More on QLink

Or, "Moron. QLink?!?"

So as I've already reported, Sydney's Daily Telegraph has today published a questionably-motivated piece of puffery on the QLink mini, written (or more likely simply boilerplated) by 'technology reporter' Stephen Fenech - brother of QLink endorsing "athlete" Mario Fenech.

Not that I want to imply that there's anything untoward going on here, of course.

Did you read that in a sarcastic tone? Good.

So anyway, I asked Stephen Fenech, on Twitter, if he could give me some scientific peer-reviewed evidence to support his assertions

[sound of crickets]

Heloooo?? Stephen? Looks like he's hiding.

This being the case, I figured I'd take a look at the evidence presented by QLink themselves in their "scientific studies" link. Here goes.

The first "study" offered is "SRT™ and the effects of EMF on Human Brain Cells [Sept. 2002]".

This is a pilot study, so not a fully-blinded, well controlled, large-sample study. Already one mark against it. The discussion calls out issues with the control (page 15) and mentions that it may be due to power source. Bad control is bad. The study was also single-blind. This is another no-no. This means that the subjects were unaware of whether they had QLink or control, but the experimenters were. And the experimenters did the gathering and analysis of results.

Oh dear.

Adding to this oh dear feeling is is a line at the foot of the study which reads:

This research was funded by Clarus Products International, LLC, San Rafael, CA, USA

OK. Who are they? Well it turns out that Clarus are the manufacturers of QLink.

Oh dear oh dear.

Funding Bias is a well-studied effect these days. This study has small samples, poor blinding, an inconsistent control and a clear funding issue.  It also does not appear to have been peer-reviewed or published anywhere reputable. Google Scholar finds the study only on The single-blinding alone is enough to knock this out of the "clear support for the hypothesis" running.

Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear.

All told, a black mark. No points.

The second "paper" is entitled "Effects of Q-Link® Pendant on the Blood and Biological Terrain [Apr 2001]"

My major problem with this study is that it's a live blood analysis. This consists of an experimenter gazing into a microscope at slides of a subject's blood, and interpreting what they see.

Rather like looking into a crystal ball.

There are no details on blinding, though it claims to be double-blind. There is no detail on what the "inactive QLink" control actually entails, since as far as Ben Goldacre could make out, all QLink pendants are inactive. The attached pictures are low-detail, and I'm buggered if I can see a difference in the "live" slides. There's also no detail on how the "dried" samples were handled during drying.

The analysis is necessarily subjective and is not, in my opinion, valid in any way. There are many places in which bias could have not simply crept in but marched in wearing a kilt and playing a trombone, and this is not to mention the quack status of the technique itself. The "study" is just five pages long, of which about half is low resolution imagery.

Nil points to Dr Robert Young and QLink

The third study is  "Effects of Q-Link® Pendant on Skin Conductivity Changes and Stress [March 2000]"

This one is an acupuncture study. I kid you not. A methodology that's been shown to have no measurable effect beyond that of a placebo (a toothpick twisted on the skin, if you were wondering). And they're using it to... what?

Well, the PDF is graph-heavy and detail-light, but it looks like they applied a skin galvanometer to so-called "acupuncture points", then blew a hairdryer (which they call the "applied stressor") in the subjects' faces. They then compared "had a qlink" to "didn't have a qlink" and drew their conclusions. No, seriously. That's what they did. Oh, and they used an electrical muscle stimulator, but that's less hilarious.

Of course, the word "blind" does not even appear in the paper, so I can only assume that this "experiment" was unblinded, and that both experimenter and subject were aware of the presence, and presumably the purported function, of the pendant.

Big fat fail. Zero.

The fourth study offered is "University of Vienna Analysis of Skin Conductivity [April 2001]".

A slight digression. Do you know what an e-meter is? An e-meter is a device used by Scientology Auditors to measure reactions during auditing sessions. It is a low-sensitivity skin galvanometer.

That is, it measures skin conductivity.

Before I've even opened the 78kb PDF I'm sighing at this "study".

And on opening it, it's worse. Not even single blinding. REALLY, University of Vienna? Are you not embarrassed, as an institution, to have this nonsense out on the web?

Immediate fail. This one is discounted immediately due to the total lack of blinding.

