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Quit smoking now !! Buy a Mobile Phone

By retinaburn in MLP
Sat Nov 04, 2000 at 12:12:35 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

Individual had a news article reporting that among British 15-year olds smoking has dropped from 30% in 1996 to 23% in 1999, while mobile phone usage was up 70%. Researchers claim that the reasons are a combination of not enough money to do both, and that mobile phones are the new "cool" thing for kids. While American researchers are not convinced the same would hold true in the U.S. the data tends to support the British study.


Now as humorous as this seems, kids picking up a smooth refreshing phone instead of a cancer causing cigarette, I sense a danger here.

1. If mobile phones do cause cancer are they trading one evil for another. I believe no data has proved conclusively either way that cell-phones and cancer have any relation. But whenever I hear that something may increase your risk of cancer it worries me, I remember back in the good 'ole days the traveling carnivals would have an X-RAY machine. "See your bones for 5 cent piece"...and develop tumors for free.

2. Now I realize that the article does not mention anything about becoming addicted to cell-phone use but if kids can become as addicted to mobile-phones as cigarettes is this something to be proud of ? It is great for the phone companies, can you imagine trying to get an electronic device declared addictive by the government ? Granted I would rather have my child having a phone rather that a smoke but doesn't this say something about the negative effects of cell-phone usage?

So a little long for MLP but live with it :)

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What are you most addicted to ?
o Smokes 14%
o Alcohol 4%
o The Internet 36%
o K5 4%
o Porn 23%
o Church 1%
o Addictions, I don't need no stinkin addictions 7%
o Windows 3.1 6%

Votes: 215
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Quit smoking now !! Buy a Mobile Phone | 49 comments (41 topical, 8 editorial, 0 hidden)
Come on... (3.66 / 6) (#3)
by trhurler on Fri Nov 03, 2000 at 11:58:20 AM EST

A useful device does not constitute an "addiction." Next you'll be blaming monitor manufacturers for peoples' porn habits. That's just plain stupid.

As for the cancer link, if anyone could even show a correlation, much less a cause, I'd be quite happy to consider it, but so far it is about as likely that cell phones cause cancer as it is that writing C causes ear infections. I realize that the public is gullible, and that every time we have something that radiates, people are going to trot out this tired old bullshit(remember power lines? Funny how those studies have gone on for most of a century now and nobody can find any evidence, yet people still ask for more studies...) Radiation is not automatically harmful. We are exposed to a great deal of radiation every day, and would be even without any of our gadgets. Specific frequencies at specific power levels have been shown to cause various cancers, but that's a far cry from "radiation is bad."

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

You must be kidding... (2.50 / 6) (#5)
by retinaburn on Fri Nov 03, 2000 at 12:27:38 PM EST

remember power lines? Funny how those studies have gone on for most of a century now and nobody can find any evidence

I remember seeing a story a couple of years ago on one of the U.S. news programs. A school (as many are) was built underneath high-capacity power lines. They did this because the land there is cheap so the government saves a little coin. The rate of cancer among the children there was something like 500% higher than at schools in other locations not under power lines.

Why do you think there is so much empty land underneath power lines (at least in Canada) despite the fact it is cheap. Now these are those big towers with multiple lines on each, not just a single line.

Now there are going to be studies that show both a negative and a postive correlation between power lines and cancer. The government stands to loose a heck of a lot if it is proven conclusively that they MAY cause damage to small children.

It is the same as Cigarrettes being "proven" to be addictive, there is studies both ways but most intelligent people believe that they are addictive and do cause cancer.

Remember the X-RAY story, I'm sure people were complaining that they caused damage while they were being towed around to various towns. But they didn't have any conclusive evidence.

Do we ever err on the side of caution when there is a profit to be made ?


