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News
June 13: New portfolio image
I added the image Crowgirl to the portfolio.

June 13: New portfolio image
I added the image Pig Robot to the portfolio.

September 28: New portfolio image
I added the image Bette Davis to the portfolio.

August 27: New portfolio image
I added the image Charlie Chaplin to the portfolio.

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Greatest Hits
Links to some of my most popular pages:
->   World domination
I've made an attempt at taking over the world. I didn't succeed very well.

->   Ingen reklam, tack!
In Swedish. Bisarra skyltar som man kan skriva ut och sätta på sin dörr

->   My comics
Some comics I've written and drawn.
->   AI Pengo
A Java game that you can play in your web browser.
Linkblog
Weird or interesting web pages that I've found.
July 30:

->  Meditations On Moloch
Companies in an economic environment of sufficiently intense competition are forced to abandon all values except optimizing-for-profit or else be outcompeted by companies that optimized for profit better and so can sell the same service at a lower price.
(...)
This is the dream time. This is a rare confluence of circumstances where the we are unusually safe from multipolar traps, and as such weird things like art and science and philosophy and love can flourish. As technological advance increases, the rare confluence will come to an end. New opportunities to throw values under the bus for increased competitiveness will arise.
(...)
When it becomes possible to build architectures that could not be implemented well on biological neural networks, new design space opens up; and the global optima in this extended space need not resemble familiar types of mentality. Human-like cognitive organizations would then lack a niche in a competitive post-transition economy or ecosystem. We could thus imagine, as an extreme case, a technologically highly advanced society, containing many complex structures, some of them far more intricate and intelligent than anything that exists on the planet today – a society which nevertheless lacks any type of being that is conscious or whose welfare has moral significance. In a sense, this would be an uninhabited society.
(...)
The question everyone has after reading Ginsberg is: what is Moloch?

My answer is: Moloch is exactly what the history books say he is. He is the god of Carthage. He is the god of child sacrifice, the fiery furnace into which you can toss your babies in exchange for victory in war.

He always and everywhere offers the same deal: throw what you love most into the flames, and I will grant you power.

As long as the offer is open, it will be irresistable. So we need to close the offer. Only another god can kill Moloch. We have one on our side, but he needs our help. We should give it to him.

Moloch is the demon god of Carthage. And there is only one thing we say to Carthage: “Carthago delenda est.”

->  Nukes of Hazard
In 1960, the computer at the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) in Colorado Springs warned, with 99.9-per-cent certainty, that the Soviets had just launched a full-scale missile attack against North America. The warheads would land within minutes. When it was learned that Khrushchev was in New York City, at the United Nations, and when no missiles landed, officials concluded that the warning was a false alarm. They later discovered that the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System at Thule Airbase, in Greenland, had interpreted the moon rising over Norway as a missile attack from Siberia.

In 1979, NORAD’s computer again warned of an all-out Soviet attack. Bombers were manned, missiles were placed on alert, and air-traffic controllers notified commercial aircraft that they might soon be ordered to land. An investigation revealed that a technician had mistakenly put a war-games tape, intended as part of a training exercise, into the computer. A year later, it happened a third time: Zbigniew Brzezinski, the national-security adviser, was called at home at two-thirty in the morning and informed that two hundred and twenty missiles were on their way toward the United States. That false alarm was the fault of a defective computer chip that cost forty-six cents.
(...)
Because a nineteen-year-old airman performing regular maintenance accidentally let a socket slip out of his wrench, a Titan II missile became a time bomb, and there was no way to turn off the timer. And the missile was armed. Schlosser says that the explosive force of the warhead on a Titan II is nine megatons, which is three times the force of all the bombs dropped in the Second World War, including the atomic bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. If it had detonated, most of the state of Arkansas would have been wiped out.

July 15:

->  Dad Claims Kingdom So 7-Year-Old Can Be Real Princess
Jeremiah Heaton has claimed a patch of land between Egypt and Sudan — which due to land disputes isn't claimed by either party — as his "kingdom" so that his 7-year-old daughter, Emily, can be a real princess, the Associated Press reports.

