ArtView January 2016 - Page 60

They all do different things; they all have their own niche product. Part of the problem with hemp, unfortunately, is the past history associated with it being demonised by the American drug agencies back in the 1920’s and 30’s, and that flowed through to the rest of the world. On the other hand, I don’t believe hemp will cure cancer and cover every clothing niche. But it’s an important part of the overall package. Are there also fashions in scientific beliefs - for example, the recent fad for "superfoods", which you discuss in your new book? How do things like that take hold on the popular imagination? A little learning is a dangerous thing. People like to do a little learning, because it doesn’t take very long. They go onto their computer, device, their smartphone, their desktop computer, and they look up something like ‘hemp’. Then they read that hemp will cure all cancers and that it will cover every single niche in the clothing market. And that takes them about a minute. With that little learning, they think ‘Wow! I’m clever, I know so much!’ and then they don’t go into the true depth of knowledge. So a little learning is a dangerous thing. And it’s only when you learn deeply that you get the full package. With a little learning, it suits us because some people don’t like to spend time, so they think that they know something true, when they don’t. For example, with my little stories that I’ve written in my book, each of them took between 10 to 20 hours to write and research. But you can read it in 3 minutes. So that took 2 or 3 full eight hour days to write each one, to polish it, to check it and then to make sure I’ve got my facts right, and then send it off to a couple of experts in the field to get their opinion and then incorporate that into the final version. You see all these myths in our society, they come around as a result of marketing and advertising, like with goji berries – which they claimed would do everything, cure your sun-stroke, syphilis... now they’re gone but the new one is coconut oil and coconut water – and there’s zero evidence for it. The driver of these mistruths is a combination of marketing and advertising and also the underdog. We tend to like the underdog, ‘poor old goji berries, they’ve never been around, let’s give them a go’. And also, a heedless regard to how they’re influenced... Such as what you can read on the world wide web about global warming – because if you read something online about global warming, the chances are 9 out of 10 you’ll get something that has be [