Oh Lord, Won’t You Buy Me…

There are a few banker cliches that I grew up with. I’m sure they’re not unique to the banking fraternity, but they were certainly retold at every Conference I attended. Lately, they’ve started reappearing, and I’m not sure how I feel about it.

The first tale told is that the Director driving a BMW is displaying ambition, whereas the Director driving a Mercedes is displaying achievement. As infantile as this is, there are many who give this consideration when purchasing their cars. I’m a BMW guy, SAD!

As I heard this said again recently, I remembered another boast of the Mercedes man. As a young subordinate, I was “privileged” to drive to one of these Conference’s with one of these Directors. Sitting inside the brand new Mercedes E Class was like stepping inside an Apple Store long before the advent of the iPhone.

I must have looked impressed, because the Director told me that if I look at the features of the car (and there were many) that I’d see them in about ten years time on a Ford Mondeo. Technology, much like neoliberal economics, is a trickle down process.

The same can be said for Irish Politics. When Tony Blair swept to power in 1997, he became the first Tory leader of the British Labour Party. He ran on a promise that “things can only get better” and aimed his message at what he identified as “Mondeo Man”. Blair cleverly re-branded this move away from social democratic values to free market economic ones as “New Labour“.

The party replaced promises of delivering equality for the libertarian myth of equality of opportunity. They moved away from the idea of government delivering social justice, to a free market that would improve economic efficiency.

They spoke of hand ups, not hand outs. In essence they Out Toried the Tories. And Mondeo Man loved it. Under the New Tory Labour things did indeed, for a while, get better.

Without rehashing the disaster that became the “free market” financial crisis and the other lingering global aftershocks, we know now that the New Labour “third way” was used to build an economy based on Rent Seekers and very little innovation. Many historians are now pointing to the New Labour phenomenon as the birthplace of the Brexit phenomenon.

Much like the Mercedes features take years to filter down into the less salubrious car manufacturers, so to does political ideology. Particularly here in Ireland. Leo Varadkar has said he is not Right Wing, but had he been born in Britain he’d have been a Tory. Simon Coveney is Fine Gael is royalty.

Both men advocate that the free market will improve economic efficiency and therefore provide equality of opportunity down the line. This is despite all the recent economic data running contrary to this.

The Budget Projections for 2017 said that unemployment would fall to 7%, it’s down to 6.2%. Yet Income Tax is a few hundred million below expectations. The government are said to be perplexed.

Fine Gael are demanding that the Revenue Commissioners investigate this and get back to them, post-haste. But in truth there is no mystery. The income tax levels are behind because the real economy is growing on lower paid workers and the Gig Economy.

It’s important that we realise that New Politics is old New Labour. It’s crucial that we see that our candidates for Taoiseach are economically Tory Blairites. Only then can we have a honest conversation about the type of society we want to build.

Do we want to a fairer society, where everybody is afforded access to social justice, or do we want a country where a few drive new Mercedes and the rest sputter along in a 20 year old Ford Mondeo, that will never pass an NCT?

“Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz”

Tony Groves May 2017

The Numbers Game

When Herodotus wrote the story of the Persian invasion of Greece 480bc, it’s generally accepted that he used a little poetic license with the numbers. His story records an invading army of five million soldiers. Modern scholars reduce this figure to five hundred thousand and most believe the real figure was closer to two hundred thousand.

The question we should be asking isn’t was it five million or two hundred thousand. The real question is why was there such a vast difference between the story and the actual boots on the ground?

Some have speculated that this was because the Greeks weren’t very good at dealing with large numbers. It’s an interesting view, was there a numeracy issue in the cradle of democracy? Maybe, it’s true that the Greek word for countless, or innumerable, was the same word for ten thousand.

So anything beyond ten thousand was just said to be innumerable and whatever number suited their purpose might be applied. In the case of the invasion an exaggeration of Persian’s makes the Greek soldiers victory a thing of mythic proportions.

The reason for this little excursion down Herodotus way is to point out the old Greek Numeracy issues in modern day Ireland. We’ve had a Minister for Social Protection exaggerate Social Welfare fraud to be five hundred million, when the figure is actually closer to fifty million.

We’ve had a Minister for Housing tell us fifteen thousand houses were built, when the figure was closer to three thousand. We’ve seen Gardai overstate breathalyzer tests by one million.

