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What is an equivalent product to HiFi snake oil?

egellings

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I you persist in directing the conversation to “Woke, not woke” conversation you will most certainly regret it. I already asked nicely and repeatedly here and elsewhere in our Forums. I don’t want to be forced to use blunt force tools. Just change the subject please.
???...
 

pablolie

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How about...

* Kitchen Gadgets... magic garlic/avocado/etc processing devices or *ANY* egg poaching device for microwaves :)
* Supplements... make u grow or lose fat or whatever :)
* Self help books (I read a story only <1% of self-help books bought are read cover-to-cover)
* Crypto currency investment sites (perhaps even more criminal than any audio thing?)
* Politicians claiming to have "the people's" best interests in mind :-D
* "Performance producs" for cars or motorcycles that are just cosmetic (despite promising otherwise)... carbon spoilers, exhaust tips...
* Russian date sites :-D
 

Keith_W

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How about...

* Kitchen Gadgets... magic garlic/avocado/etc processing devices or *ANY* egg poaching device for microwaves :)

Yeah I have certainly bought my share of kitchen gadget snake oil in the past. Here are a few:

- Silicon egg poacher - drop your egg in the poacher then float the poacher on boiling water. Does not work - the egg sticks to the poacher even if you oil it.
- Thyme peeler - a metal plate with a hole in it. Put a sprig of thyme in the hole and pull. Works no better than your fingers.
- Garlic peeler - a rubber tube. Put your garlic in the tube and rub back and forth and it supposedly peels your garlic for you. It works but is no faster than peeling garlic by hand.
- Thermomix (borrowed, did not buy). This might be controversial given all the love for Thermomix, but the main flaw is that the blades chop/cut and do not stir. So it is good for making hot purees like sauces and soups, but no good for making risottos, porridge, or chunky stews - basically anything where you want more control over the final texture of the product.
- Various non-stick pans that advertise better durability than Teflon. Either they don't work as well as Teflon or are not more durable.
 

soundtrane

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I posted an article on this forum which included some florid prose written by Dawid Grzyb reviewing a “high end” power cable. The post caused another member to comment that the author in question could be an effective wine reviewer. I responded with agreement but it started me thinking “what is a parallel to HiFi tweak reviewing?” With respect to wine reviewing, obviously, people reviewing a particular vintage wine are going to offer a subjective review based on what they are tasting. This subjectivism will be expressed with all of the usual wine-related superlatives and adjectives. The reaction the taster has to the wine will be very much an internal set of responses that they will attempt to describe in words but the fact remains that the taster is tasting the wine and there are established ways of expressing this experience. For example, a taster presented with a glass of red wine will be expecting to be able to classify it based on the known qualities of different varieties and this can only be described as an objective experience. An experienced taster will be able to determine the grape, region, maturity and many other properties based purely on taste. If the taster finds the wine appealing, then you can expect a torrent of enthusiastic superlatives in their written description. In addition to this, in most cases, wine tasting is done blind, the taster has no idea the maker or vintage before tasting. If we compare this method to the “testing” of HiFi snake oil products, there are some obvious differences.

When a reviewer receives and subsequently fits and listens to a new tweak/component, the reviewer is aware of the presence of the new component and is predisposed to “hear” a “difference”. Subsequently, while performing their listening tests, they will be gazing at the glowing lights on the product or maybe fingering the packaging and reading whatever description of the product the manufacturer has provided. The reviewer then has to find something to describe the experience they were expecting to have. It’s at this point that the difference between wine reviewing and HiFi tweak reviewing differ. The wine reviewer has an objective experience and the HiFi tweak reviewer has a subjective experience inasmuch as if another person tasted the wine, they would likely experience very similar sensations of taste to the original taster and subsequently be able to agree on the quality or otherwise of the wine. I’m not saying that the second taster won’t be influenced by the first but the objective experience will be a parallel experience between the two. By contrast, the experience of the HiFi component reviewer is entirely internal and can only be considered a subjective experience as we all know unless the dreaded “double blind” testing method is employed. The HiFi world now has an ocean of products which do nothing more than exploit the “Audiophiles” rejection of objective testing. In wine tasting, this would be the equivalent of wine reviews being based purely on the label artwork.

