5G information superhighway to hell.
Smartphone manufacturers and network carriers have failed society by feeding us marketing hype instead of educational resources, and now we look to social media to save us...
South Africans are searching for information about the dangers of 5G an average of 13 780 times a month. That level of skepticism puts our geographically named nation at number eight in the world according to a Prolifics Testing research report where the company used Ahrefs tools.
The USA tops the list with citizens of the land of the free generating 374 700 searches about 5G and its implications outside of data connection per month. Unsurprisingly that’s almost 300 000 more searches than the next most skeptical country, the UK.
What does this mean? If we assume that each search represents one person, then 0.1 percent of the American population is ignorant about 5G. Which is ironic because the US network carriers are bullish about the positive effects 5G will have on education in rural communities.
We did see early COVID-19 outbreaks blossom around cities with 5G infrastructure, but not necessarily around 5G sites. This was because the prime locations for 5G rollout are also higher density urban areas with more potential for transmitting a virus that spreads through human contact.
Other supporting data that conspiracy theorists used was the China connection, implying that Chinese firms like Huawei installed 5G equipment before the viral outbreak. While these conspiracies have been debunked and proven to be false numerous times, there is still a worrying amount of skepticism among consumers.
To be clear: there is no connection between 5G rollout and COVID-19.
There is a danger to more rapid forms of data transfer, though, and that is in the faster spread of misinformation. Content moderation on social media platforms will never be sufficient to curb the spread of misinformation, with an NYU study highlighting Facebook’s woeful incompetence - especially with regards to its approach to policing the feeds of at-risk countries like on the continent of Africa.
At the core of this “at-risk” status is the general level of education of citizens. Higher average education means that more citizens are inclined to question statements, but a distrust of the media and government is breeding ground for further skepticism. For now, content moderation is all we have.
My read: I believe that news media giving a platform to the peddlers of disinformation is a self-defeating practice. We do not need to represent the other side of the argument if that side is objectively, factually wrong.
Education is the only way we win this war and that will require less marketing hype and more useful information coming out of the smartphone manufacturers and network carriers who are making financial gains from the 5G rollout.
Something you should know about:
Ford debuted its FordPass Connect service on the new Ranger FX4. Instead of equipping every new Ranger bakkie with an embedded SIM (eSIM) like Mercedes-Benz has done in the past, Ford Motor Company South Africa is relying on an LTE dongle that users plug into the ODB-II port - much like Mercedes-Benz have done in the past. I’ve linked to my buddy Papi Mabele’s coverage over on twfld.com for the details.
Vehicle connectivity is great for things like geofencing - where you can set an operating area and get alerted if the car goes beyond it - and emergency calling. Ford is also promising better OTA software update support, a traditional strength of the Ford SYNC 3 infotainment system. FMCSA also pioneered the MyKey function where you can set speed limits and other car settings which are tied to a specific key in our market.
We may not be getting a full suite of EVs in Mzansi, but the connected car is coming and it’s refreshing to see a manufacturer target the luxury/recreational vehicle segment that’s truly relevant to the South African consumer.
A number that may only interest me:
The average percentage speed improvement seen by MapMyRun users who connected Under Armour HOVR shoes to the service. I’m a fan of UA’s relentless advancement of textile technology, and now the running shoes are finally beginning to catch up. UA Flow Velocity Wind strips away the rubber outsole - a traditional weakness for the brand - which dramatically reduces weight and doesn’t include the Bluetooth module.
It’s quite curious that Under Armour chose to exclude its performance tracker from its most performance-focused shoes, instead deciding to rely on its textile tech prowess (in partnership with DOW Chemicals) to create the Flow cushioning. Play to your strengths, I guess.
A quote that sounded profound when I read/heard it:
“Being comfortable with being uncomfortable starts with your face.”
— Whiteboard Daily
Context: the most important lesson Crossfit has taught me is how to handle intense stress. Don’t forget to smile.