The Irish Medical Times - United against the odds


Manners and ‘doing the right thing’ play a large role in British society. People queued quietly for days to pay their respects to the Queen. Could such a thing happen anywhere else? I’m not so sure, unless random violence, heavy drinking, loud singing and general pranking was allowed. 

Could you imagine if the Irish equivalent of the Queen died? Although, forgive me, but I’m at a loss as to who that would actually be, I want to say Gay Byrne?! But he has sadly passed (and anyone under 25 may not realize that is the name of a beloved national treasure). If we can’t find a national figure who’s imminent death we can all rally around, can we at least decide on one thing we all agree on. Apart from the fact that Club Milks taste different now than they did when we were kids - maybe that’s just a me thing. 

I suppose the vast majority of us on this island do enjoy a cup of tea. That’s not just an Irish thing though, as 100 million cups of tea a day are drunk by the British/Britons. Well, at least we’re not flailing around a political quagmire keeping our fingers crossed that a clown doesn’t get into office. 

Hm, maybe we’re more similar than we think. 

I believe it was the writer Brendan Behan who once said “Other people have a nationality. The Irish have a psychosis”. If we persist as victims of geography and can’t unite across commonalities, perhaps we could unite against threats that don’t care where we are from, what we believe, or who rules us. 

The insightful academic futurist Nouriel Roubini has coined the term “megathreats” to highlight impending problems that could change the face of the earth, and wipe that colour off your flag. 

According to Roubini, we are facing into the highest private and public debt ratios of all time, inflation is rising as a recession sets in, plus the ageing population threatens to crash our healthcare and pension systems. To put it concisely - we're screwed! Cheap money is dead in the septic water. Crypto and property bubbles are at bursting point. AI will likely lead to permanent unemployment in ever expanding fields. This landscape sets the scene for a rise in dangerous populist regimes. Aside from cyber wars we have an actual war in the Ukraine, and cold wars escalating between China-Taiwan and Iran-Israel, to name a few. The biggest megathreat is of course climate change (as discussed recently at COP27). 

On one hand we might be heading irreversibly towards the dystopian future we thought only possible in movies, where a loaf of bread costs $1,000 and people live underground. Or perhaps people will stop talking and observing, and start working and progressing to switch courses. Roubini thinks a dystopian future is likely (cheery chap) - a moderate worry for us, a living nightmare for our grandchildren.

Read the original article here - United Against the Odds

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