Inside the Romanian Sex-Cam Industry

Inside the Romanian Sex-Cam Industry

After the recent revelations about the way pornography influences our society, here’s another sobering piece, this time about the sex-cam industry, the fastest-growing sector of the global pornography business. In Romania, thousands of women work as “cam-girls” from studios and from home.

Let me be clear: it’s not shameful to have a job, and this job is less demeaning to women compared to other jobs in the pornographic industry. But from an ethical perspective, it’s a highly debatable topic. Often, it’s one step away from abuse and in general it tip-toes on the edge of the knife between legal and social inequality.

Kids Start School Too Early

Kids Start School Too Early

A Stanford University study has shown that children who postponed kindergarten for up to one year showed dramatically higher levels of self-control. The study uses data from Denmark, where children have access to good pre-kindergarten (starting as early as 12-18 months).

The results of this study make perfect sense to me. It’s a confirmation of something I long believed to be true. I think that whatever parents can do to delay the institutionalization of their child (enrollment into the current industrialized educational system) will greatly help any young mind. I believe more studies like this will show up in the coming years. The sooner the better.

Ballistic Missiles

The “No First Use” Nuclear Weapons Policy

The title says it clearly enough. A “no first use” pledge might work much better than threats if we want to advert a nuclear war with, for example, North Korea. Given the size of the country’s army, even a conventional weapons conflict would have devastating consequences on the Korean peninsula. But a “no first use” pledge would probably prevent that as well, since it could include something like “no state will use nuclear weapons as long as its territorial integrity is preserved”. Here’s an article that describes all this in more detail.

Product Owner Man

Welcome to the Fascinating World of Product

Software is becoming more important with every passing year. We now live in a world where processes across the economic and social spectrum can be scaled, optimized and improved through software. Sometimes it’s automation, at other times it’s reinterpreting and transforming entire workflows into something that can be done remotely and collaboratively via various centralized systems (applications, websites, etc.).

Software is also a very new concept in the world of engineering. Its completely immaterial nature makes it difficult to craft using known techniques and processes. Unfortunately, the vast majority of companies out there haven’t yet adapted to software. Sometimes even companies that think of themselves that they are doing software go about it in a completely mechanical way. They put everything underneath the umbrella term “IT” (Information Technology). There is a very important distinction between technology and correctly (profitably) applying that technology.

What Self-Care Really Means

What Self Care Really Means

We often hear that we “should take better care of ourselves”, like for some reason we’re missing out on life’s awesome hedonistic opportunities. I always felt that this way of thinking is incredibly superficial. This article explains very well what self-care really means.

I respect the fact that many people have difficult lives. But I also believe that a significant percentage of such people make their life more difficult by not integrating some practices that might make their passage through this existence much more pleasant. That’s slightly paradoxical because enjoying life has so little to do with micro-managing opportunities for enjoyment and everything to do with learning how to dance in your current circumstances.

Latest and Greatest in Climate Change

The Latest (and Greatest) on Climate Change

Thanks to climate-change skeptics, we’ve been fortunate to have a lot of talented, driven people doing great research that proves how real and dangerous global warming really is. Unfortunately, even with the best of intentions, the media has turned the frequent updates from the scientific community into a deluge of climate change news, which led to the audience developing a sort of selective hearing when it comes to this topic. “Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard it all before”. But hey, here on Mentatul I need to address dozens of topics while keeping at roughly post per week. This forces me to only post about climate change roughly twice per year.

Two articles are the reason for this post. The first one is about farts. Cow farts to be precise. The methane that they contain, to be even more precise, and how it affects global warming.

The second article provides a rather appalling prognosis for our future. And it’s not even “the worst case scenario”. I’m sorry to say, but given all the statistics I’ve seen recently, it seems to be that the following article is presenting a future that has a high probability of becoming reality. And I see very few governments do anything about it, especially when it comes to the world’s biggest polluters.

Lt General Jay Silveria

Impressive Speech against Racism Delivered by American Air Force General

It is said that “all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”. Well here’s one guy that did something about the mind poison that is racism (the illusion of separation, taken to the extreme). Some months ago, in the midst of racial tensions at the Air Force Academy, general Jay Silveria delivered a convincing and moving speech against racism.

Ajit Pai

How Corporations Get to Own the Internet

Once upon a time, governments were major stakeholders in most large-scale technological and scientific ventures. Such projects were either built directly by the government, or by companies in which the people had a lot of say. But all that is far behind us. Now-a-days, government isn’t exactly “the people” anymore. And now, it’s corporations who build the telecommunication infrastructure for tomorrow.

I find it rather sad that as I’m typing this, I am pondering which is worse: having my digital life in the hands of corporations that will exploit it however they see fit, or (/and?) allowing governments to keep encroaching on our privacy and freedom? It’s becoming harder to distinguish between the two, especially as corporations have proven time and again that they can easily buy government.

Smartphone Privacy

Why It’s Not Surprising That Smartphone Privacy Is Going from Bad to Worse

Throughout the past years there have been several high-profile occasions when apps were in the news for questionable tracking strategies. Even applications that do not use novel means of compromising our privacy are gobbling up increasing amounts of data while their creators cash in on the profits obtained from selling the user’s digital life to the highest bidder. At the receiving end of this deluge of spyware are we, the people.

Even for those of us that do read the list of permissions an app requests upon installation, it is hard to avoid installing certain apps because they come with other features that we need. It’s an old trick that is akin to the Trojan horse. This is how these dubious app creators get in our back yard: by offering something that is 90% useful and 10% spyware, but which must be accepted as a whole.