We’ve had a Minister for Finance exaggerate his Fiscal Space. Not to mention the “Leprechaun Economics” of Corporate Tax Profits flying into Ireland in advance of the EU’s Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base Plan.

We’ve had Irish Water tell us 70% of people were paying, even though the money taken in amounted to less than 35% of peoples bills. We’ve had Irish Water Marches that were attended by tens of thousands, reported as a few thousand.

All of this would be funny, if it weren’t so serious. Nobody is condoning Welfare Fraud, but exaggerating a 1-2%  problem only demonises the most vulnerable in our society and deflects from the bigger issue of poor government management of the Welfare System.

Minister Coveney has gotten away with saying his exaggerated housing numbers by using the “It was like that when I got here”, Bart Simpson defense. Shortly we will have him claim to have achieved his promise to have no families homeless by the end of July.

But this will be another statistical fudge. Homeless families are to be but into Hubs and then reclassified out of the homeless statistics and into some sort of purgatorial nowhere zone.

The manipulation of Data, and the toleration of it by large swathes of the population and the media, is a blocker to us fixing underlying issues. Only by assessing the problem correctly can we make a plan fit for purpose.

Allowing Official Ireland play with numbers costs lives. People on trollies and people on our streets aren’t statistical tools for manipulation. They are your mother, your sister, your granny.

Those at the coal-face like Inner City Helping Homeless put faces on numbers. People like Lorcan Sirr point out that bad data leads to bad planning. The manipulation of Data in Ireland plays to the worst of our biases. It reinforces our, conscious or unconscious, view that people can be reclassified and therefore made statistically less than.

Herodotus exaggerated to make the Greeks glorious. This is not the sole fault of government. We, as a country, play with numbers to lessen crises and to pretend we are helping those worse off. Sure, it’s not our fault if they won’t help themselves, statistically speaking.

What’s the Irish for innumerable?

 

Tony Groves May 2017 abacus

The Real Rental Crisis

We have a Rental Crisis in this country. I’m not talking about the Daft.ie, Daft Rental Crisis, although that certainly is a Crisis. A small bedroom, as part of a house-share at €900 per month is a Crisis. But the Rent Crisis I’m referring to is caused by what economists call Rent-Seeking.

A Rent-Seeker is a person or entity that seeks to increase their share of wealth, without actually creating any wealth. Rent-Seekers look to use their wealth and influence to reduce economic efficiency in a way that will increase the value of their particular pot of gold. The best Rent-Seekers find ways to take something that used to be free and introduce a charge for it. Sound familiar?

It’s important to note that not all Rent-Seekers are Big Multinational Companies, Banks or Private Healthcare Companies; although many of these are. There are less obvious Rent-Seekers all around us.

Politically they tend to be Right Wing Capitalists who espouse Libertarian, Free Market Views. But ideologically they are Selectively Libertarian and are only interested in freeing up the market to their advantage. They tend to say nasty things about the Left and label anybody who talks of tackling inequality as “grasping, deluded, spiteful and envious”.

Many of them, like Leader in Waiting, Leo Varadkar tend to air their extreme Right Wing views by suggesting we privatise 20 Dublin Bus Routes, or suggest migrant workers should only receive 3 months dole as an incentive to leave. But he quickly glosses over his Far Right leanings by mentioning equality of opportunity in an Irish Independent puff piece.

Rent-Seekers are the ‘Haves’ in our Society. They have accumulated wealth without creating any. Generational Landlords and the like. Many of them sit in the Dail. How can you expect Rent-Seeking Politicians to seriously tackle the Rental Crisis they are benefiting from? Conflicts of Interest anyone?

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These fake free marketeers are, for the most part, liars. They are all for the free market when it comes to eroding public services. They are all for the free market, with incentives, when it comes to their particular fiefdoms. The Construction Industry Federation spends more money on lobbying than the Construction Industry those on building Lobbies.

Why? It’s quiet simple. If you need to invest one million euro in “incentive’s” in order to game the free market, but stand to make a billion euro from the rejig then why not! Think it’s a miracle we aren’t more corrupt? Have a read of the Tullock Paradox.

Think about it. 50% of Irish workers earn less than €30,000. By 2014 we had the highest percentage of Low Paid Workers in the OECD. Most workers have suffered wage stagnation for a decade. Yet there are 7,000 new Irish Millionaires in 2016. How does this happen? Rent-Seekers.

