Reducing crackpotism

See this comment by Douglas Scheinberg:

Perhaps the biggest neglected problem is that of cranks and crackpots. Consider the percentage of the U.S. population that believes one or more of the following:

Obama wasn’t born in the U.S.

Vaccines cause autism

9/11 was an inside job

Global warming is a myth

The world is about 6000 years old

HIV was created as a bioweapon

American Indians are descended from ancient Jews

Crackpotism seems like a minor problem, but it wasn’t that long ago that a crackpot conspiracy theorist took control of a major world power and the result was World War II and the Holocaust.

This seems to be a sub-cause of the general idea of “improving human rationality” or “raising the sanity waterline”.