Cover photo
Thomas Baekdal
Works at
Lives in Vejle, Denmark
6,703 followers|15,028,345 views


Thomas Baekdal

Shared publicly  - 
We Did Our Marketing:
...a story about how the word 'marketing' has changed ... and how it is now returning to its original meaning. 
Add a comment...

Thomas Baekdal

Shared publicly  - 
If Kodak was selling newspapers... ;)
Add a comment...

Thomas Baekdal

Shared publicly  - 
Ahh… the Tesla Model X, the new super expensive electric SUV from Tesla. It’s beautiful, ludicrous (no really), and I really wish I could win the lottery so that I can afford to buy one (which is kind of hard since I don’t buy lottery tickets).

There is, however, one thing about it that I really don’t get. It’s the doors.

As you can see in the picture below, it comes with these fancy gulf-wing type door that allows you to open them up even when you parked in a very narrow spaces. In fact, Tesla says that they open with as little as 12” on each side.

However, you will notice that it’s only the back doors that can open this way. The front doors, where you are sitting, are still the old regular ones that swing out.

In other words, if you actually were to park in a tight space, you, as the driver would still not be able to exit the front seat. The front doors still need the same space as any other SUV to open. 

Is this is useful feature? Perhaps for people with small children? Maybe? 

To me, though, I just don’t get it. How am I going to get into the car?

Also, it's kind of mind boggling that the Model X is expected to be priced at 2x the price of the new Jaguar F-Space SUV. Add that, in the future, my country is going to eliminate government incentives for buying electric cars. Meaning a Model X is likely to be around $310,000-$350,000 because we have a staggering car registration tax of 180% (yes, 180% !!)

That's a lot of money... 

When Tesla started with the Model S, I saw them as the future Ford. I'm not really seeing that anymore. Now they look more like the future Bentley. They are so way out and so expensive that I don't see them making a car for the masses anytime soon.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I personally wanted them to be the future of Ford :)
Boris Valdez's profile photoTore Julø's profile photoTor Thrysøe's profile photoRidha Belouadah's profile photo
No, it's the Model 3 that's supposed to be the affordable one but as far as i can see it doesn't fall under the "affordable to me" category. :(
Add a comment...

Thomas Baekdal

Shared publicly  - 
While the talk of the day in the US is about gun laws, it's important to remember that it is not the only cultural problem that exists in the US. Another, and perhaps more important problem, is the level of mass incarceration. 

In the video below (sorry thumbnail missing), you can see this visualized by the Atlantic. Add to that the rather insane levels of police 'power' that we see often. Mixed with the crazy levels of gun violence that we see so many times.

What we see here is a very bad culture of having a polarized system of punishment for one group, with extreme authoritarian disrespect for another, with the insane levels of paranoia, combined with a lack a social responsibility. 

For instance, I was watching a show of HotRod Magazine, where they had stopped at a junk yard because they noticed some interesting cars. But the owner of the place approached them with a gun, threatening them because they were apparently trespassing.

This is something that only happens in the US (or in third-world countries riddled with crime). In Europe, where I live, you will never experience anything like that. 

If someone walks into your garden in Europe, you would call the police. The police will then show up and gently ask the person to leave. If the person refuses, they will arrest him. But not by pointing guns at him. 

Even if the person resists arrest, the scene would be nowhere near what we see in the US.

And, for the few who do go to jail, take a look at what prisons are like in Norway (where their incarceration rate is only 10% of what it is in the US).

Just look at the face of the US prison guard. What he sees in this video is so completely alien to him, because he comes from a culture where prisoner must the treated with disrespect. His basis of thinking is that prisoners are scum!

And here is some fascinating stats for you (from UNODC).

Norway = 50
USA = 226

Norway = 2,511
USA = 1,876

Norway = 312 
USA = 602

Norway = 22
USA = 24

Vehicle theft:
Norway = 76
USA = 161

Homicide rate:
Norway = 0.9
USA = 3.8

Do you notice how the worse the crime gets, the more of it exists in the US? Sure, Norway has crime too, in fact, it has a much higher level of theft. But that is not a serious crime. In comparison the US rate of assault is 450% higher, and the homicide rate is 420% higher.

You see what has happened here. This is the result of a polarized culture and system. The idea that you are either a good guy or a bad guy, and nothing in between can exist. And, in that culture, you will see more people go to those extremes.

And it’s the same about the gun problem, and the police brutality problem. It’s all based on irrational extremes, in which disrespect breeds more disrespect and just makes the problem worse every year.

Why is it, for instance, that US prisoners are several times more violent that European ones? What makes them violent?