So the corollary between wine reviewing and HiFi tweak reviewing doesn’t stick. This made me search for something that relies almost solely on subjectivism for a gauge of value and I think I found it.

Modern art.

Before I detail my theory on this parallel, let’s dip into the murky pond of modern “Art”.

How many times have you seen a work of modern art that makes you think “my five year old could do better than that!”
View attachment 236521
Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran
Title: Self-portrait with outstretched arms
I’m guessing many times, and these works wouldn’t necessarily be from this era, they could be from the “golden age” of modern art.
View attachment 236522
Pablo Picasso “Woman Sitting in an Armchair.”
(The difference between these two examples is that Picasso was an accomplished fine artist and Mr Nithiyendran is not BTW). The “Modern” art movement is meant to have begun with the “Realist” style but for most people, “Impressionism” would be the most recognisable beginning. Whatever your reaction to impressionism, it was an idea that had to overcome the massive inertia in the art world as to what was “art” and what was not. One of the aspects of impressionism was that it was visually more accessible and less “highbrow” than the art that preceded it. In this way, a new market was opened up and “modern” art was accepted by the establishment because its popular appeal meant that it couldn’t be dismissed forever. What followed was a gusher of artists and styles. Amidst this, the establishment had to shift it’s classification of art considerably, so much so that the definition of “art” became so far removed from its original position that the whole scene turned into a chaotic “anything goes” landscape. In this landscape, the professional art dealers, appraisers and critics proliferated and profited! With these players on the scene, art turned into big business and big money, a development not lost on the artists themselves.

Personally I have always appreciated art in its many forms, however I have always been quite discriminating and desire to see skill, craftsmanship and effort in a work. The modern art period took me as it has many others with its user friendly appeal and decorative qualities. On a trip to France in 2011, I visited the home and studio of Claude Monet in Giverny. For an art fan like me, Monet’s studio was a bucket list item and I wandered around the house, garden and studio in awe. There was a resident expert on hand to answer questions and gave a short presentation explaining the history of the place and some details about life in the house. There was also mention Monet and his generous patronage of fellow artists who he would house and feed. When the subject of Monet’s business came up, it was obvious that he had made a choice to make that the focus of his work as opposed to any dedication to “art”. Looking around his studio at the many unfinished works hanging there I realised that this was less of a studio and more of a production line. Monet would draw inspiration from the grounds of his home and create his inimitable paintings. The style he developed was loose and simple, all Monet had to do was adjust the content a little and another work could be run off. Finished works were shipped to Monet’s agent in America and thence graced the walls of many a fancy house or apartment in New York and other locations. Unlike many struggling artists, Monet had hit a seam of gold by tapping into the dealer/critic environment. I’ve no doubt that he pressed the visiting artists into service to keep the line running too.
View attachment 236525
So the art market became a Wild West with a collection of middlemen all drawing down from the work of artists who, it seemed, could turn out just about anything and have it feted as a masterpiece. Like any environment, a food chain developed which was basically artist-critic-dealer-buyer. Within this ecosystem, one of the most crucial players was the critic. Why so? Because the critic was the authority who had the ability to elevate the artist to a position where their work was considered to have value. So how was this done? Simply, the critic would interpret the work and ascribe to it the most incredible insight and significance. In a splodge of paint, the critic could create an entire universe of meaning and suggestible buyers lapped it up. The process hasn’t changed since then, as an example, here’s a description of a work by the artist Cy Twombly

“The Bacchus paintings are monumental. These vast, sprawling canvases with their frenetic yet logical loops of dazzling red paint initially scream for attention with an air of total ecstasy. But, following the mystifying coherence of the Bacchanalian rite itself, they eventually recede warmly into the background, as if this state of intoxication is the soundtrack to some higher purpose. These three all-consuming paintings tap in to the hinterland between revulsion and unadulterated delight like the interior of a cathedral simultaneously inspires reverence and the fear of the divine. “
View attachment 236523View attachment 236526
https://fadmagazine.com/2014/06/20/daniels-value-and-ideas-22-bacchus-to-basics/

Does the form of this description remind you of anything?