I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


[ Parent ]
No, no. no... (4.75 / 4) (#13)
by trhurler on Fri Nov 03, 2000 at 01:22:46 PM EST

I remember seeing a story a couple of years ago on one of the U.S. news programs. A school (as many are) was built underneath high-capacity power lines.
Please, let's look at real studies on real populations and let's actually LOOK for other causal factors instead of just saying "these people live near power lines and they have one extra cancer case every ten years for the last ten years - that's a 500% increase, and it must be the power lines!" For all you know, they also are sitting atop a geothermal vent lined with radioactive materials. For all you know, that one extra case in 10 years or whatever it was(in a school sized population, you can bet it is only one or two people,) was just a fluke. Hell, -maybe- there IS a connection to the power lines, but you'd never know it from that TV show.
It is the same as Cigarrettes being "proven" to be addictive, there is studies both ways but most intelligent people believe that they are addictive and do cause cancer.
Most reputable people who actually understand the studies say that cigarettes can contribute to cancer. If they -caused- cancer, then anyone who smoked the thousands upon thousands of them that a smoker does smoke would GET cancer. The vast majority do not. This is not to say that cigarettes are healthful; they are not. However, your claim is in conflict with reality, because it is too strong.

The problem I have with your(all too common) attitude is that you are playing on fears. You do not advocate studies; you do not advocate rational discourse. Instead, whether for love, money, or the sound of your own voice, you warn of risks that nobody knows even exist. When someone influential does this, the government ends up regulating or banning things before they're even proven dangerous. At some point, people like you need to grow up and admit that life is risk, and that without some demonstration that there is a specific danger posed, the mere fact that something -could- be dangerous is not cause to go around stirring up shit. Yes, it -could- be dangerous. So could brushing your teeth. That's life. When you can say that it -is- dangerous, THEN raise holy hell about it.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
500% means 5 times as many (3.00 / 1) (#38)
by retinaburn on Sat Nov 04, 2000 at 01:49:59 PM EST

How many people do you think have cancer in any given region. Say its 1% in a popluation of 100,000 in a region. I think thats probably correct counting all possible cancers. Thats 1,000 people. A 500% increase is significant. Of course I just picked 500% out of the air. I would go look at the studies yourself and see what the increase of cancer rate is. Would you live under high capacity power lines ?

Would you subject your children to living under those, are you so sure that it has no effects that you would not hesitate to do that ?

I doubt it.


I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


[ Parent ]
Five hundred percent (none / 0) (#41)
by trhurler on Mon Nov 06, 2000 at 03:28:57 AM EST

A 500% increase in cancer among a population consisting mostly of children and with only a few hundred members is not statistically significant unless the study is done over a period of many decades; that might just be one or two extra cases, and for all you know, either they're a fluke or they're caused by something -else- both children were exposed to(say, radon, or asbestos, or whatever.) No reputable scientist would do anything but laugh at conclusions drawn from such a study as was actually done.

Now, as for me being afraid of power lines, no, I'm not. I've lived near them. Nobody lives "under" them, because that violates various laws and regulations. If there was radiation off of them that had enough energy to actually disrupt some biological process, even on a microscopic scale, maybe I'd be interested; as it is, what you have is a bunch of people ignoring what reputable scientists say on a mad quest to start some lawsuits and get rich. The fact that there are many of them does not make their claims any more frightening to me. Look at rates of cancer among linemen working for power companies. Oh, hey, they're no higher, even for the guys working on the high voltage lines while they're live(yes, some people do that for a living.)

The basic fear you're going on is unfounded. The difference between me and you is that while I occasionally -feel- unfounded fears, I do not act on them, and I rid myself of them as much as possible. Is it theoretically possible that power lines might in some way contribute to this or that illness? Sure, but it is also theoretically possible tht someone is going to shoot me in my sleep tonight; this does not keep me from sleeping.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Not just children (none / 0) (#43)
by retinaburn on Mon Nov 06, 2000 at 09:08:01 AM EST

A 500% increase in cancer among a population consisting mostly of children

I am almost certain that this was compared to ALL cases of cancer not just those in children. Though most of the new cases were those of children. Showing an alarming increase in the cases of cancer and remarkably most of these were in children, unproportionatly so.

Oh, hey, they're no higher, even for the guys working on the high voltage lines while they're live

But you will agree that the physiology of a growing child does not compare with that of a grown adult (and probably a fit one if they are a lineperson). Children are far more suseptable to environtmental dangers than adults are, this should not be disputed.