Fifth "paper". "Effects of Q-Link Pendant on Human EEG Responses [April 2000]"

The PDF is just 6kb in size. No, seriously. 6Kb. And I might as well post the whole thing right here, because, well... it's funny. (links mine)

EMF, EEG Brainwaves and the QLink Pendant

Dr William Tiller, Professor Emeritus, Stanford University and Dr. Norman Shealy, Holos Institute
of Health, Founder American Holistic Medical Association and Board Certified Neurosurgeon,
conducted a joint scientific study to explore the effects of EMF on human brain waves (EEGs). It
is clear that people have different tolerance levels to EMF. With this in mind, this EEG study was
conducted to interpret the effects of EMF on humans and to determine the potential benefits of
the QLink Pendant in aiding people to resist EMF. This double blind study involved 30 subjects
and was conducted over the course of one year.

"This research showed significant indication of the QLink Pendant achieving a reduction of the
effect of EMF on changes to brain wave patterns. The QLink has shown a capability to help
prevent or diminish anomalous electrical activity in the brain caused by EMF sensitivity.
Prior to these tests using the QLink, there had been no known approach for individuals that
allowed them to resist the effects of EMF on brain functions. These tests show the QLink's
capability for helping to regulate these effects."

These conclusions are congruent with the experiences of QLink users, who report enhanced
mental performance, including increased ability to think and concentrate. The objective facts and
conclusions of this study, as well as the subjective experiences of QLink users, indicate the
QLink's ability to strengthen resilience and resistance to an electromagnetic (EMF) stressor on
brain functions.

 No, seriously. That's *it*. That's all. No methods, no discussion, no statistical analysis, just a bald assertion from two "holistic" doctors.

Seriously, this one gets minus points from the science panel.

Paper number six. "Application of Results Conducted (at Bart Cummings and John Morish Stables) to the Horse Racing Industry"

No date next to this one on the site, though it seems to have been carried out in 2001. Again, this is live blood analysis, the scrying of the quackery world, and the word "blind" appears only in a reference to a Tiller study. Tiller you may remember from the "paper" above.

Poor QLink. Still can't get a hit.

Paper seven: "Effects of Q-Link ClearWave on Anxiety Levels within the Classroom [June 2001]"

Another "Holos University" study, and it's tempting just to discount the study from that point onwards, but let's be good and soldier on. Again we have a mention of active vs. inactive QLinks without any detail on what actually differs between the two. Since there's no described mechanism, how can anyone possibly know what's active or inactive? The results were gathered via subject survey. Not a great objective measure, but perhaps about as valid as it can get given the shaky foundations of the study itself. There's no real detail on the blinding, which states that subjects only used the devices when in the classroom. How were the devices handled outside these times? We're not told. How were they monitored when in the possession of the kids? We're not told.

The study's results differ between "trait" and "state" scores, once being significant, the other not being so, though both control and QLink groups experienced a decrease in scores (1.9 and 3.0 averages respectively in a scale that ranges in score from 20 to 60). The numbers are a bit odd, with a very big disparity between the confidence levels of the two types, and as the experimenters themselves note:

Do such decreases have a meaningful impact on the student’s well being (social validity) and, if so, in which
dimensions (academic, interpersonal, emotional, biological…)?

Probably not.

Paper eight, and we're nearing the end, folks: "Effects of Q-Link® Pendant on Muscle Weakness and other Chronic Symptoms Attributed to EMF exposures [May 1998] #1"

OK, let's get started and... oh fucking hell, what, really?

A study by a chiropractor using Applied Kinesiology as the method of data-gathering?

Fucking seriously?

No, that's what it is. An unblinded, subjectively-measured, 20-patient case study on a non-existent condition (EMF sensitivity) conducted, again, with a "control" of no known specification by a practitioner of a dubious and potentially dangerous form of so-called energy medicine.

The word "blind" does not appear in the study, and the endpoints were patient self-reports.

This is the worst failure yet. MINUS two points.

And oh, what the hell. The last "study": "Effects of Q-Link Pendant on Muscle Weakness Patterns in the body [August 1997]"

An 11kb PDF,. again outlining in hardly any detail yet another study using Applied Kinesiology as a methodology, conducted by another chiropractor and gabbling about "acupuncture imbalances".

I've fallen through the rabbit hole and woken up in fucking Narnia. Minus ten for repeating the previous absurdity.

So there we go. Nine slabs o'bullshit. Minus thirteen points on the "is this even valid" scale.

None of these studies can be rightfully regarded as either strong, valid or positive evidence for the efficacy of QLink, though that won't stop the distributors touting them as scientific support.

So, I've reported them to the ACCC via

Others have reported Fenech to his own editors, rival newspapers and Media Watch for gross idiocy in trying this on while the internet was awake.

