Is it possible for a westerner who is 30 years old to be dyslexic and not diagnosed?

I was diagnosed at 44, so it’s definitely possible.

Dyslexia didn’t really exist when I was at school – people with difficulties were just regarded as stupid or lazy. Some time later, when I was at university, we began hearing about this strange disability where people couldn’t read, but it was thought to be due to absence from school at a critical time.

I don’t know where you are, but it is often easier to get a referral to an educational psychologist if you are studying. Any kind of post-16 college course should be fine – perhaps working towards a school qualification you missed out on?


Why hasn’t Ireland’s population recovered from the great famine till today?

Immigration, and social changes.

Subdivision of land amongst the holder’s heirs, the common mode of inheritance under the Penal Laws, was done away with. Farms, including tenancies, were passed down to one heir. The remaining children had to shift for themselves, joining the Church or emigrating.

Before the famine, people married young and had children until they couldn’t. There are families of 26 children on record. After the famine, people began marrying later, which obviously lowered the number of children they had. They also began to restrict the number deliberately: family sizes remained large – to modern eyes anyway – but were substantially lower than previously. In addition, fewer people married at all – perhaps as many as a quarter of adults remained single, far more than in other European countries.

Pretty sure there was another one, but I can’t remember…


Was Malthusianism the reason that people like Thomas Carlyle and Nassau Senior wanted the Irish to die during their famine?

Question details: I am studying the new economics textbook “the core project” and it states that Malthusianism was the reason behind Nassau Seniors statement “he feared the famine of 1848 in Ireland would not kill more than a million people, and that would scarcely be enough to do much good.” It sounds questionable.


When I read your question, I had never heard of Nassau Senior, and thought “What an utter gobshite”. But curiosity struck and I went looking.

What I found gave me some pause: he may have been quoted out of context. Then I found this, which indicates that he was anti-Malthusian. OTOH, he also seems to have become a 1%er shill from the 1830s onwards, opposing regulations on child labour and working hours because they’d cut into employers’ profits, and reforming the Poor Laws in ways that even Margaret Thatcher would have balked at as a bit too harsh.

Thomas Carlyle – well, his posthumously-published Irish diary makes him out to be a typical upper-class English twit, which he was not. Charles Gavan Duffy, the Irish nationalist who accompanied him on this journey, thought highly of Carlyle and was shocked at by the diary, blaming its editor. Make of that what you will: he certainly seems to have all the prejudices of the era.

As regards Malthusianism, it certainly must have had an impact, though perhaps indirectly through its effect on the national psyche. More directly, though, Malthus himself supported the Corn Laws, which had to be repealed in order to import Indian (corn) meal from the US to support the starving. Other factors include:

  1. The ruling Whig Party’s policy of laissez-faire, which held that the market would provide for the starving – completely overlooking the fact that the starving masses, having no money, were not consumers likely to attract the market.
  2. Religion – Charles Trevelyan, in charge of relief efforts in Ireland, regarded the famine as “direct stroke of an all-wise and all-merciful Providence,” and that “the judgement of God sent the calamity to teach the Irish a lesson”. Presumably, God also had something against the Americans and Germans, who lost their potato crop before Ireland did.
  3. Compassion fatigue (for a given value of compassion>=0) – the potato crop in Ireland had failed twenty-odd times since 1800. It had never failed so disastrously and comprehensively, but there was a certain attitude of “oh, it must be Thursday” when word reached London of yet another famine in Ireland. Robert Peel, who destroyed his own career by repealing the Corn Laws, complained “There is such a tendency to exaggeration and inaccuracy in Irish reports that delay in acting on them is always desirable”.

In brief, always check such claims. They may turn out to be true, but should at least be backed up in the text by specific citations to further reading – otherwise they’re the opinions of a lazy textbook writer.


Why do Irish People have curly hair?


There’s a big difference between curly hair and Afro hair. The cross-sectional shape of the hair, the thickness of the hair shaft, the porosity and number of scales, and the length are all different. On top of that, Afro hair exhibits torsion, where individual hairs will curl back along themselves. There are big variations in both Afro and curly hair, but on the foregoing variables, they are opposites rather than similar.


Will a post-Brexit UK replace Northern Ireland’s EU grants?

However, I expect all the money will end up “resting” in the tax-haven bank accounts of various Tory cronies.


Less snarkily, the savings from our EU contribution are going to be needed to offset the economic damage of Brexit. Whether there will be anything left over for the regions, as well as all the other programs the EU supported, is open to question.


How can I like math?

You need to break the negative connection. This takes time, but one way to kickstart the break is to lie to yourself.

  • Every time you think of maths, SMILE.
  • Remember something awesome that happened to you (it doesn’t need to be related to maths)
  • When you’re brushing your teeth, look into the mirror and say “I LOVE maths”, like it’s your biggest crush.
  • Before you go into maths class, take a big deep breath and SMILE. Think of something funny – a joke, or whatever.

It sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? How can you change your feelings just by smiling and thinking about happy things?

Actually, we don’t know whether our feelings are the result of our experiences, or if our feelings create the experiences. Say you’re in an accident, and you feel frightened. Are you feeling frightened because your heart is racing (a normal result of hormonal activity under the circumstances), or is your heart racing because you’re frightened?

Do you dislike maths because it’s hard – or is it hard because you dislike it?

If you can trick yourself into feeling happy and confident around maths, you will be much more relaxed and open to new experiences.

Happiness + Confidence = Success.


How do the Irish view the USA’s gun culture?

I’m getting a lot of ridiculous comments from gun-lovers defending US gun culture.

  1. The question asks about Irish people’s thoughts on the US gun culture.
  2. I gave the Irish opinion of US gun culture.
  3. I don’t give a flying f*** what Americans think of their gun culture, and it’s irrelevant to my answer.

Some of these same challenged individuals are bringing up a load of crap about the UK, mostly alt-right bollocks.

  1. The question asks about IRISH PEOPLE’s thoughts on the US gun culture.
  2. I gave the IRISH opinion of US gun culture.
  3. I don’t give a flying f*** what Americans think of THE UK, and it’s irrelevant to my answer.



We think you’re crazy because we used to have gun problems too. You might have heard of the Troubles? Or the earlier Troubles?

As I drop my son to school every morning, I see one of my neighbours out for a walk. To call it ‘walking’ is charitable. He leans heavily on a walking stick with the one arm – his left – that still works, and drags one twisted, useless leg along behind him. It’s a flailing, hopping mockery of walking. His face is a rictus of agony, not because he’s necessarily in agony – it’s just how his face was left after terrorists gunned him down in the street. He was one of the first casualties of terrorism back in 1969.

We can see every day the misery and suffering caused by a few people with guns. We can’t believe you can’t see it too. The only conclusion we can come to is that your 2nd Amendmentists are crazy.


I am 25, from the UK and I don’t yet have a passport. Should I apply for one before we leave the EU? What differences would it make to me if I wait?

Whether you apply now or after Brexit is irrelevant. It will be a British passport in either case, and your rights will be adjusted behind the scenes. After Brexit, the colour of the cover might change, and possibly some of the wording inside.

However, if you are planning to travel by air to Northern Ireland or the Irish Republic, it is advisable to take a passport as proof of identity. This is because of changes to air travel security following the 9/11 attacks in the US, and doesn’t apply to travel by ferry. It isn’t necessary to go through passport control, as Northern Ireland is part of the UK, and Ireland is part of the UK/Ireland Common Travel Zone (which predates the EU). In theory, you could use your driving licence as proof of identity instead of a passport, but I’ve never tried that personally.