Nobody lives "under" them, because that violates various laws and regulations.

Why not ? Surely there is no danger to doing it, yet people can work there for greater than 8 hours a day without danger.


I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


[ Parent ]
Mmm... fear... (none / 0) (#45)
by trhurler on Mon Nov 06, 2000 at 12:48:34 PM EST

Children are far more suseptable to environtmental dangers than adults are, this should not be disputed.
Actually, the younger you are, with a couple of exceptions, the more resistant you are to radiation damage. The exceptions are that certain kinds of radiation are more likely to cause damage during puberty, and -very- young children(say, younger than five,) are more susceptible in general than anyone else. The military tends to retire or reassign people who work with radiation as they age, even if they would not have done so otherwise, simply because they know it is cheaper for them to do so than to end up paying the costs if the guy ends up with cancer. This is not to say that children are not in general more susceptible to some kinds of environmental damage, but just blindly trotting out a "save the children!" heartstring puller is not going to make you right on this particular issue. If a typical adult has little chance of being affected, then a typical 8 year old has less, in this case.
Why not ? Surely there is no danger to doing it, yet people can work there for greater than 8 hours a day without danger.
Why not? First off, the land is typically owned by a governmental entity which has given or sold the right of way to the power company. The right of way typically specifies that the line route will be unobstructed from ground level up except by power company equipment. Secondly, those things do occasionally come down in storms, so there are regulations about how far you have to be from one for safety reasons. That's why you always see thsoe big empty cuts of nothing but relatively short grass and the occasional utility shed under such lines.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
addiction (4.33 / 3) (#8)
by Anonymous 242 on Fri Nov 03, 2000 at 12:44:48 PM EST

A useful device does not constitute an "addiction."

You are correct. It the actual use of the device that may or may not constitute an addiction.

Addiction is mostly (but not entirely) a psychological phenomena. A human can become addicted to any activity. A human is more likely to become addicted to some behaviors (consuming certain chemicals, engaging in activities that induce the body to produce certain chemicals) because some behaviors are also physiologically addictive.

Ever notice that some people can quit addictive behaviors cold turkey while others struggle their entire lives with the same behavior? The principal difference is in the minds of the individual.

I do agree with your points on the current absence of any known correlation between cell phone usage and cancer.

[ Parent ]

I do wonder... (4.00 / 5) (#14)
by trhurler on Fri Nov 03, 2000 at 01:26:56 PM EST

how much of "addiction" is in fact nothing more than the currently popular "victim mentality." Oh, poor me, I can't do anything about this, because it is an addiction. Guess what? You can. If you don't, maybe you -felt- helpless, but you still had a choice, and you didn't take it. It -is- possible to think and act, even when you feel horrible. I have real sympathy for people with certain physical addictions, but I have nothing but derision for anyone who claims to be addicted to talking on the phone. Guess what? By that same definition of "addicted," I'm addicted to just about everything I enjoy doing. That's absurd.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
victim mentality and addiction (3.75 / 4) (#15)
by Anonymous 242 on Fri Nov 03, 2000 at 01:44:41 PM EST

My best guess is that psychological addiction is a very real physiological phenomena. We train our brains to think a certain way and surprise, surprise our brains continue to think that way until we train them otherwise. I do have a certain level of sympathy for people that were not exposed to the right type of environment to learn to change their thinking patterns. Even for someone who understands the process, it is not easy to change the way one thinks if the pattern is deeply ingrained.

The people I have trouble having sympathy for are the people that are unwilling to try to change their minds because they've already decided they can't do it. That mentality is no different from my daughter deciding she doesn't like sweet potatos because of their color before she even tastes them and then refusing to taste them because they taste yucky.

[ Parent ]

Addiction. (none / 0) (#44)
by Alarmist on Mon Nov 06, 2000 at 10:29:08 AM EST

how much of "addiction" is in fact nothing more than the currently popular "victim mentality." Oh, poor me, I can't do anything about this, because it is an addiction.

