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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

File under “No Shit, Sherlock”

Though a World Health Organization study concluded cell phones may cause cancer, some are wondering why, if their truly is a link, there not been a significant worldwide increase in brain cancers.

Go figure. But of course providing excuses for more regulations, and more funding for further studies, is the reason bodies such as the World Health Organisation exist.

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5 comments to File under “No Shit, Sherlock”

  • cirby

    It wasn’t actually a study.

    It was a “meta-study.” One where they look at the outputs of a bunch of other studies and mash them up in a stats program to see if they sorta, kinda, maybe agree.

    Except a lot of the previous studies had (to say the least) bad data and bad statistics. Which means that the study won’t give any useful results at best, and will give horribly wrong results at worst.

    Meta-studies are interesting, but the only things you can truly derive from them are things like “what percentage of studies in field X have the first name ‘Frederich,” or “how often do scientists use the word ‘cohesive’ when writing about botany?”

  • David Gillies

    This has been headline news in every newspaper I have seen, including the leading daily here in Costa Rica, and none of ’em have been fit to wrap fish in (I’d wager there’s a far higher carcinogenic propensity in the ink used to print this shit.) Non-ionising radiation? Check. Sub-milliwatt power levels? Check. No causative mechanism that survives the laugh test? Check. Decades of use and no detectable increment in tumours at the lax 2.0 relative risk for publication in a halfway-reputable journal? Check. Defeats the null hypothesis at the 95% confidence interval? Ha ha ha, oh my sides. Soundbite-ready quacks straining in their traces to leap into the running on CNN and Fox and Sky and the Beeb to peddle doom-mongering (but possibly book-selling) crap? Mais bien sur, a regiment of them. The disgusting WHO ready to dip its grubby fingers into the whole stew of idiocy and rent-seeking? Ho, yus, my chilluns, and when were they ever not? Pathetic.

    If you cannot, within say 30 seconds, get a ballpark figure for the photon energy in microelectronvolts of an 1800 Mhz photon (and why that matters), or describe qualitatively what a femtowatt is (not quantitatively, oh no, that won’t do at all) or give a fairly robust description of what ‘3 dB/octave’ means when it comes to microwave absorption coefficients then shut your face, crawl back under your silly epidemiological stone, and die of something real and not imagined. Maybe the publication-hungry pseudoscientists that infest this field might be able to do all of the above as some sort of parlour trick, but the notion that your average journalist could is as laughable as spaniels doing differential equations. And this isn’t the argumentum ad verecundiam, like it is with the global warming zealots. There’s practically no-one in the hard sciences who thinks that microwave radiation is a causative agent in cancers. It’s lies, sophistry and nonsense. The really big question to ask (like with the AGW scam) when you see a scientific fraud being perpetrated on this scale is, as ever, cui bono?

  • That’s QOTD-quality commenting there, David.

  • Jacob

    The brain cancers will come, for sure, in the year 2100. All their models agree on this.

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    People are dying of the stress brought about by all the extra useless info out there in the ether! Having to wade through all the commercials and ‘U-cood-B-A-Winner!’ enticements, I sometimes think of the mobile phone as Satan’s best joke yet! How can mere cancer compete with that?