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Pesce d'Aprile

Electromagnetic waves from wireless chargers can affect our bodies.

Dr. Oscar M. Awad, chief of internal medicine at the Brown-Voorhees Medical Center in San Francisco, has revealed shocking findings: recent research from Western Technical University of California shows that electromagnetic waves are able to penetrate tissues and bones, causing inflammation, and serious illness. Meanwhile on the web, the hashtag #stop5g has been unleashed against the ongoing revolution on data transmission in mobile phone technology. Among the main side effects of exposure to the magnetic field, partial damage of the parietal lobe of the brain was found, along with the consequent propensity to indulge in dangerous fake news, whose sole purpose is to wish you HAPPY APRIL FOOL’S DAY FROM EINOVA!


Be assured, dear readers: wireless technology is totally safe for your health and your devices. Take it from your reliable friends at Einova (well, reliable except for April 1!). 😄
On this day dedicated to jokes, we’ll explain why it is easy to believe fake news and what you can do to fight back

The solution comes from cognitive science, which studies the brain mechanisms behind the interpretation of content and information. Contrary to what you might expect, we’re all potential targets of hoaxes, regardless of our educational level. So how does it work?

Imagine this scenario: you’re on the website for Einova, an electronics brand that produces wireless chargers, power banks and power supplies with high energy efficiency and low environmental impact. You come across an article by an unknown author about the effects of wireless technology on the human body. You’re intrigued by the reliability of the brand and the obvious conflict of interest with the article’s topic.
After a few lines, your attention is attracted by authoritative-sounding names. If you’re not an expert in the field, they seem to suggest that behind the information conveyed, there’s scientific evidence and people with important international research backgrounds. (In our example above, the doctor, hospital, and university are all completely fabricated.)

A certain kind of cognitive economy comes into play. Every day, our brain must contend with a barrage of new input information. Forced to discern among this stream of new content, it decides to ally with content that seems to come from authoritative sources or inspires an immediate sense of trust. An important role is also played by arousal, i.e., the ability to provoke a state of cognitive excitement in the reader, playing on emotions — in this case, fear, panic, anxiety — through catchphrases.

In addition to all this, we’re vulnerable to heuristics1, the tendency to simplify information and speed up the cognitive response: yes or no, I read or I don't read, I believe or I don't believe, I approve or I don't approve. There’s little time to analyze every proposal in detail in this era of digitized information; it’s much simpler to trust those news sources that our experience — the so-called anchoring of memory — renders plausible. The result of this heuristic thinking? An error of judgement via our cognitive bias. In our example fake news article, the subtitle contains "wireless technology" and "affect our bodies". These two ideas are immediately disturbing, so our memory retrieves previously stored information on the topic, justifies it, and triggers the alarm.

1 From the ancient Greek verb εὑρίσκω, heurískō (“I find”), heuristics in cognitive science is the act of finding a “mental shortcut” when faced with a decision. Heuristics has been essential to survival throughout evolution; it was what allowed early hominids to react to danger quickly.

The social network component is also important, as the majority opinion has a considerable impact on cognitive processes. The more often that we are exposed to a piece of “news”, the greater the chances that it becomes real for us and we begin to believe it. If the “shocking discovery” by our fake doctor and fake university had been a Facebook post full of likes and shared by millions of users, it would have seemed that much more trustworthy. Whether we like to admit it or not, when it comes to cognitive intuition, we are essentially conformists and tend to make choices of convenience.

So how can we avoid falling into the trap?

A simple strategy is conscious fact checking: always checking the sources before believing.

Fighting misinformation is not just good common sense. It’s an important responsibility. Public opinion is, at its core, our opinion. Feeding into the circulation of fake news means harming the important work of those who do science for a living. It generates confusion, prejudice, and skepticism.

Science and technology are the first victims of this process, and not by chance. The more complex a topic, the more difficult to counter those who speak about it without knowledge of the facts. The number of likes too often seems more trustworthy than actually subject matter expertise — and so a post about the danger of vaccines or the correlation between 5G and the coronavirus can beat the measured and informed word of a scientist.

On our part, Einova wants to put our team's expertise to work for you. Interested in learning more about wireless charging, electromagnetic waves and 5G? We’re preparing an interview with Igor Spinella, mechatronic engineer and CEO of Einova, that will answer all your questions. Stay tuned!

In short, on April Fools’ Day we're all a little bit fake (just like our beautiful moon rock Wireless Charging Stones!!! 😍). Every other day of the year, however, combating misinformation and fake news is well within our reach. It just takes one careful Google search at a time.

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