Rule for technology conspiracy theories I’m trying out

All conspiracy theories relying on crazy new technologies are false unless they feature in near-future military science fiction. Generally, they should be read and understood as high fantasy metaphors for cultural phenomena. E.g. HAARP, black goo, 5G.

Black goo is a great metaphor for primordial evil, and this is a reliable cipher for its use in Hollywood productions. Chinese hypersonic nuke-carriers are, on the other hand, a feature in near-future military sci fi.

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6 Responses to Rule for technology conspiracy theories I’m trying out

  1. The Fear of Unwanted Effects That One Can't Easily Avoid says:

    So, I shouldn’t be terrified of 5G? I mean, my friend keeps going on about how the wavelengths of the photons at the high-frequency end of the 5G spectrum are short enough to enable them to affect water molecules, and there are, like, a lot of water molecules in my body right now. So, basically, I was thinking that the global 5G rollout sounded threatening enough to warrant a good, old-fashioned nervous breakdown.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      >So, I shouldn’t be terrified of 5G?

      I can only say probably not, because (unfortunately) I was pretty sleep-deprived and burnt out when I took physics 2.

      That said, we can make at least some preliminary inferences. Microwave ovens use a wavelength that resonates with water molecules with a lot of power. If you stick any electronics in there they aren’t going to work anymore. E.g. In Full Metal Panic a girl has a GPS locator implanted under her skin and they microwave her arm for a couple of seconds to disable it (by holding the microwave door slightly open and pressing the “door closed” sensor).

      It stands to reason if they were planning to microchip everybody they wouldn’t also be microwaving everybody all of the time. Similarly, you’d expect it to cook your smartphone before it cooks you, which presumably doesn’t serve TPTB.

      As for cancer, that’s another story. The truth is we don’t really know whether low levels of radiation translate to higher cancer rates. That was still a subject of debate in radiology back when I was taking nuclear engineering classes circa 2009.

      • Aeoli Pera says:

        Here’s the beginning of chapter 9 from Fundamentals of Nuclear Science and Engineering by Shultis and Faw (1st edition, which is a bit dated):

        In this chapter, we examine the biological risks associated with ionizing radiation and how they are quantified. That such radiation creates chemical free radicals and promotes oxidation-reduction reactions as it passes through biological tissue is well-known. However, how these chemical processes affect the cell and produce subsequent detrimental effects to an organism is not easily determined. Much re- search has been directed towards understanding the hazards associated with ionizing radiation.

        Consequences of exposure to ionizing radiation may be classified broadly as hereditary effects and somatic effects. Damage to the genetic material in germ cells, without effect on the individual exposed, may result in hereditary illness expressed in succeeding generations. Somatic effects are effects on the individual exposed and may be classified by the nature of the exposure, e.g., acute or chronic, and by the time scale of expression, e.g., short term or long term. The short-term acute effects on the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and hematological systems are described as the acute radiation syndrome.

        The manner in which the hazards of human exposure to ionizing radiation are expressed depends on both the exposure and its duration. Acute, life-threatening exposure leads to deterministic consequences and requires a definite course of med- ical treatment. Illness is certain, with the scope and degree depending on the radiation dose and the physical condition of the individual exposed.

        On the other hand, minor acute or chronic low-level exposure produces stochastic damage to cells and the subsequent manifestation of ill effects is likewise quantifiable only in a probabilistic sense. Hereditary illness may or may not result; cancer may or may not result. Only the probability of illness, not its severity, is dependent on the radiation dose. The consequences of such radiation exposures are, thus, stochastic as distinct from deterministic. Although the effects of low-level radiation exposures to a large number of individuals can be estimated, the effect to a single individual can be described only probabilistically.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      I’m more inclined to think people latch on to 5G stories because it’s a great metaphor for TPTB broadcasting cancer over the airwaves, which is (IMO) the more serious but abstract concern.

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