Friday, April 27, 2007

Canary In A Coalmine, Wearing A Tinfoil Hat (Updated)

Meet the electromagnetically over-sensitive.

This is Sarah Dacre of London. She claims to be affected by the electromagnetic noise being generated by modern living. That's not a beekeeper's mask: it's a fine metal mesh designed to block radio-frequency signals.

I admit I'm torn by this story: I'm not a technophobe, but I'm also aware of how technology has affected our lives in ways we didn't anticipate. I'm all but ready to dismiss this woman's story, based (if nothing else) on the notion that she thinks a tinfoil-lined home is going to be letting any signals in at all. These things are pervasive, but unless you live right next to a power station or a cell phone tower, they're pretty weak.

But it would be easy to laugh and dismiss her, and people like her, when the truth is that the overall safety (or lack thereof) of the constant radio-wave bath we're all taking 24/7 hasn't been nearly proved yet.

All I know is that a voice signal on a cell phone takes up a LOT more bandwidth than a text message ever could... and yet I'm still charged for every text message I send, whereas my voice calls are "included". At the risk of sounding like an old fart: people (especially teenagers) really DO have more money than sense these days...

Why haven't you heard more negatives about cell phones? Follow the money. As long as people are just alive enough to keep spending money, everything's gonna be just fine.

Besides, only crazy people wear tinfoil hats, right?

UPDATE, August 30/07: Most people seem to agree cellphones are harmless. At least, most people act that way. Maybe not the staff at Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel where a recent study indicates that using a cell phone for as little as ten minutes can trigger changes in the brain leading to cancer.

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