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It's over

No more calculator. No more of any of it.

This was a terrible idea. I should have taken it down sooner. To be fair, I changed the calculator to "lie" years ago. Instead of giving people deadly advice, it actually gave legitimate responses that wouldn't hurt anyone.

Even so, after the bullshit I've seen in the past few years (thanks, QAnon and Trump, for waking me up to how much crazy insanity people will believe), I've realized people who are otherwise smart can get really absurd ideas stuck in their head, even when there's direct evidence contradicting those ideas.

In other words, just because the calculator said they were underweight woudln't necessarily dismiss the rest of the page saying how fat everybody is. People with mentla health issues will just insert the pieces they need to keep believing the crazy shit.

I don't think anything I say here will change any minds, but at least I won't be part of the problem.

So why did I do this in the first place? Simple: I thought it was nothing but a stupid joke. The U.S. is incredibly overweight, and it's a very serious problem. But I tackle problems with humor. So by adding something (I thought) was nuts to a bit of truth, I thought the joke was that much funnier. Originally, I had no idea "pro-ana" was even a thing.

Once I realized it was, I still didn't think it was a big thing that would matter. My website was just one dumb little thing that was so obviously fake, nobody could take it seriously.

Then this page got more and more popular with those groups. I added a warning to it so it was even more clearly a joke (something about telling your doctor you're going anorexic or you'll kill yourself). That didn't stop the popularity, but I figured it was just residual traffic, and the warning would make it clearer that it wasn't meant to be taken seriously.

Then I got alerted about somebody's friend who died while using my calculator. I still treated it as a joke, but under the hood I made the calculator return safe values. I still believe this girl would have died with or without my calculator, but it was enough of a WTF for me to at least make the calculator avoid claiming anything that could kill a person.

But then I saw in the past year how easy it is to fool people. Even when Trump was claiming election fraud I didn't realize just how many people were buying it. I thought it was just a few crazy people with no education. But that wasn't the case. Polls suggest that a majority of republicans, i.e., those who "needed" to believe it, did.

Why? I don't understand why people can't think critically. I see the same from liberals, though not to the degree the #StopTheSteal crowd went. But now that I am taking a step back, I'm seeing it everywhere. If you need to demonize a group, or you need a group to be heroes, you start believing things without facts. Without any analysis or thought to how your small leaps of logic are creating a dangerous "us versus them" narrative that has no substance.

So as long as people are too stupid to assess the truth of what they see, anything I put here is going to be harmless. I hope.

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