May 23, 2011 by David Miller
So. A blog. My first. Where to start…?
I remember keeping a journal a few years back when I lived and worked in Paraguay, and remember thinking how much you can only learn about a person – and oneself – by the act of writing down one’s thoughts. So, this is that – my journal of random thoughts on life: on politics, the economy, faith, law, family, fun – to start with.
I just had to give my blog a name; under pressure as David Miller had already been taken (wonder how many of there are in the world with that name?) I typed in ‘Irish Cloud Computing’ – and got that feel good positive ‘tick’ symbol! – another test in life passed! [note: since updated to my own name once I worked out how to change my domain server through domain mapping]
Hold on though, what do I know about cloud computing? Not as much as I should given this article in the Irish Independent – looks like in Ireland has a chance to position itself at the crest of arguably one of the most powerful waves of technology impacting people’s live for good: cloud computing = making life easier, more efficient, more powerful, and helping people leave their desk jobs at closer to 5pm than 6pm.
So, what do I know? Well, a little about law, having worked as a lawyer for 7 years in first London, then Dubai, and then Dublin, for both large and small firms. Most of law is just applied common sense. If you could distill the whole of law into one word I’d say that word is ‘reasonableness’. Is it reasonable of a large company to impose unilaterally un-negotiated terms on a consumer individual and always expect the contract to be read in the big company’s favour? Of course it’s not reasonable. That’s why the law attempts (emphasis: attempts) to protect the consumer. Outside of contact it’s simply a question of what relationship one person has to another and then seeing if you owe that person (or company) a duty to care for them and if so, to what extent. More another time.
I loved being a lawyer – working as a solicitor was one of the best jobs in the world frankly; no matter if I dealt with a large corporate client on a multi billion € arbitration, or in an inquest for a family seeking answers to the stonewalling objectionable refusals of a hospital as to why a loved one died in their care under dubious circumstances – it was always a privilege to be the person who a person (individual or corporate) turned to in order to have their best interests protected. As that’s what is at the core of a good lawyer – indeed, a good friend – is seeking to always identify what’s in the best interest of the person sitting opposite you. Not what they want to hear, not what they’d like to hear; not necessarily what you’d like to say – but rationally, objectively, what is best for them. Not an approach that always wins the highest number of friends in the short term, but in the long term things tend to pan out more evenly.
It’s fair to say that that notion of ‘what’s in the best interest of…’ is one that has been severely diminished in the last 10 years or so in Ireland and most economies of the Western world. Other than too many people asking ‘what’s in the best interest of me’. If there’s one positive thing about the depression (recession must be too light a word for what this country is going through) it could be this: people, groups, communities looking to each other who for a long time looked only to their own best interests, and asking now: how can we make this a better society for you?
I know a little about the Middle East and the ‘aalim al-arribey’ – aka the Arab World – having studied the Arabic language and the Persian language for my undergraduate degree before grad school for law. Wonderful languages, and the Middle East is a place for which I hold a great love and fascination.
And cloud computing? Well, like I said, it’s something I’m looking to learn more about. Law was a fun area to work in, but I alway felt it was only ever really a platform on to some more interesting things, so I’ve taken that plunge since last autumn. I’m working as a business process manager for an online company at the moment – trying to optimise efficiencies through automated IT enabled workflows. It’s made me think about marrying my interest in law (with the mitigation of risk and protection of a client’s best interest) with the unbelievably powerful tool of a cloud based development package. More anon on that front down the line.
If I don’t learn enough perhaps I’ll need to change my blog name!
Anyhow, that’s enough for blogpost #1. Hope to be back soon, D.V. (Deo Volente: God willing)- or, as we’d say in the Arab world…
Insha’alla: إن شاء الل