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Before the Surge

Today as we enter lockdown here in Ireland we are also waiting for the surge.  So many new terms for our condition; social distancing, cocooning, washing hands, not touching our face, and of course the surge. In a matter of days my perception of the world has changed. Daily, I search online for news, mostly news of deaths, across the world. Nightly, I wait for our own account of new cases and new deaths. And recently when watching television, I shuddered when I saw a normal gathering of people – too close too close I thought – and I physically recoiled when two people hugged on screen.  Suddenly two metres is the new norm. As a young teenage I loved history and studied it in Trinity. I particularly loved World War 1 for many reasons including the innocence, the heroism, and the misplaced notions of patriotism. In a war fought over a tiny principality the reality was far from any notion of fighting for good, whatever that might mean anyway. I studied stories in the trenches, about the boredom and then the going over the top. I read one story of a young captain who brought his football to the […]

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Wicklow Good News (1) Michelle Power Lynch

Wickow Good News is a podcast available on and to tell the good news stories coming out of Wicklow as Irish people rise in solidarity with front line workers to help their neighbours. Wicklow Good News was set up by Jillian Godsil and Marlena Murphy. Over the coming weeks they hope to speak with the many heroes who shine despite the terrible times. We will overcome and we will overcome together. The first guest to speak on the show was Michelle Lynch Power, audiologist and activist based in Greystones but working in Tallaght Hospital. Michelle was previously on the Wicklow This Week radio programme on East Coast FM which I presented until COVID19 put a stop to all that.  On that occasion, the subject of the interview was her daughter Grace who was only 5 years of age. Two years prior Grace has seen a picture of a child with no hair undergoing cancer treatment.  She was very upset, even as a three year old, and wanted to do something to help. Her response was to grow her hair so that she could donate it to a charity. Two years later with lots of tears, as tangles were […]

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Jonha Richman – where in the world is Jonha Richman?

In February of this year I interviewed the lovely Jonha Richman.  The article is below – it is a gentle article that spends more time on another podcast – Planet Money – than her story but I liked it well enough. Right now I am trying to get in contact with Jonha. I have a question to ask her. If you know her or perhaps live on the same street or maybe go to the same cafe would you mind asking her to give me a buzz. And the question I want to ask is – Are you okay Jonha? Thank you Jillian Godsil Jonha Richman – and the five year bet Sometimes people can be lighthouses – and shine light onto other topics rather than themselves. This was the case when I interviewed Jonha Richman who explained to me about a famous NPR podcast, or rather two podcasts, recorded five years apart. This is the story of the future of money. January 2014 and NPR’s Podcast Planet Money was witness to an unusual bet. Hosts Jacob Goldstein and David Kestenbaum were talking about predictions. Jacob said that he disliked most predictions as they were often ‘weaselly’ by which he […]

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Kleros – The Justice Protocol Explained

CCN Every so often a blockchain project that comes along that knocks your socks off and Kleros may be just the that one. Steeped in intellectual concepts, Kleros delivers a decentralised organisation that promises fast, affordable and transparent justice for all. Given that we live in a time were justice is perceived to the preserve of the rich, this platform may very well change the world. Let’s start with the name and philosophical origins. Kleros derives from the Greek. Jury duty was much sought after in Ancient Greece and moreover paid. Citizens wishing to be picked for jury duty would submit tokens, called pinakions, into an allotment machine called a kleroterion. A justice officer would use a dice on the side of the machine eliminating random names with the remaining people selected. Fast forward into more recent history and consider the work of American economist Thomas Schelling. He set up an experiment where he asked students to rendezvous in New York without giving either party a time or place. The most popular choice selected was the information booth in Grand Central Station at noon. This introduced the concept of the Focal Point, often called the Schelling point, where people can […]

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FundRequest, Aiming To Monetize Open Software

CCN The open software community is a very special space. People are committed to open source as an ideology, a way of collaborating and a way of being. For many it is also a pastime or hobby to jump onto a platform like GitHub and start solving other people’s issues. There are downfalls, of course, sometimes solutions can be a long time coming. Waiting six months for a bug fix is not really ideal in a commercial operation. There is also the possibility of getting bad fixes or inelegant code. Given the open nature of the community it is hard to police and hard to determine quality. Having said that, the open source community has come on a long way in the past twenty years. Nowadays many commercial operations use multiple elements of open source in their overall systems. The overall quality is as good, if not better than proprietary software (think of all those super brains fixing common issues) and it is typically robust and secure. FundRequest is a project looking to propel open source to the next level – without compromising the core ethos of the community. The concept was originated by Karel Striegel, a Belgium IT entrepreneur.  […]

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