Dublin: importing a counter-culture

By the early 1990s, it was possible to say with some confidence that the 1960s had arrived in Ireland. From Dublin, the capital city, they slowly seeped outwards, first to the major towns in the Republic: Galway and Cork, and onwards to the smaller towns and villages. The Good Friday agreement of 1998 opened the…

Models and their discontents

In order to analyse and understand any type of system, however it may be conceived, it is necessary to understand models, what they are; what you can do with them; and why they are so useful.  This article briefly lays out the basic principles of system modelling in an abstract way.  Although, an abstract discussion…

Surviving India

This is the second part of the story of my trip to India in 1995.  The first part finished with us witnessing four policemen beating a shack dweller with sticks in a shanty town in Dehli. As the two policemen approached, I put my hands behind my back, opened the matchbox and emptied the contents…

Delhi and its culture shock

I'm hunched down in the corner of a makeshift shelter in a shanty-town a few kilometres from central Delhi. It's a flimsy construction. A loose pile of bricks, a couple of feet high, forms the base from which several irregular, crooked wooden poles extrude to support a canopy made from scraps of plastic sheets. There…