Rent-Seekers and or free market libertarians decry the Welfare State. They should celebrate it. Cormac Lucey, Chairman of the Hibernia Forum likes to use the above Gini Index to show inequality isn’t that bad. What he fails to mention is that  our spending on Welfare lifts the lower paid out of extreme poverty.

He neglects to say that the Welfare Bill is a bargain. A small price to pay in order to avoid things like a wealth tax, or a fair Corporation Tax. The Welfare bill keeps the pressure off the Rent-Seekers. If these state supports weren’t in place Paddy would really want to know who isn’t playing fair.

1.9 million people receive some payment from the Department of Social Protection, Pensioners, Carers, Job-seekers etc. This is down from 2.2 million in 2013. The total spend is €19 billion per year. In other words the same amount of money the EU Commission say Apple owe us in back taxes and interest. Yet Leo Varadkar launched a “hard-hitting” publicity campaign regarding Welfare Cheats!

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Ask a fake free market libertarian, their views on immigration. Watch them tell you that only markets should be free, people should be restricted because of a quirk of birthplace and some lines drawn on a map a few hundred years ago.

Ask a fake free market libertarian, their views on a wealth tax, or wealth redistribution. Watch them call you a Communist and insist that they gained their wealth via some sort of talent that makes them better than you or I.

A real Free Market Libertarian, Professor of Economics Bryan Caplan, advocates for the Free Market as a fair and just way for people to deal with each other. He advocates for a Free Market that includes the free movement of people. In his own words “the single greatest loss to the world right now is the talent trapped in poor countries, where they can only function at a small fraction of their potential productivity”.

Think of all that untapped potential, stuck because of people/corporations (who espouse equality of opportunity) are Rent-Seeking. Think of the wealth creation missed out upon because fake free market libertarians are busy rigging the system, domestically and globally, to grow their percentage share of the pie.

The fake free market libertarians are the like the new politics. They create and do nothing productive. They generate no new innovations and inhibit real entrepreneurial spirits. They limit competition in their fields.

They are Leo Varadkar, hinting at tax cuts for the wealthy, while punching down at the those on Social Welfare. They are Simon Coveney, worried about EU Water Fines, but unconcerned about EU Emissions Fines. They are Vertex Pharmaceutical, charging €159,000 per patient, per year for Orkambi. They are Irish Retail Banks with Mortgage Interest Rates 2.5% above the EU average. They are the Rent-Seekers.

But, yeah, equality of opportunity, am I right Right Wingers?

Tony Groves April 2017

Words Matter

Everything, as they say, has its place. Everything has its part to play. Everything matters. Except when it doesn’t matter. Not really.

Recently the Daily Mail got in “trouble” for the front page misogyny of its “Legs-it” headline. But it’s not that long ago that Matt Cooper was engaged in a little bit of casual misogyny in the Daily Mails Irish equivalent. He derided Mary Lou McDonald for her dress sense and said she was “every bit as dangerous as Donald Trump”. I don’t recall an other Irish newspapers calling for apologies in the same way as the UK papers did for Teresa May, do you?

So sometimes things matter and sometimes they don’t. What the qualifying criteria are for such things, I don’t know. There is a written language that we all can read, but none of us can really understand. That is to say, we understand the individual words, but they never actually add up to a meaningful sentence.

Our corporate, political and media landscape is awash with these phrases. I’ve bastardised some of my favourites below. They aren’t quiet oxymoron’s, but they are always taking us for morons.

Roots and branches are always reviewed. Failures are always systemic. Errors are always clerical. Exercises are always scoping. Pride is always resorted. And Noirin is always defiant.

Talks are always collapsing. Unions are always greedy. Management is always unreasonable. Efficiencies are always seeking. Brendan Ogle is always a Firebrand. Strikes are always wildcat. And Shane Ross is always missing.

Celebrity tweets are always hilarious. Twitter is always in meltdown. Trolls are always vicious. Chat is always snapping. Memes are always trending. And you always believe what you won’t believe happened next.

Rivals are always in the long grass. Knives are always out. Sources are always close to. Ministerial briefs are always getting handled. And Gerry is always denying he was ever a member of.

Plans are always strategic. Thinking is always blue sky. Jobs are always announced a few times. Corporation Tax Rates are always off the table. Brussels is always threatening fines. And Brian Hayes is always on your telly.