Let's see where that all ends up, shall we?

Chrys Stevenson has added an analysis at Gladly The Cross-eyed Bear

posted @ Thursday, November 4, 2010 6:18 PM


Comments on this entry:

# re: More on QLink

Left by Dave The Happy Singer at 11/4/2010 6:45 PM
I love you.

# re: More on QLink

Left by Griffyn at 11/4/2010 7:10 PM

I read through papers 3 and 5 before falling off my chair laughing. A gorgeous summary of obvious pseudo-science.

# re: More on QLink

Left by shellity at 11/4/2010 7:14 PM
Top marks. I laughed, I nodded enthusiastically.

# re: More on QLink

Left by Sean the Blogonaut at 11/4/2010 7:41 PM
It doesn't seem to matter whether its homeopaths, patch sellers, or powerbanders, as soon as you lift the lid on their scientific testing, as soon as you give them the benefit of the doubt and say hey maybe THIS time they will have done their homework, its thrown back in your face.

# re: More on QLink

Left by Chrys Stevenson at 11/4/2010 7:54 PM
I love you too! Great work!

# re: More on QLink

Left by Maggie M at 11/5/2010 7:46 AM
Superior knowledge WIN!! Great work Professor.

# re: More on QLink

Left by RipleyP at 11/5/2010 9:59 AM
I had to join in and report it to scamwatch too. Maybe the squeaky wheel will get attention.

How can these guys think this thing works, really its not even not even using quantum energy
*saracsm alert*

# re: More on QLink

Left by Nescio at 11/5/2010 11:59 AM
Nice work - we really do need more of this sort of rational analysis. The only way to "scientifically validate" bogus technology is by using bogus pseudoscientific tests. Live blood analysis, applied kinesiology and nutty machines based on skin resistance are the usual bogus tests used, as in this case.

"Dr." Robert O. Young is, in my opinion, utterly unhinged, and thinks he has discovered a whole "New Medicine" based on acidity as the one true cause of disease. Check out his live blood analysis video on YouTube where he explains that diabetes is caused by red blood cells fermenting and releasing sugar into the blood. Bonkers. Unfortunately this sort of thing looks plausible to people without a scientific education.

# re: More on QLink

Left by Dan at 11/5/2010 12:28 PM
Did this also get an airing on the Today show yesterday? I saw their sheepish "technology" reporter Charlie Brown trying to explain how this handy device would protect you from nasty demon rays, all in a cute form-factor you can stick on your mobile.

Not that Stephen Fenech and Charlie Brown would probably know each other ... say, like if they were both frequent guests on the Kerri-Anne show, that follows Today ...

# re: More on QLink

Left by Jason at 11/5/2010 12:43 PM
Interesting. I don't watch daytime TV, but if someone can point me towards video, I'll deploy the harpoons towards the today show too.

# re: More on QLink

Left by James T at 11/5/2010 2:03 PM
EMFs? That's Unbelievable!

# re: More on QLink

Left by Dianne at 11/5/2010 4:50 PM
bwahahahah… wait what?………… bwahahahaha…



# re: More on QLink

Left by Bob at 11/9/2010 10:36 AM

I saw the Today Show piece, too. Brown said he was skeptical about the product. You saw the whole piece I presume?

# re: More on QLink

Left by Jason at 11/9/2010 10:45 AM
Bob, Dan,

the video of Charlie's "I'm skeptical" is here

two minutes of sales pitch followed by a qualifying aside does not skepticism make. If he was skeptical, he would have done some fact checking and wouldn't have run the story

# re: More on QLink

Left by Jason at 11/9/2010 10:48 AM
You'll also notice, if you re-watch, that Charlie's wording was

"Hey look, I'm skeptical of people saying that clinical trials suggest this will work"

Different proposition altogether

# re: More on QLink

Left by Bob at 11/9/2010 1:18 PM

What a load of rubbish. He clearly is not endorsing the product, and he even qualifies it by saying "They say", not what he says. It looks like to me he has been asked to talk about the 'technology', has explained what it is supposed to do and then added not one but two qualifiers - 1) he hasn't tried the product 2) he doesn't endorse it and is skeptical of it. And his saying that is certainly not a different proposition altogether and you saying so is nothing more than a strawman...

# re: More on QLink

Left by Jason at 11/9/2010 2:18 PM

you can take away that impression if you like, but I, and many people I've spoken to, certainly did not. The "I'm skeptical" was not sufficient, especially when added on at the end in a seemingly ad-hoc manner.