It's hard to say. Here's another long-winded bit of pedantry:

There are two basic types of addiction: physical and psychological.

Some illegal drugs (and some other things) produce a physical addiction. For instance, the function of some drugs resembles that of neurotransmitters that your body produces closely enough that when you get hooked on said drugs, your body's production of those neurotransmitters drops. This is a real physical effect, and when you quit the drugs, you feel miserable. That's the defining part of physical addictions: it must be something that you are actually dependent on because of a bodily condition.

Most addictions, though, are apparently psychological in nature. The idea of doing X (gambling, porn, etc.) has become so strongly ingrained in you that you are not able to surrender it easily. It is a fundamental part of who you are, and changing it may be as hard as changing anything else about you that is so central to who you are. As has been observed, some people can do this without much apparent effort, while others struggle for years and go nowhere, and still others never try at all.

I won't doubt that there are a lot of people who give up without trying to kick their habits. They fall into the "victim mentality" you spoke of. However, I'd venture to say that more people try to quit (with varying degrees of success) than those who never try in the first place.

Psychological addictions are quite hard to deal with. In the case of a physical addiction, the addict at least knows that at some point, the jonesing will stop and life will resemble something normal again. The psychological addict does not have this comfort. It takes a concious effort of will for months or years to avoid the addiction, and even then they may not succeed. There is no guarantee of success.

By that same definition of "addicted," I'm addicted to just about everything I enjoy doing. That's absurd.

What you're talking about is absurd. The problem is that you're proceeding from a faulty definition of addiction. Addicts don't just do something because they enjoy it; they do it because if they don't, they feel miserable. It is, in a very real sense, a compulsion. It can be likened to having someone follow you around all day and tell you to do something. It gets hard to concentrate on other things, and a lot of people give in to the compulsion just to make it stop. The bulk of whatever pleasure they receive from their addiction is a relief from the compulsion, not the intrinsic pleasurableness of the experience.


[ Parent ]

Why must it be an addiction? (4.33 / 3) (#7)
by h0tr0d on Fri Nov 03, 2000 at 12:39:54 PM EST

I'm not sure why you automatically assume that if something replaces smoking then it must be an addiction as well.

if(addiction)
{replace with another addiction};

When I was a teenager I had to make this same choice. I could either smoke or have money for my cars and motorcycles. I chose my cars and bikes. Yes, it was quite possible that I would die a much quicker death in either of these than I would through years of smoking but I wanted to enjoy life. I didn't (and still don't) care how I die as long as it is doing something I enjoy.

Anyway, I don't see why we have to assume that kids are becoming addicted to their cell phones. Frankly, I'd rather have my son spending his time/money on a cell phone than a million other things that teens do these days. While, I, personally am against cell phones because it's more of a status symbol than a useful tool for most people I think it's a nice alternative to smoking for teens.

-- It appears that my spleeing chucker isn't working again.

It was hypothetical (4.50 / 2) (#9)
by retinaburn on Fri Nov 03, 2000 at 12:48:57 PM EST

I did (nor do I now) automatically assume that because kids are switching from addictive cigarettes to mobile phones they must be addicted to mobile phones. I believe that it is more a fad for every johnny, and little sue to be decked out in the latest phone gear, however IF and I mean IF the use of cell-phones can be addictive it could be a dangerous thing. Tamagothchi's took the us by storm, pokemon, gameboys, "internet" etc... why do these fads happen ? Do millions fall prey simply because of the "neato" factor, or is there something that they provide for a short time that we simply must have, then fall out of "style". A "burst addiction" perhaps, I'm not sure if you could call it an addiction. Anyone have any insights ?

I agree that a cell-phone is the current meter of who is "hip", but i fail to see the usefulness. It is convienient sure but I will try to delay getting it so that I can at least remain disconnected from the world while in transit without getting hassled by people saying "Why was your phone off ?", "What happened to your phone ?", "Why havent you paid your bills yet?", "Where are my kids ?".


