Archive | November, 2010

“for the promoting of Experimentall Philosophy” – Redux

On Wednesday 28th November 1660 twelve men met at Gresham College in London following a lecture there, and constituted themselves into an association “for the promoting of Experimentall Philosophy”.  Among them was “Mr Boyle”, likely Robert Boyle, son of the first Earl of Cork, born at Lismore Castle, Co. Waterford, on 25 January 1627, and employer, co-experimenter and more…

Who’s against the “bailout”? Almost everyone

The IMF’s mission chief in Ireland, Ajai Chopra, said of the Irish bailout: “This is a very good deal for Ireland in current circumstances.” Not quite everyone agrees. In fact, basically no-one without a vested interest agrees. (more…)

Political Innovation

Picamp: Challenging and new conversations…

So what was PIcamp all about? Well the idea behind is pretty straightforward. It’s based on the understanding that meaningful change happens iteratively, in small steps and not through large scale revolutions. We began this year’s events in Edinburgh, because one of the things that Scotland and Northern Ireland share is a lack of capacity more…

IRISH TAXPAYER (Séan): “I am really furious right now, Helmut…”

As I mentioned yesterday, the markets were distinctly unimpressed with the details of Ireland’s bail-out.  The Irish Times today notes that Although banking stocks rose yesterday, global stock markets closed lower as markets failed to be convinced that the €85 billion package for Ireland would solve the euro zone debt crisis. EU economic and monetary affairs commissioner Olli more…

ICLVR: “The results positively indicate that the remains are those of Mr Gerard Evans”

The BBC reports that the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims Remains [ICLVR] have confirmed that the body found after a targeted search of bogland in County Louth in October is that of Gerard Evans, who was abducted, murdered and secretly buried in 1979.  No organisation has admitted responsibility for his murder.  But some have more…

Ireland can’t afford to bail out European banks

I think this point is worth highlighting more clearly. Below – Simon Johnson ex-CEO of the IMF – on who is owed money by the Irish banks German banks are owed $139 billion, which is 4.2 percent of German G.D.P. British banks are owed $131 billion, or about 5 percent of Britain’s G.D.P. French banks more…

TED logo

vote early, check how it was counted often

Continuing on from a post on 1 November about “faith-based” e-voting. Some interesting ideas from David Bismark at TEDGlobal 2010 about e-voting that tries to simultaneously increases transparency and reduces fraud. One of the main objections to e-voting is that it’s difficult for each voter to know that her vote was recorded accurately and counted more…

A Castle Built on Sand

Six months ago I wrote in this column about the very generous welfare payments being paid in the Republic of Ireland, sometimes two or nearly three times the equivalent levels paid in the North(1). As the Republic now plumbs new depths of national indebtedness and near-bankruptcy, it is clear that this attempt at a welfare more…

Fintan’s Enough is Enough petition is a better start for reform

Although no fan of Fintan O’Toole’s spasm of direct action, his headline political reforms are admirable. Once he’s won some support, he surely needs to transform the petition into a collective enterprise. Political reform is no solo run or quick fix. He will also realise he needs support from among those he has  been slagging more…

Tell us honestly, Fine Gael and Labour. Are you in favour of default?

Is there an alternative strategy after all? Might the euro’s continuing adversity become Ireland’s opportunity? The first thing to notice is that the Irish government rejected the Financial Times’ stern advice and succumbed to overwhelming pressure. Ireland is readying itself to sign the dotted line of a rescue package foisted on it by Europe. It more…

S4C – The only place to watch the Rugby

Astonishing – Murray v Nadal? THE BBC was forced to apologise yesterday after it was heavily criticised for not showing the opening seven minutes of Saturday’s match between Wales and the All Blacks. The broadcaster’s decision to stick with Andy Murray’s tennis match against Rafael Nadal on BBC2 meant many fans did not get to more…

NI Assembly Speaker: “They are treating the House with contempt…”

Despite changes to the Standing Orders in June 2009, the Northern Ireland Assembly Speaker was forced to crack some heads together in the chamber today over MLAs’ attitudes to Question Time –  as UTV reports here. Hansard records what the Speaker, Willie Hay, had to say [permanent link] Mr Willie Clarke is not in his place for question more…

SF: More lessons on not making a clear statement

It is increasingly bizarre that is was DUP MLA Robin Newton who announced major changes on SF’s team at Belfast City Council while Cllr Tom Hartley declared any changes would merely be about phasing out dual madates: Sinn Féin is replacing a number of Councillors at City Hall in line with our party’s policy of more…

A debt unpayable without mass migration?

And another from Henry whilst we’re there (and he’s thinking of his forlorn homeland), he makes an important point about the unreal nature of expectations in Dublin. In particular he takes Stephen Collins to task for taking: …as a given that Ireland’s growth rate from the mid 1990’s through 2008 or so reflected “normal economic more…

Julian Assange and the story of the talking cat…

Whilst I think Daniel may be right about Julian Assange being anti American, that doesn’t really speak to whether his revelations were useful or not. These revelations were more interesting than previous tranches, possibly because the involvement of mainstream journalists teed them up better, but also it passingly lifts the skirts on workings of private more…