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12 better rules for men

  1. Equality for others means you win too. Like other sorts of winning, equality is more satisfying when you fight for it.
  2. Laugh at yourself and allow others to laugh at you. Don’t be too proud.
  3. Embrace social change and be wary of a fictional nostalgic past where you might have had a higher status.
  4. Sexual consent matters.
  5. As men we have power and privilege that women don’t have in our society. Acknowledging this doesn’t undermine our own achievements.
  6. Be interested in things, be happy that others like them differently.
  7. Accept things can sometimes be hopeless. When they are, cry. Ask for help.
  8. Be slow to judge: try to imagine walking in the shoes of those less fortunate than you.
  9. Be kind to others, especially to those with whom you disagree.
  10. Be kind to yourself.
  11. You’re probably a bit gay. Embrace it.
  12. Be careful of pithy advice from old men like me

Context

  • Jordan Peterson has a book with 12 rules, and they seemed kind of rubbish, so I came up with my own.

Caveats

  • This is a work in progress. I’m happy to receive feedback.
  • I have no idea what I’m talking about. I mean it about rule 12.
  • A number of people contacted me after my last article about Jordan Peterson pointing out that I should probably read his stuff before being snarky about it. I have ordered his book and will post a review when I’ve read it.
  • I was thinking of heterosexual Irish men when writing this. Applicability to other kinds of men may be limited.

Is Irish masculinity in crisis?

A shot of the crowds at the Jordan Peterson event in Dublin. Photo credit: Peter Kavanagh / @TheKavOfficial on Twitter (tweet link)

I had been aware that Jordan Peterson had been coming to the 3 Arena in Dublin for the last few months, and if I’m honest I was looking forward to a minor inner gloat as he spoke to a tiny crowd. I was shocked to see a photo of thousands of Irish men gathered to listen to a message that masculinity is in crisis, because feminism and liberalism has gone too far (this New Yorker article has a relatively balanced summary of his views). If I’m honest I can’t think of a progressive thinker who could draw such crowds on a sunny July afternoon.

I think this is evidence that there is a large cohort of men in Ireland, especially younger men, who are deeply dissatisfied with some of the progressive changes we’ve made as a society, who feel that gender equality has gone ‘too far’ and who think that the role of men is being dangerously undermined in Western societies. A crisis, if you will.

This development saddens me, and makes me worried about the future. I don’t know what the answer is, except that Irish men who are progressive and feminist and believe in tackling inequality need to do more. We need to start our own public conversations about gender and why we believe that equality is not here yet, and why it’s worth fighting for. We should not demonise the thousands of men who turned up in Dublin yesterday, but we should also be making our own arguments why a more equal and progressive future is a better one, for men and women.

By recognising our privilege as Irish men, and using that privilege to amplify and support people with less privilege than we enjoy, we become better fathers and sons and brothers and husbands. I don’t know how we can do it, but we need to listen to compassion to those who disagree with us, and figure out together a better future for Irish masculinity.

Get all cases of an enum in Swift 4.2 with CaseIterable

Swift 4.2 brings a really handy protocol for Swift enums that Dave Sims and I discussed back when he gave his talk on Swift enums to the iOS developer meetup in Limerick (and subsequently in Dublin and Indianapolis). The problem is this: when you have an enum in Swift you often want an array with all its cases. Because you’re displaying those cases in a table view or a segmented control or any other UI element that has a concept of an index. I’ve settled on the code like the following to manually add the relevant array:

public protocol AllCaseable {
    static var allCases:  [Self] { get }
}

enum PaymentType: AllCaseable {
    case cash
    case creditCard
    case voucher
    static var allCases: [PaymentType] {
        return [.cash, .creditCard, .voucher]
    }
}

This works OK but it’s ultimately manual and error prone. Add a new customerAccount case? Well if you forget to add it to your allCases() function the compiler won’t complain at you. And it’s another protocol conformance that you have to write manually that you feel really should be built in.

