Monday, October 3, 2011

Poe's paradox

So, I was doing a spot of research on the deployment of smart meters in Texas when I came across this site.

I'm not sure if these people are for real. Maybe the whole site is an elaborate troll or a student prank. But I'm very much afraid these people - who, I have to assume, probably vote - really believe that, and I quote, "electrical induction [is] illegal everywhere in the so-called civilized world".

Now, I have to admit, I was slightly surprised to learn there are smart meters in the world that use wireless communication. I can't see any reason for that. It's not as if the meter had to be mobile, nor detachable from the mains, and there is (by definition) already a wired connection between the electricity supplier and the consumer site. European meters, as far as I can tell, use wired connections.

But even allowing for the silliness of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the sheer level of paranoid hysteria on show here takes my breath away.

Unless that's my wifi network.

There's a rule on the internet, that it's impossible to create a parody so blatant that it won't be mistaken for the real thing. As originally formulated it applies specifically to religious fundamentalism, but quite obviously the same is true in the spheres of politics, economics, technology and health. Now I think that rule needs a corollary: there is no theory so stupid that its supporters can't create and sustain their own community of believers.

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