By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
For many of us who hold on to old technology until the bitter end, issues such as the obligatory upgrade to a newer generation of cell phone technology brings irritation. But for a few in The Netherlands, it seems burning down cell towers is the retort of choice.
De Telegraaf reports that antenna systems in Liessel, Beesd, Rotterdam and Nuenen had their cabling set alight in what is believed nearly certainly to be arson. One of the control boxes at a cell site had “F*** 5G” spray painted, not the usual result of an arc-flash I would venture to say.
Some of the motivation for the dissent leading to these types of arson stems from the belief that the 5G system as utilized by telecoms curtails privacy and that the propagation of electromagnetic radiation transmissions could have health consequences. There are legitimate arguments to these positions, but there is wide variation in the perceived scope and danger they might actually present. Despite this, there remain always a few who so self-righteously bind themselves to causes célèbres they think very little of the actual damage such acts cause others.
Director Rob Bongelaar of Monet, who coordinates antenna placement for the government and several telecoms describes the danger in how this type of arson attack threatens infrastructure and safety, and this surely is above what might be perceived as a temporary loss of customary socializing. Areas comprising a radius of five kilometers can remain blacked out from several minutes to hours or more, taking along with it emergency dispatch services such as the 112 system (The European analogue of the 911 system in North America.) and other networks carried by the 5G cellular system. Repair costs can be in the tens of thousands of Euros.
There have been otherwise peaceful protests numbering in the hundreds of concerned individuals, yet the visceral nature of today’s love-hate emotional extremes has ironically in this case stemmed from some of the social technology that has come to the forefront in the past two decades.
Many in the Western World rely predominantly on text based, social media for much of their interaction with others, media that at its core is insular and a step removed from the moderating effect of in-person conversations. As our host often calls our “age of rage”, for me the cell phone tower arsons represent a transposition of the old story of a scientist who invents a nefarious machine that in the end creates his own demise. Now, we have humans that created the social media technology that caused the propensity for extreme emotive behavior in some, which led to the technology itself being attacked as a perceived evil–which I suppose one could carry an extra step further to say that these few who attacked the towers caused their own fellow man to suffer damages as well.
But whatever the actual damage potential caused by EMR affecting human health and the devaluation of privacy resultant from technology, much of this could be rectified by maybe simply tossing your cell phone in the trash and use a POTS telephone. I have to wonder for these people if a 4G or 3G phone transmitting a centimeter from their head represents a lesser threat than a 5G cell tower 4 miles away. (Apparently they missed the lecture on the inverse square law.) Or, even more other-worldly, they could consider actually visiting with others in person. It might do some of these arsonists good to stop spending a preponderance of their day consumed by rage and anger. I suppose torching cell towers represents today’s version of Tilting at Windmills.
By Darren Smith
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