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


Category: Aux

Model Metropolis

On the dark side of SimCity: “Behind one of the most iconic computer games of all time is a theory of how cities die—one that has proven dangerously influential.” #link


Maciej Cegłowski on ‘the siege of Carrie Lam’

“Carrie Lam is a Theresa May-like figure who seems to thrive on a performative stoicism, standing firm in the face of a self-inflicted crisis that a more capable politician would simply wiggle out of. She is a tragic figure in the same way that a pilot who points the nose of the aircraft at a mountain and refuses to listen to the passengers screaming for her to turn is a tragic figure. You puzzle over her motives while also wishing that someone, anyone, would throw her out of the plane.” Great analysis here on the protest the west has seemingly put behind it (because if the markets are untroubled…). #link


Boris Johnson, Shady SEO Master?

This kind of ‘reputation management’ is clearly awful but makes perfect sense, and reminds me of an article I read recently about what I believe was the US agricultural giant Cargill, and how it uses SEO tricks to keep its bad press buried on the web, but which I now cannot find (touché). #link


Trial by Fire

Bee shared this one with me, from 10 years ago: a quietly furious tale of prejudice where pride — in one’s self-appointed expertise (in this case, junk science about arson investigations), in one’s convictions (the failings of eyewitness testimony), whatever it may be — comes before truth and justice. #link


How can you tell that an Irish person’s successful? The media starts calling them British

“‘Britishness’ is, essentially, a slightly less nationalistic way for English people to declare how great England is, while deploying a meagre fig-leaf of imperial distance which, for some reason, they find more palatable. This allows the English to combine a heartfelt conviction of their own popularity, with a reflexive, toddler-like joy in grabbing things that don’t quite belong to them; and also enables their pesky habit of cheerily rendering ‘British’ anything else that isn’t nailed down, like countries, museum treasures and, latterly, Irish celebs.” Plenty more choice quotes where this came from. (Though we should probably like cricket more, especially considering how well we’re playing at Lord's right now.) #link


Forty-plus years of Super Sentai tokusatsu covered in about eight minutes. Interesting to see how blatantly toy-oriented the Japanese shows are compared to the western adaptations. #video


Olly with an excellent breakdown of the philosophy behind antifascism, one that also serves as a takedown of the naivety of certain journalistic quarters in the face of racist rhetoric and manipulation. #video


Pure CSS

Diana Smith’s art made in the medium of CSS and HTML. Very impressive. By the way, this is from my MeFi favourites, where I occasionally save stuff that interests me. #link


Yotam Ottolenghi’s hummus recipes

Hummus is dead easy to make and I really should make some more often. (Same goes for chimichurri, though I’ve found it harder to get the flavour balance right.) #link


Sometimes all you need in your life is some baby capybaras. [c/o TKSST] #video


Why no-one speaks Indonesia’s language

If there’s a moral to this story, it’s that these things can’t be forced. Imposing orthography from above? That’s been done before: Cyrillic, Korean, even modern Irish. But the nuts and bolts of communication are something else. How may people speak Esperanto, after all? #link


Layoutit!

Easily adjustable website frameworks via Bootstrap or CSS. Nicely done. #link


Pop culture today is obsessed with the battle between good and evil. Traditional folktales never were. What changed?

“Good guy/bad guy narratives might not possess any moral sophistication, but they do promote social stability, and they’re useful for getting people to sign up for armies and fight in wars with other nations. Their values feel like morality, and the association with folklore and mythology lends them a patina of legitimacy, but still, they don’t arise from a moral vision. They are rooted instead in a political vision, which is why they don’t help us deliberate, or think more deeply about the meanings of our actions. Like the original Grimm stories, they’re a political tool designed to bind nations together.” [c/o LinkMachineGo] #link


Mental Floss: 28 Weird and Wonderful Irish Words

I wouldn’t go by their pronunciation guide (the language can be spoken with considerable difference depending on what part of the country you’re in) but this is a nice appreciation of Irish vocabulary. I wish I spoke Irish, but school ruined that for me, and I have no drive to learn it now. #link


Olly’s videos, like this one, are excellent stuff — and indeed represent Kant’s moral philosophy in praxis. #video


Learn To Code Now

I’ve still got the basics down, but I could do with something like this as a refresher course. #link