1. General Tostada says:

    I’ve noticed that people tend to be wary of electricity, I think it’s because it’s an invisible phenomenon that we weren’t evolved to experience. I suspect the fear of nuclear radiation is similar to that…maybe even more so. Seems like it all comes down to a crap shoot of intricate probabilities. How can anyone figure out what the true risk is? A hard thing to nail down if there ever was one, such that it depends on such numerous variable conditions at a miniscule scale.

    As I understand it, alpha particles (such as those used in smoke detectors, say) have a very short emission range, and aren’t much of a hazard in everyday life…as long as you don’t ingest the substance that emits them. But if you do, you greatly increase chances of them damaging nearby tissue in the much denser biological environment thereof.

    Ah, but what can we do, then? Shall we do our best to try to tame the Energy of Creation? (probably a long and hazardous trial-and-error journey with no assurance of success), or just give it up, because it’s just too strange and terrifying.

    Or end up living in a grass hut with just a solar panel to keep your clock running (…only on sunny days, though).

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

      People are wary of electricity ONLY BECAUSE we have all stuck a screwdriver into a light socket.

      There is nothing invisible or unknowable about it.

      • General Tostada says:

        My own mother was once concerned that the electricity ‘coming out’ of the house AC sockets might itself be radioactive (we had a summer cottage not far from a nuke power plant). I did my best to explain how that couldn’t happen, but I don’t think she believed me.

        • Pete says:

          Yeah, I had to cover all my outlets after I got sick from all the watt- dust all over the floors. Kept tripping over those dratted amps, too.

  2. nunyac says:

    My experience is that Dentists and their Radiation Techs, usually can not answer the question “What is the magnitude of the radiation dose that I will receive as a result of this x-ray procedure?” My response is always to tell them that when I think that I have a dental prob. that justifies the UNSPECIFIED RISK that they propose, I will consider taking the risk. Until then, NO THANKS.
    Might be a good idea to settle this issue while making the phone call to set up your appointment if you think that your BLIND ACCEPTANCE will be required as a condition of ANY dental service.

  3. cgp says:

    juicy bits at
    5:06 LNT could lead to overestimation of cancer risk
    5:20 an appeal to public policy activism
    5:30 whether or not this is true, leaping from petri dish to policy is just bad science.

    So how did we get to the current LNT position?

    Blatant greenie deindustrialization propaganda,
    thanks for exposing.

  4. bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:


    The drinks should be labeled.