Category Archives: Business/Economics


Or “negative inflation”, as the powers that be seem to be describing it these days. It’s hit Ireland for the first time since 1960, although frankly I haven’t seen prices come down anywhere and the cost of public transport has increased about 10%. I’m not going to lie though, deflation on consumer goods and such would be good for me, given the whole unemployment thing.


There’s a good reason I haven’t blogged for what looks like a solid six weeks: I’m up the walls. Unemployed or not — for I departed the ranks of the jobbers on Dec 31 — I have had too much on my plate. Even my Blogline feeds are stacking up, save for one or two.

So it’s a recession, and we’re all heading to hell in a handcart (or insert your phrase of choice here). Is the feeling of gnawing panic down to the internet?

This is our first experience of recession in the internet age, and so far I don’t like it one little bit. You could say that the internet makes the recession more bearable as there are all those networks to help people get jobs and there is eBay for buying second-hand things.

Yet such things are trivial compared to what the internet is doing to our confidence. The internet has created a global psyche. The web has mentally joined us at the hip, so we can no longer put our heads in the sand. If that sounds painfully contorted, it is because it is. Just as no country can decouple itself from the ailing global economy, none of us as individuals can decouple ourselves from the ailing global psyche.

Through blogs, websites and e-mails, the world’s economic ills are fed to us on a drip all day long. It is not just that we hear about bad things faster, we hear about more of them and in a more immediate way. My worries become yours and yours become mine. On the internet, a trouble shared is not a trouble halved. It is a trouble needlessly multiplied all over the world.

Links o' the day 27/11/08

This shot of wind tower in Jaipur is one of my favourite photos of recent times. And it certainly helps take one’s mind off the carnage that’s going on in Mumbai.

While on the subject of great photographs, here are ten of Hubble’s best before it gets decommissioned in 2010.

Say phooey to that digital alarm clock and get a pin one instead.

Although given its recent track record (read “Vista”), Microsoft has got a fair bit right.

Could newspapers have survived the web?

The credit crunch/economic meltdown has thrown up all sorts of new financial terms. Just to add one: apparently Nokia refers to “synergy-related headcount adjustments”, better known to you and me as redundancies.

Links o' the day 20/11/08

China’s output per head of population is smaller than Albania’s. Except China could probably buy swathes of the planet.

Wooly mammoth DNA decoded. Am I the only one who wants to see this species roam the Earth again?

A gallery of the greatest conspiracy theories.

Prices at Dubai’s Palm developments are down 40% to a paltry $2.7m.

Vive la France (in digital library terms at least).

It seems 21% of Americans can’t find the Pacific Ocean on a map. On the plus side, 94% can find the US.

The fakir who was buried alive for 40 days.