We Are All Dataists

Just finished reading this.


It’s out next month (he’s the guy that wrote the brilliant “Sapiens” that I reviewed earlier this year.

Long story short (and review to follow later) but the last section of the book deals with “dataism” and his theorising that the immediate future of the human race leads towards us all becoming data processing nodes in an enormous, ever-expanding and ever-faster information exchange system. Data like tweets, FB statuses and likes, Instagram pics, Snapchats, articles you share, fitbit data, everything your smartphone does, your car’s chip information, essentially anything that involves data of any kind.

I thought “fascinating” but I’m not sure how much I see it as being an accurate representation of life.

I’ve been sitting at my desk now since 8.30 and all I’ve done is shuttle information from one place to another in e-mails, tweets, FB posts and now here.

All. I’ve. Done.

I do it outside of work too.

Even this post is me processing data and passing it on.

He’s right.


Bad Ambassador Playlist – Friday July 22nd

Mark Ronson feat. Rivers Cuomo – I Suck

Jeff Buckley – Last Goodbye

The Fratellis – Baby Fratelli

Sigur Ros – Hoppipolla

The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter

Roisin Murphy – Whatever

Lemon Jelly – His Majesty King Raam

Wallis Bird – Encore

The Stone Roses – Fools Gold

Shura – What’s It Gonna Be

Labrinth feat. Tinie Tempah – Earthquake

The Smiths – How Soon Is Now

Velvet Underground – Sweet Jane

Mathman & Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – Where I’m From

The Flaming Lips – She Don’t Use Jelly

Bloc Party – Helicopter

Boomtown Rats – Looking After Number One

Fight Like Apes – Something Global

Sultans Of Ping F.C. – Give Him A Ball (And A Yard Of Grass)

Squeeze – Up The Junction

Kerbdog – Mexican Wave

Tricky – Hell Is Around The Corner

Rufus Wainwright – Out Of The Game

Derek & The Dominos – Layla

The National – Fake Empire

Cypress Hill – Insane In The Brain

Divine Comedy – Your Daddy’s Car

The Wonder Stuff – Sleep Alone

Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra – Grown Man Cry

Manic Street Preachers – Everything Must Go

Super Furry Animals – Juxtaposed With U




Catch the show live every Friday or you can listen back anytime here


Stuff Coming Up…


So, this.

My first ever event with the Irish Writer’s Centre all about promoting your book to a wider audience and part of a much larger day with Lia Mills, Bert Wright, Martin Doyle and more. You can sign up here:

An Expert’s Guide to Promoting your Book 

There are *checks the diary* already one more event in August, 3 in September, 5 in October and 1(!) in November to come that I can’t talk about as yet. Some book-related, some science, some poetry, some awards and some 2FM.

That’s as well as this, of course. We’ll have the interview and then beers after. Sign up here:


Rick O%27Shea Liz Nugent


Bad Ambassador Playlist – Friday July 15th

David Gray – Shine

Simon & Garfunkel – The Only Living Boy In New York

Van Morrison – Into The Mystic

Jay Z – 99 Problems

Radiohead – Just

Bell X1 – 4 Minute Mile

Arcade Fire – Keep The Car Running

Billy Bragg – Handyman Blues

Gypsy & The Cat – Inside Your Mind

Dizzee Rascal – Fix Up, Look Sharp

Eels – That’s Not Really Funny

Bruce Springsteen – Badlands

Tori Amos – ’97 Bonnie & Clyde

Dan Black – Symphonies

The Housemartins – The People Who Grinned Themselves To Death

The Cure – Close To Me

Rush – The Spirit Of Radio

Foo Fighters – Wheels

Badly Drawn Boy – Year Of The Rat

Eric B & Rakim – Follow The Leader

Feeder – Buck Rogers

Coldplay – Warning Sign

Mike Posner – I Took A Pill In Ibiza (original album version)

Jack L – Sail Away

Villagers – Nothing Arrived

The Futureheads – Decent Days & Nights

Kings Of Leon – Red Morning Light

Morrissey – You Have Killed Me

Blur – Charmless Man

The Stunning – Everything That Rises

Courtney Barnett – Dead Fox


Catch the show live every Friday or you can listen back anytime here http://rte.ie/r.html?rii=b18_10596097_23019_15-07-2016_

6 Short Reviews – July 2016

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As started last month I’m trying to play catch-up on a bunch of things I’ve read by doing shorter one paragraph reviews. The last ones seemed to go down well… (Small bit of duplication here from Summer Reads 2016 – apologies!)

