nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Friday, January 7, 2011

Medical Quote Of The Day - 7 Jan 11

Did you spend $25 for a Power Balance bracelet?  2.5 million people did.

This bracelet wins my Human Gullibility Marketing Award for 2010.  The inventers of this device claim that it balances the body's energy flow, increasing energy, strength, and flexibility.  Despite the claim, they admit there's no scientific evidence to support it.

I mean, it's really bad when the charlatans admit the baselessness of their claim, and people still go for it. (Note:  that's over $62 million in revenue for an item that costs about 50 cents to make).

The Power Balance was a CNBC "Sports Product of the Year."  Endorsements by celebrities followed.

So, I thought this quote from the author of a review of the whole comedy was right on target, describing human folly in general:
"Products that seem to work via mysterious means inaccessible to scientific investigation are more than likely bullpucky and always have been. Their makers have always used sophistry and fuzzy explanations to sell them, and have always relied on the power of suggestion to propel the pucky as far as it'll go. The game never really changes; the shysters just develop craftier ways to circumnavigate our judgment and appeal to what we really want -- an easy way to feel better, look better, and be better." 
--Psychology Today, Jan 4: Power Balance Scam Shows Again That the Pseudoscience Song Remains the Same, by David Disalvo

Very nicely put, Mr. Disalvo. Recommended article.

Doc D

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