Monday, April 24, 2017

MLM and Bill Nye's New Show! Also "Alternative Business"

Today's blog post is related to a new Netflix series called Bill Nye Saves the World, and in particular his second episode titled Tune Your Quack-O-Meter. I grew up watching Bill Nye, and his show Bill Nye the Science Guy, and recently saw a few people posting about his show on Facebook. Bill has always had a great camera presence, and this reincarnated version of his children's show combined with Netflix's lax rules allows Bill to be his fully creative and interesting self while talking about more "adult topics" (as he aptly puts it). An important note is the political agenda behind the show. Bill has no qualms about letting people know he doesn't like the Trump administration and he uses extremely strategic mechanisms to help reinforce his political views (panel guests, experiments, segments with his "correspondents"). This is going to leave the audience very polarized as people may want to know about the subjects Bill is talking about, but Bill is going to give an overwhelmingly liberal biased view with the use of his scientific approach. This is one of the biggest issues I have with Bill, because science is inherently objective, however he is manipulating the objectivity of science to further his subjective point of view.

In Bill's second episode of the series Tune Your Quack-O-Meter he investigates alternative medicine. He centers the episode around the placebo effect and how its existence has made people believe alternative medicines are effective even though science suggests otherwise. At one point he has a correspondent go through sound therapy and the idea that certain sounds can help organs heal. The correspondent lies down on her back as the "Healer" proceeds to shout at her stomach in an effort to do something medical. He also explains how pH levels work and why an upset stomach needs something like Milk of Magnesia which is extremely basic instead of quack "Natural" remedies (the example he used actually contained vinegar...). The overall message of the show was, alternative medicine is just a fancy way of saying you are getting quack treatments, because if it did work and stood up to the painstaking scientific tests medicines have gone through, then it would just be medicine.

Anyways, as I was watching this show all I could think about were the people that describe quack MLM products as cures for all kinds of medical conditions. In fact, (Truth in Advertising) did a study which showed 97% of MLMs from the DSA (Direct Sellers Association) made some kind of false medical claim. According to Bill's logic, if you can say something with 97% certainty in science, then it should be treated as fact until it has been disproved. Yet, MLMers continue to act as though their MLM products do work, and they also claim there are just a few bad apples saying incorrect things about their products, and the MLMs should not be responsible for those bad apples. It is time for MLMers to face the facts or at least ask their MLMs why they haven't gone through the same rigors of tests set forth by the FDA and why they haven't provided the same levels of documented proof for their alleged remedies.

This episode also revealed how MLM is an "Alternative Business", and should be treated as quackery in relationship to authentic businesses. MLMs have a track record of huge failure rates, long and costly court cases, high churn rates, and an exceptionally inaccurate representation of the expected outcome.Yet MLM doesn't fall under the same stigma as "Alternative Medicine" and can create new nicknames for itself once a certain stink starts to form. MLMs continue to be more pervasive than ever and have evolved into multi-billion dollar criminal enterprises. It is time to address MLM by its real title, "Alternative Business". It is business quackery designed to rip-off the most vulnerable members of society.




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