Hideo Yokoyama – Six Four

Don’t be put off by the size – this is a Japanese giant of a cop thriller. A seven-year-old girl disappears in 1989 never to be seen again, in 2002 a press officer finds an anomaly that leads back into the case and threatens to unravel far more that just one kidnapping. Very precise, gorgeously told, never ever boring and even a bit Nordic Noir, I ate this up on my week away in March. You should too. (Small disclaimer – I love Japan and everything Japanese so might colour my view! Some people needed to keep track of similar names…)

M.R. James – Fellside

I wish I liked this as much as his brilliant first one The Girl With All The Gifts, I really did, but them again I think I may like few things as much as that. As is it’s a solid story of a woman sent to a remote maximum security prison for her part in the death of a child and the unravelling of what really happened through the ghostly presence of a child when she gets there. A worthwhile summer read but I maybe cared less about the characters by the end than I probably should have.

Blake Crouch – Dark Matter

I was very excited to get my hands on this as he’s the creator of Wayward Pines. It’s a multiverse theory, alternate history, thriller, speculative fiction sort of movie screenplay thingy that rattles along without ever really leaving a lasting impression on me. I liked the science, but some of the plot and the ultimate denouement are a bit all over the place for me and I spotted what was coming a mile off (I’m terrible at that sort of thing!) I’ve read much better, but the movie will probably be great. Dark Matter was bought by Sony for over a million dollars when it was only a 150 page manuscript…

Alexandra Oliva – The Last One

This is high concept too (imagine what would happen to the contestants of a reality TV survival show if a vast pandemic happened during the filming of the show and one of them soldiered on under the misapprehension that everything she was seeing was set up by the show.) Really liked her cast of TV-tropes and her lead and the survival stuff is obviously researched to within an inch of its life and very interesting in and of itself (even if once or twice it all gets a bit instructional). Not sure about the ending but each to their own 🙂

Our Souls At Night by Kent Haruf

Our Souls At Night was handed to me by one of the (male btw!) producers in the office with a high recommendation. It’s the late Kent Haruf’s intimate, tender story of an older man and an older woman living in the same small town who, one day, seek out comfort together. It’s exquisite.

Nothing On Earth by Conor O’Callaghan

A total curveball, Conor O’Callaghan’s book is extraordinary. Even a couple of months after finishing it I’m nor exactly sure what happened. Is it a story of post-ghost estate Ireland? An actual ghost story? Are some of the things we witness supernatural or psychological? Can we believe anything we’ve been told? How reliable is our narrator? Very, very impressive stuff – one I think deserves a far, far wider audience that it has had so far.


Remember you can catch up with everything I’m reading, get book discounts, details of public events I’m involved in and just have the general book chat with 3,000 other reader over on my FB book club:


Bad Ambassador Playlist – Friday July 8th


Another week, another stupid selfie… and here’s what I had for you:

Arctic Monkeys – Still Take You Home

Goldie Lookin Chain – Your Mother’s Got A Penis

Jimi Hendrix – All Along The Watchtower

Basement Jaxx – Red Alert

Royksopp – So Easy

Massive Attack – Teardrop

Tom Waits – The Heart Of Saturday Night

The Bloodhound Gang – The Inevitable Return Of The Great White Dope

Vampire Weekend – Oxford Comma

Biffy Clyro – Howl

Smashing Pumpkins – Bullet With Butterfly Wings

Republic Of Loose – Break!

Public Enemy – Don’t Believe The Hype

Primal Scream – Rocks

Ben Folds – Cologne

Oasis – The Masterplan

Ms Dynamite – It Takes More

Paul McCartney & Wings – Let Me Roll It

Bob Dylan – Shelter From The Storm

Manic Street Preachers – Autumnsong

Beastie Boys – Intergalactic

Jimmy Eat World – The Middle

Blind Melon – No Rain

Pixies – Wave Of Mutilation (UK Surf Mix)

Josh Ritter – Come And Find Me

Christy Moore – Shine On You Crazy Diamond

Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy – Television The Drug Of The Nation

Jamie Cullum – Get Your Way

Ash – Shining Light



Catch the show live every Friday or you can listen back anytime here http://www.rte.ie/radio/radioplayer/rteradiowebpage.html#