Sunday, August 22, 2004

Wireless Service Ate My Brain

New York City is finally poised to get complete wireless phone coverage, ending a long city-wide nightmare of dropped calls and inexplicably coverageless black holes. A great move forward for a great city, right? Well, almost. Some professional agonizers are afraid that all the extra transmitters are going to dissolve their brains, or perhaps slowly cook them to medium-well. They're a little vague, actually. "What happens if in 20 years, there's even a minor adverse reaction to human beings?" asks John Campos of Queens. Good question, John. A better question, however, is "What will it be like if the city of New York falls two decades behind in telecommunications technology on the strength of your baseless speculation?" That may sound a little cavalier given the dire radiation-induced fever dreams the activists are trying to warn us about, but let's remember one could prepare similar scare scenarios against virtually any other technology when armed with a scary theoretical risk yet no evidence of actual harm. Imagine if these people had been around when our ancestors were switching over from tallow candles to whale oil lamps or from coal-burning stoves to natural gas heat, much less from the crapulent horse-drawn carriage to the Model T. We'd all still be striking flint against the side of a cave.

One would imagine that the legendarily tough residents of the fabled metropolis wouldn't be such easily rattled crybabies. If you can't stand the microwaves, Mr. Campos, get out of the city.


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