Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.


Blogging From the Belly of Beirut

A good story from Wired about blogs as a meeting point for conversation between all sides of the current conflict that manages to be both positive and desparingly grim at the same time. #link


Good comment on a MetaFilter thread about the current Middle East crisis

"...I think that regardless of whether the Israeli response is justified, it's definitely downright stupid policy. I think it's also very arguable that the response has been disproportionate at the very least, but like I said, I prefer not to take sides. Regardless, the onus of responsibility is on Israel to [stand down] -- since they do have a professional army under governmental control, unlike Lebanon -- and they're doing everything but taking the high ground. They are actively discouraging the conditions necessary for peace." Agreed. Israel is certainly in a difficult position -- knowing that even if they stop, Hezbollah won't -- but you can't fight fire with a flamethrower. And that's my last word on the matter, because writing about the wrongs of the world makes me too angry and depressed. #link


Israel angry, US wary as Annan peace plan calls for ceasefire

The UN is -- as it has been for the last umpteen years -- hamstrung by the massive (and massively unfair) influence of the US administration; therefore the most Kofi Annan can do at this stage is talk. But while the intent might be honourable, talk is unfortunately cheap, and it's not nearly enough to buy our way out of this mess. #link


Israeli terrorism in Lebanon

A Barbelith thread on the current disaster in the Middle East, to which I have been contributing intermittently. I may have gotten off on the wrong foot with my presumption that paramilitary terrorism was being ignored in favour of singly condemning 'big bad' Israel, but let's not kid ourselves here: while I will never have any sympathy for the likes of Hezbollah and Hamas, I have absolute conviction that the Israeli government and the IDF are also committing acts of terrorism against the citizens of Lebanon (and, yet again, the disenfranchised people of Palestine). It's disproportionate to a morally unjustifiable degree -- and whatever way you want to dress it up, it is and will always be wrong. The cycle of violence has to be stopped. Now. #link


Self, aggregated

Rex at Fimoculous.com recently relaunched his site with a brand new look, and a brand new approach to blogging — intended, he says, to signal the notion that “the future of blogging is self-aggregation”:

In a sense, we’re going back to the future. Blogs are starting to take on more of a “personal homepage” feel — a collection of media, writing, lists, reviews, events, geography, etc. In other words, we’re introducing structured data into what was previously just a text-based form.

That idea inspired me, and really got me thinking about what I want from my own website, and what I want to use it for. I asked myself: Do I just want a blog with other bits tacked on? Or do I want a site for and about me, a hub to collect and store all kinds of information relevant to and for me (events in my life and my thoughts on the world; links to other sites that interest me; what I’m reading/watching/listening to)? The site as it was is best described as the former; what I wanted was the latter. But how to get from one to the other?

More…


Bravo to Bravo for picking up [adult swim]

It's on every night from midnight, hopefully a permanent fixture. First impressions? I'm loving Robot Chicken and The Brak Show, but the rest isn't as funny as I'd been led to believe by the internets. #link


Paul Hammond's notes on typography from @media 2006

Just to add my own note: Helvetica might be unfashionable, but it's underappreciated. Same goes for Georgia, which actually looks just fine in print too (if you like your fonts with a little padding round the middle). The real problem as I see it is that the wrong typefaces are being used in the wrong contexts: I never, for instance, saw Comic Sans in a real world, 'meatspace' setting until computers exploded in popularity in the late 1990s -- is it really as popular as it's made out to be, or are people just lazy, with no conscious understanding of the message and/or sub-text that such a font conveys? #link


An Duce, RIP

I didn't bother writing anything about Haughey's passing, because John Naughton pretty much says it all. #link


Heavy Theater

David Byrne on seeing Sunn O))) in concert. Face it, people: metal is legitimate. #link