Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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(Mostly Not) Irish Observations

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So, I’m back from Ireland. It was quite a whirlwind tour of the country and I’m feeling recharged. If you happen to be interested, I’ve posted some photos over at Flickr for your enjoyment.

Rather than giving some boring rundown of my trip, I decided to just copy some observations from my journal. Most of them are completely unrelated to Ireland, but that’s the fun, isn’t it?

Mostly Non-Irish Observations

  • With so many people using cellphones as a watch, when you get onto a plane and can’t use it, no one knows the damn time. It’s crazy. I couldn’t find anyone around to let me know how long we’d been flying.
  • All of Ireland is under construction.
  • The hacker and designer are kind of parallel figures. Both are looking to achieve a certain elegance in what they do, whether it be code or design. They are trying to do as much as possible with only as much as they need. (As a side note, less is not more. Less is more implies less for less’ sake. The goal is not less, but rather elegance — a point inspired by Neal Stephenson’s excellent The Diamond Age.)
  • There seem to be fewer pay phones than ever because everyone has a cellphone. That’s a serious problem for travelers. It seems like a good opportunity for a low priced mobile phone rental business. Imagine if you could rent a shitty phone for like $50 and it included something like 200 minutes to America. I’d do it. Not sure if it’s viable, but it seems like it shouldn’t be that unreasonable. (That’s probably completely untrue.)
  • There are a lot of bars in Ireland.

Thanks a bunch to my mom for covering for me while I was gone . . . you did an excellent job. Now that I’m back all you readers can expect a return to the regularly scheduled boredom. Hope you enjoyed the hiatus.

October 25, 2005