The problem for the USA is that it needs a cultural revolution to eliminate the extremes. Because that’s the problem here. We need to get rid of the disrespect and the ‘you are either a good guy or a bad guy’ mentality. 

Take the NRA, who says: "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” … think about how extremist a view that is. This is polarization of the issue to its furthest extend possible. You cannot get any more extreme than that. 

And when you then hear that, in Texas, people are now allowed to carry guns in schools, not to mention the very idea that there are police forces attached to schools… then OH.MY.GOD. What the heck is wrong those people?

This leads us to stories the about Ahmed Mohamed, who made a clock and was arrested, by the police, because a teacher mistook it for a bomb.

Then, later, on Fox News, you see reporters say that ‘maybe he wasn’t so innocent’ because he had previously been suspended for weeks because he was blowing soap-bubbles:

Let me tell you a story. When I was a kid in school, I sometimes started throwing paper airplanes around class, disrupting everyone. At one point my teacher got up and start chasing them around, trying to catch them out of the air. This, of course, just made it more fun, so I started throwing even more of them.

At the end, I was told to go outside my class, and stay out there until that class was over. 

Yes, that’s was my punishment. I was not called to the head-office. I was not put on suspension. The school police (which doesn’t exist in Europe) wasn’t called to restore order. Because doing any of those things would be insane. 

But in the US, it’s ‘the system’ and as one school police officer told me:

First, we have police in schools in the US because a large percentage of parents don't discipline their children.  Also, they don't allow the schools to do so either.  When schools were continually faced with civil lawsuits because of their actions...  They requested police be stationed at the school so they could put remove a significant portion of the school's legal liability and filch it onto the police.  The police Officer in the school, then responds to serious class disruptions, assaults by school children, etc and determines if a criminal law violation has occurred.  If one has occurred the police officer confers with the school administrator to determine if the child should be cited (issued a citation/summons for court).

If the "child" (I place that in parenthesis because many of these incidents are by kids who are 16-18 YOA and sometimes larger than the teachers/police officers - although, that is typically a minority - they account for the more serious assaults) is cited the citation is provided to the parents and the parents are required to take the child before a judge specializing in juvenile cases.  Most of the time they are issued "punishment" which can include community service.

And then he gives an example:

16 YO disrupts class,  refuses to stop yelling, shoves teacher, teacher directs him to the Principal's office, he refuses to go, teacher directs him outside the classroom, he refuses, the teacher calls the office.  I respond along with the Principal (a female).  The student is as big as the teacher/principal.  He refuses to leave the classroom after the Principal directs him to leave.  He continues to yell and be disruptive and refuses to step into the hallway to discuss the matter so the teacher can continue teaching the other students.  Finally, after trying to get him to comply for about 15 minutes the Principal asks me to take him to her office so she can speak to him there.  He refuses my request, he refuses my direction, he refuses my order.  I try to gently place my hand on his shoulder to gently push/direct him towards the door (trying to use my presence/close proximity more than a physical push/shove).  He jerks away and yells loudly that I should stop touching him.  I again ask him in an even tone to head for the office so the class can continue.  "Fuck the class."  I, finally, grab him by the elbow in one hand and firmly push his shoulder with the other to get him to move towards the door...  And, he complies.  About 15 feet down the hallway, he stops pushing back against me and walks on his own - and, I let him go.

To which I responded:

My point is that this problem doesn't exist in European schools. Sure, there are rowdy students and fights between kids... but nothing that even comes close to the level of threat that we hear about from the US... and definitely not something that we need the involvement of a guard or a police officer ... and definitely not as a full time deployment of a school police. And absolutely nothing that would ever come close to the 'school police' getting assault weapons. The whole thing is just incomprehensible to a European.

We do not bring in the police just because a teacher can't convince a student to leave the classroom.

I do understand what you are saying. But what I'm trying to say is that your reasons for why this is even needed is inconceivable where I come from.

To this he asked:

so, what do your teachers do with a student who is intentionally disrupting a classroom, refuses to leave, and won't comply with any direction from school staff? Do they just allow him to disrupt class until the class ends? And, if so what about his next class? If he continues there.... How long do you let it go on without taking into consideration the other student's ability to learn/be taught during those periods?

Apparently, in the US it is believed that disrupting a class is a crime which must involve the police. 

My answer was:

They reason with him through dialog. If that still doesn't work (but I can't remember ever hearing about such incidence), the parents are called.

Again, we have problem of disrespect and an extreme polarization between the force of the authorities and the people. And here we are talking about schools. 

It’s just insane.

