Saturday 1 October 2016

Government still in the dark when it comes to technology

Published 17/10/2015 | 02:30

Paddy Cosgrave at the Web Summit
Paddy Cosgrave at the Web Summit

The departure of the Web Summit for Lisbon is typical of how little our Government and establishment understand modern technology.

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Technology is the buzzword on every politician's and economist's lips but deep down there is no appreciation whatsoever of the extent to which computerisation has transformed economic reality in the last two decades or so.

The digital age is entirely different to anything that happened in the world before. The basic rules of production and growth and work which existed since the dawn of history have been ripped out by the roots.

Where there always was shortage, there is now surplus, where there always was growth, there is sufficiency, and where there always was work, there is now automation.

Three great stalwarts of economic ideology have been reversed but there is no recognition of the transformation and no effort whatsoever to adapt or prepare for the economic chaos which will ensue if we continue a crazy pursuit of growth which is no longer needed or possible, and traditional employment from work that diminishes by the minute.

Unless our governments and establishment soon cotton on to the enormity of the change modern technology has wrought on real economic activity, the hightailing of the Web Summit will be just a precursor of what will happen to prosperity and employment .

Padraig Neary

Co Sligo

Make up your mind on Budget

The Irish media rightly complained about the cuts to public services over the years of austerity. It has after the recent Budget, however, started complaining that too much is being spent.

This is the same media that declared the Celtic Tiger budgets 'responsible' and declared those who raised questions about them to be 'whingers'.

A Leavy

Sutton

Dublin 13

Where is the fairness?

The Universal Social Charge which was the subject of discussion before and after the Budget has some serious inequalities.

An example which appeared in your paper the day after the Budget showed a retired couple on a pension of €36,264, made up of two contributory pensions and one private pension of €12,000, exempt from USC.

A married public service pensioner (over 70s) with a similar amount of pension will pay €827.94 in USC in 2016, having paid €1,030.32 in 2015.

I don't understand why pensioners with the same amount of pension are treated so differently. Where is the fairness or equality in such treatment?

Name and address with editor

Same-sex marriage: deal with it

Eric Conway commends Fr Joseph Okere, the Longford-based priest, for speaking so clearly on the issue of "so-called same-sex marriage" (Irish Independent, October 15).

Here in Ireland we call that marriage - perhaps it has yet to resonate within Longford, or the priesthood.

Gary J Byrne

IFSC,

Dublin

Which partner will get paternity leave in a same-sex marriage?

John Williams

Clonmel

Downsizing screens

Sitting watching my 42-inch TV the other night (not that big), my grandsons were engrossed in their four-inch screens. It's a funny old world - when all this stuff over the years seemed to be getting bigger, here we are back to the future.

B Grist

Dublin

Gangs of 'lustful men' a disgrace

Please, please may I apologise to Jenny Stanley (October 14, 'Journey home turned to degradation by gangs of lustful males') on behalf of all the decent people in this country, male and female, for what she experienced on her journey home from work recently.

And, as any normal male, who admires the beauty of the female species, which of course is perfectly normal, I am totally ashamed and disgusted at such behaviour.

Have a great life Jenny, and try not to give them another thought, they are not worth it.

Brian McDevitt

Glenties, Co Donegal

Here's one rugby conversion

I am not a rugby man. I never quite made it in the circle of the old tartan blanket, hip flask and sheepskin jacket brigade. Always thought it was their loss, not mine.

But that all changed when by chance I sat down to watch the mighty Springboks toy with the Japanese. I was waiting for a football match to start and had a few minutes to kill. I reckoned it would be all over in a flash. Brutal but swift annihilation. Well, who would back a mouse against an elephant?

The Japanese heroics reminded me why elephants have such good grounds for being frightened of mice. It was one of the most disciplined and brave sporting encounters I have ever watched.

The intensity and concentration were, to use that terribly abused term, "truly awesome".

Maybe there is more to what the "chaps" had been talking about for all this time, I thought. By the time the match was over, I was almost as exhausted as the players. The disbelief of the huge hulking South Africans and the pure emotion of the joyful Japanese, it was a script that no one could have envisioned.

Then last Sunday I gave it another go and sat down to cheer on Ireland. It is not that I did not admire the obvious commitment and passion of rugby players. The big collisions and secret warfare that goes on in the scrum has an intrigue. But I was never privy to the intricacies and, therefore, never more than a casual supporter.

Yet who could not have been moved by the fire and fury that Ireland unleashed under the closed roof in Cardiff. The impressive stadium was transformed into a cauldron of green energy. Les Blues had nine bells knocked out of them before half time. I found myself almost in tears when I saw Paul O'Connell in such pain. The battering took its toll on Johnny Sexton and Peter O'Mahony too.

When the final whistle came, I saw the emotion written all over the face of young Ian Madigan. It told its own story. These lads give their hearts and souls to their game.

The Rugby World Cup has got a conversion.

A Kinnehan

Connemara, Co Galway

Irish Independent

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