Mobile Masts Are Here To Stay

Mobile phone masts are icons of the modern world. They embody the incredible technology which puts global satellites at the fingertips of regular people, the incredible wealth of a society where even the most menial workers are slaves of Angry Birds instead of actual slave-owners, the glorious education which makes us hungry for information as well as food, and the defeat of evolution which means there aren’t any predators to eat the weak, old, or useless. Who then, complains about the mobile phone masts?

Not pictured: employed people

Not pictured: employed people

Chances are, anyone who comes out to protest a telecommunications system, doesn’t have anything better to do. Like working, or having friends, both of which now need mobile phones. You don’t have counter-protests because everyone enjoying the improved phone signal is using it for things other than “something to think about after Countdown.”

At least Countdown uses readable letters

The hypocritical problem is that most of these protesters aren’t against communications, and especially aren’t against any newspaper photographers who turn up, they just don’t want it near them. The same way these suburban estates want every advantages but none of the factors that come with them: they want phone signal but no masts, cheap products but no factories, and as you continue into their perfect world you realise it’s a refinement to the Aristotlean view where it’s not just the Earth at the centre of the universe but their house. With everything else revolving around to serve it.

Note how several protesters in the back row forgot to get their signs seen, but remembered to get their faces in the picture

These protests are becoming more common thanks to things like progress, wireless data transfer, and the fact that Luddism seems to come free with white hair. Luckily they’re also mostly ignored. There’s the odd mast refusal (for reasons utterly unrelated to the protesters mostly imaginary understanding of cellphone radiation), but rather than being bullied out of putting poles up the companies are doing so well they can threaten to tear poles down as a bargaining tactic.

While urban areas consume ever more data, recent mergers have left rural areas with extra coverage. Some farmers renting mast space to companies, under the adorably naive impression that having a contract with a corporation actually means something, are being forced to accept rent reductions. Since the alternative is the company exercising a break clause in the contract and just leaving – leaving the mast turned off, leaving those in the area with reduced signal, and leaving the farmer to pay for the restoration of the land.

The lesson? Mobile masts go up because they make money, which will always be more powerful than handwritten banners.

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