The centre must always be held. Politics must always be new. Polls must always be telling. The Left must always be Loony. The Right must always be Centrist. And Mick Martin is always the most popular leader, but not populist.

Crisis Talks are always crunching. Force is always excessive. Protesters are always like ISIS. Billions must always be wasted. Quango’s must always be re-branded. And Alan Kelly is always angry.

Immigration is always mass. Public Meetings are always Town halls. Citizens are always Assembling. Inquiries are always commissioned. And Paul Murphy is always the Posh Trot.

Speakers are always key. Doctors are always spinning. The recovery, like Enda, is always going. Bubbles are always bursting. Terry Prone is always paid. And Denis O’Brien is always REDACTED.

The middle is always squeezed. Vultures are always swooping. Confidence is always protected. NAMA is always defended. And Michael Noonan is always rebutting.

Events are always tragic. Tragedies are always avoidable. Funerals are always a who’s who of who’s? Eulogies are always heartbreaking. Oliver Callan is always spot on.

Migrants are always economic. Refugees are always a significant risk. Power is always having truth spoken to it. Appeals are always falling on deaf ears. Europe is always our friend. And RTE is always biased according to both sides of the debate.

Articles are always being triggered. Borders are always porous. Market contagion is always spreading. Europe is always our enemy. The Union is always breaking. And no deal is always better than a bad deal?

There’s hundreds more of these phrases. They fill empty air with empty words. None of them speak of real Accountability or actual Implementation. They are cloaking phrases. Used to cloak the unaccountable and a lack of effort.

But it’s not all bad. At least there’s always Sean Moncrieff, weekdays between 2 and 4, always asking interesting questions…

Tony Groves April 2014

A Letter to the Left

Dear Left Wing,

Today is not a bad day. Today is not the day to lament the rise of Trump. Today is not the day to mourn the failure of Bernie Sanders. Today is not the day to say “what if”. Today is not the day to navel gaze. Today is not a bad day. Today is an opportunity.

The polarisation of the US electorate is a global warning shot to the “way we always done things”. It tells everyone who believes the best way to emerge from the stagnation and austerity of the last decade is more of the same, is not going to be accepted by the electorate. The politics of sameness has been well and truly battered.

The battle lines for the future are made more clear by Trumps election victory than they would have been if Hillary had won. The onus is now on those who stand for progressive and inclusive policies to challenge the politics of protectionism and isolationism.

This is an opportunity for the Left to coalesce, put aside internal spats and adopt a united front that will stand against the politics of regression.

Today’s outcome has given authenticity to some of the most base and repugnant of human views. Fear pervades the victorious narrative and the only reason fear won is because those who stand for progress allowed it to stifle their own message.

Let’s not blame the media. In fact, let’s not waste any time in blame-throwing. Grasp the nettle and take this chance. In Ireland the political landscape is more fractured than the Burren. The opinion polls show a steady flip flop between the “Fianna Gael” parties and a conglomerate of infighting Left Wing Parties.

There’s a large part of the Irish electorate (Right and Left) that are delighted with the Trump election. The Left must move towards these people, find out why they feel disenfranchised and offer them a vision for a brighter future. The Left must show this cohort that the alternative to the politics of fear is nothing to be feared.

There’s a large part of the Irish electorate (Left and Right) that are horrified with the Trump election. The Left must reach out to these people, show them how this is the opportunity we need for change. Ask them to help deliver a brighter future. The Left must use these new battle lines in the war of ideas to create a politics that can be taken seriously.

I’m an optimist. These political fractures are only superficial. The fact that it has happened in the US, shows the world that disillusionment and anger can shake the world. Imagine what healing enlightenment and cooperation could bring. Today is an opportunity for this process to start.

Opportunity knocks. Will you open the door or hide away?

Tony Groves – November 2016 Image result for opportunity knocks cartoon

 

Pick Up A Penguin

“Democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time” Winston Churchill to the House of Commons Nov 11th 1947

Listening to all the media lamenting the splintering of Democracy today, I’m never quite sure if “They” know what they are really mourning. Reading the “commentary and opinion pieces”, I think they are referring to their own losses of influence and authority. What they commonly refer to as the polarisation of the electorate, or the “unravelling of the centre” is just a change in Democracy activism. And the change is scary.