Swift 4.2 changes that with the CaseIterable protocol. Now you can just write:


enum PaymentType: CaseIterable {
    case cash
    case creditCard
    case voucher
}

And you get the allCases property for free. Add a new enum case and you don’t have to write any other extra code to get your table views and your segmented controls to update. Surprisingly Swift 4.2 didn’t ship with Xcode 9.4 yesterday (which makes me think we mightn’t get Swift 5 with Xcode 10, which would be the right choice I think, ABI stability is too important to try and shoehorn into Apple’s annual release cycle) so you can only try it out with development builds of Swift, but it’s going to be pretty great when it ships. Note that it doesn’t work out of the box with enums that have associated values however.

Side note: I’m happy I the allCases property I’ve been using was chosen for the CaseIterable protocol, but I have to admit “CaseIterable” is way better than my “AllCaseable”. I’m a bit rubbish at picking names for Swift protocols.

Limerick (County) 8th Amendment Referendum Tally 2018

Thanks to everyone who helped with the tally. The tally for Limerick City is also available.

Results are also available as a CSV file.

Box Yes No Yes No
Postal 159 106 60.0% 40.0%
Ballybrown N.S.1 129 102 55.8% 44.2%
Ballybrown N.S.2 153 10 93.9% 6.1%
Ballybrown N.S.3
Patrickswell N.S.1 191 114 62.6% 37.4%
Patrickswell N.S.2 146 115 55.9% 44.1%
Patrickswell N.S.3 120 83 59.1% 40.9%
Anglesborough N.S. 126 73 63.3% 36.7%
Ballylanders N.S.1 157 135 53.8% 46.2%
Ballylanders N.S.2 92 82 52.9% 47.1%
Galbally Community Centre1 138 102 57.5% 42.5%
Galbally Community Centre2 157 107 59.5% 40.5%
Ardpatrick Community Centre 140 124 53.0% 47.0%
Kilmallock Girls N.S.1 313 154 67.0% 33.0%
Kilmallock Girls N.S.2 191 140 57.7% 42.3%
Kilmallock Girls N.S.3 137 113 54.8% 45.2%
Kilmallock Girls N.S.4
Athlacca N.S. 95 85 52.8% 47.2%
Effin N.S.1 105 107 49.5% 50.5%
Effin N.S.2 215 140 60.6% 39.4%
Doon C.B.S.1 152 130 53.9% 46.1%
Doon C.B.S.2 205 130 61.2% 38.8%
Bruff N.S.1 284 202 58.4% 41.6%
Bruff N.S.2 247 153 61.8% 38.3%
Bruff N.S.3 181 142 56.0% 44.0%
Bruff N.S.4 177 102 63.4% 36.6%
Bruree N.S.1 230 201 53.4% 46.6%
Bruree N.S.2 235 169 58.2% 41.8%
Martinstown N.S.
Knocklong N.S.1 184 97 65.5% 34.5%
Knocklong N.S.2 158 97 62.0% 38.0%
Caherline N.S. 175 130 57.4% 42.6%
Cloverfield N.S. 108 89 54.8% 45.2%
Herbertstown N.S. 236 168 58.4% 41.6%
Knockadea N.S. 60 36 62.5% 37.5%
Glenroe N.S. 130 90 59.1% 40.9%
Dromin Comm. Centre 155 125 55.4% 44.6%
Glenbrohane N.S. 109 83 56.8% 43.2%
Pallasgreen Comm. Centre1 175 146 54.5% 45.5%
Pallasgreen Comm. Centre2 116 106 52.3% 47.7%
Hospital New School1 107 66 61.8% 38.2%
Hospital New School2 197 152 56.4% 43.6%
Kilbehenny N.S. 139 107 56.5% 43.5%
Kilfinane N.S. 192 39 83.1% 16.9%
Kilfinane N.S. 161 103 61.0% 39.0%
Ballyorgan N.S. 182 94 65.9% 34.1%
