China Wins for Woo

OMG, I’m not even sure what I can say about this. I saw it in National Geographic. This machine will cure your internet addiction, among other things.

Nanometer Wave Machines

Here’s what the text says:

Therapists in Guangzhou use what they call “nanometer wave machines” to treat addictions. One patient (second from right) is part of a program for Internet addicts–young Chinese so devoted to gaming and other online activities that parents and government officials fear for their health, and their sanity.

They look like hair dryers or pet carrying cages to me. I did a search on Google but didn’t come across any explanation of how these machines are supposed to work.


Donna Druchunas is a freelance technical writer and editor and a knitwear designer. When she's not working, she blogs, studies Lithuanian, reads science and sci-fi books, mouths off on atheist forums, and checks her email every three minutes. (She does that when she's working, too.) Although she loves to chat, she can't keep an IM program open or she'd never get anything else done.

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  1. “Nanometer wave machines?”

    Well hey, UV light operates in the nanometer region. It also can contribute to cataracts.

    So, perhaps they’re simply blinding the customers, making it so much of a hassle to use the net that their addiction is broken!

  2. Isn’t visible light in the 400-700 nanometer wavelength range?

    I think going outside on a nice day would do far more to cure internet addiction that whatever those contraptions are supposed to do.

  3. “Isn’t visible light in the 400-700 nanometer wavelength range?”


    “Nanometer waves” is essentially meaningless, as it covers a tremendous swath of the spectrum. But it sounds pretty darn impressive, doesn’t it?

  4. I am kind of surprised they did not call them “quantum” wave machines.

    A favorite woo word and harder to pin down.

  5. They are pet carriers and within them are the dancing cats from a few posts ago. Its an update on the “chinese water torture” called the feline tarentella torture. For added effectiveness the “meow, meow, meow from that old cat food commercial is looped with the incessant sight of the dancing cats. It works even on the hardest case internet addicted. They are soon screaming AHH, no , anything but this, let meow t.

  6. I saw that! Then I analyzed the video game addict’s outfit and tried to identify the other disorders based on clothing. It made the caption easier to deal with.

  7. My first thought when I saw the picture was that some evil sadist had attached animal cages to these poor peoples heads. Then again some folk think the internet is all about noxious binary rodents eating away at your brain.

  8. Now, now, folks. We shouldn’t dismiss this treatment, and snicker and poke fun, based on how silly it looks, and poor descriptions on how it’s supposed to work. We should first seek a better explanation, and/or clinical data. Then we can snicker and poke fun.

  9. I had a “Room 101” sign outside my cube for weeks and no one knew the reference. Disappointing.

  10. Peregrine is correct. We can’t just jump to conclusions.

    It’s important to find out if these machines are made of space-age polymers first.

  11. It is important to also point out that, should the addict/patient(?) develop a headache, this helmet makes it impossible to apply anything directly to the forehead.

  12. Expartia awesome reference, too bad one of them didn’t have a little girl with them at the time.

  13. I had a “Room 101″ sign outside my cube for weeks and no one knew the reference. Disappointing.

    I weep for the state of our children’s education these days. :(

  14. I hate to day this, I Really hate it but I have no idea what the “Room 101” reference is. I just know you guys are gonna rip me up and I am feeling so lame cause I know this is probably a really cool hip and clever thing but I am simply clueless. Help me out here but as Elvis so eloquently said, “Don’t be cruel”. :o)

  15. I see I should have read all the way to the end of the comments! I read Rav’s lament about the education of today’s youth, thought “I have no idea what Room 101 is” and Googled it.

    Of course that got me to the wikipedia entry that DMS so thoughtfully provides so it’s all a wash I guess.

    Now I must go and read Nineteen Eighty-Four. I’ve read a number of other Orwell’s books and I actually thought I had read this one but the wiki info doesn’t sound familiar.

    Good excuse to read it!

    And the cat boxes on people’s heads are strange. But I am sure they actually work. No way to access the internet sitting in one of those thing is there? I don’t know why everyone is dissing the treatment.

  16. Um, a 1 nm wave is a hard x-ray. If those people are being bombarded with many nanometer rays they’re going to die.

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