THE NEXT BIG THING (IF BY BIG THING YOU MEAN IRRATIONAL, SWEEPING PANIC)

There is a new form of Wi-Fi coming.  It is longer-range and faster and thus better.  Naturally, people think it will kill them with cancerous death.

OF DEATH.

OF DEATH.

  • So here’s the deal.  The FCC decides what frequencies of electromagnetic radiation can be used for what, like microwaves, radar, radio, cell phones, baby monitors, etc.  Here’s the most basic possible lesson on EMR.
  • EMR is measured by frequency, which is measured in hertz (Hz).  I do not know why there is a rental car company called that.
  • The higher the frequency, the more powerful the radiation is.  If it’s powerful enough, it can cause chemical reactions which can make weird chemicals which can maybe fuck your cells up and eventually, maybe, in some cases, cause cancer.  I am not explaining that more.  Google it.
  • Not a single piece of consumer electronics emits radiation strong enough to do that.  Zero of them.  I counted.

Now, I’m going to give you a few examples of radiation that you encounter every day with all the zeros on them for perspective and because no one understands scientific notation.  Counting decimal places is hard, apparently.

UV light from the sun emits at around 1,000,000,000,000,000 Hz.  That’s fifteen zeros.

Visible light is roughly 100,000,000,000,000 Hz.  Fourteen zeros.

Infrared is a very broad range, but I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that you personally emit heat in the infrared range of around 1,000,000,000,000 Hz.  Twelve zeros.

Let’s skip ahead.  Currently, Wi-Fi is about 2.5 GHz, which is also twelve zeros, but slightly more than twice as powerful than the heat coming off of your own fat ass.

Or not fat.  Either way.

Or not fat. Either way.

The new Wi-Fi is going to be 1,000,000 Hz.  Six zeros.  Six.  That is almost literally all you need to know.  What this means is that the light coming from the goddamn moon is a hundred million times more powerful than this new Wi-Fi.  Here’s a picture to help (though it uses scientific notation, so…)

Fuck it.  Pretty colors.

Fuck it. Pretty colors.

So listen.  This is a new band of EMR that’s been opened up by the FCC that is less powerful than any other band currently available.  Any of them.  It will not hurt you at all.  It will, in fact, have no measurable effect other than giving you Internet.

OF…internet, or something.

OF…internet, or something.

The reason, now wanderingly arrived at, that I am posting this, is as follows: I would like to make a prediction.  On this 23rd day of September, 2010, I officially predict that

stories about the “risks” of Super Wi-Fi will hit major news websites within six weeks.

That’s November 5th.

Now, this wouldn’t be a science post if it didn’t include me debunking some nitwit, and the nitwit of the evening is the first result I got when I Googled “super wi-fi cancer.”  This was published three days ago.

Even the most neutral of observers could not could not ignore the many, many doubts as to the possible health risks associated with electromagnetic radiation.

I believe I’ve sufficiently addressed that.  This person goes on to say that Wi-Fi has been removed from schools in some places in Europe (true) because it raises estrogen levels (horseshit with sprinkles).

Or just sprinkles.

Or just sprinkles.

Glioma tumors, the same type of cancer that struck down Ted Kennedy, have been linked to electromagnetic radiation.  Migraine headaches, fatigue, coronary problems, insomnia, DNA damage, and even the early onset of senility have been traced to exposure to electromagnetic radiation.

Again, technically true.  But we’re talking about x-rays here, which are billions of times stronger than Super Wi-Fi.  Let me outline the level of exaggeration we’re talking about.  This is like saying that if you jump off a chair, you will hit the ground.  In the past, people have died from hitting the ground, thus if you jump off a chair, you will die.  That, needless to say, is not how it works.

CHAIR OF DEATH!

CHAIR OF DEATH!

Compared to the level of radiation the average person is now exposed to from a current Wi-Fi connection, Super Wi-Fi will significantly increase the danger. It is proposed that Internet speeds ranging from 15 to 20 megabits per second will be possible, that’s almost as fast as a cable modem.

First of all, the nerd in me should point out that we already have those speeds via Wi-Fi and that 15-20 mbps isn’t nearly as fast as cable.  So there.  Also, the speed has nothing to do with the danger levels.  At all.  In fact, that first sentence is exactly the opposite of true.  It’s amazing how not true it is.

Even if you do not subscribe to a wireless service, the radiation from your neighbors’ Super Wi-Fi will be able to penetrate the walls of your home.

This is true.  Penetrating walls is the point.

You and your family will be subject to the same electromagnetic radiation that has already been linked to so many serious health problems.

This is not true.  I just explained that.  Remember when I just explained that?

Would it not be more sensible, as well as more humane, to make sure that this technology will not cause cancer and other serious diseases before releasing it?

Six weeks, people.  Calling it.

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