Kilteely N.S. 181 139 56.6% 43.4%
Knockainey N.S. 224 162 58.0% 42.0%
Oola N.S.1 171 136 55.7% 44.3%
Oola N.S.2 181 126 59.0% 41.0%
Garrydoolis N.S. 73 82 47.1% 52.9%
Meanus Community Centre 220 128 63.2% 36.8%
Adare C.B.S.1 273 158 63.3% 36.7%
Adare C.B.S.2 220 120 64.7% 35.3%
Adare C.B.S.3 224 162 58.0% 42.0%
Askeaton NS1 211 170 55.4% 44.6%
Askeaton NS2 255 182 58.4% 41.6%
Foynes NS1 120 175 40.7% 59.3%
Foynes NS2 173 141 55.1% 44.9%
Ballingarry Boys NS1 177 126 58.4% 41.6%
Ballingarry Boys NS2 155 100 60.8% 39.2%
Ballingarry NS3 117 100 53.9% 46.1%
Rathkeale Girls NS1
Rathkeale Girls NS2
Rathkeale Girls NS3 115 146 44.1% 55.9%
Coolcappa Comm. Centre1 170 102 62.5% 37.5%
Coolcappa Comm. Centre2
Caherelly NS 129 77 62.6% 37.4%
Kilfinny NS 241 152 61.3% 38.7%
Banogue NS 104 83 55.6% 44.4%
Kildimo NS1 297 148 66.7% 33.3%
Kildimo NS2
Ballysteen NS 119 89 57.2% 42.8%
Pallaskenry NS1 267 123 68.5% 31.5%
Pallaskenry NS2 230 123 65.2% 34.8%
Granagh 119 103 53.6% 46.4%
Croom NS1 165 105 61.1% 38.9%
Croom NS2 210 117 64.2% 35.8%
Croom NS3 190 151 55.7% 44.3%
Croom NS4 194 142 57.7% 42.3%
Croagh NS1 189 115 62.2% 37.8%
Croagh NS2 197 147 57.3% 42.7%
Kilcolman NS
Ballyhahill NS 219 132 62.4% 37.6%
Fedamore Community Centre1 189 111 63.0% 37.0%
Fedamore Community Centre2 149 114 56.7% 43.3%
Kilcornan NS 262 164 61.5% 38.5%
Crecora NS 295 197 60.0% 40.0%
Loghill NS 120 72 62.5% 37.5%
Cappagh (Nantinan) NS 228 180 55.9% 44.1%
Shanagolden NS1 99 78 55.9% 44.1%
Shanagolden NS2 140 119 54.1% 45.9%
Shanagolden NS3 119 87 57.8% 42.2%
Abbeyfeale NS1 234 200 53.9% 46.1%
Abbeyfeale NS2 260 157 62.4% 37.6%
Abbeyfeale NS3 163 120 57.6% 42.4%
Ardagh NS1 194 102 65.5% 34.5%
Ardagh NS2 160 88 64.5% 35.5%
Ashford NS
Raheenagh NS 101 80 55.8% 44.2%
Ballyagran NS 150 66 69.4% 30.6%
Kilmeedy NS 173 99 63.6% 36.4%
Cloncagh Library 159 159 50.0% 50.0%
Broadford NS1 140 131 51.7% 48.3%
Broadford NS2 114 117 49.4% 50.6%
Caher NS 87 95 47.8% 52.2%
Mahoonagh NS1 193 152 55.9% 44.1%
Mahoonagh NS2 141 100 58.5% 41.5%
Dromcollogher NS 217 196 52.5% 47.5%
Feenagh NS
Dromtrasna NS 61 69 46.9% 53.1%
Templeglantine Comm Hall 267 200 57.2% 42.8%
Killaghteen NS 80 78 50.6% 49.4%
Athea NS 222 187 54.3% 45.7%
Athea NS 166 155 51.7% 48.3%
Glengort NS 143 209 40.6% 59.4%
Carrigkerry NS 238 157 60.3% 39.7%
Gin Halla Ceol Corbri1 224 167 57.3% 42.7%
Gin Halla Ceol Corbri2 193 195 49.7% 50.3%
Ballygiltenan NS 99 113 46.7% 53.3%
Knockaderry Comm Hall 155 128 54.8% 45.2%
Monagay NS 235 123 65.6% 34.4%
Ballykenny Dispensary 129 133 49.2% 50.8%
Mountcollins NS 129 147 46.7% 53.3%
Courtenay Boys NS1 236 157 60.1% 39.9%
Courtenay Boys NS2 138 90 60.5% 39.5%
Courtenay Boys NS3 226 152 59.8% 40.2%
Courtenay Boys NS4 144 87 62.3% 37.7%
Scoil Iosaf NCW1 212 154 57.9% 42.1%
Scoil Iosaf NCW2 281 203 58.1% 41.9%
Scoil Iosaf NCW3 256 128 66.7% 33.3%
Knocknasna NS 92 68 57.5% 42.5%

