Dear Dr. Boli: Some people say that cell phones damage your brain. Other people say there’s no evidence that they do. Who’s right? And what should I do about it? —Sincerely, A Woman with a Smartphone That Isn’t Quite Smart Enough.

Dear Madam: The mistake most people make is in trying to design a scientific study to determine how cellular telephones affect the brain, rather than merely glancing at the evidence all around them. A quick look at our legislation, signs, and public announcements will reveal that people with cell phones have to be told that the things ought to be turned off at a violin recital, or that one ought to finish a phone conversation before attempting to place an order at the bakery counter, or that texting while driving is a very bad idea. If cell-phone users have to be told these things because they cannot figure them out for themselves, clearly their brains are damaged.

How that damage is inflicted Dr. Boli has not been able to determine. Science seems to have ruled out radiation as a cause, so we must look instead to psychology. Dr. Boli’s own speculation is that your cell phone, especially if you have text messaging enabled, exposes you to a constant barrage of the most inane and trivial thoughts that flit through the minds of your acquaintances, each one of which probably kills off a few hundred neurons.