Some keyphrases:

"this is designed to transform the radiation that's coming into the phone [...] to something that's more in tune with your body's natural frequencies"
"it's a very scientific idea"
"I've spoken to a couple of brain surgeons and they don't like people putting their phone next to their ear"
"it doesn't actually repel the radiation, it transfers it [...] and it's no longer doing your body harm, that's the idea"
"it's a proprietary compund they've designed and they've been doing it for for about 10 years now"
I'm 1:30 into the video and not a hint of skepticism, aside from "that's the idea", which is probably instinctive journalistic ass-covering

Then Charlie goes into the "it's not all about cancer, it's about feeling more lethargic and tired" spiel, which is QLink's very own sales angle, because they know they can't make health claims. Read it for yourself at the QLink site.

"it changes the types of radiation your body is exposed to naturally."

Then we get to the "jury is out" segment. Now, given that the 'jury' has already delivered its verdict on mobile phone radiation causing harm (a not guilty), then the "jury is out" ploy is a means of implying that it IS harmful, and Charlie goes on to explain that he's a believer in the harm hypothesis, avoiding the opportunity, offered to him by the interviewer, to clarify that the jury is out *on the qlink*. Which also it's not.

I'll jsut repeat that. Given the opportunity to state the jury is out on the product, Charlie instead says that the jury is out on the harm hypothesis.

He then mentions that his phone makes his head sweat during heavy use. Which happens. Batteries get warm when you charge or discharge them. Basic physics and chemistry right there.

Then here's a kicker

"This device costs about $50, it's saying it's working in a different way but it's still designed to do better than putting your phone next to your ear clean and unprotected/it's available in australia now?/yeah, you can buy it off their website"

Then comes the "hard question, sorry, would you recommend it?" from the interviewer.

This is 2m31s into the video

"I'd have to try it, I haven't tried it and I'm very skeptical of people saying *airquotes*clinical tests say that this is going to work"

So not skeptical of the product? Just merely skeptical of people mentioning clinical tests? This is unclear. Charlie could perhaps clarify, but after all the furore I'd expect anyone to dissemble a bit and hedge the question.

and to close

"ANYTHING is better/err on the side of caution/exactly, anything is better than putting your phone next to your head for a long period of time"

So from a video lasting 2m49s we have all of two seconds of "skepticism", and the rest merely parroting the product line and hyping the fear angle about "radiation".

So, is this a strawman?

Is it really, Bob?

# re: More on QLink

Left by Paul at 11/9/2010 3:20 PM


Tracey. "What is it"?

Charlie. "Well it's a little_five cent__piece__l_looking_device....

.... this is designed to transform the radiation... transform it from something that's potentially doing you harm...".

I won't repeat what Jason has pointed out above.

Charlie's paid to know - and must know - he just stated the impossible. He *doesn't know* what Q-Link's made of? Absurd.

Hasn't even tested it for a minimal time, which is unlike Charlie who loves his freebies. In fact - does he have one there? No, of course not. The have a file photo.

What's happening? Poor Charlie is caught between star power ratings and bosses orders. My own quanto-kinetic mind reading powers tell me Mario likely lobbied for this.

So, who is Mario again?

"Rugby League legend and **Ch 9 Footy Show personality** Mario Fenech".

A cursory search helps me conclude it has the very same properties a "mini" mylar hologram from Power Balance "sports band" fame stuck to a cell phone has. None! The Q-Link origin is from the same bulldust barrel as Power Balance.

Charlie is capable of doing such a search. At best he had to cop one for the team.

# re: More on QLink

Left by Bob at 11/9/2010 4:10 PM

Your contention is that he was spruiking the product, when nothing is further from the truth.

Where is the "this is a great product"? "This product is awesome"? "I totally believe this product works"?

C'mon guys, show me. Oh, you can't. I know.

Paul: How do you know Charlie "loves his freebies"? Do you know him personally?

The fact you are both so dismissive of his "skeptical" comment speaks volumes. You're basically saying, every he has said up to the point hangs, draws and quarters him, but the fact that he is skepticial is of lesser value. Hogwash.

That's like me saying "I think all men should be castrated who rape women" and then you quoting me but leaving off the last three words.

Jason - if you know what the term strawman is, then you know your argument is one.

# re: More on QLink

Left by Jason at 11/9/2010 4:15 PM
Let's just get something clear, Bob,

Charlie's motivations are his own business, and all I can do is speculate on them based on whatever I know at the time.

