Archive for the ‘irishblogs’ Category

We need more Helens and Conors

Monday, July 6th, 2009

I know the woman who wrote this letter to Dermot Ahern about her sons. She’s brilliant. It won’t be self-serving, cliquey, rainbow waving gay groups or “pride” parades that’ll bring about equality, it’ll be people like Helen Doody talking about her gay sons, it’ll be Conor Pendergrast talking about his two mums and it’ll be friends of gay people who are sharing their experience about their gay friends with greater society. If gay people are hiding themselves away at work and skulking in gay bars on weekends and only coming out in daylight for a single annual pride parade, exactly how can society understand and identify why we want to be treated as equals? It’s easy for a society to be ignorant and even hateful of a vacuum. Who’s creating that now though?

Future of manufacturing in Ireland – All digital

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Knowledge Economy. One of the most abused terms by the Government in the past few years, spouted out in press releases and speeches in a form of buzzword bingo. From the cribsheet of a jaded civil servant to the mouth of a politician without any brain work.

Traditional physical manufacturing in Ireland is a dying if not a dead industry. Grunt work done in Ireland is expensive. When trees are cut down, shipped to another country and then sent back here as building supplies, you know something is amiss. Physical labour alone to make something can be done anywhere and mostly now it’s done in India, China and some African countries. That this was going to happen was obvious for at least a decade yet people are surprised and shocked.

Yet, it’s all going to happen again with tech jobs in this country because so much of it is grunt work. High-tech according to the Government and their spindoctors is localisation, sales and tech support. That’s far from knowledge work there. And when the grants dry up, those jobs too are off elsewhere. It’s just another Shannon stopover. Yet we’ll all be shocked when this happens, why? Many of the software manufacturers in this country now outsource work to India and China that once was done here. We should actually welcome that. Any vacuum created should be filled with real knowledge economy jobs. We’re not drones yet all these jobs are drone work. We’re relying on borrowed time.

Suzzallo Library, one of the great libraries of the world - studying here embues you with a feeling of scholarly history, Seattle, Washington, USA
Photo owned by Wonderlane (cc)

I think Ireland, despite the shit broadband and the lies about it being good, can overcome that and be a core part of all things digital. Ireland should take in digital raw materials, work them, add value by reworking the digital bits and produce something that can be used elsewhere. A new form of manufacturing and processing that merges various bits but very importantly uses the greymatter in our heads to improve these things. We could make a lot from Government data too. Some are suggesting that Ireland becomes the project manager for outsourcing. With our GMT foothold and our culture of being good diplomats, we can be a bridge between the Western world and the world where outsourcing takes place.

Certainly this is one future but with our talented kids we pump out from colleges and a history of creativity, Ireland could own the space in digital where value is added. Britain is getting it. I wonder will we see it or will we just pump out more and more java developers who invariably end up training up some lad in China on how to replace them?

Fluffy Links – Monday July 6th 2009

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Stunningly beautiful photos from Treasa.

From Seán. 100 amazing design blogs to subscribe to.

Few days to go for the it@Cork iPhone event. Places almost gone.

Via Richie Egan. Mariah – Shinzo No Tobira.

Neuromancer, one of my favourite books ever is 25 years old. PC World looks at the tech in this book.

Typography soap. Reminds me of Fightclub.

Amazing stage setup from Kanye West.

Via We make money not art: Photos of improvised prison tools.

Happy 25th Anniversary Miami Vice, where else would you get Kate Bush music in a scene:

Dear Customers: You suck

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

In the gents in the Farm Restaurant in Dublin, a place I won’t go back to anyway, not just for this but the atrocious service too. Nothing seems to have changed in two years:


Not in top 3 in Google? Using Google Ads? Ruh roh

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

Mulley Communications had a survey carried out on how people react to Google search results and Google ads.

The survey results are here.

In summary:
If you’re not in the top 3 results, hardly anybody is going to pay attention to you.
Google Ads? What are they? Seems they get little attention.
People are not using the address bar to type in website addresses, they just ask Google.
Women are a little bit better than men at considering the data presented to them.

I can see a future where Google’s “I’m feeling lucky” will be the default. Type in your query, get a single result.

There are videos of the heat maps generated based on the movement of eyes around a webpage:

Irish Times article on this (not shown on Times website oddly)
Silicon Republic Article on this.

Big thanks to National College of Ireland for doing the research and Enterprise Ireland for their Innovation Voucher scheme.

Fluffy Links – Thursday July 2nd 2009

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

Thomas writes about the death and life of his father.

The Irish national debt clock. Shesus.

Blog of Dave Power.

RTE Radio 1 launches one their radio documentary archives ever. 180 documentaries there, 400 by month’s end. Some gems in there. Like this one of Eddie Lenihan. They’re also on Twitter and Facebook. You can direct download the documentaries or get them as podcasts.

And on RTE. Someone hacked RTE player to work on Boxee. Vid:

Labour should have taught the Greens something? Book review on an old Fergus Finallay biog.

Via Elana, Twitter gets all haute courture.

Do any public presenting? Fantastic blog post from Nancy Duarte on how she improved her skills and she’s already damned good.

DJ Shadow – Blood on the Motorway (Please Teacher anime added in)

Attn Biz people: Mark Zawacki talk in Dublin on July 3rd, 10am

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Mark Zawacki, founder and managing partner of the Milestone Group will be in Dublin on Friday. He’s doing a talk at 10am in the Pearse Suite, (upstairs) Radisson SAS Golden lane (the one in town behind Dublin Castle)

RSVP to stephanie < AT >

I met Mark when we did the tour of Silicon Valley. A dead-on guy with a huge amount of experience. Well worth meeting him and getting his perspective.