Limerick City 8th Amendment Referendum Tally 2018

Thanks to everyone who helped with the tally. The tally for Limerick (County) is also available.

Results are also available as a CSV file.

Box Constituency Yes No Yes % No %
Postal Limerick City 163 110 59.7% 40.3%
J.F.Kennedy N.S. N.C.R. 1 Limerick City 210 108 66.0% 34.0%
J.F.Kennedy N.S. N.C.R. 2 Limerick City 289 155 65.1% 34.9%
J.F.Kennedy N.S. N.C.R. 3 Limerick City 299 131 69.5% 30.5%
J.F.Kennedy N.S. N.C.R. 4 Limerick City
J.F.Kennedy N.S. N.C.R. 5 Limerick City 220 131 62.7% 37.3%
J.F.Kennedy N.S. N.C.R. 6 Limerick City 246 170 59.1% 40.9%
J.F.Kennedy N.S. N.C.R. 7 Limerick City 300 169 64.0% 36.0%
Caherdavin Girls N.S.1 Limerick City 211 95 69.0% 31.0%
Caherdavin Girls N.S.2 Limerick City 173 103 62.7% 37.3%
Caherdavin Girls N.S.3 Limerick City 230 103 69.1% 30.9%
Caherdavin Girls N.S.4 Limerick City 214 138 60.8% 39.2%
Caherdavin Girls N.S.5 Limerick City
Caherdavin Girls N.S.6 Limerick City 253 129 66.2% 33.8%
Caherdavin Girls N.S.7 Limerick City 157 64 71.0% 29.0%
Caherdavin Girls N.S.8 Limerick City 237 95 71.4% 28.6%
Caherdavin Girls N.S.9 Limerick City 139 63 68.8% 31.2%
Corpus Christi N.S. Moyross1 Limerick City 239 141 62.9% 37.1%
Corpus Christi N.S. Moyross2 Limerick City
Corpus Christi N.S. Moyross3 Limerick City 39 26 60.0% 40.0%
Ballynanty Beg N.S.1 Limerick City 240 125 65.8% 34.2%
Watch House Cross Library,1 Limerick City 165 96 63.2% 36.8%
Watch House Cross Library,2 Limerick City 118 81 59.3% 40.7%
St Lelia’s Age Friendly Comm . Edu. Campus1 Limerick City 216 116 65.1% 34.9%
St Lelia’s Age Friendly Comm . Edu. Campus2 Limerick City 117 61 65.7% 34.3%
St. Munchin’s Temp. Hall Limerick City 188 102 64.8% 35.2%
St. Mary’s Girls School, Bishop St.1 Limerick City 105 65 61.8% 38.2%
St. Mary’s Girls School, Bishop St.2 Limerick City 148 89 62.4% 37.6%
St. Mary’s Girls School, Bishop St.3 Limerick City 122 98 55.5% 44.5%
Scoil Ide Corbally1 Limerick City 167 81 67.3% 32.7%
Scoil Ide Corbally2 Limerick City 241 74 76.5% 23.5%
Scoil Ide Corbally3 Limerick City 197 123 61.6% 38.4%
Scoil Ide Corbally4 Limerick City 267 103 72.2% 27.8%
Scoil Ide Corbally5 Limerick City 155 97 61.5% 38.5%
Scoil Ide Corbally6 Limerick City 298 138 68.3% 31.7%
St. Patrick’s Boys N.S. Dublin Road1 Limerick City 236 79 74.9% 25.1%
St. Patrick’s Boys N.S. Dublin Road2 Limerick City 196 82 70.5% 29.5%
St. Patrick’s Boys N.S. Dublin Road3 Limerick City 104 45 69.8% 30.2%
St. John’s Gns & Infant Boys School1 Limerick City 214 103 67.5% 32.5%
St. John’s Gns & Infant Boys School2 Limerick City 223 120 65.0% 35.0%
St. John Bapist C.B.S. Killalee1 Limerick City 113 78 59.2% 40.8%
