Monthly Archives: August 2016

Whats wrong with ticket touting anyway?

1fcd531b27e7cb5e1ae15cfc2ba01703The recent events in Rio have brought the issue of ticket reselling, also called touting or scalping, to the minds of many. Without getting into the issue at hand, which is under legal investigation, it raises some interesting questions. Why are some trades seen as repugnant exchanges and others not? How should we decide?

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Cultural Learnings of Brexit for Make Benefit…

brexit-2So brexit will, or possibly wont, happen. And if it happens we might or might not see a significant change in how the UK interacts with the remaining EU that is if there is a UK and it has not splintered. But what will it really mean for Ireland? And how should we interrogate the issues? A purely economic lens wont really work. We need to look beyond politics, beyond economics.  Continue reading


Im a fairly avid twitter user. I love its spontaneity and its freewheeling nature, and the sense of the immediate. It can be fun and it can be and usually is a community.  But there is a large and festering problem of egregious, vicious, disturbed and disturbing trolling. It goes beyond trolling to …I dont know what. Abuse, certainly. Evidence of clear dangerous derangement for which people need help, yep. Much of this is directed to women ; much to minorities. The fact that globally us pale pink folk are a minority is a fact not acknowledged by the basement dwellers of the global community of Twitter.

Today we saw, as we have, a new runner for the @Ireland account. I have no idea who this woman is – she is large, black, English and sounds great craic. Thats this week. Next week it could be a dwarvish Inuit from Ballyhaunis or a transgendered potter from Allihies, or a lawyer from Ring .. its an account that tries and usually succeeds in giving different perspectives on Ireland in 2016.

Following the travails of Michelle as she faced a tidal bore of the most awful abuse was illuminating. And shaming, as a man, as an Irish citizen, and as a member of the human race.

There is no need for this. Twitter has a very well documented problem with how it deals with abuse. It needs to sort this, or die, and deservedly.


Taxes, bull and the Irish economy

bull-023Another week  another inversion. This time, passing almost unnoticed in the august torpor, one of the worlds largest meat companies, JBS, signalled that it would relocate its HQ to Ireland. It also noted that this HQ company would be controlled from an office park in Herefordshire.  The reasons for this have nothing whatsoever to do with anything real, all to do with favorable tax and legal reasons. This is unlikely to have any effect on GDP, unless of course JBS decide to start using intellectual property and patents to start to shuffle money around, thus creating “exports” from Ireland.
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Wasting time on the margins of academic writing

29-jumping-through-hoops-w1200-h630Recently I submitted a paper to a leading journal. They had incredibly specific requirements for formatting for submitted papers, and numerous templates in Word, SciWord, Latex and so on for the use thereof. Being a leading journal and wanting to maximise the scant chance they might not bin it after a good bellylaugh, I spent some time formatting columns, table  titles etc to their specifications. Why?  Continue reading