Originally posted September 27, 2013
Karl Mamer has release a new Conspiracy Skeptic podcast. The latest episode concerns Canada’s latest 'freak out' over WiFi exposure, and the allegations that wifi causes people with alleged sensitively to it to become ill. Michael Kruse is the guest with whom Mamer discusses this topic.
Kruse is a paramedic, and writes for the Canadian Huffington post, Bad Science Watch, and Skeptics North. Kruse and Mamer discuss how in the recent years wifi and smart meter proliferation has met pushback by some who allege they have wifi sensitivity which is the disease vector de jure following in the footsteps of high power electrical line and multiple chemical sensitivity. The ailments for all this alleged syndromes are the nonspecific grab bag of depression, headaches, sleep difficulty aches and pains, etc. The evidence for wifi sensitivity is anecdotal and lacks prior plausibility, which is supported by properly controlled studies that reveal no connection. The proponents of wifi sensitivity base their allegations on half-baked experiments and anecdotes. Naturally, not only does WiFi cause ailments, but some propose a nefarious use of wifi as a surreptitious form of population control. The wifi stops means private bits from functioning properly. I don't know. It was a weird allegation. The only saving grace I see is that it appears this form of woo woo is more prevalent in Canada than it is the States. I could be wrong in this, but it is nice to think the U.S. doesn’t breathe life into all the crackpot notions in the industrialized world.
As is often the case, some of the most interesting parts of Conspiracy Skeptic interviews are the topics that arise tangential to the main discussion. It turns out at least in Toronto when one has a medical emergency there is a good chance a whole fire truck might arrive at your house and not just an ambulance. In part, it appears to give the fireman something to do as there aren’t many fires in the tidy, polite, properly constructed homes of Canada. Kruse and Mamer engage in an interesting talk on why alleged diseases for nonspecific complaints even exists. After all life is full of random aches, pains, headaches, etc. Why must a new disease process arise every so many years? They also discuss that given the modern medical complex that what it has in technology it lacks in humanity. This lack of comfort and individual care is a wonderful opportunity for alternative medical folks to exploit, and swoop in with their woo woo. Karl also asks probing questions about the handiness of all those pockets in a paramedics trousers. Kruse's answer actually surprised me a bit.
This is a longish episode of CS running well over an hour. However, it was an engaging discussion, and well worth the listen.