Brendan O’Connor laments on how Fine Gael are neglecting “their constituency“; what he calls “the majority in this country”. Brendan needs to check his numbers. Fine Gael, getting less than a quarter of the electoral vote at the last General Election, is not a “majority”.

The other Brendan (Burgess), is calling for cuts to social welfare in the name of “fairness”. The great humanitarian that he is, admits “it will cause hardship in the short term…but we have to tell people that living on the dole will no longer be a picnic”. Bless you Brendan, your tough love is an inspiration to Right Wingers everywhere.

Shane Coleman makes a good point when he says that the government seem “intent on repeating the catastrophic error of narrowing the tax base“. He’s right of course; history repeats. He undermines his own argument by quoting the Irish Tax Institute report example of someone on €75,000 paying 44 times more tax than someone earning €18,000. I’ve written previously how someone on €18,000 per annum is INSOLVENT under the Insolvency Service of Ireland’s basic living standards. Seriously, who fact checks these pieces/reports?

Eoin O’Malley, in a balanced piece, writes about the concerns around some of the most emotive challenges facing modern democracy. On immigration, he states “55% of Irish people agree that there should be very strict limits on the number of non-EU migrants coming to Ireland…yet we never hear any debate on what reasonable limits might be.” Yes Eoin, extremists, on both sides, make debate difficult. But not impossible. Don’t withdraw.

All of these pieces are about fear and loss. Fear of change of social class, loss of political influence, loss of financial standing and  a fear of uncomfortable debate.

But, the biggest wastes of human energies, are those of loss and fear. Instead of sulking over the kicking that the failed “representative democracy” has taken since the 2008 financial crash, they should be asking what can be done to make sure the birth of a new democratic activism is nurtured, rather than smeared as “sinister fringe”. Instead of mourning; writing lazy tropes about Irish Water protesters, we should be offering solutions.

In his short book, “Our Iceberg is Melting”, John Kotter tells of how a lone penguin realises that the iceberg, which has been the home to his colony for many years, is melting. Met with disdain and indifference from the colony leaders, he sets about building an alternative leadership dynamic.

By pulling together a small group with credibility, influencing skills, and strong analytical/ organisational skills, our loner creates that one thing needed to influence the entire colony: a sense of URGENCY.

Ultimately, this small band delivers a vision and a strategy that brings the majority into the new reality. A new world; one were everyone plays a role. The colony divides the labour, shares the responsibility and through their individual strengths, they successfully find and relocate to a new superior iceberg. Happily ever after, right? Wrong.

The colony, now experts in dealing with change, has established a new forward looking culture. They don’t get comfortable in their new surroundings. They push on and challenge each other to make sure they don’t become as complacent as their earlier leadership model.

This little book should be compulsive reading for anybody who:

  • Is wasting time lamenting the loss or fragmentation of their old model/status
  • Aspires to a better more inclusive future
  • Is afraid of change

Rest assured, despite the lamentations and wailings of traditionalists, change is already under way. Rather than push against change, we need to guide it. We need to mould these changes into a compelling vision for a fairer, more inclusive and progressive society. We need to remember that democracy, in its literal form, means people power.

People power is the exact opposite of Trump’s “only I can save us” shtick. People power is not the outsourcing of our democratic responsibility, once we vote every four years. People power is knowing Bernie Sanders won a great victory in his defeat to Hillary Clinton.

People power is having the courage to have difficult debates, addressing the fears of the “centre” and lending your skills to help create a new vision. We need an optimistic “we’re all in this together” democratic activism. Lazy cliches and diatribes, like those of the Two Brendan’s, have no place in a forward facing Ireland. They belong to the fear-mongering, change intolerant mourners. The future belongs to the ones who want to problem solve, not problem produce.

And no matter what your outlook, the Iceberg is still melting.

 

 

Tony Groves October 2016 Image result for penguin cartoon

 

 

 

Stick that in Your Knowledge Box

When the Taliban drove lorry-loads of dynamite from Kabul to the Bamiyan Valley in the Hindu Kush, they were (in their warped heads) doing Gods will. The world’s two largest standing Buddha’s were blown to pieces, having stood for nearly 1,700 years. The Taliban, proud of their achievement, videoed the destruction and put it on YouTube….as we do these days.

The deplorable ISIS has obliterated the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, the Venice of the sands; smashing away the memory of Syria’s glorious history, in the name of God, apparently. Again, lovingly preserving the carnage on social media.

