence of gravity and using only extremely simple elementary-school arithmetic. Instead, the sensation that we feel as gravity is really the Earth expanding up and accelerating against our feet!
As I’ve said before, I think it is most likely, that McCutcheon originally arranged for the 1-star reviews to be deleted (but of course, he had to ask amazon.com to do it). Still, there are many phony things about the reviewing system of Amazon.com. As others have observed, many of the 1-star reviews seem to have been posted by fictive persons. Also, I noticed a 5-star review by John Matlock “Gunny”. This person is a top-ten reviewer, and has posted around 2575 reviews, but all of those which I have skimmed through are 5-star reviews! About “The Final Theory” he makes the comment, that:
I find the book highly amusing. It’s worth reading, but don’t take it too seriously.
But still he rewards it with five stars…!?
I, myself, thought about posting a review. But it should be very short. Something like: “This book is not even wrong, but at any rate I’ll give it a 1-star review for money-making!”
Update: As of today (May 6th) there are now only 7 one-star reviews and 6 two-star reviews. The average rating is now 4.5 stars! I think I’ll have to withdraw my statement, that Amazon.com appears to be “more science than junk-science”. The rating system is completely flawed and obviously highly dubious.
I’ve posted a review of the book here. (Well, until somebody made sure that it was deleted….).