Sveinbjörn Þórðarson

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Across the pale parabola of joy...
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Bjóðumst til þess að taka við öllum handritunum

18.7.2018 kl. 16:36 - Sveinbjörn Þórðarson

Nú þegar KPMG-PricewaterhouseCoopers töflureikniliðið hefur í allri sinni óþrjótandi visku ályktað að best sé að leggja niður fornnorræn tungumál og fræði við Kaupmannahafnarháskóla, hví stökkvum við Íslendingar ekki á tækifærið? Bjóðumst til þess að taka við Den Arnamagnæanske Håndskriftsamling í heild sinni, reddum Excel-bókhaldinu hjá gamla nýlenduveldinu.

Annað hvort verður þetta svo niðurlægjandi fyrir okkar fyrrum lénsherra að þeir hugsa sinn gang, eða Ísland fær allar þessar gersemar í hendurnar og verður langbesta setur fornnorrænna fræða um ókomna tíð. Win-win!

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Vox populi, vox dei

13.7.2018 kl. 12:16 - Sveinbjörn Þórðarson

Sannur maður fólksins. Það gerist náttúrulega ekki alþýðlegra en að slá um sig með smá latínu.

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Víetnamvælukjóamyndir

11.7.2018 kl. 12:54 - Sveinbjörn Þórðarson

Um þessar mundir er ég að horfa á Ken Burns heimildarþættina um stríðið í Víetnam. Ágætir þættir, svosem, en það fer alltaf í taugarnar á mér hvernig Ameríkanar fjalla um tilgangslausu stríðin sín í fjarlægum löndum. Þeir mæta á svæðið gjörsamlega glórulausir, enda á því að brenna þorpin, nauðga konum, drepa börn og gamalmenni, sprengja allt í tætlur og eyðileggja landið varanalega með eiturefnum á borð við sneytt úran og Agent Orange. Síðan framleiða þeir allar þessar sjálfhverfu vælukjóakvikmyndir um hve hrikalega erfitt þetta var fyrir bandarísku hermennina. Greyið þeir, að þurfa að upplifa annað eins!

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Orban og Orban

7.7.2018 kl. 16:49 - Sveinbjörn Þórðarson

Annar dagurinn í Búdapest og borgin er þegar komin á listann minn yfir fegurstu borgir Evrópu ásamt Prag, Vín og Edinborg. Gotneska þinghúsið er ein glæsilegasta bygging sem ég hef augum borið.

thinghus budapest lowres

Ætli Viktor Orban og vinir hans í Fidesz sitji þar nú og bruggi ráð um að vega að lýðræði og frjálslyndi hér í landi? Ætli útlendingahatarinn Viktor viti að nafni hans, ungverjinn Orban, smíðaði risafallbyssuna sem sprengdi niður veggi Konstantinopel fyrir Mehmed tyrkjasoldán á 15. öld?

Dardanelles Gun Turkish Bronze 15c

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Ragnarǫk at the University of Copenhagen

3.7.2018 kl. 14:45 - Sveinbjörn Þórðarson

Sadly, the Danes, of all people, are scrapping their Old Norse and Old Danish university programs. From Ragnarǫk at the University of Copenhagen:

It is very obvious that the managerialist, pro-business, pro-free-market assault on universities is the major contributing factor ... One might try to address the KPMGs and PricewaterhouseCoopers of this world on their own terms, and make a case for why studying a small language does make you a better employee. But I’m not terribly interested in doing so:

1) I’m not at all convinced that captains of industry really know what they want

2) even if they did, I’m not convinced they would stick to it – the Tony Blair government in the UK spent years getting universities to offer vocational courses, often working closely alongside industry to design them, and many industries now aren’t interested in students who studied those courses,

3) even if they did know what they want, even if they could stick to it, there’s no reason to believe that what’s good for capitalism would be good for human happiness.

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Gott að Gylfi hverfi á brott

20.6.2018 kl. 20:06 - Sveinbjörn Þórðarson

Þetta eru góðar fréttir.

Það má vel vera, og verður jafnvel að teljast líklegt, að Gylfi hafi meint vel þegar hann fór að starfa fyrir verkalýðshreyfinguna árið 1989, en menn verða svo samdauna kerfinu með tímanum. Þeir hætta hægt og rólega að sjá eða skilja neitt út fyrir sinn litla heim, sérstaklega þegar þeir eru lengi á góðum launum og keyra um á stórum jeppum í úthverfunum.