Try this Boenicke Audio Power Gate review from my favourite snake oil reviewer Dawid Grzyb.

“Although it was less warm than the GigaWatt PC-3 SE EVO+, it sounded quicker, spatially more expansive, tangible and texturally more organic, yet was as sensual and soft on demand. It injected extra glare, decay and weight into highs, while its greater elasticity and crackling bass netted stiffer more contoured overall feel, further boosted by higher pigment provision.”
View attachment 236524
http://hifiknights.com/reviews/miscleanous/boenicke-audio-power-gate/

One is a piece of utter trash pretending to be art and the other a glorified power board. The trash art sold for 15,400,000 USD and the Boenicke Audio Power Gate pictured has an asking price of 15,594 USD. The common element here is the group of individuals who are peddling their opinions to suggestible buyers based on pure subjectivism. The interesting thing is that the creators of both products would NEVER describe the performance/value of the item in the way that the reviewer/critic does. The creator leaves it to the opinion peddlers to do the job of selling the supposed benefits or value of the product. The business model stands, producer, reviewer, dealer and buyer but there is one difference between the broader business model of art versus HiFi tweaks. In the tweak market, the buyer is the end of the chain (but interestingly can morph into a small-time reviewer, thanks to the internet.) In general however, there’s little more to be milked out of the HiFi snake oil product once the sucker has bought in. With modern art, it’s a bit more involved.

The piece of “art” pictured above by Mr Twombly is one of a fairly big body of work which is almost universally idiotic scribble. This is just my opinion but I think any rational person, who is not connected with the art scene would agree. Google “Cy Twombly”, you won’t believe what his work has sold for at auction. You won’t believe it until I tell you something interesting. The modern art market is a big tax scam, here’s how it works. First, the art critics and dealers have to find an artist to promote, just how much collusion happens at this stage is anyone’s guess. Once the artist has been chosen, the critics begin their process of opinion peddling to prime the pump. Dealers will begin purchasing the artists work to energise the prices and in this process, money is no object. Dealers will pass around the works, pushing prices up in the process. Now the smart money from connected individuals will buy in as early in this process as possible. Connected buyers will hang on to their pieces while the prices are artificially inflated. The connected buyers, being the conscientious “collectors” that they are, will have their pieces valued for insurance purposes and as the sale prices continue to rise, so does the insurance valuation. Now you’d think this was a simple pump and dump scheme but it isn’t because if the buyers simply sell the work, they might make a profit but that profit will attract tax. Bad! No, the conclusion to this scam is to “donate” the massively overvalued scribble to a state art gallery and presto! Tax refund!!!! How sweet it is.

“The Tate has this week received its most valuable and exciting bequest in quite some years: Sir Nicholas Serota announced a donation of three stunning paintings from the Bacchus series by Cy Twombly. Along with Rothko’s Seagram Building Murals, the Bacchus paintings remind us that, in an age where art is so reassuringly expensive, the way the work is displayed is crucial for aesthetic experience.”

https://fadmagazine.com/2014/06/20/daniels-value-and-ideas-22-bacchus-to-basics/

This process does have casualties however. The non-connected buyers, who are true believers, you know, serious collectors, will ultimately get burned as the scam moves on to the next chosen artist. This was the case with works by Damien Hirst, who was at one time, the darling of the art community. One of his “works” was a shark carcass in a tank of formaldehyde, called “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living.” Which is probably the most creative thing about it. Suckers who bought into this hype have seen the values of Hirst’s work drop considerably from their record highs (around 2008 just before the GFC). Galleries who were the recipients of donated Hirst works however can dance a little jig as their insurance premiums go down.

So there you have it, I really think this is the best fit for an equivalent to HiFi snake oil. In the modern art market, subjectivism rules and the value of the pieces is set by a cartel of critics/reviewers and dealers. So too in the HiFi snake oil market. My take on the scam element of modern art is fairly simplified, if you’re intrigued, there’s more detail in these articles:

https://www.eviemagazine.com/post/t...-between-ugly-modern-art-and-money-laundering

https://newrepublic.com/article/147192/modern-art-serves-rich
Please... let Monet, Picasso be.