The fact is the content of the piece was basically a sales pitch, with a tiny backpedal tacked on at the end. He is a journalist with a national reach and has a responsibility to get these things right, and he failed, very badly indeed, to do so.

I have no idea why you're pursuing this line, especially when the video is one click away for anyone to evaluate for themselves.

# re: More on QLink

Left by Jason at 11/9/2010 4:23 PM
By the way, I've also got no idea why you're defending Charlie (by misrepresenting me) here when the blog post on Charlie's story is actually here:

# re: More on QLink

Left by Bob at 11/9/2010 4:33 PM

I have seen the video. You think I would post my rant if I hadn't? All I see is a group of people piling in on somebody for no other reason than what they perceive . You are a self-admitted geek and if I've ever come across a group of arrogant, know-it-all, smarmy, holier than thou group of people I've yet to meet them (well maybe Conservative politicians, but that's another story).

How am I misrepresenting you? I find it ironic when that is exactly what you are doing with Mr Brown. That aside, what about all the previous posts mentioning the Today Show piece on this page. Where else am I supposed to write comments?

You have cherrypicked quotes, put some of them out of context (whether deliberately or not I don't know) and are somehow trying to do the QLink equivalent of trying to sell me you snakeoil.

# re: More on QLink

Left by Jason at 11/9/2010 4:51 PM

Maybe you're watching a different video to me, because in my comment above I've transcribed, admnittedly informally, almost the entire thing.

You've also not addressed my take on Charlie's sales pitch in the post in which I placed the video. It's phrased as a question to Charlie on what the hell he was thinking.

You've also now gone for a personal attack, which is totally classy. So how about I ask you what your motivation is for this time wasting?

Here are the facts as they stand:

In a 2:49 video, only two, perhaps three small phrases express any degree of skepticism.

"That's the idea"
"the jury is out" (which actually was not skepticism but misdirection)
"I'd have to try it, I haven't tried it and I'm very skeptical of people saying *airquotes*clinical tests say that this is going to work"

This is not, by any measure, a skeptical treatment of the subject - which is actually trivially debunked.

Charlie has responded, himself, which you'd know if you'd read my blog post with the video embedded. I have also had a dialogue with Charlie at his blog.

And now you're attempting to misrepresent my position as somehow unfairly attacking an honest journalist who's done his job competently and represented a product skeptically - when the evidence clearly demonstrates nothing of the kind.

The evidence sugests one of the following:

option 1: charlie either didn't do cursory research and was gullible,
option 2: charlie was cynically shilling a product for cash or kind
option 3: charlie was told to present the product and did so "because it's his job"

Charlie has opted for #1. He's as good as admitted that he didn't do his job

Now, cards on the table, Bob. What's your deal?

# re: More on QLink

Left by Bob at 11/9/2010 4:59 PM
Ok, I tell you where I am coming from and maybe you'll understand my motivations. Like you, I am a skeptic and an athiest, so at least we have that in common...;o)

I read Charlie's blog on the piece and he linked to this site and I saw your piece and comments. So I thought I'd take a look at the video.

I was expecting - going by your blog post and reader reactions - a full-on sales speil "Hey Lisa, this product is super amazing. It will stop your brain being fried by radiation. I absolutely believe in this product. I advise viewers to go out and buy it if you are worried about radiation because this will stop it dead in its tracks. The science on this is conclusive, this product really works."

Now, tell me, Jason, is that what has been said in the piece?

At least you say the 'evidence suggests' instead of stating a fact.

I find it strange that bloggers demand certain standards - especially those that have all the 'answers' to the world's ills - but fail to live up to their standards.

Maybe Charlie has taken the higher ground by taking his lumps, but I still say you have no proved your point.

As for personal insults and class, I suppose your "Charlie Brown is either gullible, scientifically illiterate or paid for comment" on your wikilink is foreplay?

# re: More on QLink

Left by Jason at 11/9/2010 5:07 PM
> As for personal insults and class, I suppose your "Charlie Brown is either gullible, scientifically illiterate or paid for comment" on your wikilink is foreplay?

You're the one striving for the high ground, Bob, not me.

It seems, then, that your beef is merely a matter of interpretation. Perhaps you're used to US-style infomercial-grade shilling? I interpreted it as a sales pitch poorly delivered, you interpreted it as a reporter with what he thought was a piece of news, doing his best to deliver.