St. John Bapist C.B.S. Killalee2 Limerick City 88 81 52.1% 47.9%
St. John Bapist C.B.S. Killalee3 Limerick City 166 90 64.8% 35.2%
St. Brigid’s N.S. Singland Road1 Limerick City 252 105 70.6% 29.4%
St. Brigid’s N.S. Singland Road2 Limerick City 275 135 67.1% 32.9%
St. Brigid’s N.S. Singland Road3 Limerick City 93 59 61.2% 38.8%
St. Brigid’s N.S. Singland Road4 Limerick City 201 124 61.8% 38.2%
St. Brigid’s N.S. Singland Road5 Limerick City 108 46 70.1% 29.9%
St. Brigid’s N.S. Singland Road6 Limerick City 260 131 66.5% 33.5%
Pres N.S Roxboro Road1 Limerick City 152 88 63.3% 36.7%
Pres N.S Roxboro Road2 Limerick City 271 158 63.2% 36.8%
Pres N.S Roxboro Road3 Limerick City 247 78 76.0% 24.0%
Le Cheile N.S., Roxborough Road1 Limerick City 100 74 57.5% 42.5%
Le Cheile N.S., Roxborough Road2 Limerick City 186 138 57.4% 42.6%
Le Cheile N.S., Roxborough Road3 Limerick City
Le Cheile N.S., Roxborough Road4 Limerick City 84 58 59.2% 40.8%
Our Lady Queen Of Peace N.S.,O’Donoghue Avenue1 Limerick City 204 154 57.0% 43.0%
Our Lady Queen Of Peace N.S.,O’Donoghue Avenue2 Limerick City 172 132 56.6% 43.4%
Our Lady Queen Of Peace N.S.,O’Donoghue Avenue3 Limerick City 165 102 61.8% 38.2%
Donoughmore N.S Limerick City 286 200 58.8% 41.2%
Ahane N.S. Limerick City 247 101 71.0% 29.0%
Lisnagry N.S.1 Limerick City 193 100 65.9% 34.1%
Lisnagry N.S.2 Limerick City 292 132 68.9% 31.1%
Castleconnell N.S.1 Limerick City 235 94 71.4% 28.6%
Castleconnell N.S.2 Limerick City 295 96 75.4% 24.6%
Castleconnell N.S.3 Limerick City 265 128 67.4% 32.6%
Castleconnell N.S.4 Limerick City 202 94 68.2% 31.8%
Milford N.S.1 Limerick City 201 61 76.7% 23.3%
Milford N.S.2 Limerick City 174 81 68.2% 31.8%
Milford N.S.3 Limerick City 237 92 72.0% 28.0%
Milford N.S.4 Limerick City 212 116 64.6% 35.4%
Milford N.S.5 Limerick City 192 104 64.9% 35.1%
Montpelier Comm. Centre Limerick City 132 43 75.4% 24.6%
Monaleen N.S.1 Limerick City 485 148 76.6% 23.4%
Monaleen N.S.2 Limerick City 268 79 77.2% 22.8%
Monaleen N.S.3 Limerick City 276 116 70.4% 29.6%
Monaleen N.S.4 Limerick City
Monaleen N.S.5 Limerick City 231 130 64.0% 36.0%
Gaelscoil Chaladh An Treo1 Limerick City 212 77 73.4% 26.6%
Gaelscoil Chaladh An Treo2 Limerick City 110 47 70.1% 29.9%
Gaelscoil Chaladh An Treo3 Limerick City 235 88 72.8% 27.2%
Gaelscoil Chaladh An Treo4 Limerick City 294 84 77.8% 22.2%
Roxborough N.S. 1 Limerick City 76 37 67.3% 32.7%
Roxborough N.S. 2 Limerick City
Roxborough N.S. 3 Limerick City 270 177 60.4% 39.6%
O Lady Of Lourdes Comm. Centre, Ballinacurra Weston3 Limerick City 242 167 59.2% 40.8%
O Lady Of Lourdes Comm Centre, Ballinacurra Weston1 Limerick City 175 119 59.5% 40.5%
O Lady Of Lourdes Comm Centre, Ballinacurra Weston2 Limerick City 44 30 59.5% 40.5%
