The Sciences

Bad drink

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitOct 1, 2010 4:30 PM


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One of the temptations of being a skeptic is knowing how easy it is to fool people, and wanting to use that knowledge to get filthy rich scamming marks. Watching homeopaths, astrologers, psychics, and others roll around in twenty dollar bills gets old fast, especially when I see skeptics starved for funds. And oh, I get ideas. I've come up with lots of ways to make a lot of cash, including one that is absolutely guaranteed to make me millions of dollars with minimal initial investment on my part. I'm not kidding-- I mentioned it to my wife, and her eyes lit up comically like a Bugs Bunny cartoon, with little dollar signs in her irises*.

But I can't do it: it's dishonest, and goes against everything I stand for. Stupid scruples. But the temptation is there, and it gets worse when other people come up with great ideas, like what Pareidolius whipped up on Hell's News Stand: Plait Tech-Tonics. How can I not want to endorse this? With a slogan like "Dark energy, light taste" it can't lose! We'll make tons of money, and then use it to fund vaccine clinics, skeptic groups, critical thinking books and workshops for schools... but. But. Sigh. It would still be wrong. Being right and honest and ethical sucks. "Taste the sciencey goodness!" Sigh.

^* And don't even ask. Duh.

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