We have something else to deal with now - NFT.

>Just Two Bored Ape NFT Lots Brought in a Combined $26 Million at Sotheby’s This Week, a New Crypto-Art Record for the Auction House>

 

birdog1960

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Whatever the sensing mechanism high performance tires are and added safety margin. Even if your vision is perfect and your reflexes are in the 99’th percentile stopp9ng distance is still on the equation. There are such things as high performance all season tires, however, unless you live in snow country they aren’t necessarily the best choice. All season tires sacrifice wet traction for cold weather traction, making them worse tires for most of the year. When I lived in New England I had two sets of wheels, summer tires and winter tires. All seasons are worse in winter than a winter tire and worse in the summer than a summer tire. Bargain all season tires can be shockingly bad in the wet.

My dad thought the same as you. Too cheap to buy good tires and rationalized that they don’t matter. The “science’ says they do. Better traction all around the traction circle means a safer tire. It’s not snake oil if it‘s real but you don’t want to pay for it.
I fully agree with this quote from Wheel Hero Blog: "In the great performance tires vs all season tires debate, it’s important to understand what you want out of your vehicle along with the pros and cons of each tire. If you’re looking for a year-round tire with acceptable performance in a variety of situations along with a longer life, then all season tires are right for you. If you want maximum performance in wet and dry situations, and live in a warmer climate, then performance tires might be your best bet." I've owned performance cars that I've occasionally pushed and needed the extra bit of grip but the only time a tire almost killed me was a sidewall blowout doing 70 on the highway in dry, warm weather on a $300 performance tire with 10,000 miles on it.
 

rwortman

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I've occasionally pushed and needed the extra bit of grip
The need of extra grip can not always be planned. When sudden evasive action is necessary, you want all the grip you can get. In fact, when “pushing it” less grip is more fun. No matter what you choose to buy high performance tires are actually high performance. No snake oil.
 

RF Air

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Who knew you could Squatty Potty the New You?
 

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fpitas

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Has anyone mentioned the Power Saver? The magic capacitor-in-a-box that will reduce your PF and save $$$$$ every month on your electric bill?
 

noiseangel

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I have said elsewhere on this forum that hifi snake oil is a relatively harmless form of snake oil. I do not see why people expand so much emotion and energy on fighting it. At worst, someone else with expandable income wastes money. They do it with full knowledge that it is expandable income. What does that have to do with you?

Compare that to more insidious forms of snake oil, especially medical snake oil. Abandon life-saving treatment for hocus-pocus like homeopathy, chiropractic, iridology, some fad diets, and not to mention plausible sounding but unproven therapy (for now) such as gene therapy, immune activation (note I am not talking about monoclonal antibodies or immunoregulators such as PD-L1 inhibitors here), and so on. Abandoning proven treatment in favour of unproven treatment will not only waste your money but can seriously damage your health or even kill you.

I am reminded of a case report of digitalis lata poisoning that I read about in a medical journal many years ago. The supplement contained extract of Foxglove, which contains the active ingredient Digoxin which is a well known medication for heart issues. The nett effect is to increase contractility (i.e. how vigorously your heart pumps) whilst slowing the heart rate, and can be used as a treatment for heart failure. However, Foxglove is like any other plant. The concentration of active ingredient depends on the season you harvest, which parts of the plant are used, whether the plant had full sun or shade, what the soil drainage was like, and so on. These concepts are familiar to anybody who has tried to grow their own fruits and vegetables - as a (very) small scale farmer myself, I know that tomatoes that face the sun are sweeter than tomatoes that don't. If your manufacturing process only specifies say "20% Foxglove", you are not actually specifying the amount of active ingredient that goes into your pill. I don't know about you, but if I ingest a tablet that says "Digoxin 62.5mcg" I would rather have the assurance that I am actually ingesting a controlled dosage of the ingredient, which comes with regulatory controls and punitive fines if subsequent tests show that the amount of Digoxin is not in fact 62.5mcg. As opposed to "20% Foxglove" which may contain varying amount of the active ingredient depending on growing, harvest, and processing conditions. As it turns out, the case report showed an unexpectedly high concentration of Digoxin way and over the almost homeopathic dose normally offered in the pill.