Charlie's response moves it to the gullible end of the interpretation scale, which I'm fine accepting - Charlie only looked at Q-Link sales material in his cursory "research", and that's why it sounded like a sales pitch - the only information he was going from was sales gumph

Don't forget, I'd been digging into QLink for quite a few hours before the video fell into my hands. I was quite familiar with their material by that point, and the similarities really are striking, especially when Charlie goes to the "lethargy" angle. That was a detail that really tipped it for me - a definite quackery warning flag.

# re: More on QLink

Left by Joel at 11/9/2010 5:12 PM
Bob, you need to brush up on your skeptical skills if you don't see why your personal attack is an ad hominem and "Charlie Brown is either gullible, scientifically illiterate or paid for comment" is not.

You are implying that your judgement of geeks somehow renders their arguments invalid, whereas Jason's comment was pointing out the actual direct conclusions of the argument at hand, based on the facts.

Really, you need to know this stuff if you want to claim you are a skeptic.

# re: More on QLink

Left by Bob at 11/9/2010 5:15 PM
So you're not striving for the high ground? Oh, well. fair enough..

No, I don't even look on him as a reporter. I'd say that he is looked upon as a technology expert, which he is in a lot of stuff I have seen. He should have done more research for sure, but let's just say what I was expecting (going by all the vitriole posted on here) was a lot different from what I got.

Anyway, you have some insteresting stuff on here.


# re: More on QLink

Left by Bob at 11/9/2010 5:21 PM
Honestly? I think the comment was an ad hominem bordering on libel. John Laws was fined a huge amount of money after being accused of paid for comment. In the media there is no bigger sin or insult that saying something is paid for comment, especially when it is not.

When I say I'm a skeptic, I don't mean in the "I belong to the skeptic society' kinda way, more along the lines of I don't believe in ghosts, god, the tooth fairy, green men from Mars. I have no intention of making it my life's work...

# re: More on QLink

Left by Matthew at 11/9/2010 7:50 PM
I think this is getting a little bit heated, unnecessarily. For what it's worth, my opinion is that Charlie got suckered by the slick marketing rather than anything more underhanded. I don't think he's corrupt or ignorant, just gullible - and who here isn't at times (look it up in the dictionary - chances are your name is listed under "gullible"!)

I think Bob should ease up here, mainly because you're all arguing past each other while agreeing on 90% of the subject. That's not productive.

I also think you lot should ease up on Charlie, for the following reasons:

* It was a throwaway TV segment on the Today show, not a product review in a major daily newspaper. Less credibility.

* Charlie has shown a remarkable ability to listen to the criticism. He didn't delete anything, he didn't filter the comments (even the borderline abusive ones), and he didn't even *ignore* the comments! He responded to them and when I requested (yes, same Matthew) he added a link to this page to his blog post. That's more than you'd get out of most journalists.

* He's published something pretty close to a retraction on his blog. He can't do a retraction piece on TV, because if it's strong then he'll get sued by Q-Link and if it's wishy-washy enough to be legally safe it won't get approved by the producers (must snore TV). Remember Q-Link don't spend anything on R&D so they can put all their funds into marketing and legal.

So there's three levels of journalistic misconduct.
1) Corrupt
2) Ignorant
3) Gullible

Fenech has yet to convince us whether he belongs in 1) or 2), but Charlie is definitely in 3) in this case. I can forgive that - the marketing material is very persuasive, and although he should have done some research, let's face it - it's the Today show! He probably didn't think he needed to.

But here's the real reason to be supportive of Charlie. He's fixable! We can educate him - he's listening! If you come down on him too hard he'll dismiss skeptics as rude and pointless.

Now I have no problem with rudeness, but don't apply it to people we can convert to our side. If Charlie has learnt something here, he might just apply it the next time something like this comes along and then the world will be a better place. A technology reporter coming around to a skeptical bent, on the Today show? Yes, please! Of course, if he does it again then by all means release the hounds.

That's my two cents, anyway. I just think that there's a wide gulf between Charlie and Stephen Fenech, and we'd do well to remember our objective - a world free of woo and related scams, not notches on our blogposts.

# re: More on QLink

Left by Jason at 11/9/2010 8:03 PM
^--- agreed 100%, superb comment!

# re: More on QLink

Left by Matthew at 11/9/2010 8:29 PM
Thank you - it was largely aimed at you ;) I like the grumpy, don't put up with any shit, PZ Myers-esque atheiptic schtick, it tends to be my response to these things too. On the other hand, due to my generally low view of humanity, when I see a member of said ooze-pond who might be willing to lift his head out it seems to trigger some kind of nurturing instinct.

Short version: Don't change, just tailor the aggression for each target.
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