Sveinbjörn Þórðarson

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Þriðja heims hagvöxtur og öllu stolið

9.2.2017 kl. 11:45 - Sveinbjörn Þórðarson

Samkvæmt Seðlabankanum var 6% [!!!] hagvöxtur á Íslandi í fyrra. Sannkallaður þriðja heims hagvöxtur, því svo mikill hagvöxtur þekkist varla í þróuðum ríkjum.

Ef það er einhvern tímann tækifæri til þess að hækka skatta og laga félagsþjónusturnar, þá er það núna. En ég hugsa samt að við sjáum eitthvað lítið af því frá þessari ömurlegu nýju hægristjórn. Allir peningarnir beint til vina þeirra og svo til Panama, á meðan náttúruperlur landsins eru lagðar í rúst af túristum. Íslensk tragedía.

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Rushing towards the Great Unknown

6.2.2017 kl. 09:07 - Sveinbjörn Þórðarson

Harari says it like it is:

When people realise how fast we are rushing towards the great unknown, and that they cannot count even on death to shield them from it, their reaction is to hope that somebody will hit the brakes and slow us down. But we cannot hit the brakes, for several reasons.

Firstly, nobody knows where the brakes are. While some experts are familiar with developments in one field, such as artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, big data or genetics, no one is an expert on everything. No one is therefore capable of connecting all the dots and seeing the full picture. Different fields influence one another in such intricate ways that even the best minds cannot fathom how breakthroughs on artificial intelligence might impact nanotechnology, or vice versa. Nobody can absorb all the latest scientific discoveries, nobody can predict how the global economy will look in ten years, and nobody has a clue where we are heading in such a rush. Since no one understands the system, no one can stop it.

Secondly, if we somehow succeed in hitting the brakes, our economy will collapse, along with our society. ... the modern economy needs constant and indefinite growth in order to survive. If growth ever stops, the economy won't settle down to some cosy equilibrium; it will fall to pieces. That's why capitalism encourages us to seek immortality, happiness and divinity.

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Smart but astoundingly naive

31.1.2017 kl. 07:57 - Sveinbjörn Þórðarson

Smart tech people -- especially in America -- are often astoundingly naive and ignorant of the world they live in. Jeff Atwood [of Stack Overflow fame] is a talented nerd, but his views on the nature of his country and its politics border on imbecility.

"I assumed that the wheels of American government would turn, and reasonable decisions would be made by reasonable people. Some I would agree with, others I would not agree with, but I could generally trust that the arc of American history inexorably bends toward justice, towards freedom, toward equality. Towards the things that make up the underlying American dream that this country is based on."

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Fíkniefnanotkun í Þriðja ríkinu

27.1.2017 kl. 11:55 - Sveinbjörn Þórðarson

Mætti í Morgunútvarpið á Rás 2 og ræddi um fíkniefnanotkun í Þriðja ríkinu.

Sækja hljóðskrá (22MB MP3)

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The Fall of Carthage

26.1.2017 kl. 19:27 - Sveinbjörn Þórðarson

Appian describes the last days of the Roman siege of Carthage (146 BC):

When daylight came Hasdrubal, enraged at the attack upon Megara, took the Roman prisoners whom he held, brought them upon the walls, in full sight of their comrades, and tore out their eyes, tongues, and tendons with iron hooks; of some he lacerated the soles of the feet, he cut off the fingers of others, and some he flayed alive. All who survived these tortures he hurled from the top of the walls. He thus gave the Carthaginians to understand that there was no possibility of peace with the Romans, and sought to fire them with the conviction that their only safety was in fighting. But the result was contrary to his intention, for the Carthaginians, conscience-stricken by these nefarious deeds, became timid instead of courageous, and hated Hasdrubal for depriving them of all hope of pardon.

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On the Hydrogen Bomb

26.1.2017 kl. 13:18 - Sveinbjörn Þórðarson

"A decision on the proposal that an all-out effort be undertaken for the development of the "Super" cannot in our opinion be separated from consideration of broad national policy. A weapon like the "Super" is only an advantage when its energy release is from 100-1000 times greater than that of ordinary atomic bombs. The area of destruction therefore would run from 150 to approximately 1000 square miles or more.

Necessarily such a weapon goes far beyond any military objective and enters the range of very great natural catastrophes. By its very nature it cannot be confined to a military objective but becomes a weapon which in practical effect is almost one of genocide.

It is clear that the use of such a weapon cannot be justified on any ethical ground which gives a human being a certain individuality and dignity even if he happens to be a resident of an enemy country. It is evident to us that this would be the view of peoples in other countries. Its use would put the United States in a bad moral position relative to the peoples of the world.

Any postwar situation resulting from such a weapon would leave unresolvable enmities for generations. A desirable peace cannot come from such an inhuman application of force. The postwar problems would dwarf the problems which confront us at present.

The application of this weapon with the consequent great release of radioactivity would have results unforeseeable at present, but would certainly render large areas unfit for habitation for long periods of time. The fact that no limits exist to the destructiveness of this weapon makes its very existence and the knowledge of its construction a danger to humanity as a whole. It is necessarily an evil thing considered in any light."

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Icelandic Optimism

25.1.2017 kl. 10:13 - Sveinbjörn Þórðarson

I've always said that we Icelanders are an optimistic people. Nowhere is this more evident than in how we speak of the world wars. Instead of World War I and World War II, we have "The Former World War" and "The Latter World War", linguistically precluding the possibility of a third world war. If [when?] one ever does break out, it's back to the drawing board.

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Sendum þá til Norður-Englands

18.1.2017 kl. 20:21 - Sveinbjörn Þórðarson

Fyrir mörgum árum, á pólitísku spjallborði í myrkustu kimum internetsins, rakst ég á þá skemmtilegu tillögu að safna hreinlega saman öllum kexrugluðu frjálshyggjumönnunum og skjóta þeim út í geim. Þá gætu þeir látið reyna á sína dystópísku fantasíu á annari plánetu á meðan við hin reynum að reka siðuð samfélög hér á jörðinni.

Að sama skapi væri ekki svo vitlaust að senda alla þessa íslensku Sjálfstæðismenn til Norður-Englands í nokkur ár svo þeir láti af þessu absúrd Thatcher-blæti. Fátt ber betur vitni um siðferðislegt gjaldþrot nýfrjálshyggjunnar en ömurleiki og dysfúnksjón bresks samfélags.

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