I’m not saying there aren’t problem in Europe as well. Of course there are. But the examples we so often hear about in the US are so far out that it sounds incomprehensible. 

School police, most people owning guns, people even bringing their guns in public places, the level of violence, and the tone of disrespect that we see? Extending to an extreme authoritarian culture where the police is called in to restore order in a classroom? What madness is this?

The US needs to get away from these extremes.

Read my follow-up here:
Norman Ma's profile photoKenneth Schmandt's profile photoThomas Baekdal's profile photoLuis Fernandes's profile photo
+Matthias Blumenfeld Well, it's complicated. I might do a post to compare it, but you can see all the numbers here:
Add a comment...

Thomas Baekdal

Shared publicly  - 
Here is a great video that talks about the real dangers of electric cars and blind people. Basically, it's only a very low speed that we may have a problem.

However, I want to add something to this. One huge trend right are all the different forms of driver assists, all the way from the simple obstacle avoidance technology to fully fledged driverless cars. 

What all of these techs have in common is that even if you, the driver, don't see a blind person, the car will. So, I think this is a non-issue. Five years from now, every new car (which will be all the electric cars) will have technology that prevents accidents like this (regardless if the person is blind, seeing, or a child). 

The problem they are discussing is what it's like today, but not what it will be like tomorrow. And the solution is not to add noise to the cars, because that means we are solving yesterday's problem. The solution is to have the car stop by itself.

But fascinating video.
Add a comment...

Thomas Baekdal

Shared publicly  - 
Here is a fun little factoid. We all know the consequences of special relativity, the weird thing that causes time to move slower the faster it moves in relation to something else. For instance, the astronauts at the International Space Station is aging slightly slower than the rest of us. So if you want to stay young, go to space... really, really fast ;)

However, this effect isn't limited to space. It also happens when you are flying on a plane, say, across the Atlantic. 

So, I have a lot of friends who spend an incredible amount of time flying as part of their job, which means they are aging slower than I. Granted, I used to fly around too (I have a record of 8 business flights in a single week), but I haven't been anywhere near an airplane for years... which means, I'm growing older than my friends ... eeek!

Okay, it's not by much. In fact, on a plane trip across the Atlantic, the time difference is only 0.000000009 seconds ;)

Personally, I'm far more worried about how quickly I'm catching up with my mom. Think about this:

When I was 5 years old, my mother was five times as old as me. However, when I reached the age of 10, my mother was only 3 times as old as me. And when I reached the age of 20, she was only twice as old as me. And at 40, she is only 1.5 times older than me.

So... if I don't do something soon, I might end up being as old as my mom, relatively speaking of course. Maybe I should start flying again ;)
Michael Olguin's profile photoJames Maabadi's profile photoAlbert Gordon's profile photoKathy Oconnell's profile photo
I think it's related to the environment only.
Add a comment...
In his circles
147 people
Have him in circles
6,703 people
Dennis Burd's profile photo
Kim Smidt Christiansen's profile photo
Larry Robert Reed's profile photo
ahmed aljanabi's profile photo
Ravi Vekaria's profile photo
Sphinx Factor's profile photo
ISTanCo accredited registrar of .rs domain names's profile photo
Hamish Nuttall's profile photo
António Nunes's profile photo

Thomas Baekdal

Shared publicly  - 
Okay, this is brilliant. A new food vending machine startup will serve only fresh healthy food, but it acts like a refrigerator. You open the door by swiping your credit card. You then browse around for what you like, and then, when you close the door, it will automatically detect exactly what products you grabbed and charge you. 

This is not just a great concept (which is linked to the fantastic trend of healthy food), but also cool tech.

Ronald Parker's profile photoThomas Baekdal's profile photoJan Bruun Andersen's profile photoMichael M's profile photo
Like Except you don't need to use a bar code scanner to register your purchases? 
Add a comment...

Thomas Baekdal

Shared publicly  - 
Wanna feel old? ;)
Well, today it has been 25 years since Beverly Hills 90210 first aired on TV... 
Dainius Happy's profile photoKristian Köhntopp's profile photoMichael Fuckner (molli123)'s profile photoInaiat Henrique's profile photo
How about My Three Sons? We are timeless, #ComeBackHere  
Add a comment...

Thomas Baekdal

Shared publicly  - 
The destructive nature of a 'What if?' society
Yesterday I posted about the increasing problem in the US of an extremist culture ( No, I don’t mean the terrorists or the right-wing nut cases, I talked about the everyday extremism that has led to the US becoming the most dangerous western nation, by far. 