I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


[ Parent ]
Read too much into it. (4.50 / 2) (#22)
by h0tr0d on Fri Nov 03, 2000 at 02:47:28 PM EST

Sorry for that. I guess I just read too much into it. I do think that you are onto something though. The more I have thought about it the more I have realized that addiction is the problem. I think it's an addiction to being hip or cool or whatever. I can't count how many people I know who have cell phones, and are paying for way too many minutes per month, that use only a portion of their allotted time. And I imagine most of that is spent on telemarketers and wrong numbers. The guy in the cube next to me has a cell phone that rings an average of three times a day. Nine times out of ten it is either the wrong number or someone trying to sell something. He is always trying to give his cell number to us just in case we ever need him when he's not at work. So far no one has taken it. I think it makes him feel important to have it and would make him feel even more important if it were actually used for work. Pathetic.

I was once required to carry a cell phone by my employer and I found that it was useful only about 3% of the time. The rest of the phone calls were clients wanting to inform me that they had sent me email or other not very important or just blatantly stupid things. Thankfully that is no longer a part of my life and I am very happy without it.

-- It appears that my spleeing chucker isn't working again.
[ Parent ]

Cell phone policies (none / 0) (#49)
by CrayDrygu on Thu Nov 09, 2000 at 12:20:12 PM EST

I found myself wanting a cell phone for my job, because quite often I'd be paged, for example, on my way to lunch, and depending on where I was going, I might not be able to return the page for an hour -- far too long if something truly dreadful happened.

However, like many people, I saw cell phones as primarily a yuppy status symbol, with the telephone function second. So to appease myself, I set several cell phone policies for myself.

First of all, if I need to use it while on the road, I will pull over and stop if possible. I can't stand people who drive and talk.

Second, I always turn it off when I go into the library, even if just for a few minutes. Similarly, though this hasn't happened yet, I'll try not to talk on it while walking through a store. I saw that a lot as a cashier at a local grocery store, and it really bothered me for some reason.

As far as work-related policy goes, only my boss has my cell-phone number. Everybody else has my pager number, and I'll call them back if they page me -- and I shut my pager off when I get home. I usually shut the phone off, too, and only turn it on when I leave the house. I do try to always have it with me, though that's for my convenience, not anyone else's. (Came in real handy yesterday when the gates at a train crossing got stuck, and I needed to figure out an alternate route.)

So basically, if anybody ever asks me "Why was your phone off?" I'll simply tell them that it's because the phone is, just like my landline phone, for my convenience, not theirs, and I didn't feel it was convenient to have it on at the moment.

[ Parent ]

Forgotten entry (3.25 / 4) (#10)
by aphrael on Fri Nov 03, 2000 at 01:04:45 PM EST

*Caffiene* :)

fallacies (3.33 / 6) (#11)
by spaceghoti on Fri Nov 03, 2000 at 01:07:59 PM EST

Cell phone usage increases as cigarette usage goes down. This reminds me of another correlation someone pointed out: as ice cream sales rise, so does violent crime.

Using the logic of this UK study, that means that ice cream causes violent crimes.

What I'm getting at is I don't doubt that cell phone usage is up and cigarette sales are down. What I want to know is what's linking them? Better education? New pressures?



"Humor. It is a difficult concept. It is not logical." -Saavik, ST: Wrath of Khan

Probably Money (3.50 / 2) (#12)
by retinaburn on Fri Nov 03, 2000 at 01:15:50 PM EST

As both the article and my synopsis states, they believe that the cause is money. Smoke or get phone time ? Availablity may also be a factor, its far easier to "pay-as-you-go" rather than hang outside a shop all day trying to get some miscreant adult to buy you a pack. And you don't have to hide it from your parents.


I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


[ Parent ]
Too pat (none / 0) (#47)
by spaceghoti on Mon Nov 06, 2000 at 08:34:37 PM EST

Ah. I haven't bothered to read the linked article, as it doesn't capture my attention that much. I was hoping the poster would provide a better summary.

I'm afraid that money as the correlation here seems a little too pat. It probably has some effect on it, but I really can't see it being the only consideration. Did they look into all possible commonalities between the people in their survey? How about a control group? It's way to easy to see a pattern and set about proving it rather than letting the data itself provide the answers.

