Lazy Reportage

I saw this reference to someone burned out (no pun intended) on the story of laptops causing infertility. I too have experienced this story over and over interminibly for the last few days – online, on TV, on the radio, etc. In all that repetition, not one of the reporters has asked the question that is so to me thuddingly obvious and important to the story – if laptops reduce fertility by heating up your testicles, how long lasting is such an effect? Permanent, a few days, a few minutes? Without this tidbit of information, the story is useless and yet it goes round and round. I think the fact that it’s got that combination of techy and salacious – being that its about the conjunction of computers and ball sacs – has just gotten everyone so wonky that they can’t think straight to do, you know, reporter-type work. Has the reportorial art of asking the next questions been so lost that they can’t even ask them about warmed up scrota?

One Reply to “Lazy Reportage”

  1. Originally I saw this story about laptops causing overheating testicles linked via Steve Rubel under the curious title: “A New Blogging Hazard: Sperm Burn” and my first reaction was: good thing I don’t use my laptop on my lap very often. Since then I’ve read other articles and blog entries about this and this morning Dave Slusher (who I’ll be interviewing later live on Script School Radio) ponders:
    In all that repetition, not one of the reporters has asked the question that is so to me thuddingly obvious and important to the story – if laptops reduce fertility by heating up your testicles, how long lasting is such an effect? Permanent, a few days, a few minutes? Without this tidbit of information, the story is useless and yet it goes round and round.The Reuter’s article that Rubel links does sort of deal with the question of time, Dave:
    “It is very difficult to predict how long the computer can be used safely,” he told Reuters. “It may not be at all, if the testicular temperature goes up high within a very short period of time.” Adolescents and young men who use laptops several times a day over many years face the greatest risk. Sheynkin fears that if laptop use is not curtailed, in 15-20 years when they want to start a family the men could face problems.The official answer as to how long lasting this appears to be “We don’t know” but based on their studies it sounds like it could be permanent damage.I’ve written about radiation issues from cell phones before but I’m also concerned about my dual monitor setup. I have this eerie feeling sometimes like my head is inside a microwave.

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