fm Bandit

Cell damage

I dislike flying for all the trite reasons. Preparing for my red-eye last night, I wondered if the thrill of travel I once experienced while in Cal-exile is really just the dread of leaving California in reverse. I am thinking of these things second, while first making sure to be in the right places at the right time.

I’m going to a wedding in Deerfield, which is in Massachusetts. Massachusetts, it turns out, is a large state. At some resolutions, it’s possible its thirteen-character name could fit within its borders on a map. A map would have been nice while planning this trip, as then I wouldn’t be on a Peter Pan bus bisecting the Blackstone. There is an airport in Connecticut much closer than Boston, but I just assumed anything in this state would be immediately accessible to its lone major airport.

I didn’t bring my laptop charger, so I don’t know how much writing I’ll get done. Besides this, I am very impressed at how adult I was, getting all packed for the trip and such. Each day, I will have clean underwear. Judging by the hailstones cracking against the broad panorama at the head of our Peter Pan bus, I will be chilling inside a lot.

I heard a great Danger Mouse track on Live 105 yesterday, but I didn’t catch the name. I never catch the name, I feel like it’s no longer a priority of the disk jockey (if such a position is still corporeal) to tell us what song they’re playing. There’s probably widespread use of the digital display on aftermarket stereo decks for such information, but I’ve been reading Jonathan Franzen all morning so I’ve got that energized, alien feeling that follows his depressing calls-to-arms. It’s no time to get upset about my dwindling chances of retiring as a classic rock DJ.

In still-a-believer news, I remain aligned with team cell phones. I’m convinced that if cell phones cause glioma, more people would have it. It’s not that I think cell phones are benign; I think they’ve eroded community, disabled intimacy, and are generally annoying. A telecommunications giant laid off my dad. I just won’t go so far as to say they’re carcinogenic.

Transportation safety folk are quick to point out the easily-attributable cell phone deaths on the road, but our species would be quite boring if we realistically assessed risk. A coworker of mine takes all of his cell phone calls on speakerphone; because at times we receive confidential calls, this involves sequestering himself somewhere private enough to protect himself from the perceived threat of cancer. My awe for his plight is genuine, I don’t think he’s small-minded or irrational. On the contrary, he’s very intelligent and passionately integrates several respected models of modern health and wellness. Still, I can’t help but conceptualize anything that glosses over human resiliency and focuses instead upon the myriad of dangers presented by our synthetic world.

During the nuclear meltdown crisis in Japan, I deliberately avoided any coverage or conversation that I thought may explain how radiation harms me. I have a rigid suspicion that our isomorphic models of disease and decay don’t adequately explain how human beings get sick. I have a cursory understanding that ionizing radiation (not the kind emitted from cell phones) can interfere with the structure or transit of DNA, but even that was unwelcome knowledge.

It’s not that I prefer ignorance to prevention, it’s that I truly believe how you conceive of your own vulnerability influences that vulnerability. If that seems like a guess, consider investigating on what information the World Health Organization is basing its “possibly carcinogenic” rating.

Alarmists are quick to point out that many of the studies that say cell phones are harmless are funded by telecommunications companies. Some go a step further and implicate the entire University system in active public deception, in order to ensure corporate dominion status-quo and protect their endowments. Considering, however, the opposite but equally aggressive sensationalism that comes from every abstract that crosses a deadline-pressured journalist’s desk, I see the cell phone companies as (perhaps imprudently) protecting themselves from a fickle consumer who is so blinded by their fear of the unknown that they cannot consider their part in the daily risks of existence.

This seems like the perfect bandage though, a list of the cell phones that you can be friends with again. Like discussing prisoner’s rights, it feels strange defending the obvious villain hee. Nevertheless, weak science won’t last; it’s better if the cell phone companies stay the untrusted ones. I’m not sure why, but I suspect anthropologically that we are demonizing cell phones with carcinogen being a surrogate for our distrust, disgust, and sick devotion. We want them to be bad for us because we think they already are.

And, no, I won’t eat my words later if cancer rates catch up with our affinity for celling out. Science is based on data; conclusive data means conclusive results. In short: cancer rates haven’t gone up, studies don’t conclusively say one thing or another, and we don’t even have a viable hypothesis as to how RF waves could be harmful. The highlight of that article is the factoid that phones are not as possibly-carcinogenic as shift work.

this just in, working from seven to eleven really makes life a drag

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