Skeptophilia (skep-to-fil-i-a) (n.) - the love of logical thought, skepticism, and thinking critically. Being an exploration of the applications of skeptical thinking to the world at large, with periodic excursions into linguistics, music, politics, cryptozoology, and why people keep seeing the face of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Quantum downloadable medicines!

Okay, now I've seen it all.

This morning I stumbled across the single most idiotic thing I've ever run into.  Don't even try to tell me that there are stupider beliefs out there, because I flatly refuse to believe it.  Any human being on this planet who believed anything more ridiculous than this has got to have been taken care of by Darwinian natural selection centuries ago.

The name of the website should put you on notice immediately; it's "QuantumMAN: The World's First Downloadable Medicine."  Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like; you enter your credit card information, pay a fee (most of them seemed to be between US$25 and $100), and click "download."  The "medicine" downloads through your computer -- directly into you.  Voil√†!  You're cured!

How could this possibly work, you might ask?  Well, of course, it doesn't, but how do they say it works?  I watched some of their informational videos, and here's a transcript of the explanation:
ZAG, a private humanitarian medical research group, develops biodata programs using its quantum computer.  The programs are accessible via a "Portal," a means of quantum teleportation.  This Portal can then be unlocked by a user through the use of a Portal Access Key (PAK), a number string developed to open the Portal for a desired product.  PAKs can be accessed via a personal computer, mobile device, or tablet.  Once opened, the biodata programs can be transferred to your brain's neural network (also a quantum computer).  These programs then rapidly and repeatedly deliver physiological directives to the user's body to impart their health benefits.
Yes, you got that right: for a hundred bucks, you can access completely useless quack cures right in the comfort of your own home.

Of course, you may not see improvement right away, because sometimes the placebo effect doesn't work, so you might need repeated doses of "biodata" to fix whatever ails you.  You are cautioned that "each PAK is good for one dose only" and that you might need to "upload 5-8 doses every ten days as needed."  You can also "upload multiple doses simultaneously."  So, we're talking potentially thousands of dollars here to effect a "cure."

My vote for the funniest part of the whole site is at the very bottom of the "Catalog" page, where we are told, "Beware of imposters!  Only Portal Access Keys (PAKs) uploaded directly from this site... are genuine and effective."  Because heaven knows you wouldn't want to upload nothing from a bunch of quacks who were trying to rip you off, right?

So, what are they claiming to be able to cure?  Well, the easiest answer is, "everything."  There are "cures" for autoimmune diseases, insomnia, chronic pain, constipation, and obesity; there are "vaccines" for malaria, the common cold, and the flu; there is one that "reverses meth addiction," giving "lifetime immunity in just nine months;" there are sex drive boosters; there is even a "quantum massage."  In this last one, we upload the "Portal" prior to getting a conventional massage, and then the following happens, which you have to read verbatim to get the full effect:
ZAG, the private humanitarian medical research group that employs QuantumMAN™, has now elevated massage into the quantum realm. It has developed QMassage™ (Quantum Massage) that transfers data that provides the incredible health and healing benefits described above. You simply purchase QMassage™ and receive a number of its "Portal Access Keys™ (PAKs™). Accessing these PAKs™ via your personal computer, smartphone or tablet allows your body to quantumly receive (upload) QMassage™'s master programs. Derived from quantum physics, QMassage™ literally turbo boosts a therapist's massage into the quantum realm providing results not achievable by conventional massage alone. Or used as a standalone product, QMassage™ literally massages your entire body inside and out within its multiple realms.
Yes!  That's what I want!  Quantum massages that I can quantumly upload into the quantum realm of my quantum neural network!  All my subatomic particles are just quivering with anticipation!  Quantum quantum quantum!

There's no way to tell from the site if anyone has actually fallen for this; I didn't even see anything like a hit tracker.  And websites, of course, are much cheaper and easier to maintain than actual real-world businesses, especially given that (other than the cost of registering the domain name) this company has zero overhead.  No product, either, of course, which also lowers operating expenses.  Now, there's a business model for you: set up a website that does absolutely nothing, let it run, and let the placebo effect and human gullibility start the cash flow.

This whole thing left me simultaneously laughing out of sheer astonishment, and crying for the future of humanity that there could be anyone so catastrophically dumb that they think this could possibly work.  And as I said at the beginning: if ever find anything you think is a more ridiculous idea than this, please don't tell me about it.  For one thing, I'm not sure I'd believe you.  And second, if it turned out that you were right, I would thereby revoke my membership in the human race, and look for a ride on the next UFO off the planet.

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