Writings about Macs, music and more by Kirk McElhearn




Just Sitting


Once or twice a day, I sit facing a wall in my home. I just sit. I sit for 20 minutes, a half-hour, sometimes more. But I just sit. I sit and think not thinking; I do that by non-thinking. This is the Zen practice of shikantaza, or “just sitting.” You sit, cross-legged if you […]

Persistent Anti-GMO Myths


One persistent theme in my writing about scientific topics is that, to optimally serve our own interests, public discourse and decision-making on issues that are highly scientific should be informed by the best evidence and scientific analysis available, not on lies, myths, misconceptions, or raw ideology. I am therefore attracted to topics where I think the myth to fact ratio is particularly high.

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) is one such issue. The propaganda machine seems to be way out in front of the more sober voices trying to correct the record and focus the discussion on reality. I also see GMO as the ideological flip side to global warming denial.  In the latter case we seen industry and free-market ideologues sowing confusion and misinformation. They also do the ideology shuffle – a dance in which, whenever they are nailed by the facts on one point, they state that their objection is really based on some other point. They never really acknowledge the point, just side-step it.

Anti-GMO activists, in my experience, operate the same way. They have marshaled every possible point they can against GMO, whether or not they are true or valid. When one such point is exposed as a myth, they simply slide over to some other point as their “real” motivation for opposition, but never give any ground.

via NeuroLogica Blog » Persistent Anti-GMO Myths.

I’ve often been surprised when I read what anti-GMO people think are the dangers of GMOs. There is a very strong level of superstition around GMOs, and, as this article points out, there is hard science behind GMOs. There are also a lot of myths around GMOs, and this article debunks many of them.

Kirkville Gets a Fresh New face


If you’ve been here before, you’ll notice a new look on Kirkville. I’d gotten tired of my previous theme, and I felt there was too much stuff on the site, and even more under the hood. The new theme that you see is smaller, faster, leaner, and didn’t require a lot of work to get […]


The Lance Armstrong Swindle


I’ve been an avid fan of the Tour de France for many years, especially since it used to pass right in front of my house in the French Alps every few years. As Lance Armstrong won his seven titles, I was amazed by his panache and his tactics; cycling races of that kind are both […]


Tour de Front Row


If you count the number of people who watch the Tour de France in person, the race is the most popular sporting event in the world. The playing field encompasses the roads of France, and three-quarters of French people have seen the Tour go by at least once. From open roads to steep, sinuous climbs, […]

Jack Kerouac on Writing


Food for thought for all writers. Not all of them apply to all styles of writing. If you like Kerouac, it’s worth thinking about these while reading through the “original scroll” edition of On the Road. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) BELIEF & TECHNIQUE FOR MODERN PROSE 1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr […]

Gadget Notes: rOtring 800 Mechanical Pencil


I’ve always been a fan of pencils, both wooden and mechanical. I don’t write a lot by hand, but I do like to have nice writing instruments. So I went looking for a new mechanical pencil, and took a chance on the rOtring 800 (Amazon.com, Amazon UK), their almost-top-of-the-line tool. (There is an 800+, which […]

Tweet to Add Items to Your Amazon Shopping Cart with #AmazonCart Hashtag


Amazon has introduced a new feature called #AmazonCart. You can now reply to any tweet that features a link to an Amazon.com product, add the #AmazonCart hashtag, and Amazon will add that item to your shopping cart. (You’ll have to link your Twitter account to your Amazon profile for this to work.) It’s an interesting […]

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