Heaton trekked through the desert in June and planted the "Heaton kingdom" flag -- designed by his kids -- in the soil of Bir Tawil. When he got home, he requested that everyone address his 7-year-old daughter as "Princess Emily." He and his wife, Kelly, also got her a princess crown.

Egyptian and Sudanese embassy representatives did not return requests for comment from the Washington Post.

Princess Emily told the Bristol Herald-Courier that she is concerned about children in the region having enough food.

July 10:

->  Vänsterns goda, fina hat
Jag har intervjuat 20-årige André Frisk, förbundsombudsman i LUF som blev nedslagen bakifrån en lördagskväll för ett år sedan. Innan han blev nedslagen hörde han hur de skrek ”borgarsvin”. Slag och sparkar haglade över honom när han låg ned. Efter denna händelse är han mycket vaksam på sin omgivning.
(...)
Pavlina Ekdahl, aktiv i LUF, utsattes för systematiska trakasserier av den autonoma vänstern när hon i tjugoårsåldern flyttade till Lund för att studera genusvetenskap. En kväll fick hon besök av två män som kallade henne för ”liberalt svin” och gjorde klart för henne att det skulle gå illa för henne om hon inte flyttade.

– Det är många, även journalister, som inte tar tydlig ställning mot detta. Men vad får det för konsekvenser om man tillåter vissa att använda våld? Jag är socialliberal feminist och även jag har drabbats av hat och hot från den autonoma vänstern. Och om en sådan som jag utsätts, hur långt kan de då tänkas gå?
(...)
Även om flera av dem jag pratat med har gjort polisanmälningar har många av dåden varit av sådan art att utredningarna har lagts ned. Ibland på grund av bristande bevis, ibland för att brottet ansetts ringa. Anna-Lena Lodenius:

– Det är utmärkande för extremvänstern att begå många små brott. Då undgår man uppmärksamhet, och folk kan fortsätta att säga att extremhögern är värre. Men ur en demokratisynvinkel är extremvänsterns påverkan på människors möjlighet att uttrycka sina åsikter ett lika stort hot som extremhögerns enstaka, men fruktansvärda, mord.

June 30:

->  Building Bigger Roads Actually Makes Traffic Worse
If a city had increased its road capacity by 10 percent between 1980 and 1990, then the amount of driving in that city went up by 10 percent. Why? New roads will create new drivers, resulting in the intensity of traffic staying the same.

If you expand people’s ability to travel, they will do it more, living farther away from where they work and therefore being forced to drive into town. Making driving easier also means that people take more trips in the car than they otherwise would. Finally, businesses that rely on roads will swoop into cities with many of them, bringing trucking and shipments. The problem is that all these things together erode any extra capacity you’ve built into your street network, meaning traffic levels stay pretty much constant.

June 29:

->  Is prison contagious?
A simulation shows how longer sentences for some may drive up rates of imprisonment for many.
(...)
The longer you're imprisoned, the higher the toll your incarceration takes on your family and friends, and the more likely they are to ‘catch’ your incarceration from you. For drug possession, whites are given an average sentence of about 14 months, whereas black Americans typically get about 17 months for the same offense.

Lum’s team ran a simulation twice; it leveled off at incarceration rates of 1% using the shorter sentence and 7% using the longer sentence—a figure that mirrors the difference in rates of white and black incarceration in the United States today.

The researchers compared their results with California’s incarceration data since the mid-1980s, when mandatory drug sentencing became law and average sentence length for white and black offenders began to diverge. This time, real-world figures and estimates of incarceration were used in the simulations. The model's predictions were borne out almost exactly.

"Under this model, small increases in sentence length led to large differences in the rate of incarceration regardless of race. That means harsher sentencing policy may have the unintended consequence of increasing crime, rather than reducing it.”


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Martin Rebas
Click here to visit my illustration portfolio!