Ah, the credulity!

Yesterday, it was the Times with “Experts Revive Debate Over Cellphones and Cancer”. Today, it’s the Journal with “Do Fuel-Saving Gadgets Take You for a Ride?”, which includes this little gem from a gadget maker:

The EPA and FTC “only test the ones that don’t work,” says Louis H. Elwell III, chairman and president of Vortex Fluid Optimizer Corp. The Hattiesburg, Miss., company makes the Vortex Fuel Saver, a system that uses magnets to affect the fuel, air and coolant entering an engine. He says the Vortex uses technology that boosts fuel economy by at least 10%.

Yes, Louis, that’s right, the government only tests the ones that don’t work, because the government wants you to waste fuel, and because it is against magnetism. You see, everyone in science, the EPA, and the FTC is actually in cahoots with Exxon-Mobil to sell more gas. Here at UC-Berkeley, we got $500M from BP, and you know what, all I do now is figure out ways to get people to waste gas. Brilliant!

How does this stuff get into important newspapers?


Comments

10 responses to “Ah, the credulity!”

  1. The EPA and FTC “only test the ones that don’t work,

    ouch, ouch, ouch. Between this and Orac’s post I think I need a Goodies and a nap.

  2. azqaz

    Oooh, oooh. Mr. Hoofnagle. I know. A big burning chunk of stoopid in their readers brains. The readers seem to want woo, the publishers want to sell as much product as they can, so the editors are told to include woo.

    I have been having some dental surgeries done recently. As a result I have spent a lot of time in waiting rooms. The most common periodicals are what are generally refered to as “womens magazines” which I find insulting to most women. Here is a quick run down of some of the articles I have seen recently.

    How accupuncture can boost your fertility.
    Use yoga to cure ADHD.
    The best herbal suppliments to help get you into that summer bikini.

    I’ve been taking my own reading materials, but I stll peruse the periodicals for a good chuckle.

  3. I agree, azqaz. Womens’ magazines bring up unwanted implications that all women must be dumber than rocks – until I realize this isn’t a gender issue (look at mens’ magazines about body-building!). It’s an issue of a fool and his money being soon parted.

    I am tired of being told about conspiracies and miracle cures! I don’t want my fertility boosted – I’m on the Pill. My body looks fine the way it is. And there’s no way yoga is going to cure my ADD because I have it too bad to sit still through the initial sessions! (As an aside – blogs must have been invented for people with ADD, because they are the bite-sized alternative to reading lenghty articles in periodicals.) Exxon Mobile is going to suffer with the rest of us as the fuel crisis escalates (don’t get me wrong – i’m still outraged by their profit margins).

    And when all this BS makes its way into serious news publications? I find myself glad that I don’t use my hard-earned dollars to support them.

  4. themadlolscientist

    GAAAAAAAK. My brother, who’s a certified auto mechanic, has been plugging the Vortex gadget to anyone who will listen.

    But then he’s also a Fundy Mental Case, which explains a lot.

    Teh st00pid. it burns hotter than gasoline. And some people (including my bro, who should know better!) are getting a horrifying amount of mileage out of it.

  5. Of course they only test the ones that don’t work. If none of them actually work, how could the government test one that does work?

  6. azqaz

    Oh, I wasn’t singling out womens magazines for any reason other than they are what I have been exposed to recently. I have no problem believing that body building magazines have a high woo factor along with may other types of periodicals.

    Besides being one of the best facilities for reconstructive work, which is what I required, the surgeons office I used is one of the top cosmetic facilities. Over the last year of reconstruction work the surgeon has repeatedly assured me that each stage of the reconstruction will be as aesthetically pleasing as it is possible to make it. I kept assuring him I didn’t care, and simply wanted to have a jaw that worked and didn’t have a large chunk of dead rotting bone in it. We seemed to have different priorities, but it all seems to be working well to date.

  7. The quote attributed to me was part of a long discussion that past results do not predict future results. The fact that the EPA has tested over 100 products that don’t work doesn’t mean that a device that they haven’t tested doesn’t work. I specifically mentioned Thomas Edison not succeeding for over 1500 attempts to find a filament for a light bulb before succeeding. Nor did the writer mention that we have ASKED the EPA to test our product!

    In the 49 minute interview, we also had a detailed discussion of why our product — the Vortex Fuel Saver — is different than other fuel magnet products on the market.

    I also reviewed documents emailed by me to the writer concerning some of the third party testing that has been performed on our system, specifically four months of testing (both MPG increases and emissions reductions) by one of the Top 10 auto dealers in the country, who is currently selling the product, and testing done by four different fleets of 18-wheelers, including raw data from on board computers showing significant savings, as well as testing performed on the previous version of the product. I would be happy to send these same reports to anyone who asks.

  8. You beat me to a post on the gas-saver. But I think the NYT stole the article from the WingNut Daily, which is where I saw it.

  9. nanoAl

    Well, if you’re going to compare yourself to Thomas Edison, you’d better be good. If the studies are online, link to ’em here, I’d be happy to read them.
    Out of curiosity how can magnets possibly affect the way the engine burns gas? It sounds a little too magical to me (if you want to get technical go for it, I’m a physicist).

  10. Well, if you’re going to compare yourself to Thomas Edison, you’d better be good. If the studies are online, link to ’em here, I’d be happy to read them.
    Out of curiosity how can magnets possibly affect the way the engine burns gas? It sounds a little too magical to me (if you want to get technical go for it, I’m a physicist).

    Maybe it’s one of those things that won’t work if a skeptic observes it.