Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Population control needed for digital age

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-05-15

There is yet another reason for population control: gizmo-loving parents with babies stuff up wifi connections.

Apart from the economic reasons (fewer people for the same assets – remember how wealth and labor demands after plagues caused major social reforms and advancement in Europe), environmental reasons (fewer people for limited resources), it appears that baby monitors (and some audio-visual tools) cause wifi interference, and we have all been blaming it on wifi congestion.

Wifi, some wireless home multimedia equipment, microwaves ovens, and baby monitors all generate EMR in the 2.4GHz range, which does not require a broadcasting licence.  If you have a fairly grunty computer, it could also be running at 2.4GHz.

At least microwaves are well shielded, and there are standards for computers to limit radio interference.

Hat-tip to Ars Technica ("Blame baby monitors, not congestion, for your wifi woes" – 2009-05-14), which points to an April report with the jargonish title "Estimating the Utilisation of Key Licence-Exempt Spectrum Bands", gizmos like baby monitors are a major problem.

Radio frequencies are like another other limited resource – the higher the population, the less each person can use.

So, if you really want babies, how about you stay within earshot?  If you need to use a baby monitor, then you are out of earshot range, and probably too far away to get to the rugrat in time if something really ugly happens.

And if you are in a block of flats, or perhaps even medium-density housing in a suburb where you hang around with other fertile couples (the smell of lactating mothers says "enough food around, so it’s probably a good time to get pregnant yourself" and affects the biology of other females), then you’ll all probably have the gizmos, interfere with each other, and you’ll be running back and forwards when your own baby is happily asleep – until you come running and stomping up the hall and turning on the light in the baby’s room.

Besides, when they are small enough so people use baby monitors, wild anthropoid apes (including we humans) have the rugrats hanging around their necks (or in a sling).  Can’t get closer than that – and besides, having your infant close is nice for parents (and grandparents!) too.

…and peeping through a slightly open door, checking on an infant who is asleep cuddling a soft toy, is an "awwww, ain’t that cute, doesn’t it give me the warm fuzzies" moment, and a shame to miss.

All too soon they’ll turn into teenagers and yoof, and you won’t know whether you want to keep a close eye on them, or get them out of earshot.


3 Responses to “Population control needed for digital age”

  1. Dave, I may have a comment in your spam catcher.

  2. memeweaver said

    Agreed with you on the safety risks of using baby monitors. I knew if I ever used one, I’d be in at the babies’ room in a jiffy after every slight buzz of the things. Sometimes, things designed to reassure you can succeed in doing exactly the opposite.

    But what’s all this about the smell of lactating mothers? Doesn’t a woman get pregnant when she gets in the bath after a man has just used it? Don’t tell me I’m mistaken here!

  3. Dave Bath said

    Memeweaver: oops, should have said lactating mothers release pheromones that increase fertility of other females. Dunno the mechanism & can’t give a doi but i recall seeing a paper a few years ago. Makes sense, as a lactating mother is a good proxy for food availability good enough to support a pregnancy. I wonder if lactating chimps would have the same effect on humans and vice versa

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