If you are reading on a smartphone, use landscape / hold phone sideways.
Snake Oil - Those two words illicit an immediate response of fraudulent hucksters, traveling salesman with dubious morals, and a host or other suspicious characters, hawking questionable wares across the United States. Today, calling someone a snake oil salesman is the equivalent of calling them a liar, a charlatan, peddling too-good-to-be-true products or ideas to make a quick buck.
However, Snake Oil is and was a REAL product, and some scientists today acknowledge that it might work to cure bodily ills. Wait, what?
During the 1800s, Chinese immigrants came to the USA to find work. They brought with them their families, their culture, and their medicines. One medicine was snake oil. It came from the Chinese Water Snake, and this particular snake was very rich in omega-3 acids. These acids have been known to help with things like arthritis and other muscle and joint pain. The Chinese immigrants working on the railroad would have been exhausted and probably incredibly sore. The perfect cure? Chinese Water Snake Oil! Wow. This stuff actually worked, due to the omega-3 acids. Go figure!
SO: snake oil itself (the good stuff from Chinese Water Snakes) is a great remedy in traditional Chinese Culture, its benefits have been lost when slimy salesman said that "any old snake would do" because - actual Chinese Water Snakes were hard to find in California. But they had lots of Rattlesnakes!!!
SO: Snake Oil went from Chinese Water Snake Oil (that actually worked) to Rattlesnake Oil (that did not work) to Snake Oil that does not even have any Snake Oil in it at all! Clark Stanley's Snake Oil Liniment - produced by Clark Stanley, the "Rattlesnake King" - was tested and proved to contain: mineral oil, 1% fatty oil, capsaicin from chili peppers, turpentine, and camphor. Nothing from snakes, Chinese or otherwise.
Land the plane, Tom.......
In the news today is the massive media blow-up of Joe Rogan vs. The World. The debate of "my science is better than your science" is being fought in the public square. Podcaster Joe Rogan got paid $100 million when he signed an exclusive multiyear contract with Spotify. It's always about the money, right? There is a great article here: Why Spotify picked Joe Rogan over Neil Young in its misinformation fight.
So what to do?
Controversial comments drive eyeballs. Spotify made a risk vs. reward decision (in the moment) where dropping Rogan vs. Neil Young was all about the numbers. But this could all change if this turns into a movement and Team Neil Young recruits others to leave Spotify. As of this blog, there seems to be such a movement to dump Spotify. Let's see the power of the free market, vs. the power of the soapbox. Funny how ANOTHER decision will be made because of money, not because of truth, or because of science or because of better facts. If Spotify stock price tanks, say good-bye to Joey Rogan. Anyone remember "The New Coke" marketing disaster and then, Coke's embarrassing about face years ago?
Snake Oil actually used to work. Then, Snake Oil stopped working (due to using the wrong snake). Then it REALLY stopped working (due to using no snakes at all).
Fox News. Facebook. YouTube. The problems of misinformation (on purpose, or by accident) has been around since Chinese Water Snake Oil sales in California. The thing that changed, was the size of the soapbox.
The power of the podcast and global reach of the Internet and main stream media (soapbox) is what changed everything.
The Pure Food and Drug Act was passed in 1906. It was passed for a reason. There was no Internet and certainly no smartphones in 1906. Might be time to rethink things, due to the power of Fox News, OAN, Facebook, YouTube, and of course, The Joe Rogan Experience: 2022.