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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

Are Cells the New Cigarettes?


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The great cosmic joke would be to find out definitively that the advances we thought were blessings--from the hormones women pump into their bodies all their lives to the fancy phones people wait in line for all night--are really time bombs.

Just as parents now tell their kids that, believe it or not, there was a time when nobody knew that cigarettes and tanning were bad for you, those kids may grow up to tell their kids that, believe it or not, there was a time when nobody knew how dangerous it was to hold your phone right next to your head and chat away for hours.

We don’t yet really know the physical and psychological impact of being slaves to technology. We just know that technology is a narcotic. We’re living in the cloud, in a force field, so afraid of being disconnected and plunged into a world of silence and stillness that even if scientists told us our computers would make our arms fall off, we’d probably keep typing.

From The New York Times
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