Saturday, February 27, 2010

An Exchange With My Mother

I do not think that there is a real issue worth worrying about with cell phones. Should there be research and some prudence in how we use these? Of course. Just remember that we have been subjected to a stream of panic mongering which really is an orchestrated campaign against Capitalism. The whole "Health Care Crisis" is a power and money grab based on false statistical claims. Similarly the entire "Global Warming Crisis" was based on bad science as part of a money and power grab. There have been others, the anti vaccine campaigners with mystical claims about autism will subject us to epidemics from Dark Ages diseases like polio that had been conquered, and there have been specific product shakedown attacks. So while I would be prudent and support good research I would not accept every story about mysterious threats.

The biggest problem I see from phones and MP3 players is that they encourage isolation in what should be a public and potentially social encounter. In part this may be why they are popular. A young woman on the subway can put on her earphones and listen to music and avoid recognizing the men around her. Reading a book can serve the same purpose or it can be in fact an invitation to a conversation. The personal music device is more isolating. Giving one to your daughter could be the equivalent of attaching a small angry dog to her. While there are obvious benefits and potential costs to using these to preserve privacy it means that people lose the ability to manage their own social encounters. Thirty year ago a woman on the subway learned how to politely discourage or encourage a man who smiled. Those are valuable skills and we are a poorer society when we are not so socialized.

I will blog this with personal information redacted.

Love, (LoTM)

On Feb 26, 2010, at 11:29 PM, wrote:

(LoTM): There is an interesting article in here about cell phones and radiation. Love, Mother

Date: February 26, 2010 9:17:59 AM EST
To: <>
Subject: Dog Saves 3-Year-Old, Mood-Boosting Snacks, Cell Phones and Radiation -- your custom newsletter

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