I wonder how many of the “Jundallah” (soldiers of God) are aware of how their current ideology is not only reprehensible today, but would have been equally as condemned in the previous Caliphate, that of the Umayyad Caliphate of al-Andalus.

In 711ce, less than one hundred years after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, the Umayyad’s landed in Gibraltar, and by the end of the campaign most of the Iberian Peninsula was under Islamic rule. Yet, unlike today’s “caliphate”, they didn’t rush to destroy all the art and history of the land.

No, the Umayyad’s actually developed it. They had thriving communities in art, science, medicine and a buoyant economy. No better example existed than the Library of Al-Hakam II in Cordoba. It was said to be the largest collection of books anywhere in the world. At over 400,000; the catalogue of books “alone consisted of forty-four volumes”.

Imagine it; al-Andalus (modern Andalucía) was the cultural centre of the world. Whisper it, they even had Jewish Stonemasons work in the construction of the Great Mosque. What would the modern “caliphate” make of such sacrilege?

The current malignant vision has devolved from an 8th Century Caliphate of 400,000 books to a modern “caliphate” of one vile interpretation of just one book!

In the battle of ideas; the war for hearts and minds, whoever has the better propagandist wins. Whoever knows which buttons to push, what hooks to use and which clickbait works best, holds all the aces. Sadly, I don’t see the enlightened past used to counter the current propaganda! The moderators are asleep at the wheel.

And don’t think you’re not affected. We are all at the mercy of the manipulation of Data. In his Ted Talk, Ricardo Sabatini explains Big Data in human form. In terms of you and me, the (DNA Coding) data that goes into creating our bodies would fill ten thousand Titanic’s with hard-drives of data. Not only are you a giant Data set; you are an active participant, a player on the pitch.

As you read this, your phone is tracking your location, various apps are monitoring your behaviours and your search engine is placing ads on this very screen that are tailored to you, based on previous searches.

The Google Algorithm is whirring away, not just bringing up the search results you asked for, but actually bringing up the one it thinks you are looking for. No, you didn’t misread that. That little round Chrome logo is already in your head and is manipulating the search results in a way that it knows you like!

Big Data is Big Business. And Big Business has all your Data. It’s no wonder Google keep their algorithm so secret. Knowledge is power and that level of knowledge of us is a commodity. Commodities can be monetised. Speaking of commodities and monetisation…

Think of (the defunct) Irish Water, I mean, has there ever been a bigger Data Protection breach in this country than Irish Water? How many of us never registered with Irish Water, yet the bill arrived in your name? What right had the Revenue Commissioners to share our Data? Did they sell it? Seriously, this is outrageous. When Banks breach these Data Protection laws they get fined. Why was this okay? And let’s not linger on the ridiculous original requirement to provide PPSN numbers for “customers”.

We had an ill-formed and untested utility company spring up, illegally issued with a customer base that others would pay millions for. We have a Eurostat letter saying “privatisation is ultimately envisaged” and the Government of “Free Market” Fine Gael. How on earth were the establishment surprised that the plebeians didn’t go along with them in the further ruination of the public sphere? Honestly, WTF?

It gets worse. Not only are Political Parties spending millions of our money to gather our data, they then have a largely docile media that goes along for the ride.

When recently New Fianna Fail told us their New, New position on the abolition of New water charges, as part of New Politics, the Irish Independent published a headline proclaiming: “FF joined by Sinn Fein, AAA/PBP in call to abolish water charges”

Honestly,  this happened. An news paper decided to manipulate reality to credit New Fianna Fail with suddenly coming up with the idea of abolishing water charges. It would be funny if this particular publication hadn’t already spent months smearing anyone with legitimate concerns about the Lame Duck Utility, Irish Water.

If you want to read real Data on how bad the Irish (fair and balanced?) media actually is, I recommend this article from Padraig O’Mara, it’s a real eyeopener.

I’m not suggesting all the Data is being used for nefarious purposes, the vast majority is used to improve life. The biggest leaps we will make in the coming years will be because we can gather information like never before and make (hopefully) better decisions/discoveries.

I am however, suggesting that you look at what you read (including this) with a healthy dose of scepticism. I am arguing that you should ALWAYS question those in charge.I’m not saying not to click on the fluff piece that catches your eye. I’m one of those who never liked Clickbait articles, but then I clicked the link…

…and you won’t believe what happened next.

Tony Groves September 2016 ethics