What is he selling

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2 Responses to What is he selling

  1. David says:

    He really, really needs to read “Made to Stick”!

  2. Jack says:

    Haha, on the contrary, it is an excellent example good communications; he managed to get large numbers of people to talk about it, trying to figure out what it did.

    Below is a brief description of the “retro-encabulator”.

    “The retro-encabulator is a fictional machine whose alleged existence became an in-joke and subject of professional humor among engineers. The explanation of the supposed product makes extensive use of technobabble…

    … The Retro-Encabulator is said to use the “modial interaction of magneto-reluctance and capacitive directance”. As plausible as this may sound to non-engineers, “modial” and “directance” are not even words, much less meaningful engineering terms. Some of the other parts mentioned in the video, (e.g., “differential girdle spring” and “dingle arm”) help signal even the technically non-proficient that it is a joke…

    … The Rockwell video uses real parts that can be ordered from Allen-Bradley, including the motor control center (MCC) that is being described as the retro-encabulator.”

    Now, Back to me opening statement that it is an excellent example of good communication, gross {in both meanings} amounts of people were taken in, as can be seen from these articles from TIME magazine.

    Time; May 6, 1946; An adjunct to the turbo-encabulator, employed whenever a barescent skor motion is required.

    Time; June 3, 1946; If the sackful of mail we have received from you is any indication, the story of “The Turbo-Encabulator in Industry” struck many a responsive chord. Aside from those of you who wanted to be reassured that TIME hadn’t been taken in, we received the customary complaints about using too much technical jargon for the layman, observations such as “My husband says it sounds like a new motor; I say it sounds like a dictionary that has been struck by lightning”; suggestions that it “might have come out of the mouth of Danny Kaye,” and plaintive queries like: “Is this good?” Wrote one bemused U.S. Navyman: “It’sh poshible.” To some the turbo-encabulator sounded as though it would be a “wonderful machine for changing baby’s diapers.” A reader from Hoboken assumed that it would be on sale soon in Manhattan department stores. Many of you wrote in to thank us for illuminating what you have long wanted to tell your scientist friends.

    If anyone actually took the time to read all of this, you have now been educated in the uses of the retro-encabulater.

    That said, I really want one. 😀

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