Digest – April 25 2010

Yadda yadda yadda…

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Stephen Kinsella has an open letter to all leaving cert students, he’s dead right. I got a monumental 210 points in my leaving cert, I’m one of very few journalists under the age of 25 working full-time (alebit, that may say more about journalism than the importance of the leaving cert), I’m doing alright, it wasn’t the end of the world. I love studying but I can’t learn in the way the leaving cert and academia demand. Batt, stick the Kinsella fella in charge.

Nyder O’Leary, once again proves he’s one of the best current affairs commentators in the country. Weaves a web about transparency around the Terence Wheelock case – on which we recently released some new information, which was almost completely ignored elsewhere online, strangely, unfortunately – and Fianna Fáil remaining in Government. Lovely writing, great commentary. Oi Nyder, when TheStory can afford it, you’re hired, chief editorial writer.

Gene Kerrigan on a government, led by Brian Cowen, that never takes responsibility

The folks trying to swing the vote on the “reform” cuts continued to hammer Richie and he folded. And a spokesperson for Mr Cowen promptly welcomed Richie’s surrender. And noted exultantly that it was “in response to public concern” — get this — “as was reflected by the Taoiseach earlier today”.

Tuesday, the scandal had nothing to do with Mr Cowen. Wednesday, we’re told it’s his triumphant blow that has felled the evil Baron Richie of Top-Up.

Truly, the man is an embarrassment.

Reactions to the FCO Memo story (UK minister insults Pope in internal communications); short one from Gerard Cunningham (although he wants any [freelance] journalists reading to check this one out instead) and longer from Splintered Sunrise.

Turbulence Ahead, “surf’s up”.

Will the internet save us from the next global disaster? That’s the fascinating thesis put forward by David Eagleman. He has featuredonce or twice in previous posts – he’s always guaranteed to challenge your thinking. David’s talk at the Long Now Seminar series identifies six easy steps to avert the collapse of civilisation. A noble ambition. They range from ‘trying not to cough on one another’ to ‘mitigating tyranny’. All his steps have one thing in common: the ubiquity of the internet and its capacity for distributed productivity, learning and knowledge storage…

WORLD

New York Times profile Mike Allen of Politico, the man who’s changing political journalism hugely in Washington DC. Absolutely fascinating character, great article. Not sure if he’s changing journalism for the better or worse however.

Also, NYT, profile of Jure Robic, probably the world’s best ultra-endurance athlete. Those ultra-endurance athletes are always interesting people. Anyone else get the feeling most of them are competing in such fields to make up for, or avoid re-entering, other cycles of extreme in their lifestyles? Anyway, lovely article.

The Onion reports

WASHINGTON—According to a new report released Monday by a panel of top economists and social scientists, the People’s Republic of China will overtake the United States as the world’s dominant asshole by the year 2020.

The findings, published in the most recent issue of Foreign Affairs, support recent speculation that America’s unquestioned reign as the leading super-prick may soon be drawing to a close, leaving China as the foremost shithead among all developed nations.

The “Welcome to Lagos” documentary series currently showing on the BBC is brilliant. Here’s the link to the first episode. Best telly I’ve watched in a long time. Thursday night, BBC 2, appointment viewing. New Statesman review here. Guardian here. Seriously great stuff, don’t miss it this Thursday.

Great example of how to answer a question on television, by Chris Hayes of The Nation, see video below. A lot of what he says about finance and government applies here also, though perhaps moreso for property than finance.

OTHER

Sundance award-winning Irish-made film His & Her goes on full release some time soon. Maybe it has done already, I’ve been too hungover busy to check. It looks great. Here’s a round-up of reviews. A video with director, Ken Wardrop, done before the project, is below. It tells you about the kind of films he likes to make, His & Hers seems just that type.

First time I’ve been excited to go see something in the cinema in years.

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