Your home for intelligent conversation on the web
The Chamber of Politics Political topics What to do about cell phones?
THINQon is a platform for a more intelligent web. It aims to replace the ruling paradigm of the web – that of sharing and gathering information – with a sharing and achieving of understanding. Instead of the Q&A model it offers an experience. A platform for discovery of ideas, people, and yourself.     Continue >
What to do about cell phones?
Most of us by now use cell phones. Some more some less, but some a lot. We know, or should know, that they are cancerous, and that constantly putting a radiator next to your brain, or body, isn't good for you. Nevertheless we use it. Personally I try to use a headset as much as possible and I don't talk for more than a couple of minutes without one. I also use a wired headset which I assume is better than the wireless ones but I don't know. There exists plenty of medical research for now proving it's bad for you, but obviously the phone companies have a lot of money put in their own researches that somehow prove it's completely safe. This is all too reminiscent of the tobacco industry, but all of us are much more addicted to cell phones than to smoking. Moreover, the analogy continues with second hand smoke, as if other people have cells they expect you to have one, when for instance making plans to meet.
But second hand smoke doesn't stop there. The reason I use cell phones is that in any case I'm vulnerable to their antennas everywhere. Because other people use cellphones everywhere there must be cellphone towers, and hence I'm under subjected to their radiation if I like it or not.

This addiction which has somewhat been discussed here: post , and post, has  by now become so strong that people can know full well it will kill them but they keep using it. I keep using it! What do we do then?

Several states/cities (Maine, SF) have started suggesting mandatory warning labels on cell phones, akin to those on cigarette boxes. I think it's important to do, even if only to educate people to its dangers. Yes, they are still going to use it, but they might use it a bit less, they might use a headset more, etc. There are huge companies and forces against this as cell carriers and phone makers have deep pockets, but hopefully they'll manage to pass these laws.
What can be done with second hand smoke?

A couple of things to consider then: How do we deal with addiction which we know can harm us, but it is an addiction - I can't see almost anyone letting go of their prized possession (jewelry, toy, baby-blanket, whatever you want to call their cell)  they carry with them. Their link to the world.

Besides education what can be done to minimize the harm caused by by using them? How should the law come into play here?
I think the jury is still out regarding the use of cell phones and cancer.  Here is a recent summary article from CNN:

As to harmful behavior and addictions, I would guess that the short term gain outweighs the long term consequences.  "Out of sight, out of mind".  I think it would interesting to understand the addiction to other things that come with cellphones, specifically texting.   I think this is a much larger sign of addiction if my kids and most American teens are any indication.  Here in Colorado we just passed a law that bans texting while driving with an added prohibition for those under 18.  Certainly this very addictive habit has killed more than the use of a cellphone and cancer to date.

In response to Charles Neff
If you truly fear EM radiation, then educate yourself. You want to know about the 'inverse squared relation'... this is the math which describes field intensity as a function of proximity.

Whether cellphones cause cancer or not is a good question. It bears on the question of whether EM fields *anywhere* cause cancer, which remains an open question as well. The good thing about cell phones is this: they will settle this question forever. They are so ubiquitous that their use amounts to the widest scale cancer research project in history. If a correlation between their use and cancer exists at all, there is no doubt that we will have evidence in time.

I like the ubiquity of cell phones for a lot of reasons. I wish that models were available which were better for gathering evidence, though. Our stultified laws complicate this issue a lot, and the need for the police to protect themselves from the truth complicates the issue as well. We've all seen the trouble that cell phones can cause in that regard. Just the same, being a person who believes in (the concept of) Justice, I welcome the ubiquity of cameras in the hands of normal folks.

Were I a designer, I would implement the following changes to cell-phone cameras: I would reduce the delay between power-on and ability to capture(instant would be nice); I would make the option to upload instantly to the web-cloud; and I would make a standard for cryptographic checksums of the images to thwart manipulation. These changes would be fought by industry and others, but they would empower normal people to an unprecedented degree. Eyewitness accounts are discredited in our day, and for good reason. Verifiable pictures could change all that forever.

As to the question of cancer by radiation, I offer this. There is no reason to have the transmitter so close to your head. They could (and should, just for the doubters) be designed to wire the signals at low intensity to earphone and mic, with a transmitter to be placed a small distance away. This frees you to shield your body, if you still worry, or at least induce the cancerous mutations someplace other than the lobes of your brain!

I certainly get the concern with addictive behaviour. I still wish I'd never learned to text! But text messages are superior for some sorts of signalling,  and they function in emergencies when all the cell networks are jammed. If you get caught in an earthquake or nuclear strike or alien invasion, use text to communicate.
Join the Community
Full Name:
Your Email:
New Password:
I Am:
By registering at, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
Discussion info
Latest Post: July 17, 2010 at 9:53 PM
Number of posts: 3
Spans 208 days
People participating

No results found.