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.

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

Quantum Sex Download

QuantumMAN TM World's First Downloadable MEDICINE QUANTUM SEXTM

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.

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

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.

The 5 Most Misguided Uses of the Word 'Quantum' in Ads
jakubzak/iStock/Getty Images

And correctly use the Internet to learn new things.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

THE PAST IS YOUR FUTURE... TAKE THE LEAP! QUANTUM UANTUM PALEO Lose 6-18 pounds in 21 days. Eat the way your body was designed to eat. Prevent and rev
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.

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

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

Quantum Powerball

Dishwashing tablets already wash dishes. That's everything that can be expected of them. Unless you're preparing nouvelle cuisine at a decillionth of the recommended serving size, you don't need to emphasize quantum effects, which didn't stop Finish from deciding classical cleaning wasn't enough and releasing Quantum Finish Powerballs.


It truly is a load of balls.

We understand that you can only hire people to fake ecstasy over sparkling dishware so many times before your brain starts to break down, but you should channel that insanity into a rubber glove fetish instead of stealing science words.

The 5 Most Misguided Uses of the Word 'Quantum' in Ads
JackF/iStock/Getty Images

Though with "rectal frictional coefficient," you can have both.

Quantum Powerball Finish should be a special attack in Pokemon, not a chore supply. This is the latest step in the total disconnect of advertisers from even pretending to exist in the same universe as the rest of us. There's a whole generation for whom "quantum" means "sciencey!" complete with misspelling and exclamation mark, because ads think they can use it as the verbal equivalent of neon lighting, in that it's amazingly advanced science being used to draw cheap attention to totally unrelated activities.

John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Even the noblest of gases can get excited.

Deepak Chopra's Quantum Consciousness

Deepak Chopra believes that consciousness transcends reality, but you should still give him real money. He combines pseudoscience and pseudoreligion to create an alloy of assholery capable of supporting his tidal waves of bullshit. If a self-help book and a science textbook got merged in a transporter accident, it would sound like Deepak Chopra's theories on quantum consciousness. And he would still claim that the spiritual aspects were more responsible for what had happened.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

"The real horrific fly monster was inside us all along."

He heard that in quantum mechanics observation affects the result and decided that this crowned him emperor of reality, an all-powerful god of all he surveys who can ignore all those petty scientists explaining that he totally misunderstood that observation thing. He's a master of taking a simplified analogy, thinking that's the entire subject, then trying to use it to prove something else. If you explained the relativistic effects of traveling near light speed by using the twins paradox, he'd hire triplets and declare himself commander of Starfleet.

The 5 Most Misguided Uses of the Word 'Quantum' in Ads
Ben Heys/Hemera/Getty Images

"Captain's Log: This is sadly pretty believable as an original series plot."

His quantum consciousness theories sound like someone playing Cards Against Reality. He uses quantum ideas impossibly badly, because he doesn't include even the least possible unit of sensible explanation. You couldn't misunderstand an analogy harder if you thought it meant shoving your head up your own ass to get a better look, and that would still do less damage to your ability to think.

One classic quote: "Consciousness may exist in photons, which seem to be the carrier of all information in the universe."

A big part of Deepak's plan is taking advantage of people who don't understand science, so I'm going to show what this would look using sports terms instead: "Consciousness may exist in touchdowns, which seem to be the only way to score points in American football."

They're unrelated terms wedged together in ways that are not just insane but outright wrong about the lone attempted fact. And at least in American football, he'd have the excuse of multiple concussions. Unfortunately, Deepak just read that analogy and decided he was commissioner of the NFL and capable of preventing interceptions by meditation, which would still be better than that time he meditated so hard, he caused an earthquake.

Deepak Chopra Follow @DeepakChopra Had a powerful meditation just now - caused an earthquake in Southern California. Reply t3 Retweet Favorite More RE
Deepak Chopra

Even Cobra Commander didn't tweet about causing natural catastrophes.

Luckily, true science is immune to such assholery. Quantum mechanics is humanity's greatest scientific achievement. It's the victory of the scientific method, revealing intellectual truths that contradict all our conceptions of common sense, because common sense was created to help a couple of meters of pork substitute have sex as often as possible and really doesn't apply to the fundamental laws of reality.

Luke has a website, tumbles, and responds to every single tweet.

For more scientific insight, find the Focal Length of Whiskey, or read how Scientists Discover the Answer to All Scaremongering Scientific Headlines.

Or you could continue glorying in your species with 6 Human-Made Materials You Won't Believe Exist or The 5 Most Badass Things Ever Done in Space.

Scroll down for the next article


Forgot Password?