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Tech at Night: E-Cigarettes and the WHO Cargo Cult

Tech at Night

Richard Feynman liked to tell the story of an island in Melanesia that had an allied airbase during World War II. Cargo planes would regularly land during the war, bringing supply that the locals were amazed at, and were appreciative to have. However when the war was over, the cargo planes stopped coming, and the troops left.

So what the locals did was to do their best to dress up like the allied soldiers, and go through the motions that they observed happening when a cargo plane would land. This became known as the cargo cult, as they believed that by taking these actions, they could summon a cargo plane bringing its bounty.

Feynman liked to compare bad science with the cargo cults: all dressed up, going through he motions, and missing the point entirely.

The WHO is engaging in cargo cult public health, in a perfect example of would-be government regulators lagging behind technology.

You see, cigarettes are so bad because you’re literally burning tar and other nasty things and inhaling it, as well as letting it burn for those around you, and even exhaling it. The tar and the burning create all sorts of terrible chemicals that, yes, cause lung cancer. This is why cigarettes are dangerous to the smoker and to those around the smoker.

E-cigarettes though lack this problem. They simply heat up flavored water, creating steam for the ‘smoker’ to inhale. These things carry none of the nasty threats that cigarettes do, but WHO and other nanny statists want to ban them anyway, because cigarettes.

It’s cargo cultism, and we must reject it on principle.


They say Internet regulation wouldn’t lead to content regulation but we know they always go after content eventually.

Government is not competent to regulate fast moving industries.

Well interesting, Democrat-favoring California firms may come out against the internet sales tax bill that I’ve long called a vast overreach hindering a sound concept.

It’s not often I say this about a bipartisan Senate bill these days, but Local Choice is one of those good bills that successfully plays the Jenga game to fix regulation without picking new winners and losers. It gets cable companies out of the line of fire between broadcasters and the general public, their real customers.

Meanwhile we’re seeing cable copmanies and broadcasters united against yet another FCC idea run amok.

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