Can holograms cure osteoarthritis and shingles? My money’s on no, and while there’s still actual medicine out there which does treat serious medical conditions, it’s not worth the risk.
I especially like this quote from the depressingly credulous majority of the article:
I see very good results. We see results that are better than any of the prescription anti-inflammatory pills that we use. And I’m not exaggerating that number.
So, this product is being hawked by both a guy who used to coach some kind of American sport, and another guy who thinks that “very good” is a number. Oh, and the company CEO runs a seminar on how to “rapidly create massive wealth”, and is sending some of these hologram thingies to aid the relief work in Haiti. The article doesn’t mention if he’s also sending any massive wealth.
However, if you’re willing to cough up $54.95 for a box of 18 little plastic stickers with some scratches on them, and you don’t want to ask any awkward questions like how it’s supposed to work or why you should believe that you’re getting anything for your money, I invite you to try another new alternative therapy craze that I assuredly predict will soon be sweeping the nation.
It’s called the “Give James lots of money” method of enhanced wellness, and it’s been practised in Tibet for over three thousand years, for all you know. I can absolutely guarantee you that nobody who’s practised this method has ever gone on to experience cancer, AIDS, heart attack, stroke, drowning, high blood pressure, diabetes, muscle pain, pinkeye, gingivitis, heartburn, drowsiness, cracked knuckles, or overdue library book fines. No “Western medicine” your doctor will give you can make a similar claim.
And it’s so easy! All you have to do is give me lots of money. That’s it! This is the big medical secret that neither “they” nor convicted felon Kevin Trudeau want you to know about! Just click here to send me your bank details, tell me how much money you want to give me (just make sure it’s lots!) and I’ll do the rest! And my method, unlike these weird hologram things, isn’t being sold through multi-level marketing. You don’t have to recruit anyone else into the plan. You just give me lots of money.
Okay, some of you probably have your doubts about the legitimacy of this offer. But why would you not have the same doubts about the magic holograms? There is exactly the same amount of solid, reliable, controlled, well performed science supporting both claims. That’s another cast-iron guarantee. I can bullshit some anecdotes if you need more convincing, though.
Seriously, all these patches have are a couple of unverifiable and likely exaggerated stories about people using them and feeling better later. There are various reasons why this might indeed be the case without requiring that these little bits of plastic have magical healing powers. I mean, why would you expect something so mundane and inert to do anything like what’s being claimed for them? It’s as fatuous and silly as… I don’t know… sticking a piece of apple in a jar with “love” written on the side and expecting it to decay more slowly.
Yeah, that saga is still ongoing, mainly driven by the kick-ass nongivingupitude (shush, I’m too tired to think of real words like “resilience”) of Rebecca Watson, who is carrying out the first Great Apple Experiment all this week, and is accepting feedback as to how to make it more scientifically rigorous for a later follow-up. There might be a few snags in her methodology on this first run, but she’s not being nearly as flippant about it as I am.
She’s not just calling it all bullshit and moving on. Someone did an experiment and declared that the results demonstrated the power of some amazing natural force previously unknown to science. Rebecca is doing another experiment to see if those results can be replicated, and whether that same force can really be observed.
And, predictably, this eccentric skeptical shtick of “giving a shit about the truth” is pissing some people off. Some of the idiotic ramblings in defence of the woman who did the original experiment are quite nicely representative of pseudo-scientific thinking in general. One potted example, bizarre grammar and random capitalisation intact:
There I think is the point you have Been trying to demonstrate so well with this experiment that anything is possible, and that not everything is so ” black & white “
Wow. That was the point this woman was making? That “anything is possible”? I hadn’t realised the scope of her experiment was so huge. I thought it was just some nonsense about apples.
(Also, there’s more than one comment about Rebecca Watson having no “Charisma”. Someone who knows D&D better than I do should make a joke about saving throws or something.)