O Lady Of Lourdes Comm Centre, Ballinacurra Weston4 Limerick City 96 76 55.8% 44.2%
Scoil Mhathair De S.C. Road1 Limerick City 205 120 63.1% 36.9%
Scoil Mhathair De S.C. Road2 Limerick City 193 106 64.5% 35.5%
Scoil Mhathair De S.C. Road3 Limerick City 123 97 55.9% 44.1%
Model N.S O’Connell Ave.1 Limerick City 170 98 63.4% 36.6%
Model N.S O’Connell Ave.2 Limerick City 100 81 55.2% 44.8%
St. Michael’s N.S Barrington St.1 Limerick City 188 87 68.4% 31.6%
St. Michael’s N.S Barrington St.2 Limerick City 121 80 60.2% 39.8%
St. Michael’s N.S Barrington St.3 Limerick City 193 78 71.2% 28.8%
Pres. N.S. Sexton St.1 Limerick City 105 43 70.9% 29.1%
Pres. N.S. Sexton St.2 Limerick City
Pres. N.S. Sexton St.3 Limerick City 189 131 59.1% 40.9%
Pres. N.S. Sexton St.4 Limerick City 103 62 62.4% 37.6%
St. Pauls At Dooradoyle Library4 Limerick City 295 119 71.3% 28.7%
St. Pauls At Dooradoyle Library5 Limerick City 335 125 72.8% 27.2%
St. Pauls At Dooradoyle Library6 Limerick City 257 114 69.3% 30.7%
St. Pauls N.S. At County Hall 1 Limerick City 237 181 56.7% 43.3%
St. Pauls N.S. At County Hall 2 Limerick City 335 125 72.8% 27.2%
St. Pauls N.S. At County Hall 3 Limerick City 245 140 63.6% 36.4%
County Library, Dooradoyle1 Limerick City 360 144 71.4% 28.6%
County Library, Dooradoyle2 Limerick City
County Library, Dooradoyle3 Limerick City 347 124 73.7% 26.3%
St. Nessan’s N.S. Mungret1 Limerick City 360 167 68.3% 31.7%
St. Nessan’s N.S. Mungret2 Limerick City 337 143 70.2% 29.8%
St. Nessan’s N.S. Mungret3 Limerick City 292 175 62.5% 37.5%
St. Nessan’s N.S. Mungret4 Limerick City 319 149 68.2% 31.8%
St. Nessan’s N.S. Mungret5 Limerick City 227 106 68.2% 31.8%
St. Nessan’s N.S. Mungret6 Limerick City 360 173 67.5% 32.5%
Killinure N.S. Limerick City 193 136 58.7% 41.3%
Bilboa Ns Limerick City 206 150 57.9% 42.1%
Caherconlish N.S.1 Limerick City 148 67 68.8% 31.2%
Caherconlish N.S.2 Limerick City 209 116 64.3% 35.7%
Cappamore Comm. Centre1 Limerick City 213 159 57.3% 42.7%
Cappamore Comm. Centre2 Limerick City 184 166 52.6% 47.4%
Murroe N.S.1 Limerick City 294 174 62.8% 37.2%
Murroe N.S.2 Limerick City 277 173 61.6% 38.4%
Murroe N.S.3 Limerick City 290 156 65.0% 35.0%
Knockea N.S.1 Limerick City 304 133 69.6% 30.4%
Knockea N.S.2 Limerick City 317 158 66.7% 33.3%
Parteen NS 1 Limerick City 280 141 66.5% 33.5%
Parteen NS 2 Limerick City 300 136 68.8% 31.2%
Parteen NS 3 Limerick City 287 120 70.5% 29.5%
Scout Hall Shannon Banks 1 Limerick City 310 106 74.5% 25.5%
Scout Hall Shannon Banks 2 Limerick City 310 126 71.1% 28.9%
Scout Hall Shannon Banks 3 Limerick City 173 68 71.8% 28.2%
Scout Hall Shannon Banks 4 Limerick City 248 73 77.3% 22.7%