About the talk:

Milestone Group has worked with more than 50 companies crossing the Atlantic (both directions). Mark is going to share his experience and successes. Mark has developed a unique framework called The 20 Stress Points of International Expansion, which looks at all the stakeholders (investors, executive management, partners, employees) over a period of time and what the traditional challenges are as startups expand and grow out of their home base. This is a very informal and interactive session with lots of Q&A.

If you want to go then RSVP to Stephanie Graybeal.

Fluffy Links – Wednesday July 1st 2009

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

My my my month after June.

Congrats to Joe Lennon on his book.

Banter, fireside chats
without the fire about music and everything after. First one is Saturday, hosted by our own Jum Carroll.

MCD fuck up another outdoor concert. AC/DC this time.

MCD expert Gav also has more reportage of it. (Say this to the sound of someone doing morse code)

NCH are doing Oz. Not as good as Wicked, mind.

Michael Jackson, patent filer.

Chris Anderson and Malcolm Gladwell smackdown. Seth Godin then wades in on the comments. Battle of the 60k a giggers!

Jule Feeney – Love is a tricky thing

I heard her song Impossibly Beautiful on the radio the other day and loved it. Never listened to her work before. Julie is a talented lass.

Philips Carousel

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Our own natural rhythm

Monday, June 29th, 2009

I get the feeling more and more that our brains operate with their own rhythm that can differ quite a lot from person to person and the various aspects of life can get in the way and change the rhythm to a less natural one. Everyone has their own natural pacemaker and for some, it goes wacky and they need an artificial pacemaker installed to tell their heart “this is how you should be ticking”. What if life is like some overbearing artificial pacemaker?

Maybe our natural rhythm is jazz or hip-hop or trance. It’s like you hear a sound from a band and within a few seconds everything clicks into place and you’re in synch with them. That pacing has always been there, it’s why it fits so well. Many of us go from artificial structure to artificial structure in life. From school to college, to work, fitting into a pattern made by another. Working for my self the past year and a bit, doing what I want, when I want to do it, I started falling into a different pattern, my soul’s song got stronger the more I turned off the music of the world around me. How in fuck’s name can you be good in business or life when you are tied to a 9 to 5 lifestyle? Fun is 24/7 and business creativity can be spread over that too.

And with my change of working and living came new ways of thinking and while not a calm, a natural ebb and flow resulted. I could understand things more, I appreciated new things and all the time enjoyed a different sanity. From what I can tell, artists are solitary in nature. They create on their own; they compose music, paint, draw, code as individuals. Creativity is solitary, displaying of it, is not. Allowing yourself to think, not squeezing your brain to perform will get other parts of the brain to start working and interacting. Genius business people are the mavericks; they are the loners, the people away from the crowd. It’s not a circadian movement they have going on but I wonder are they the ones that are letting their inner song through?

My soul detoxified by removing elements, doing things for fun, breaking out of grooves my brain was forced into. Maybe this is like people who don’t know they have allergies and when they address them, they feel better and are better. I attended a voice training workshop in the Gaiety school of acting a while back. It was a full day event and most of the day was spent on how to breathe. For most of us, it was how to change how you breathe and use muscles in a different way. It really was a fascinating course and I learned a lot. One of the things we did was finding your “natural” voice. Through various exercises you can find the sound that sits best with your body and your vocal chords.

Round four - Samba!!!
Photo owned by lepiaf.geo (cc)

It’s like a sleeping pattern, it took me a while to find mine and eventually I was getting 9-10 hours a night and felt like I was a ninja during the waking hours, able to shape the world around me. I’m now back to 6-7 hours and my rhythm is out of whack, even when I can lie in, I wake too early and wake with my brain racing. My creativity is hampered a little but business needs must. For now.

Are the best dancers the ones who learn all the steps or the ones who feel the dance and know what happens next? If finding your natural voice is about breathing and about using muscles differently, then maybe finding that rhythm is about knowing your brain and body and massaging different parts back to functionality. Eat healthy, brain healthy, less sugar, more fibre, read fact, love fiction, learn the Alexander technique, write and write and write. Do a day of silence where you don’t read, don’t use a computer, turn off the phone and don’t talk. Don’t take notes. Let all the thoughts bump off each other. This is probably best done in seclusion. Einstein worked his ass off in his lab/office but that was raw manufacturing in a way, it was when he escaped from those places that the eureka moments happened. Exercising like walking or running or for Einstein, cycling, got one part of the brain to work on the mechanics of the body and then the brain went off and experimented with the data he had gathered.

If our brains are in constant data gathering mode and are also working from the hymn sheet of someone else then it’s going to be hard for us to be creative. I think everyone has the potential to be creative and to think differently and add value to things we encounter in daily life but we can only do that when we find our natural state. Reading books is bad if you are never in a state of not reading books or rather, letting the brain alone to digest things in its own peristaltic state. That goes too when you are bashing out work, creative or not. Good business ideas can possibly be cranked out; great business ideas need to be contemplated. Einstein may have cracked the nut on relativity in a flash but it took him 6 weeks to figure it out properly.

Edit: Originally written in pen on a train then typed up. Composing on computer and editing took three hours.