Money is a great motivator, but I'd rather hear about other influences such as peer pressure, parental guidance (how many of the parents supplied cell phones as a "bribe" to keep kids off cigarettes, if at all?) and media influence. How large a role did they play in addition to the financial issues?



"Humor. It is a difficult concept. It is not logical." -Saavik, ST: Wrath of Khan

[ Parent ]
Better summary ? (none / 0) (#48)
by retinaburn on Tue Nov 07, 2000 at 08:45:15 AM EST

I posted the story and will be the first to admit that the summary sucks. I don't believe it is the job of the poster to provide a great summary of the article of interest, especially on an MLP.

BTW they do discuss other reasons, money was just one of them ? Want to know what they are ...then go read the article :)


I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


[ Parent ]
Cell phone replacing cigs? (1.33 / 3) (#16)
by Elendale on Fri Nov 03, 2000 at 01:51:41 PM EST

Every try to smoke while talking on a cell phone? I haven't, but i imagine it is a bit difficult. Both are a rather expensive habit and they interfere with each other. The obvious solution is one has to go. Mind you, i still think the logic is a bit... odd

-Elendale
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


[ Parent ]
Lies (1.66 / 3) (#17)
by schporto on Fri Nov 03, 2000 at 02:12:42 PM EST

I can't remember who said it (and really don't feel like looking it up) but...
"There are three kinds of lies in this world; Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics."
I still think statistics are the worst cuz they seem so believable.
-cpd

Mark Twain (1.00 / 1) (#18)
by ribone on Fri Nov 03, 2000 at 02:14:48 PM EST

..is the originator of that phrase.

[ Parent ]
Disraeli (5.00 / 1) (#19)
by Eliezer on Fri Nov 03, 2000 at 02:25:14 PM EST

I'm pretty sure it was Benjamin Disraeli, but perhaps Twain said it too.

[ Parent ]
dumb (1.25 / 4) (#20)
by maketo on Fri Nov 03, 2000 at 02:25:59 PM EST

Since when do fiveteen year olds require cell phones? "Can the cell phones cause cancer and are they trading one evil for another"? Crazy. Kids do look like they are out of control lately....noone seems to have the time nor the interest to make them do something useful - like, errrrr, read books? Study? Do something interesting with their time? I regret to see studies like this - they point out the direction of where things are moving...
agents, bugs, nanites....see the connection?
No Logical Analysis (3.00 / 2) (#21)
by acestus on Fri Nov 03, 2000 at 02:44:40 PM EST

Ignoring the lack of correlation between the two statistics, there's another pile of silliness here: the cancer issue. Perhaps mobile phones increase the risk of cancer -- but surely a method of mobile communication can be developed that does not cause cancer. And, when that happens (even if it's just more shielding on the device) that device can be seamlessly switched with the old device without causing withdrawl.

I voted -1. This may be MLP, but I'd rather it was a little less M.

Acestus
This is not an exit.
There is a correlation (3.00 / 1) (#33)
by retinaburn on Fri Nov 03, 2000 at 06:41:09 PM EST

In the article it says something to the effect of "Kids can't smoke and have a cellphone because they do not have the money for both." This seems to me to be valid proof that 15 yr olds (and others of low income) are trading smokes for phones. This is a correlation.


I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


[ Parent ]
Put this in your pipe and smoke it (3.40 / 5) (#24)
by 3than on Fri Nov 03, 2000 at 03:28:52 PM EST

I liked this because of its relative asininity. This is obviously the worst kind of correlative study. But there's some truth in it somewhere. In NYC, both cellophones and cigarettes are great street props, and a lot of people use both at the same time. I don't believe too much in the study, but it does show how cellphones are pointless and useless, just like cigarettes. Now if you threw in a price comparison, I think that you'd have something really interesting...and I bet that the prices would be pretty competitive. What is the going rate for wasted time anyway? If you play your cards right, I'll waste yours for free...