Men of Limerick, please help to repeal the 8th

We’re just starting week 4 of the Limerick Together for Yes campaign and it’s going great. We have canvasses 5 nights a week and stalls in town at the weekend. The people of Limerick have been warm and welcoming and open to our message.

But there’s been an absence from the campaign. An absence of men.

Here’s a photo from one of our canvasses in Limerick. Only one man, and he travelled in from Clare that night (you’re a legend Ronan!). We urgently need to correct this gender imbalance. Although we’re campaigning for a woman’s right to choose, we shouldn’t just leave it to women to make the ask to change the constitution. By standing with our sisters we can show our support and solidarity, and help knock on as many doors as possible to ensure safe healthcare for women who are pregnant.

I’m running a men’s training session on Wednesday 11th April at 7pm in the Absolut Hotel with the legendary Paul Bowler from Kerry. Our goal is to ensure all men attending will feel more confident and prepared when engaging with members of the public/friends/family/partners in discussions about the campaign to repeal the 8th. To come along, just email repeallkvolunteer@gmail.com – and while you’re at it you can sign up as a volunteer on the Repeal LK website.

Women of Limerick are knocking on doors asking their fellow citizens for control over their own bodies. As men, the least we can do to help is to stand with them.

If you’re lucky, like me, then campaign for Repeal

I’d like to see the eighth amendment removed from the Irish constitution. I feel strongly enough that I’m going to be out knocking on doors and campaigning as much as I can on this referendum.

In some ways I’m completely unqualified to have an opinion on this, let alone go out campaigning on it. I’m a straight white man in his late thirties. I’ve been married for 11 years, but my wife and I can’t and won’t have children.  I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone less qualified to write or speak about women’s reproductive rights than me. Yet it is precisely for that reason that I want to stand with women who are campaigning for this referendum.

I am an incredibly lucky person. I am a straight, white male. I was born in a relatively rich country. I received a good education, most of it free of charge. I am a beneficiary of most of the structural inequality in this country, because I am on the winning side of it. I live in a country where women are paid less, where people who grow up in disadvantaged families are themselves more likely to suffer disadvantage as adults, etc. etc. And (bear with me!) sometimes that’s difficult. It’s not my individual fault, right? I’m doing the best I can to be a decent person, occasionally succeeding, and while I didn’t create my genetic, historical and social good luck I can’t really do anything to reverse it either. But I can empathise, and imagine. Imagine what it is like to not have the rights and privileges that I enjoy by accident. And, in particular, imagine what it might be like to have the fricking constitution inserting itself between me and my doctor on what is the best for my health, life and well-being.

It is just awful that Irish women not only have had to put up with an incredibly draconian reproductive rights regime, but that, over the next two-and-a-bit months, they have to go out to the Irish people and ask and say please. Ask and say please for rights that they would enjoy in almost every other developed country.

I think it is time for Irish men like me, with our privilege and our luck and our sorry-but-what-can-you-do demeanour to stand up. Stand beside the women who are campaigning for control over their own bodies. Stand up and say please to the Irish voters who will ultimately decide on their rights.

