Will 5G Wreck the Universe?

Or is the fear of 5G just another Luddite fantasy?

Photo by Ramón Salinero on Unsplash

With CES 2020 here, there’s little doubt 5G will be among the major stories this coming week. Millions of phones have been sold this past year incorporating the much-hyped technology. Until late December I was unaware that anything but good would come from this “step up.” Then I read this story suggesting there’s a dar side.

Here’s the latest from Buzzfeed. The 5G evolution is going to screw up weather forecasting. Because of the menace of global warming, it will be even more essential to be weatherly informed. Unfortunately 5G will hamstring meteorologists at a time when we need them most..

When I was a fledgling freelance writer, Writer’s Digest published (on more than one occasion) articles that suggested that an easy way to get published was to cultivate contrarian article ideas. That is, if the herd is running East, write about how running East is bad and here’s why?

The truth is that nothing is really black and white, so every major decision involves a measure of risk. Prognostication is not perfect and we are not gods, so contrarian views are easy to defend.

This past year the Big Buzz has been 5G. It’s almost written in the stars that 5G is the one of the lynchpins of the Internet of Things that every tech prophet has been telling us about for half a decade. You’ll even find plenty of articles suggesting companies to invest in to personally profit from this new breakthrough technology.

Because it’s inevitable, it’s only natural that there will be writers who take advantage of the moment to be naysayers.

Which leads to the next question. How much weight should we give to the naysayers? Are their motives pure? Or have they simply taken this adversarial position to 5G to acquire eyeballs and clickthroughs?

All these ruminations naturally brought to mind the Luddite protest against the industrial revolution in 19th century England. In 1995 Wired magazine featured a Thomas Pynchon story in response to the rampant fears being stirred up by the rapidly expanding Internet.

Ah, yes. How quickly we forget. We have all been here before. Déjà vu, as they say. Fear of the new. Fear of the inexplicable.

Pynchon’s story begins with this question: Is technology a good witch or a bad witch?

How can we know?

OK, we know it’s not going to wreck the universe. How much credence can we give to this prediction that it will interfere with weather reporting? Is the fear rational? What’s the other side of the coin?

All I know is that I won’t lose sleep over it. What’s your take? Is 5G is a good witch or wicked?

An avid reader who writes about arts, culture, literature & other life obsessions. @ennyman3 Look for my books on Amazon

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