The 5 Most Misguided Uses of the Word 'Quantum' in Ads

Humanity's greatest minds know that no one fully understands quantum mechanics. Our worst minds took that as an excuse. Idiots scrabble to use quantum terms like they're living on a triple-word score, thinking that the words alone will make all their points for them. In most modern usage, you can replace the word "quantum" with "magical" and improve the meaning, because magic is meant to be used by bullshit artists with no idea of how reality works.

Studio-Annika/iStock/Getty Images
For example, the way Revita-Nutra-Anti-Oxi-Aging creams claim to know more
about skin cells than reconstructive surgeons.

The last time advertising used "quantum" correctly was for a Bond film, and Bond usually treats physics like he found it in bed with his villain's wife: He has a lot of fun, but they don't usually survive the encounter. And that's still the most solace "quantum" can find in modern media.

#5. Quantum Sex Download

QuantumMAN(TM) claims that a quantum link between your phone and their secret extra-terrestrial technology will instantly cure you. Of anything. They promise to block toxins, reverse allergies, vaccinate you, anything you like, because when your entire product is "writing the ad copy" and "waiting for somebody stupid enough," you can promise whatever you want. A phone couldn't do all this if it was connected to the Starship Enterprise.

Flip phones were old in the 1960s, the 1990s, and the 2360s.

Looking at the QuantumMAN site, the aliens clearly crashed their technology into mid-'90s HTML, and neither survived the experience. Buying one-use Portal Access Keys (TM) connects your smartphone to their healing quantum teleportation portal and invalidates its adjective. I've played iPhone games with more believable premises. It's the only Internet scam with a target market of zero, because they need someone stupid enough to fall for this bullshit but still capable of entering their money-card's weird squiggles on the squeezy bits of their beepbox.

QuantumMAN(TM) claims the potential to revolutionize all human abilities, but is most excited to use it for sex. So at least they got that part of Internet technology right. Their Quantum Sex pitch explains, "Using the radical quantum information technology of his employer ZAG, a private humanitarian medical research group, QuantumMAN(TM) takes on the alias of The Sextremist." That sounds like a new Frank Miller superhero. Quantum Sex products would ideally mean climbing into an unobservable box and engaging in every possible superposition of two bodies simultaneously. Instead they're pretty much the only way of spending money on the Internet and still NOT getting anything erotic. You could ask Siri to load Hotmail and accidentally get more electronic sexual treatment, as well as the world's truest homophone.

jakubzak/iStock/Getty Images
And correctly use the Internet to learn new things.

#4. Quantum Homeopathy

Homeopathy is the idea that shaking things and pouring them down the drain is how you make medicine. That is their exact protocol, and one I've tested. A favorite homeopathic technique is finding one paper claiming a vaguely unknown property of water, ignoring every other scientific paper ever written, and then shouting, "See! We have a scientific basis!" It's literally homeopathic science: They claim one paper in an ocean of millions magically transforms everything to support their insubstantial claims.

RazoomGames/iStock/Getty Images
Their supporting data has one atom of ink per quadrillion of paper.

These desperate attempts at scientific validity are more tragic than half a mouse climbing back into a big cat enclosure and demanding to be called "Mr. Tiger." It doesn't help that these papers are usually published in journals that would have higher impact factors if they were wadded up and thrown at people.

But why search for something you can measure, when you can just shout "Quantum!" and claim that everything has been improved by nothing? Claiming that everything has been improved by nothing is homeopathy's core principle! L.R. Milgrom tries that with his metaphor of quantum homeopathy, a series of papers that depend on "entangling" the victim, the scam artist, and the bottle of diluted deadly nightshade as a single system. He calls it patient-practitioner remedy (PPR) entanglement in a desperate attempt to sound like the EPR paradox. He might as well recommend dieting by chewing hamburgers so hard that they undergo nuclear fusion, or saving time on your commute by approaching the speed of light so that all red lights look green. Applying entanglement to humans is like applying ants to make a panda pregnant: Even if it wasn't totally insane, the length scales are ludicrously mismatched.

Tom Brakefield/Stockbyte/Getty Images
"I don't even understand that sex is good, and I still know that's crazy."

The paper suggests that the psychic intent of the homeopath travels back in time to connect with the victim's desire to be cured. And that pets can still be cured despite lacking any such intent -- because even animals understand that water is just water -- because the pet and owner are also "entangled" as a single system.

lilu13/iStock/Getty Images
"I'm worried that I'm the smartest party involved."

Milgrom prefaces the paper by calling it a metaphor, but then scrawls pages conflating quantum terms with homeopathy anyway. It's enough bullshit to fertilize Mars and only exists to mislead people impressed by squiggly diagrams and equations they don't understand. He's quite literally putting real science and his tragic failure side by side and hoping people get them confused. But after a few introductory "coulds" (no they couldn't), he presents the rest as if it was real science. It'd be more convincing if he photographed power tools and claimed they were dick pics.

#3. Quantum Paleo

Fad diets are how you reverse the polarity of the human brain. It was evolved to steer the stomach toward more and better food, but now convinces itself to do the exact opposite. The paleo diet is based on eating like a caveperson. Because as we all know, every creature in nature is perfectly well-fed at all times and certainly doesn't spend every moment in a brutal struggle against starvation or being something else's solution to starvation.

MaZiKab/iStock/Getty Images
Technically every person near a carnivore is a food delivery person.

The phrase "Quantum Paleo" summarizes 10,000 years of human progress without learning any of it.

Fight Productions Inc
Sam and Al took sponsorship to fund a sixth season.

The name is literally Quantum Stone Age, which isn't an awesome replacement for steampunk based on indistinguishably small rocks.

Mike Watson Images/moodboard/Getty Images
Even though wave functions on lots of small rocks are a lot of fun.

The book starts with Dr. Doug Willen explaining how he once laughing-therapied a lonely woman to death, the strength he gained in fighting through his disbelief gifting her with giggles in her last day on Earth. Then it explains the Emperor's New Clothes by saying, "A synopsis I found on Wikipedia will remind you of this tale," and it includes a full paragraph of that synopsis. So we've definitely got a non-idiot who isn't harvesting any possible source to pad out his book.

The entire contribution of "quantum" to this fad manual is the first two syllables of the title. The only quantum information is how to spell the word. It's truly a quantum of buzzword bullshit, the smallest possible unit of quantum that can be included in a textbook, and even then only because someone else trademarked "The Paleo Diet" and Doug needed a different catchphrase. It would have been exactly as accurate a title if he'd called it the Antimatter Diet, except anyone trying that really would be guaranteed rapid weight loss and a massive increase in energy.

Recommended For Your Pleasure

Luke McKinney

  • Rss

More by Luke McKinney:

See More
To turn on reply notifications, click here


The Cracked Podcast

Choosing to "Like" Cracked has no side effects, so what's the worst that could happen?

The Weekly Hit List

Sit back... Relax... We'll do all the work.
Get a weekly update on the best at Cracked. Subscribe now!