In a blog post explaining the mission behind his New Age Bullshit Generator, Pearce rails against what he calls “woo-woo.”
“This word is a blanket term for pseudoscience, New Age thinking, dubious alternative medicine and other things that reek of the heady fumes of snake oil.”
Pearce feels that the complicated vocabulary of woo-woo practitioners makes dodgy beliefs and practices attractive to vulnerable people, saying if he had heard debates of this kind as a “scientifically illiterate, spiritually frustrated” 18-year-old, he would likely have been sucked in by it.
“[The language is] so full of hope and wonder and impressive ideas that you want it to be true — and for people who feel powerless, that’s more important than whether it is actually true or just a quack trying to sell a few books.”
Pearce says he was inspired to create the copy generator after losing the thread of a woo-woo debate one too many times. He wanted to highlight how easy it is to make “hogwash that looks compelling” by ridiculing it.
“As I sat there listening to the debates, I thought to myself, ‘This all sounds like random sequences of buzzwords. I bet I could write code to generate it.’”
To create a page of deep-sounding nonsense, users can click a button labelled “reionise electrons”. Our result was… alarmingly credible.