What Does “Mentatul” Mean?

The word “mentat” was invented by Frank Herbert and prominently used in his Dune series. The “ul” suffix in this website’s name is the Romanian definite article, added because that is my country of origin. However, I am not “the mentat”, even though my project is named this way.

Instead, the name of this website pays homage to the concept of a mentat. It is an aspiration of mine. Mentats have always inspired me. When I write analytical works, I am trying to interpret information in the same way I imagine a mentat would.

In Dune, the mentats are specially trained humans that replace computers, which have been outlawed following a devastating war against the “thinking machines”. Mentats perform strategic thinking, analysis and extrapolation of complex informational patterns. As long as the information provided to them is correct, they will be able to emit good judgments. In other words, if the information given to a mentat is inaccurate, so will be the result.

Choosing the Romanian word for this website was, in part, a logistical matter. Of course, the “mentat.com” domain name was taken while the “.org” cost two thousand dollars. It is this limitation which has pushed me to inventively make the best of the given set of circumstances. Naming my English project using a Romanian name is a tribute to my homeland, which is a place I love and respect.

I have lived 26 years in Romania and as such, it is the place which has shaped me and taught me the most. It is a beautiful country which has been through a lot in the past centuries, a subject that I will elaborate upon in some future work. Sweden has been my home for almost 7 years now. Leaving Romania brought much-needed diversity into my cultural background and has helped me in innumerable ways, but I am happy to have started my life there.

The name of this project is a perpetual reminder for being balanced and fair. In the same time, it is an incentive to acquire as much information as possible about any given subject. I select my sources of information based on reliability and fairness, through a vetting process that takes many months. Unfortunately a lot of publishers can be dangerously biased in matters to which objectivity is paramount. However, fairness inevitably arises when combining information from multiple sources and applying the process of critical thinking.

By now it’s probably clear that I’m quite determined to do my best to honor the concept of a mentat, which this website is named after. But how does that fit together with the art-related opinion writing that you can read on Mentatul.com? Fortunately (given my desires), this is not a sacrilege. Mentats are humans and they have opinions and preferences in art just like any other human. Of course, they do not allow these to interfere with their profession – which is exactly what I’m doing as well.

I hope I managed to properly communicate this domain name’s origin, meaning and what it signifies to me. I now find it quite fortunate that I was “forced” to choose the Romanian translation as the name of my project. I’m publishing these words exactly one month after launching Mentatul and already my relationship with this name, and the symbolism behind it, is strong and healthy. I feel good when publishing here and I hope you also feel good while being here.

For more information about this project, check the About Page^.

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  1. Reply

    Hehe, I wondered if it might be something like that. I think in the end it’s much better than mentat.something. 🙂

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