Many years ago I worked in a research building that was located above a giant plasma generator. Everyone who had worked there for more than five years and who sat fairly near the thing (the floor above, the office next door) were said to be suffering from cancer or other illness. One woman passed away suddenly in her 50s. The generator drew so much energy that on hot days the central organization would ask the operator to turn it off so they could run the air conditioners. Who knows how much the thing emitted. Don’t think it was ever measured. Some employees were smokers, most did not exercize regularly, and so forth, but a correllation seemed too strong to be coincidence.
There aren’t many plasma generators around but what if the same effects can be documented in people who work or live near cell-towers? And what if those people happen to be important enough that a sudden deterioration of their health could cause serious financial impact to a big organization? The latest news from Australia is rather shocking:
Australian Medical Association president Mukesh Haikerwal said there was no proof of a connection but “if you get clusters of disease it’s sensible to investigate.”
Dr John Gall, from private health company Southern Medical Services, which has been called in to assess the sick, said last night three of those affected had tumours showing symptoms consistent with radiation.
But he said there was no causal link with the building based on preliminary observations.
A spokesman for state Health Minister Bronwyn Pike said WorkCover would investigate the matter and the Department of Human Services would provide any expertise needed.
RMIT chief operating officer Steve Somogyi said testing was carried out on the building after the first two of the seven tumours were reported in 1999 and 2001. It found radiation and air quality levels within recommended guidelines.
Hmmm, who set those guidelines again and based on what evidence? Funny how experts can sometimes use a lack of data as proof of something that doesn’t exist, rather than proof of uncertainty. In network security, it can often be worse to have false negatives than false positives. And if you ever run a honeypot system you have to be careful to never assume that a lack of bears in the honeypot (it sounds better than attackers who like honey, if you know what i mean) proves that there is not threat of bears, let alone a bear already sleeping in your bed. And from that perspective, maybe it wasn’t radiation from the towers, but something in the food, furniture or decorations…