GQ ran a pretty damning article about the potentially harmful effects of cell phone usage, and how those effects–or rather, studies finding evidence of those effects–has been systematically covered up by the wireless communications industry, regulatory bodies under its influence, and by the government itself.
It’s an interesting piece in its own right–and something all avid cell phone users (not to mention those of us chronically exposed to wi-fi networks) might want to check out. But equally interesting is the meta-narrative about conspiracy, and how we hold onto perspectives and “knowledge” that permits desirable behavior.
“It’s hard to talk about the dangers of cell-phone radiation without sounding like a conspiracy theorist. This is especially true in the United States, where non-industry-funded studies are rare, where legislation protecting the wireless industry from legal challenges has long been in place, and where our lives have been so thoroughly integrated with wireless technology that to suggest it might be a problem—maybe, eventually, a very big public-health problem—is like saying our shoes might be killing us.”
If the article’s author is even half-right, the effort to quash evidence that cell phone usage could be harmful has been very intentional, calculated, and, yes, conspiratorial. But isn’t it strange that, in a way, conspiracy theories themselves might be their own worse enemy? Like the devil convincing everyone he doesn’t exist–I can only imagine how grateful “big business” must be that people tend to dismiss as melodramatic or crazy anything broad and complex and thorough enough to be considered conspiratorial.
How many conspiracy films have that scene in which, when confronted by the “lunatic” hero who’s uncovered the conspiracy but hasn’t yet been able to convince anyone else, the smug CEO leans in over his untouched beef tartar, and says with mock sympathy, “You know how you sound, don’t you?”