Ireland 2023: Letters to the editor
Little did we know how much the cloud infrastructure of the past would radically change both our lines of communication and our connections of today. With the Industrial Internet now a reality and intelligent data flows enabling practically every machine we own to talk to us, it would have been easy to lose sight of the real opportunity where 10 years ago talk of revolution against the establishment thankfully became a revolution in how we connect and use people?s resources wisely.
It was a difficult time when dreamers like myself had to stretch outside their own imagination and have the courage and tenacity to re-invent, when resources were constrained, economies and markets were unstable and people were scared of being replaced. Even today I still believe that technology is the true enabler; the catalyst between progress and the realisation of the full human potential and I?m glad to say, with our company?s help, that it?s achievable and easily managed.
So despite the tough times of yesteryear and the journey that brought us to our present success, I?d say to anyone starting out - trust yourself and never give up on an idea.
It seems more than a decade since I was nine years old. In 2015, Apple joined forces with Irish company Carrot. Ever since, technology has been getting more and more advanced. In 2016 Apple and Carrot invented the Hoverboard and now they are as popular as bikes were 10 years ago.
They also invented the first mind-controlled laptop (a contraption that allows the user to surf the web without touching the laptop). As well as technology, architecture has been getting quite advanced. Architects have figured out how to make buildings with up to 1,000 floors without them collapsing and the Empire State Building has been extended to 800 floors! And a new island was discovered, and was named Barbon after a large discussion with most of the European presidents involved. Anyway the island is home to an uncontacted tribe. I should probably say where this island was found. It was discovered just off the coast of France but eventually it was named by Spain.
Now, more about Carrot. Carrot made their first major breakthrough in 2014 when they discovered how to make a robot look exactly like a human being. Ever since that, the CIA have been asking them for 3,000 of the things! Carrot put a fake skin over the robots, kind of terminator style. But after they drew up some blueprints for the flying car? Now THAT was Apple?s breaking point! Apple e-mailed the head of Carrot with a request to join forces, and they accepted. But I?d still say Apple?s golden age was when Steve Jobs was around. That man was the Leonardo Da Vinci of his time. But together Apple and Carrot didn?t just make fancy multi-millionaire type things, they also made useful around-the-house type things with their knowledge of technology, for instance, the walking toaster. As you can see it has been a fascinating ten years and a good ten years. That is all.
I write as a person long involved in organising the Irish in America for the Democratic Party. How satisfying that, in her State of the Union address, President Hillary Clinton referred to the ?special relationship? between Ireland and the United States. She went so far as to indicate that Ireland has overtaken the United Kingdom as America?s closest economic partner in Europe.
How times have changed since 2013 when Ireland was in economic pain and the United States was in political convulsions! Now Ireland is growing more strongly than almost any other European economy, and the United States seems to have broken its ideological fever.
How that break came to pass is worth recalling: It began with President Obama, whom many conservatives viewed as seriously threatening, but whose presidency was marked by pragmatism and restoration of order to the economy, and included his historic achievements in health reform, gun control and immigration.
The American people got a taste for competence over rhetoric and, in the circumstances, whom else would they have voted for in 2016 other than President Clinton? She too embodied a threat for some, but she too has governed not as the ideologue that some feared but from the centre, as a visionary of the achievable. The people trust her, and once again they trust the federal government to work competently in their interests. That is the reason the federal budget will be balanced next year for the first time in over 20 years, and that is how she succeeded in securing the historic peace deal in the Middle East last year.
America will always burn in the white heat of ideological difference, but just for the moment it seems also to be enjoying the light of pragmatism and co-operation. It is gratifying to note that many Reagan Democrats, of whom the Irish-Americans were perhaps the greatest number, have returned to the fold. And even those who never will return must know that their grandchildren have returned in their vast numbers and that the future is theirs.
President, Irish American Democrats
We are advancing as a race like never before, from the discovery of the Higgs Boson in Cern almost a decade ago to the recent triumph of man walking on Mars, we truly have explored and revealed the secrets of the universe from the subatomic to the grandest of scales.
However, these have all been eclipsed with the announcement from UCTD (formerly UCD and TCD) of the grand unification theory of the universe. With the universe finally surrendering all of her mysteries and her laws to UCTD we now think we know everything.
In summary everything has changed but not much has changed.
On a recent trip back to Ireland, I happened upon our esteemed President and your former colleague paying a courtesy visit to the growing German community in our country.
It is a matter of some regret that new arrivals invariably end up huddled together in the more down-at-heel parts of Dublin ? and Dalkey certainly has plunged into a stark decline since the discovery of oil ? yet the sight of President Fintan O?Toole, surrounded by the glowing faces of German kinder was enough to gladden the darkest of hearts.
Equally gladdening was the generosity of spirit this visit represented. Our President refuses to be counted among those still dwelling on the events of a decade ago: those whose bitterness prevents them from welcoming the German immigrant seeking honest work; just as the Irish have done so many times through the centuries.
These people also fail to grasp the economic common sense of having them here: much of the money they earn is remitted back to the mother country, adding some much needed grease to the rusting wheels of the German economy. And without this grease, how are they ever going to pay us back all the money they owe us?
It is also worth noting that Dalkey now boasts an excellent range of shops selling top-quality wurst and a dazzling range of fruit brandies: many of which our President found time to sample.
On a yacht drifting through the Mediterranean
May I use your columns to defend two recent decisions of Pope Clement XV against the vicious and unfounded attacks of the Ancient Order of the Defenders of the Tourbe who seem determined to undermine all the recently published documents of Vatican III. The fact that Mary McAleese is now a Cardinal of the Church can be described neither as heresy nor as nepotism. There never has been any reason why a woman could not be made a cardinal of the Catholic Church, it simply has not been common practice in a somewhat uniformly male assembly. As for the charge of nepotism: it is true that both the pope and Mary McAleese happen to be Irish but her elevation would have to be described as ?nepticism? if ever our use of language were to get back some of its gender balance. However, even in a culture where male is no longer the norm I still find it disappointingly churlish that our Taoiseach, Ivana Bacik, refuses to attend tomorrow?s centenary celebrations for the birth of Norman Mailer in New York, purely on grounds that he refused to donate his ego to neuro-biological research. Let?s not lose the run of ourselves altogether. There is truth in the cliche that a history of Ireland is written over every pub door in the country with one ?ambiguous? [Ferriter, 2012] word: pull. We can?t have it every which way, so let?s use it before we lose it.
That might sum up the philosophy of Chuck Feeney, who has travelled the world conducting a clandestine operation to give away his enormous fortune. His foundation has funneled $7.5 billion into education, science, health care, aging and civil rights in the US, Australia, Vietnam, Bermuda, South Africa and Ireland. Few people since the world began have given away more, and no one at his wealth level has ever given their fortune away so completely during their lifetime.
The question is simple: how much good can a good Chuck chuck, if a good Chuck could chuck goods? And the answer is, if everybody followed his example and began ?giving while living,? [which is his neat formula for leaving this world as you came into it, empty-handed] something in the region of $20 trillion could be made available for urgent social needs around the world. This is approximately the sum that the richest people in the world are preparing to hand on to the next generation in perpetuity. A dollar today is worth so much more than ever it will be worth tomorrow. So, even from the point of view of the wealthy, Chuck?s mantra makes better sense, and better value for money. Saints are those whose lives are held up to others struggling on earth as examples to be imitated. Could we have a better one at this time?