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A Different View

Philosophical Facebook leaves you with real questions to ponder

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A Different View with Dave O’Connell

The world finally turned full circle last week when Facebook asked me what must be the ultimate philosophical question – do I really know myself?

Of course they didn’t quite phrase it in that way and they never intended it to be thought-provoking or in any way deep.

But by asking me if I knew Dave O’Connell, they got me thinking – to the point that I now reckon there are people I’ve never met who know me better than I know myself.

But let’s explain the Facebook poser first: not being the most adept at this whole malarkey, I accidently set up two different Facebook accounts for myself back when this entire craze started.

One of them I’ve ignored entirely ever since, while I’m on little more than nodding terms with the other – but Facebook doesn’t know that, and regularly wonders why my world doesn’t revolve around this parallel universe.

All of that is fine – after all, there are teams of people in Indian call centres who seem to share a concern about all aspects of my life and how their clients could make it better.

But when Facebook asks me if I know Dave O’Connell – on the basis that I might like to be friends with him, given that our profiles and interests are eerily similar – then you have to take stock.

It’s bad enough to have virtual friends that, not alone aren’t your friends in real life, you wouldn’t recognise them if you knocked them over. But when you’re so stuck for new friends that it’s suggested you befriend yourself, it’s time to take stock.

With this in mind – and seeking an independent assessment of my strengths and weaknesses – it was on to another social site, Linkedin, a sort of quasi-business website which started out as a way of displaying your professional wares, so to speak, but seems to have ended up as a competition for who can find the most contacts.

Once again, most of these acquaintances are people you’ve never actually met, but it’s fair enough if they might prove useful for some reason in the future.

However, the brains behind Linkedin thought of another way of increasing its – and your – profile by asking these friends to endorse you for your talents.

In reality, this wouldn’t take long for most of us, but I’ve been endorsed more often than a boy racer for skills that I’d never have pretended to have.

Fair enough; I’m delighted that 28 people think I’ve journalistic skills and 19 more endorsed me for newspapers – but three people endorsed me for my public relations skills even though I’ve never worked a day in PR; and I’ve one each for writing press releases (never did) and for Corporate Communications – a strength I’d never claim to have, even with the fairest wind behind me.

I’ve even got one for storytelling from an old college lecturer of mine which I could easily misinterpret as suggesting I make things up.

All told, I have 97 endorsements which even puts me ahead of Eamon Dunphy – and he drove up one-way streets in west Cork to acquire one of his.

I’m humbled by each and every one of them – even the ones that are not true – because it’s terrific to think anyone took the time to give me a gold star for anything.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

You can’t force the craic at the Christmas Party

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Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

There’s nothing like the Christmas Party to bring out the little devils who’ve spent their working lives blending in with the filing cabinet; one craft beer too many and they’re up on top of the photocopier scanning images of their tail end to send to the world.

The party animal is often the quiet one who spends the rest of the year in the corner, timidly stepping aside if you pass them in the corridor – but with a few bevvies on board, they’re Lemmy from Motorhead in the middle of a world tour.

Of course there are also some people who dread the Christmas party – or even after-work drinks, if that’s still a thing – and as their worst nightmare comes looming over the horizon, they might take some comfort from a recent court case in France.

Because an unnamed worker has just won the right to be utterly boring after a court ruled that he could not be dismissed, just because he didn’t want to join the rest of the staff in the pub.

Known simply as Mr T – an unfortunate choice of initial if you were a fan of the larger-than-life big guy in the A-Team back in the day – our friend was a senior advisor for a Parisian training firm called Cubik Partners.

One of those typically trendy modern operations, they work on a ‘fun and pro’ basis – which is presumably a variation on playing hard and working hard sometimes too – and part of that outlook involved regular social events ‘to bolster team spirit’.

But Mr T had no truck with the spirits – internal or alcoholic – and didn’t want to hang out with his colleagues for a minute longer than work demanded.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

How to win elections with the promises you can keep

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Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

The man who was already the world’s oldest prime minister stood for election again last weekend at the tender age of 97 – arguing quite legitimately that he was fully fit for high office on the basis that he was ‘still standing and talking’.

Mahathir Mohamad was already a Guinness World Record holder for being the world’s oldest current prime minister since he became premier of Malaysia for a second time in 2018.

Proving that age is no impediment to ambition, he put himself forward again last weekend – only this time he fulfilled that age-old observation of Enoch Powell, that most unctuous of Tories from times past, who once said that all political lives end in failure…even if it’s a relative thing and you could hardly be said to have been cut down early, at the age of 97.

Adding insult to injury, not alone did he finish fourth of five candidates in Langkawi, a resort island in Malaysia’s northwest, which he had won with a large majority in the previous poll in 2018 – he also lost his deposit.

It wasn’t even an ageist thing; his entire party failed to win a single seat.

And for comfort in his hour of need, he can still look to Laos where the Prime Minister Khamtai Siphandone is still going strong at just short of 99 – although the fact that he is the chairman of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party means you don’t have to actually come up with an election manifesto because, more specifically, you don’t have to stand for election.

But if you do – and accepting Mahathir Mohamad’s weekend disappointment – going before the electorate on a platform of boasting the ability to walk and talk is at least an honest one.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Getting locked away from all the rest can be no bad thing

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Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

We all got used to a level of confinement during Covid, and if we were honest, occasionally, it was as much of a blessing than a curse; nobody calling unexpectedly to bother you, no journeys you’d prefer to avoid – even if ultimately we were happy to emerge from our pandemic hibernation.

But imagine if you were trapped for days in a pub during a storm – or in Disneyland during a snap lockdown.

Because for the very lucky few, that happened too.

Visitors to Shanghai’s Disney Resort recently found themselves barred from leaving until they produced a negative Covid test after a snap lockdown.

And we can all remember last November with envy, when customers who went to see an Oasis tribute band called Noasis found themselves trapped for days in a pub in the Yorkshire Dales as a result of heavy snowfall during Storm Arwen.

In both cases, quite honestly, it must have been like a dream come true.

The Disney Resort shut its doors all of a sudden after ten cases of coronavirus were discovered in Shanghai itself, with all visitors locked in the theme park until they were given the all-clear.

And while you’d think the reaction would be to kick back and literally enjoy the ride, online videos showed many of the visitors rushing to the gate trying to avoid being stuck in the park.

Perhaps the Chinese have had enough of snap lockdowns and feared they’d literally be on the swings and roundabouts for days on end – because a day earlier, workers at Foxconn, the biggest iPhone maker in Zhengzhou city, were videoed climbing over fences to avoid a similar snap lockdown.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

 

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