Community wide Wifi & Smart Meters
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 2014 12:46:05 -0800 (PST)
On Jan 27, 2014, at 2:02 PM, Daniel Lindenberger <daniel [at]> 

> Our consensus process went off the rails the moment we stopped respectfully
> listening to each other, and started trying to convince each other why
> people weren't thinking clearly about the issue.

it's very difficult to listen to people respectfully for very long when you 
think they are crazy.

Why do people think the other side is crazy? Usually because each side is 
working with a different knowledge and experience base. Talking does help 
understand the other person's experience, but to sort out "facts", you need an 
expert. WIFI and Smart Meters are topics on which very few of us are experts.

Suggest agreeing to consult specific experts and asking the experts to reach an 
agreement on an effective way to move forward given the concerns of members. 
Show them the community and present the arguments on all sides.

I read a lot of second level reports on scientific research, meaning it is 
translated from jargon to texts designed for the well-informed reader. 
Invariably arguments I read in the popular press have been taken out of context 
of the original studies or extended to situations that have no basis. With 
Smart Meters many of the frightening stories are completely unverified. 

In the New Yorker one of the best features is the letters. Authors frequently 
note that specific data is taken out of context or the experts do not have the 
credentials they are cited as having.

One of our residents posted a very frightening article about some environmental 
concern. I looked up the authors -- neither had any credentials or job 
experience that qualified them to be writing on that topic, and they had 
published in a supposedly scientific journal without peer-review. Other 
articles in one of the author's resume's were on very bizarre topics -- not 
exactly alien abductions but close. The other person was one step above an 
administrative assistant. Neither seemed to have access to the kind labs that 
would have been necessary to conduct studies in their subject.

Where we get our information in these decisions affects how possible it is to 
make a decision.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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