So: it is not as if medical snake oil does not work. Sometimes it does, but in a fortuitious, unpredictable, and uncontrolled manner - simply because conventional drugs are included, unadvertised, and sold to people who lack the training to know better.

Ingestion of these substances can hurt or even kill you, yet the supplement business is worth billions of dollars, and I am sure it dwarves the hifi snake oil business by several orders of magnitude. Yet you folk carry on about hifi snake oil as if it's the most evil thing on Earth. IT IS NOT.
What is an oncologist doing on an audio forum talking about audiophile snake oil that only harms your wallet and throwing in your own point of view about a certain modality of treatment? I get it. You are an Oncologist who administers chemotherapy that you believe works, others don't and its a free world for those people. rightly or wrongly have chosen to take that path. Their decision. When did you get to be the GOD to decide how people should choose to live and die. THEIR CHOICE NOT YOURS. Voluntary assisted dying? Right or Wrong? NOT YOUR CHOICE.

So Keith Wong, what is your purpose for doing this and starting to incite a division in a community which basically united against 25k power leads etc? Have you been waiting this long preparing your post waiting for just this moment?

And by the way I don't care who on this platform takes what drugs/chooses their life choices, who the hell they vote, what their friggin pronouns are, I'm sure there are a couple of pot smokers here. So what? Who cares what you do in your house?

There goes ASR down the sh*t chute. In the current state the world is in I come here to get away from MSM-Fake media/Pharma/News/Politics/Religion. I'm appalled this thread even got off the ground let alone to 14 pages.

I'm out of here. FFS.
 
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Keith_W

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What is an oncologist doing on an audio forum talking about audiophile snake oil that only harms your wallet and throwing in your own point of view about a certain modality of treatment? I get it. You are an Oncologist who administers chemotherapy that you believe works, others don't and its a free world for those people. rightly or wrongly have chosen to take that path.

One does not have to "believe" that chemotherapy works. It works in the same way that Ohm's Law works, the theory is backed up by evidence and it is not a matter of belief. I could point you towards literally thousands of peer-reviewed scientific papers that show that it works, against a few thousand that show that "alternative" medicine does not work. There are so many herbal and folk remedies that they have not all been studied / lack funding to do so because there is more benefit to patients to study treatments that do work.

Their decision. When did you get to be the GOD to decide how people should choose to live and die. THEIR CHOICE NOT YOURS. Voluntary assisted dying? Right or Wrong? NOT YOUR CHOICE.

I never said it was my choice. It's the choice of the patient. I am only here to advise about what the consequences are if you choose one path over another. Doctors understand that each patient's circumstance is different. My own set of religious beliefs (I have none) or beliefs about life and death have nothing to do with it, and our professional code forbids us from imposing our non-professional beliefs on patients. If a patient requests VAD (Voluntary Assisted Dying, or euthanasia for non-Australians), and my own personal beliefs are against it, we do not prevent the patient from seeking VAD. We refer patients to someone else who might be better assist with their request. If someone asks me for VAD, it is my job to form an opinion whether the request is reasonable or not - for example if your cancer is curable at the time of assessment, the patient is effectively asking for suicide and a referral for VAD is not appropriate.

So Keith Wong, what is your purpose for doing this and starting to incite a division in a community which basically united against 25k power leads etc? Have you been waiting this long preparing your post waiting for just this moment?

Do I know you?

And by the way I don't care who on this platform takes what drugs/chooses their life choices, who the hell they vote, what their friggin pronouns are, I'm sure there are a couple of pot smokers here. So what? Who cares what you do in your house?