As a European it’s hard to convey just how big the difference is between what we consider ‘normal’ and what is now considered ‘normal’ in the US. For instance, the idea that a police officer would not only patrol on school grounds on a daily basis but also be called to restore order if a kid isn’t behaving in class, is completely unheard of in my country. 

But there is one way that I can illustrate this to you, and that is with this clip from a documentary, which you can see below. It’s part of a longer series about the welfare system and culture that exist in the Nordic European countries (the area known as Scandinavia). And in this episode a police officer from the LAPD is visiting the police forces in Finland, Sweden, and Norway.
Note: It has English subtitles :)

The differences are a like night and day. The LAPD’s officers normal state is that he is potentially ‘fighting for his life’ on every assignment. But in the Nordic countries, we don’t feel anything like this.

What I like the most is what we see at the end. In the final segment of the documentary, the LAPD officer visits Norway, where the police doesn’t even carry a gun. They have a gun in their cars, but not on their person. 

To the LAPD officer, this is so crazy that he cannot even imagine why such a system exists, and he starts to rationalize why the police needs guns with the rhetoric we hear so often from the US. It’s the “what if [something very bad] happened?”

For instance, what if the Norwegian police came upon a person with a gun. Is it then reasonable or even safe to ask them to run back to their cars to arm themselves? No, of course not, you would say. Right?

But if this is what you think, you are not looking at the bigger picture.

First of all, the “what if…” mentality is based on irrational emotions. If we instead look at the data, we find that the Norwegian police is many, many times safer than in the US. So, the rational that you are safer if you have a gun isn’t actually true. 

We see the same thing when it comes to you and me. In the US, we also often hear the “what if...” scenario applies to why private citizens are buying guns. What if someone broke into your home? What if someone assaulted you on the street? 

Would you like to own a gun to protect yourself and your family?

Even Obama said this in his latest speech after the latest mass shooting. He said “There are good people who have guns for hunting, sports, and protecting their family”.

I’m sorry, but that’s an insane way of thinking. You see, having a gun makes you many, many times more likely to get hurt than if you didn’t have a gun.

If I had a gun for my ‘protection’, so would my neighbors, and their neighbors. In fact, soon, everyone would have a gun. 

This, of course, also means that the criminals will have guns too, because they suddenly become commonplace items, rather than the very rare objects that is hard to get. 

This in turn means that, if everyone had guns and someone decided to rob my home, they would likely bring one with them.

So, having allowed people to arm themselves doesn’t actually make you safer. The only thing it does is to raise the threat level from something rather benign to something rather deadly. Today, a burglary is most likely not armed. But if everyone had guns, they probably would be.

And you only have to look at the data to confirm this. In Norway, the death by firearm rate is only 0.04 per 100,000 people. In the US it’s 3.55. That means you are 88 times less safe in the US, where you have guns, than in Norway, where not even the police carry guns.

The very idea that you should get a gun to protect your family is exactly the opposite of what you want to do. I’m so happy to live in a country where we don’t have guns. In my country, our gun related deaths are 0.22 per 100,000. That’s 5.5 times higher than in Norway, but still 16 times less than the ‘normal’ in the US.

But in the documentary, you see how the US police officer isn’t even thinking like this. In his world, there is only the “what if…” scenario. He always prepares himself for the worst.

The problem is that the “What if…” scenarios never stop. You can always take it a step further. 

- What if a kid in school is attacking another kid (which happens)? Well, let’s create a school police force. 
- What if the kid has a gun? Well, let’s arm the school police. Let’s bring guns into a school environment. 
- What if that isn’t enough? Well, let’s get one of these:

It’s the same with the rest of the US society. Look at the military. The US military is 8.5 times larger than Russia’s, and in terms of sophistication, it's at least twice as capable. That makes the US military 20 times more powerful than anything that could even remotely threaten it. And yet, at every presidential election, strengthening the military always comes up because ‘what if…’ …uhh… something happened. 

It’s just crazy. 

Or look at immigration. A group of Syrian refugees arrives in the US, and suddenly the political debates are turning to the worst case scenario. “What if some of these are ISIL fighters in disguise? Let’s deport them all back, just to be safe!”

It’s a completely irrational way of dealing with things. 

You don’t want a culture based on “what ifs…”, because all that does is to polarize the problem into the extremes. 

So… what if you didn’t ask ‘what if’? What if you look at the problem by looking at the data instead of the fears? What if people didn’t protect themselves with guns? What if kids weren’t exposed to school police forces? 

What if, like what you see in the documentary, you could have a society where none of these concerns even exist in people’s everyday lives?

Look at what the LAPD officer experienced after spending an evening out in Sweden. He saw no police, heard no sirens, saw no worried faced, or people feeling scared. To him it sounded like that was unusual. To us, it’s normal. Why would it be any other way?

