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New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

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Why are so many people really stupid?

8 August 2019

Fake news, it's a thing.

Sadly, one of the reasons that fake news has proliferated to the degree we now see is simply that far too many people have an IQ smaller than their shoe-size.

Well maybe it's not their IQ that's the problem, it's the fact that they probably spent most of their time at school sending SMS messages, updating their Facebook pages or simply staring, eyes-glazed, into space.

It seems that our education system has failed far too many people by not giving them the skills needed to challenge statements, research things they're not sure about and to approach all things with a healthy skepticism.

Without these skills, people are easy targets for scammers and spin-meisters. The sad reality is that far too many people have been equipped by our education system to be nothing more than happless victims.

Need proof?

Well let's ignore the flat-earthers for a while, for they are a truly lost-cause.

Let's talk about the new 5G technology that promises to deliver hyper-fast connectivity without wires or fibre.

Woohoo... now, even the most remotely located folk should be able to watch those cute cat videos on Facebook without lag or buffering. This must surely be the pinnacle of technological advancement!

However, there are plenty of people (trained to be victims) who are bitching about it.

These dimwits are preaching about the dangers and the evils of 5G tech.

Apparently it will fry your brain, abort your unborn foetus, give you cancer, make your man-parts shrivel, kill the bees and generally cause mayhem around the world.

OMG! How can we possibly allow this evil "5G radiation" to proliferate across the planet?

Haven't you heard? radiation is *dangerous* and *kills*!

Why has this been allowed to happen?

Forget about Huawei spying on us or being able to disable our telecommunications infrastructure at the flick of a switch if we use their 5G gear... the bigger issue is that we are all going to die because of this evil 5G radiation!

Sigh!

It seems that "the great unwashed", the victims of our failed education system, are totally unaware of the difference between ionising radiation and non-ionising radiation.

They're also unaware that in terms of non-ionising radiation, we are all bathed in huge electromagnetic fields each and every day of our lives.

Our houses and workplaces are wrapped in loops of copper wire carrying alternating currents that produce magnetic fields many orders of magnitude greater than that coming from the cell-tower 2Km down the road.

Even driving down the highway, although you might be shielded from the effects of the high-tension power lines just a few hundred metres to your left... you are exposed to a raft of EM fields from all the electrical and electronic gizmos within a metre or so. Your car's speakers are churning out a pretty good EMF, the digital dashboard display likewise.

And how about when you go to bed?

Well if you leave your electric blanket on low (as many do in mid-winter, thanks to NZ's lousy housing stock), you are exposed to the strongest EM fields of all. Your arse will be just mm away from a wire carrying a 50Hz current and, as those of us who *were* paying attention in school will know, the effects of the inverse-square law means that it's the close proximity that causes the problem.

Let's also not forget about your cellphone charger (especially if it's a wireless one) sitting on the bedside table. That's chunking out huge levels of EM -- and your alarm clock-radio? Well let's not even go there!

Yet, we still have these luddites bitching and moaning about "evil 5G radiation" as if it was a thing.

I mean, who really cares anyway. If it means my cute cat videos start playing more quickly and don't paws (<-- pun intended) just at the critical moment, we'll all be happy -- right?

What do readers think? Are you concerned about the fact that our education system seems to fail at instilling the basic life-skills of skepticism, research and fundamental science into students these days?

Why are so many people so very, very stupid?

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