"Who cares what you do in your house?". Exactly, I don't. Do you care who buys $25k power cords? I don't either.
 

noiseangel

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PLEASE DELETE THIS THREAD. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH AUDIO. IT'S DIVISIVE AND WON'T LEAD ANYWHERE.
 

lemnoc

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One does not have to "believe" that chemotherapy works. It works in the same way that Ohm's Law works, the theory is backed up by evidence and it is not a matter of belief. I could point you towards literally thousands of peer-reviewed scientific papers that show that it works, against a few thousand that show that "alternative" medicine does not work. There are so many herbal and folk remedies that they have not all been studied / lack funding to do so because there is more benefit to patients to study treatments that do work.



I never said it was my choice. It's the choice of the patient. I am only here to advise about what the consequences are if you choose one path over another. Doctors understand that each patient's circumstance is different. My own set of religious beliefs (I have none) or beliefs about life and death have nothing to do with it, and our professional code forbids us from imposing our non-professional beliefs on patients. If a patient requests VAD (Voluntary Assisted Dying, or euthanasia for non-Australians), and my own personal beliefs are against it, we do not prevent the patient from seeking VAD. We refer patients to someone else who might be better assist with their request. If someone asks me for VAD, it is my job to form an opinion whether the request is reasonable or not - for example if your cancer is curable at the time of assessment, the patient is effectively asking for suicide and a referral for VAD is not appropriate.



Do I know you?



"Who cares what you do in your house?". Exactly, I don't. Do you care who buys $25k power cords? I don't either.
So chemo works like ohms law does it ? I have two dead relatives that died at the hands of oncologists that says it doesn't. Chemo would have to be the equivalent of agent orange of medicine. It kills everything it comes into contact with. Really nasty stuff and it is so toxic the staff administering it panic when a vile of it drops on the floor or they get some on their skin. And that is the crap they are injecting into people. Ohms law - you've got to be kidding me. More like ohms law across a 10kV transmission line :(

If you don't believe me then have you seen this study ?? Improvement in 5 year outcome from all chemo treatments is not much better than chance. Hardly call that ohms law :(

The contribution of cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adult malignancies​

Conclusion: As the 5-year relative survival rate for cancer in Australia is now over 60%, it is clear that cytotoxic chemotherapy only makes a minor contribution to cancer survival. To justify the continued funding and availability of drugs used in cytotoxic chemotherapy, a rigorous evaluation of the cost-effectiveness and impact on quality of life is urgently required.


 
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Keith_W

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If you don't believe me then have you seen this study ?? Improvement in 5 year outcome from all chemo treatments is not much better than chance. Hardly call that ohms law :(

The contribution of cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adult malignancies​




2004 paper. Nevertheless it looks interesting, I will pull out the original paper from the library and read it.

OTOH I find it fascinating that a forum full of people who are zealous about science in audio can be so hostile to science in other fields.
 

lemnoc

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2004 paper. Nevertheless it looks interesting, I will pull out the original paper from the library and read it.

OTOH I find it fascinating that a forum full of people who are zealous about science in audio can be so hostile to science in other fields.

Hardly call it science mate. More like witchcraft and sorcery :(

What's even worse is that after they have finished using them as pin cushions they tell them to go home and get their affairs in order. Not one mention of trying any alternatives so we never get to see if there are alternatives because the big pharma monopoly doesn't like competition especially from natural cures they can't patent or stop you growing in your own back yard so they would rather see people die :(
 

Beave

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The Capillus "Laser Therapy" hat that has a bunch of red LEDs and is supposed to help you with hair growth on top of your head when you wear it...well, it just cracks me up. And apparently it's crazy expensive (which is probably intentional to make people think "well, it costs a lot, so it *must* work").
 

Keith_W

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Hardly call it science mate. More like witchcraft and sorcery :(

What's even worse is that after they have finished using them as pin cushions they tell them to go home and get their affairs in order. Not one mention of trying any alternatives so we never get to see if there are alternatives because the big pharma monopoly doesn't like competition especially from natural cures they can't patent or stop you growing in your own back yard so they would rather see people die :(

Well, I do not think I can persuade you. I will point you to this Wikipedia entry on "appeal to nature", which shows that "natural cures" being superior are a logical fallacy. Good luck.
 
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