What kind of society do you really want to create?
Mary Parcey's profile photoBrian Andersen's profile photoRonnie Boadi's profile photoPontus Hammarbäck's profile photo
Part of what makes this problem so difficult is the size and diversity of the USA. There are areas of the country where people need guns to defend themselves and their property from the local wildlife. There are areas where hunting is an important part of the local economy and culture.

I don't think you can take a set of gun laws that work in Alaska or Oklahoma and expect them to work in New York or California. That's why states need to be able to set their own gun laws. This is a problem that the federal government is ill-suited to solve.
Add a comment...

Thomas Baekdal

Shared publicly  - 
One thing I have always found amusing is that the easiest way to create a completely secure way to store something is to place it in plain sight by making it look like something else.

For instance, imagine you have a file that contains something (like serial numbers or passwords) you don't want people to see, even if they hack your computer. Well, here is an idea. Rename the file to 'sims3.exe' and place it in a folder called 'Electronic Arts / Sims 3'

Now, even if someone stole your computer and somehow managed to hack through the login box, they would just see this file that looks like the Sims 3 game. 

Mind you, I would also encrypt the file so that they can't just open it up in a text editor, which will also make it look even more like an app rather than a document.

Or if you are slightly more crafty, how about this?
Tore Julø's profile photoTroed Sångberg's profile photoKienan Vella's profile photoKashif Ansari's profile photo
Or, use steganography if the file is small enough. get a huge image file (as many megapixels as possible, a panorama of 15mp images would be a good candidate), and you can hide a relatively small amount of data in plain sight. If you encrypt the data first, then stuff it into the image you'll be even better protected.

Or, what i've done in the past is made a ~4gb raw image with an encrypted EXT4 filesystem in it. loop mount the encrypted disk image, write files to it, unmount it, compress with 7z (LZMA) and encrypt the compressed file. name it something random, and away you go.
Add a comment...

Thomas Baekdal

Shared publicly  - 
When Tracking Goes Wrong
I visited IKEA's website because I wanted to buy a new floor lamp, a short time later, I got a SMS from a scammer who were trying to give me a IKEA gift certificate. 

The question is... how the heck did my data about visiting IKEA end up in the hands of a scammer? Read the details here:
I have been writing a lot about privacy, tracking and all the problems we have with it. For instance, in 'The Blocking Problem', I summarize the whole issue around ad blockers, and in 'What Is Tracking And What Isn't Tracking' I take you on a tour of both the good and the bad types of tracking.
Thomas Saxtoft's profile photoPaddy Rooney's profile photoThomas Bering's profile photoPeter Zuleger Nielsen's profile photo
What a fine article, very illustrative!
Add a comment...

Thomas Baekdal

Shared publicly  - 
How much do the people of the US spend on media per year? The answer is about 6% of their total income. Mind you, what I'm talking about here are all forms of media. TV, music, cinema, concerts, Netflix, magazines, newspapers, books, games, and so forth.

Interesting though is that if you take this number and you divide it with how much time people spend consuming media, the result is $1 to $2 per hour of media, which is basically what we can then use to determine the value of media on average.

And even more interesting, this perfectly correlates with the book industry. A book that takes 9 hours to read usually cost around $9-$18 to buy. This also matches the gaming world (if you ignore the low-end mobile crap). An triple-A game that provides 40 hours of gameplay usually cost around $60.

Of course, this is an average. The trick here is to be above average, both in terms of how much value that you bring, but also in how much value people are willing to spend on you.

There is also the difference between media that we consume as media, and media that we consume as education (which is a separate category).
Tanner Carpenter (Tanzergling)'s profile photoMatt Burns's profile photoBrian Fields's profile photo
It'd be interesting to see graphs for incomes of 25K and 100K in comparison, as well as other countries.
Add a comment...
In his circles
147 people
Have him in circles
6,703 people
Dennis Burd's profile photo
Kim Smidt Christiansen's profile photo
Larry Robert Reed's profile photo
ahmed aljanabi's profile photo
Ravi Vekaria's profile photo
Sphinx Factor's profile photo
ISTanCo accredited registrar of .rs domain names's profile photo
Hamish Nuttall's profile photo
António Nunes's profile photo
Writer, social advocate, and magazine owner
    Writer, social advocate, magazine owner, and internet manager, present
Basic Information
Owner of (magazine about new media), author, analysts... and social media teddy bear :)
I spend my life asking just one question: "Why?" ...and then I write articles and books about the answer.
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Vejle, Denmark
Varies places
Contact Information