Pointless and useless? (4.00 / 2) (#29)
by trhurler on Fri Nov 03, 2000 at 05:21:30 PM EST

I wouldn't say that. Mine is one of the great conveniences of my life. The battery lasts long enough that as long as I charge it while I sleep, it never dies. My long distance rates are the same as my local rates, inside the US. My phone service isn't cheap, by any means, but the number is the same whether I'm at home, at work, or elsewhere. If I don't want to talk to you, it has caller id, and I can just let you get voicemail. That's more than I can say for any other phone arrangement I've ever seen. No, I don't -need- it any more than I need most of the other stuff I buy - but it makes my life easier and more enjoyable. I'm not sure how that's pointless or useless.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
chemical vs mental addiction (3.28 / 7) (#27)
by boxed on Fri Nov 03, 2000 at 04:10:41 PM EST

...but if kids can become as addicted to mobile-phones as cigarettes...
They can't.

cellphones and cancer (4.00 / 2) (#28)
by jesterzog on Fri Nov 03, 2000 at 05:03:31 PM EST

1. If mobile phones do cause cancer are they trading one evil for another. I believe no data has proved conclusively either way that cell-phones and cancer have any relation. But whenever I hear that something may increase your risk of cancer it worries me.

Someone else will have to fill in the blanks on this because while I'm quite sure it was an independant source, I can't remember a name or provide a link.

I heard a guy being interviewed on the radio a few months ago comparing smoking and cellphones with regard to cancer. He was pointing out that while they both might cause cancer, the comparitive danger is vastly different.

He was talking about how there's a fairly obvious correlation between people who smoke getting cancer compared with people who don't smoke getting it. With cellphones on the other hand, there's been a very low number of cellphone users getting cancer compared with people who don't use cellphones.

I think he said it was something like one extra person in about 1000. Obviously this makes it a lot harder to correlate, but even if there is evidence that cellphones can cause cancer, with a difference as small as that you'd wonder if anyone would care. (There are plenty of other things in life more likely to cause cancer.)

That said, it's hardly conclusive. For one thing, cellphones haven't been around long enough for anyone to conduct a proper long term study. If anyone else could comment on this though, I'd appreciate it.


jesterzog Fight the light


There's a difference? (3.50 / 2) (#30)
by Luke Scharf on Fri Nov 03, 2000 at 05:27:06 PM EST

I've noticed that here at Virginia Tech, most of the people who talk on cell phones are standing outside of a building by the door. I don't know if it's to be polite or if it's because the reception is better. Either way it makes the environment inside the building nicer. :-)



hrmn (4.00 / 1) (#37)
by delmoi on Sat Nov 04, 2000 at 11:38:59 AM EST

That made me think of something:

Its hard to talk on the phone with a cigarette in your mouth :P
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Outside = better reception (none / 0) (#40)
by nstenz on Sun Nov 05, 2000 at 02:35:51 AM EST

Well, if you're at school, I'm sure the concrete-and-steel beam buildings kill reception... My little Nokia digital phone only has a 4-watt transceiver... It's useless in any basement, and it was unusable when I brought it inside with me when I worked at a factory... It doesn't like too many hills either. I'd say it's the reception. =)

[ Parent ]
Correlation Does Not Imply Causation (3.66 / 6) (#31)
by Carnage4Life on Fri Nov 03, 2000 at 05:27:35 PM EST

This is yet another example of brain dead studies performed by researchers who lack so much logical and critical thinking that one wonders how they managed to get out of undergrad let alone get a doctorate degree.

The cost of cigarettes has been rising due to increased taxation aimed at cutting down on its usage plus everyone now knows without a doubt that smoking kills. On the other the price of cell phones has been rapidly dropping and they have gone from status symbols of the rich to relatively inexpensive devices that most can afford.

This is like saying that since personal computer usage has gone up in the past decade while consumption of imported food items has sunk then they are somehow linked.



Not correlation (4.00 / 2) (#32)
by Simon Kinahan on Fri Nov 03, 2000 at 05:39:56 PM EST

To be able to say two phenomena are correlated, you need to have eliminated all other possible causes. As you point out, the authors of this 'study' have not done so, so there is not proper correlation. True correlation does not necessarily imply causation either, but it does get a lot closer than this sort of muck.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]
Correlation/Causation (none / 0) (#42)
by Burb on Mon Nov 06, 2000 at 08:03:20 AM EST

This news item appeared on BBC TV news in the UK a few days ago, and the guy being interviewed was at pains to point out that the study was far from conclusive. It's an interesting story, but I don't think that the researchers drew any firm conclusions.

