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Links for 2021-04-28

  • The lost art of ‘booleying’ in Ireland’s uplands

    If you visit the west of Ireland or Achill, you can still see the traces of booleying today. Fascinating part of Irish rural history:

    by the 1800s, it was mostly young people and teenage girls especially who had the job of looking after cows at these seasonal ‘boolies’. This gave rise to a vibrant but now largely forgotten cultural scene in Ireland’s uplands. Oral history collected in the 1930s and 1940s in Connemara, Mayo, Donegal, and the Galtee Mountains makes clear that booleying facilitated the transmission of a lot of important cultural knowledge. One man from Cloch Cheannaola in Donegal states that his mother had learned her songs from other dairymaids in the hills, while another account from Iorras Aintheach in Galway outlines how the girls not only sang but played musical instruments and danced as well. [….] The small degree of independence which young women gained as participants in booleying was sometimes missed later on in life. There is an unmistakeable sense of loss in songs like Na Gamhna Geala and Aililiú na Gamhna, in which married women reminisce about their time looking after cows and calves in the hills.

    (tags: transhumance booleying history ireland rural achill galway donegal mayo connemara)

  • Cryptocurrency is an abject disaster

    Hard not to sympathise with this take —

    I’ve had to develop a special radar for reading product pages now: a mounting feeling of dread as a promising technology is introduced while I inevitably arrive at the buried lede: it’s more crypto bullshit. Cryptocurrency is the multi-level marketing of the tech world. “Hi! How’ve you been? Long time no see! Oh, I’ve been working on this cool distributed database file store archive thing. We’re doing an ICO next week.” Then I leave. Any technology which is not an (alleged) currency and which incorporates blockchain anyway would always work better without it. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of cryptocurrency scams and ponzi schemes trussed up to look like some kind of legitimate offering. Even if the project you’re working on is totally cool and solves all of these problems, there are 100 other projects pretending to be like yours which are ultimately concerned with transferring money from their users to their founders. Which one are investors more likely to invest in? Hint: it’s the one that’s more profitable. Those promises of “we’re different!” are always hollow anyway. Remember the DAO? They wanted to avoid social arbitration entirely for financial contracts, but when the chips are down and their money was walking out the door, they forked the blockchain.

    (tags: blockchain bitcoin crypto cryptocurrency abuse capitalism bullshit tech)

  • Medieval Archaeology of Ireland – Google My Maps

    An exhaustive copy of the official Sites and Monuments Record annotated on Google Maps (via ITS Slack)

    (tags: via:its maps ireland history monuments castles archaeology)