Did Ireland’s bailout in December 2010 constitute a national trauma? Well, it certainly seemed so at the time. The government was floundering. The airways were alight with forecasts of national doom. It seemed that the game was up for Ireland. We watched in horror as our hard won view of ourselves dissolved before our eyes. What we had painstakingly built... Read More
Posted: 13 December 2013
If this were the Leaving Cert exam, then the questions in this week’s Irish Times MRBI Poll would deem it a ‘hard paper’. Apart from policy wonks and avid consumers of official reports, I suspect most of us would struggle to give completely accurate answers to the questions asked. But this survey is not just a test of pubic knowledge.... Read More
Posted: 01 December 2013
Where to begin with this sprawling, sometimes beautiful and often deeply frustrating book? Why, asks the English writer Jay Griffiths, are so many children in Euro-American cultures unhappy? This “deep riddle” arose from her travels among indigenous cultures in the Arctic, West Papua, Australia, North and South America and northern Europe, where children seemed happier to her.
In the West, she... Read More
Posted: 17 October 2013
As half the world surely knows by now, Sheryl Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook. At 43, she has risen to the top of the ferociously competitive boy-wonder world of Silicon Valley – no easy achievement for a woman – and has a personal fortune of more than $500 million. She has had a stellar career: two degrees... Read More
Posted: 17 October 2013
The Ipsos MRBI 50th anniversary poll shows that even in the wake of the economic crisis 89 per cent of Irish people are happy. The highest proportion of happiness is found in Munster and Connacht/Ulster, at 92 per cent, followed by 86 per cent of people in Dublin and 84 per cent in the rest of Leinster. Among the 42... Read More
Posted: 01 December 2012
‘No road, no trail can penetrate this forest. The long and delicate branches of its trees lie everywhere, choking space with their exuberant growth…. All the trees of this dark forest grew from 100 billion seeds planted together. And, all in one day, every tree is destined to die.
This is the arresting opening of Sebastian Seung’s Connectome: How the brain’s... Read More
Posted: 01 June 2012