If you know differently of course, feel free to correct me.

[ Parent ]

Not that crazy a conclusion... (2.50 / 2) (#35)
by mahlen on Sat Nov 04, 2000 at 01:29:14 AM EST

I just finished reading The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, and one of it's conclusions about smoking was that the reason that smoking is still so common, despite the well known health risks (smokers, in fact, overestimate the health risks), is because it is persistantly something that the cool kids do (I know, I know, not ALL of them; bear with me though). Smoking is just a way to identify as cool (for many generations now), and since each generation of cool people smokes, the notion keeps getting passed down. By generation i don't mean 20 year grouping, i mean that at just the time you might pick up smoking, the coolest kids just older than yourself were already smoking, and looking quite the rebel because of it, no doubt.

I can't do the argument justice here, but it's a really great book about all sorts of social phenomena (trends, epidemics, and so forth) and how they get started and spread. So the notion that cell phones could become the newest signifier of cool seems quite in line with that reasoning, and it's not at all surprising that one could replace the other.

mahlen

Sleep is for amateurs.

I dont get the whole "smoking is cool" t (none / 0) (#46)
by Nick Ives on Mon Nov 06, 2000 at 03:48:35 PM EST

No, seriously.
I first smoked when I was 14 at secondary school. Mainly just to see what it was like, I mean, I probably wouldnt have bothered if it wasnt for the fact that a regular feature of PSE (personal & social education, what a joke) lessons was "dont smoke", so I just had to see why it was so "bad".

I only really became a serious smoker when I was doing A levels. That was a combination of social factors (just about everyone that I hung about with smoked) and that it really does help reduce stress after a lesson, or reduce tension when you havnt done any work in a week and your about to get bollocked by your next teacher.

Smoking ciggerettes was mainly just an excuse for passing time between smoking joints though. Again, smoking weed wasnt because of the 'cool' factor, it was because I wanted to see why it was so "bad" it had to be banned.

Having said all that, neither me nor my friends owned a cellphone at college, we were all generally 'anti-cool' if anything.

Man, the nature of 'cool' is something that can go on for ages. Moose...

[ Parent ]
Cancer risk (4.00 / 1) (#36)
by delmoi on Sat Nov 04, 2000 at 11:36:20 AM EST

Well, I think trading from an absolute, addictive, definitely 100%-cancer-causing-take-10-years-off-your-life risk to something people have suggested but with no proof is a pretty good deal. The risk from a Cell phone is pretty low, and there hasn't been an cases I've ever heard of that directly linked cancer to cell phones.

This isn't the case at all with Cigarettes

And cellphones arenít addictive, at least not chemically (you might get used to the convenience, though). So if it does turn out that cell's are carcinogenic, you can always stop using them easily, or switch to whatever non-cancer causing technology replaces them
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
Years down the road? (3.00 / 1) (#39)
by retinaburn on Sat Nov 04, 2000 at 02:04:23 PM EST

It was only recently (last 50 years) that data has shown that cigarrettes can increase your risk of cancer, some people end up not getting cancer due to cigarretes, I imagine due to their genes. And smoking twice versus 20-50 years has a signifcant effect on your risk. Perhaps in 10-20 years it will be shown that Cell phones are unhealthy when used on a regular basis for a significant time frame. I cannot logically see how something that puts out electromagnetic radiation (and everything electrical does I assume) that close to your brain (which is quite fragile) for 4-5 hours a day for a year cannot have some negative impact on you.

But here is a thought, however silly. What if it had a benifit, say it helped people think in the abstract, or decreased stress or somewhat ?

Is this possible, I think so, at least theoretically.


I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


[ Parent ]
Quit smoking now !! Buy a Mobile Phone | 49 comments (41 topical, 8 editorial, 0 hidden)
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