Life, The Universe and Everything: Reflections and Rants

  • Primary Codes

    Coding in Primary schools is not really the solution to a shortage of skilled programmers right now; done badly, it won’t help in the future either.  There is an emerging generation of kids who are growing up with smartphones and tablets, and ‘coding’ isn’t the skill they need to learn

  • Losing my religion…

    Religion is a difficult question for many people in the 2016 Irish Census. In 2011, 84.2% ticked the box as “Catholic” but it’s quite clear that figure is far higher than the number of actual practising and believing Catholics in the Republic. How can people navigate their way to marking an appropriate box on April […]

  • You know you’re old when..

    Your son is old enough to run in a general election. Even though he is an outsider, I feel it’s good because People who support Green policies should be able to vote for them, even in constituencies where the odds are against winning a seat. It all contributes to the national debate. Participation by young […]

  • Mind Mapping, Knowledge Cartography 2015

    I originally started requiring students to use mind minds as a tool to visualise  the structure of single articles, separating argument and analysis from supporting evidence. Over time, our use of mindmaps has grown, to encompass mapping debates across multiple sources in order to construct a literature review, and from an essay planning tool to […]

  • Small is even more beautiful now

    Thirty years ago, I felt that  the state was the enemy of a free people; I still believe that is true even if liberalism has lost its way and become ‘neo’ which is an interesting pun if love The Matrix.  Be warned – Rant mode is full on below this line!

  • That $5 trillion isn’t gone away you know…

    The $5 trillion wiped off the value of global equities as the Chinese market collapse spreads hasn’t all vanished – it’s just gone somewhere else in search of a different bubble.  What is really spectacular is not the collapse of Chinese markets, but the capacity of people to ignore the obvious indicators that it was […]

  • Reading into Digital Humanities (Summer 2015)

    New Semester in Six Weeks! The summer is flying by, this years cohort of Masters students are deep in writing their dissertations, most of the places for next year have been filled, BA offers will be going on in a few weeks,  and new students are asking “What should I read before we start”.  Reading […]

  • The Obligatory Greek Crisis Blog Post

    Greece stumbles between disaster and catastrophe this weekend; no one knows how it will turn out, no one is even clear on what they are voting on. We may never be clear on what is or has happened, but it seems to me that there are some things we can start to develop some perspective […]

  • Curiosity to Objectivity

    I find there is a serious flaw in academics strait-laced pursuit of “objective truth” as a holy grail, not only in the humanities but even in the ‘hard’ sciences.  No one start out with a cold research question, and anyone who claims to do so is wrong.

  • A reading cycle

    Students who come to my courses often get a bit of a shock – I try very hard to not lecture. My classes are flipped, blended and discussion based. Often students are not aware of what they are getting into when the join my options, so this is a utility blog post to explain how […]