28 February 1998

Medical advice

There’s a stupid ad for some medical product, which says “In clinical trials, the most common side effect was headache”.

A curiously evasive and meaningless statement. The moment I heard it, I immediately realized that the lab results must have looked something like this:

Side effectIncidence
Headache99%
Massive brain haemorrhage98%
Malignant cancer of the genitals92%
Tertiary syphilis85%
Windows NT76%
Smallpox40%
Death of one kidney33%
Explosive cranial dispersal20%
Total body ionization11%

So beware.

© mathew 2017