Math is hard. Scaring ignorant people is easy?

So I recently watched the Panorama programmes on the White flightWiFi and Scientology.

The most recent one was the WiFi one, and its caused once again a huge stir online. The programme tried to delve into the world of radiation but failed badly. For example there was never a mention that Mobile phone signals operate on a much lower band (850 – 1900 Mhz) that wireless (2.4 Ghz). This was critical mistake when assuming the women who were sensitive to mobile phone towers would also be sensitive to Wireless. I also never heard anything about the fact Radiation is all around us all the time. For example the Sun gives of radiation which is very dangerous but some of you still bake in the sun on a good day.

What then bothers me is the school arguments. Its a obvious trick. Don't you want your children to be safe? Yes maybe there might be some long term side effect to wireless but by the time we know we'd have moved on to ultrawideband type communication, etc. This isn't going to be in our lives forever. Even if I'm wrong and next week someone does the maths and works it all out, I'm sorry but the Panorama programme was an obstacle not a helper.

Anyway, Miles found an excellent cartoon of the whole debate.

Very brief comments on the other programmes. The White flight one was quite worrying but interesting none the less. I don't think the problem is as bad down south. Maybe because the property prices are so high you can't be picky. The scientology one I felt was very good. You can see how the team tried to be balanced and open with the documentary but how it got hi-jacked by the scienctolgies in the end. When the reporter snapped my instant reaction was no don't let them do this to you, this is the reaction they wanted and yes I bet it made all the scientology videos this year. It also became clear how much money and resources this cult at its disposal. Its going to require much more distributed efforts to get the low down on whats going on in this cult.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.