Useful selfies

Last blog about the risks of radiation concluded that X-rays aren’t that dangerous to deal with in industrial applications, at least with sources that can be turned off.

Back in the day when Roentgen first researched the properties of these waves no one knew what kind of nasty stuff they could cause to human tissue and people started to mess around with them before any of it could really get documented. As is inevitable with any visual recording technology, people started taking selfies with it and pretty soon the medical benefits were recognized, may it be at the human cost of people getting severe radiation burns, dermatitis and later on, cancer.

Stuff got pretty out of hand, even shoe stores started using X-rays in so called ‘shoe-fitting fluoroscopes’ intended to see if peoples toes sat snugly in their shoes.

fluoroscope 2

So this technology got exposed to the public before all of its aspects were fully understood with simultaneous beneficial and horrendous results. When governmental scientists discover new technologies that could have a grand impact on humanity there is sometimes debate on whether or not they should release their findings to the world. The people have the right to know, but simultaneously people might start misusing it. The same debate acted up some time ago about the findings on how to manipulate certain influenza strains because some people were of the opinion that it was a ‘cookbook recipe’ for terrorists to make unbeatable bio-weapons. Others were of the opinion that the research could help in combating future pandemics and other unexpected beneficial applications.

What’s your take on this? Keep stuff secret and prevent misuse or let everyone know and see what happens, or some other way to regulate this stuff?

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3 thoughts on “Useful selfies

  1. I most definitely do not think that you should keep these thing secret. But as you stated, they can have a judge impact on the environment and even on humanity itself so there should be proper regulations. I think that keeping them secret will be a loss for humanity as well because when you use these new inventions right, they can help us solve a ton of problems.

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  2. I think it depends on the degree of the danger. When for example there is a device that gives you only a small dose of radiation, which will only hurt you if you use the device 10h a day for 50 years; then they should mention it on the package to prevent people misusing it. But when a device like the shoe store X-ray emits a lot of radiation, which hurt humans, I think they should make sure people are aware of this problem.
    My opinion is to not cause panic and drama in society for small issues, but when the health of people are in direct danger they should let the people know immediately .

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  3. I feel that information should still be made public. I find that the argument that something should be hidden because it can be misused is invalid. That can be used as an argument for everything that has been invented ever. A lot of things we use in our daily lives even originated from some military weapon experiment!

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