Fyrir mitt leyti verð ég feginn að þurfa ekki lengur að hlusta á hann romsa um hófstilltar kröfur og stöðugleika á meðan "bullshit jobs" elítan í landinu skammtar sér stærri og stærri hluta af kökunni. Vinnandi fólk á Íslandi á skilið betri, skilningsríkari, aggressífari málsvara.

Það er nefnilega eins og Nietzsche sagði: Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehn, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird.

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That brutal opening sequence in Coppola's Dracula

19.6.2018 kl. 14:50 - Sveinbjörn Þórðarson

They say Francis Ford Coppola never made a decent film after Apocalypse Now. Be that as it may, I recently rewatched an old favourite, Dracula (1992), which made quite an impression on 12-year-old me back in the early 90s.

All in all, it's a cheesy, incoherent film, featuring Gary Oldman as a silly vampire loverboy and some spectacularly awful acting from Keanu Reeves (though, mind you, not as bad as Tom Hanks in my last post).

But the music! Oh, boy. The music, by Polish master composer Wojciech Kilar, is unquestionably one of the finest film soundtracks of all time. And that brutal opening sequence. The silhouettes of savage medieval battle to the backdrop of a flaming sky do far more for me than any modern CGI crap.

Also, love that red suit of plate armour.

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Spectacularly bad

18.6.2018 kl. 19:07 - Sveinbjörn Þórðarson

I've always disliked Tom Hanks as an actor. I know why people like him, though. He's a WASP everyman, bland, superficially charming, banal, offensively ordinary in appearance, the quintessential protagonist of the American "rise from/and/or/struggle with mediocrity" plot. But this, ladies and gentlemen, this isn't mediocre at all. Nor is it banal, or inane. It's just spectacularly, hilariously, wonderfully awful!

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Absolutely out of control in a quite literal sense

17.6.2018 kl. 13:31 - Sveinbjörn Þórðarson

This striking quote isn't from some angry left-winger. This is Jeffrey Sachs, the cold-blooded economist best known for designing the “shock therapy” reforms that reduced Russia's GDP by 40% between 1991 and 1998:

“Look, I meet a lot of these people on Wall Street on a regular basis right now ... I know them. These are the people I have lunch with. And I am going to put it very bluntly: I regard the moral environment as pathological. [These people] have no responsibility to pay taxes; they have no responsibility to their clients; they have no responsibility to counterparties in transactions. They are tough, greedy, aggressive, and feel absolutely out of control in a quite literal sense, and they have gamed the system to a remarkable extent. They genuinely believe they have a God-given right to take as much money as they possibly can in any way that they can get it, legal or otherwise.

If you look at the campaign contributions, which I happened to do yesterday for another purpose, the financial markets are the number one campaign contributors in the US system now. We have a corrupt politics to the core ... both parties are up to their necks in this.

But what it’s led to is this sense of impunity that is really stunning, and you feel it on the individual level right now. And it’s very, very unhealthy, I have waited for four years ... five years now to see one figure on Wall Street speak in a moral language. And I’ve have not seen it once.”

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Why I'm not getting into Swift

12.6.2018 kl. 22:37 - Sveinbjörn Þórðarson

This just about sums it up.

Also, my days with the Apple ecosystem are just about done. They're locking down the platform and that's my exit cue.

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Poor, benighted Britain

12.6.2018 kl. 12:29 - Sveinbjörn Þórðarson

It is striking, but not at all surprising, that nine out of ten of the poorest areas in Northern Europe are in Britain. The London elites sucked the rest of the country dry and then blamed the foreigners, hence Brexit. Exactly the same sort of thing is going on in the United States with Trump.

No wonder the North still fucking hates Thatcher.

top ten rich poor northern europe
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And this is why the Economist sucks

12.6.2018 kl. 10:52 - Sveinbjörn Þórðarson

For once, I am at a loss for words.

I've always known that the writing staff at the Economist was full of upper middle-class right-wing Tory twats with shit for brains and a PPE from Oxford, but this is quite possibly the dumbest crap I've seen from them yet:

economist investment bankers
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