Hello Computer
by Niall Shanahan

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) latest assessment states the past eight years “are on track to be the eight warmest on record, fuelled by ever-rising greenhouse gas concentrations and accumulated heat.” The context is stark as the Cop27 climate summit commences in Egypt. It got off to a difficult start with a stand-off over major differences between wealthy and developing countries.


As we headed into the weekend, news of the departure of David Walsh from An Bord Pleanála continued to stoke coverage of problems at the State planning body. Maeve Sheehan had this in yesteday's Sindo, which quotes from Fórsa's letter to the outgoing ABP chair last week. Elsewhere, the Examiner reported the Taoiseach's view that "public confidence in An Bord Pleanála can be restored."


Meanwhile, uncertainty about the fate of Dublin's 500 Twitter staff continues. ICTU issued a statement on Friday likening the situation to that experienced by staff at P&O Ferries, and general secretary Owen Reidy said the situation again highlights the "need for stronger workers' rights and in particular the right for workers to organise and ensure that their collective voice is heard and heeded."


ICTU Policy officer Laura Bambrick was on yesterday's panel on Brendan O'Connor's programme, explaining how the company, recently acquired by billionaire rocket enthusiast, free speech 'absolutist' and unpleasant weirdo Elon Musk, might be in breach of Irish redundancy rules.


With payments website Stripe also culling staff (itself the recipient of €42m in Irish State investment), there's widespread concern that the tech sector is heading into a phase of contraction, with senior economists warning about the potential for more job losses.


The IDA is nevertheless expressing confidence that this "isn't the end of the incredible growth in tech jobs in Ireland." In this morning's news, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, is reportedly set to cut thousands of positions from its global workforce of over 85,000 people. 


The Irish Times reports that Tánaiste Leo Varadkar is to be briefed this coming week on the risk of Irish jobs being threatened by an economic slowdown for large technology companies – in the multinational sector. 




With so much tech anxiety in the air, I'm offering up some vintage Kraftwerk here, a band adept at harmonising tech and humanity in a way that contemporary algorithms may struggle with.


Have a good week.



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