If you’re lucky like me, then I hope you’ll join me. I’m involved in Repeal LK, the local campaign in Limerick to repeal the 8th amendment.  There are similar campaigns starting up all around the country. I somewhat gingerly came to the first few meetings, not sure if I’d be welcome to join the fight, and worried that I might say the wrong thing. I met a group of funny smart courageous people, mostly women, who are operating with no funding, affiliated to a national campaign which is also short of people, time and money. I was welcomed, and educated, and encouraged. We have an introductory event in Limerick on Monday March 12th. Maybe you could canvass, fundraise, or even just donate. It’s going to be a tough campaign. All support will be gratefully appreciated.

I know there are many people, some of whom are my friends, who disagree with my views on abortion, and I want to do my best to respect those views. I’m sure what I’ve written here may sound tone-deaf, patronising or even insulting to women. I know I’ve a lot to learn.

With rights and privilege come a responsibility to fight for those without. Offering to help out in this referendum campaign may not atone for the rights and privilege that I have been gifted, but it feels like a start. If you’re lucky, like me, you’d be very welcome to come and put your shoulder to the wheel.

Supercharging Public Transport around Limerick’s Superblock

Liveable Limerick are proposing a “Superblock” in the city centre (PDF link with more information) bordered by William Street, Parnell Street, Mallow Street and Henry Street. The Superblock would be accessible for vehicles, but would not allow vehicles to travel through the block on their way to somewhere else. It’s a fabulous idea that would allow us to achieve a really ambitious people-centered city centre that would act as a magnet for investment in the region.

Here is a simplified schematic of the current traffic configuration around the Superblock, with each lane shown in black:

Cities that plan to grow need excellent public transport. Buses in Limerick City are…less than excellent. The most frequent service from Raheen to Castletroy in particular suffers large delays because buses have to thread a meandering route through the city centre. There is also little integration between bus services. How could you configure the streets bordering the Superblock that would give priority to public transport? Here’s one idea, with bus lanes in green:

You would need to remove on-street parking from Mallow St to enable a third lane of traffic. But the benefits would be huge:

  • All buses have fully segregated routes in both directions around the superblock
  • All bus services interchange at the bus/rail station, apart from the Westbury/Fr Russell Rd service which offers a cross street interchange with all other services at Mallow St
  • Faster bus times
  • More reliable service

Here’s what the city bus services would look like with this plan:

For a stretch goal, Parnell St could easily accommodate an on-street terminal for private buses, allowing private buses run by Dublin Coach, Citylink and JJ Kavanagh’s to interchange with city services, and to take advantage of segregated routes around the city centre.

Links 2018-03-04

Here’s How Cornell Scientist Brian Wansink Turned Shoddy Data Into Viral Studies About How We Eat – BuzzFeed

When even BuzzFeed is getting in on the p-hacking, you know you have a problem. The incentives here (media coverage, research grants, etc.) so clearly rewards this sort of behaviour it’s difficult to know what to do about it, but at least we’re on the verge of admitting we have a problem.

How Tiny Red Dots Took Over Your Life – The New York Times

Trying to understand the addictive corrosiveness of modern technology, starting with the red alert badge that appears on your app icons. Bonus points for quoting Human Interface Guidelines (I wish more people whose job it is to design apps would).

Monica Lewinsky: Emerging from “the House of Gaslight” in the Age of #MeToo – Vanity Fair

An interview with a wise person, who has a lot to say about misogyny and celebrity worship, because she’s been living with its effects for 20 years.

Six Degrees of Wikipedia

Find out the shortest link distance between any two Wikipedia articles. This got me for hours.

Links 2018-02-25

The Unchecked Influence of NRA Lobbyist Marion Hammer – The Trace

A sober account of how efficient lobbying works to horrific ends.

Inside the OED: can the world’s biggest dictionary survive the internet? – The Guardian

I’ve always had a weakness for dictionaries, and this is an interesting account of the most comprehensive. I hope the OED has a brighter future than Encyclopaedia Britannica: whatever about general knowledge, I think that analysis of language benefits from opinion, preferably weakly held.

The Tyranny of Convenience – The New York Times

You could read this as an anthology of First World Problems but privileged or not, we must face our ennui nonetheless, and this article feels like a good place to start.