Week 34, 2017

After many wet and windy Saturdays in Melbourne yesterday was good cycling weather, and I was able to enjoy cycling with friends. I’ve also been trying out Zwift, a virtual cycling application that connects to smart trainers. I have found the structured training surprisingly fun and a good supplement to otherwise weekly social rides.

This weeks pseudo-science diet is ’lectin free.’ The Atlantic investigates and debunks the claims made and exposes the conflicts of interest that exist when authors sell their readers their own products. Most importantly James Hamblin does this without being dismissive and argues in The Next Gluten that there is damage caused by health authors that seek to ’totally upend [our] understanding of nutrition’ with ’truth that no one else in the world has.'

Book publishers are rarely held accountable for publishing invalid health information. Rather, there seems to be an incentive to publish the most outlandish claims that purport to upend everything the reader has ever heard. This is a problem much bigger than any plant protein. Cycles of fad dieting and insidious misinformation undermine both public health and understanding of how science works, giving way to a sense of chaos. It seems that every doctor has their own opinion about how to protect your body from calamity, and all are equally valid, because nothing is ever truly known.

Yet another sad example of truth and reason being undermined for individual gain.

Last week I began investigating moving my blog away from Jekyll to a more flexible framework. I have been experimenting locally with Metalsmith, ‘an extremely simple, pluggable static site generator.’ I’ve mostly replicated everything except deployment. I’ll write a more thorough post when I’ve completed the transition.