How Lack of Touch Damages Men

How the Lack of Touch Is Damaging Men

Most people feel much more comfortable seeing two women holding hands rather than two men, even if the two men are father and son. The men might be brothers, but still, a large part of society will assume some sort of sexual background behind the simple and beautiful act of sharing the sense of touch. And when it comes to sex, the differences in social acceptance between lesbians and gays is even greater. Why is that?

The article below explains the developmental and educational roots of what is one of the most damaging discriminations made by society: starting already from early childhood, men are deprived of platonic touch. This is robbing men of the emotional security that touch brings to most mammals and particularly primates.

Jonathan Haidt

About Politics Polarization with Renowned Psychologist Jonathan Haidt

This is one of the most interesting and informative presentations about the times we’re living. It is about how social factors have created a climate of mutual distrust in the world and about how our society has become dangerously split. Doctor Jonathan Haidt focuses on the political arena because it is there where our future is often decided. In this most critical area, the current social polarization is doing the most damage.

This talk is of even more value than it was last year, before the democratic catastrophe that took place in the United States, where the electorate was basically asked to choose between two of the least popular candidates ever. The warning is clear: it is up to every single one of us to contribute to the healing of our society, lest even darker days will be upon us.

Automated Writing

The Rise of the RoboJournalist

The quality of online journalism has been dropping like a stone during the past decade. The main reason is websites trying to cut corners as a way to survive in a publishing landscape completely transformed by the Internet. Websites have lowered their standards regarding whom can write for them. This leads to such sad examples^ where armies of (mostly) amateur exploited writers generate a humongous amount of content, spamming the web and suffocating quality writing.

An even more worrying development is the so-called “rise of the robo-journalist. The following article reveals how automated writing is on the rise. The quality of these machine-authored creations might increase, but will continue to lack soul (at least until we develop true AI^). Even more importantly, the low-quality articles spam will explode in quantity.

I believe we need a service similar to Audible, Spotify or Netflix, but for online publications. I’m sure very many people thought about the very same thing, but the timing when an idea reaches the market is critical. Is the market ready? Will the idea propagate explosively or will it fizzle and die out?

Change Against All Odds

Why Is It So Hard to Renew Certain Beliefs?

It sometimes seems impossible to change somebody’s mind even when we have solid, fact-checked data. A fascinating scientific study explains exactly why. It’s called the backfire effect and this podcast explains it in ample detail.

But if you want a bit of entertainment while you’re learning about yourself, here’s one of the best ways to do it – along with this excellent comic from The Oatmeal

Other than the important teachings imparted in a fun and easy to integrate way (Matthew Inman’s superpower), this quote resonated very strongly with me:

“I don’t have a way to change the behavior of seven-point-five billion people carrying their beliefs around like precious gems wrapped in hand grenades.”

Artist's impression of space junk

Careful with That Orbit Now

Scientists and aerospace engineers alike have long been worried about the consequences of junking Earth’s orbit. On this site the topic was first mentioned shortly after North Korea put an (apparently) useless satellite up there. This is a serious issue, as highlighted by this year’s conference on space debris, which was understandably worried about recent initiatives that consist of launching entire constellations of micro-satellites.

Should we expect the worst to happen? With SpaceX alone planning to plant about 3000 (yes, that’s three thousand) satellites in orbit during the next decade, I think it is a valid concern. Especially as this is done with little (if any) preparation to mitigate orbital pollution.

Opening to Love

Opening to Love

This profound and emotional writing celebrates the difference between men and women in a glorious way. It honors love by crossing into the mystic with little regard for social norms (especially the social norms of Western culture). It is a text that challenges, but one that will shine in an open mind and open heart.

Food Delivery Guy For Uber And Foodora

Just How Bad Is It to Do Food Delivery for Today’s App-Overlords

As it turns out following this journalist’s two-week investigation, it’s pretty bad. The man could barely manage $4.4 per hour working his legs off (for Uber Eats) in Stockholm, capital of Sweden, where the cost of living has increased drastically in the past decade. The pay was better when working for Foodora, a similar service, but still unfair given the amount of work, not to mention the minimum salary in Sweden. The interviewing procedure for Foodora is outright humiliating. The practical test encourages possible employees to jeopardize their life by breaking traffic regulations. Here’s the story in all its juicy (read gory) details:

Some of the things a technologically interconnected world has brought us are great. But damn, some of the others are pretty sad. I bet the argument that “at least they’re creating jobs” will eventually pop up. No, these are not jobs. This is slavery, plain and simple. The fact that the slaves are willingly performing this demeaning work is even worse. This shows the decay of the social structures that were meant to ensure our progress as a species.

Tesla Motors

Tesla Motors May Be in Trouble, but Remember These Facts

A respected investigative journalist has recently penned a rather worrying piece about Tesla Motors’ progress with its high-stakes Model 3 vehicle. Things are far from going according to plan. What is even more disturbing for me are some of the recent shock & awe declarations of CEO Elon Musk. For example his unrealistic plans for colonizing Mars or sending people around the world aboard modified ballistic rockets, both of which would be a complete waste of critical resources and a mockery of the critical situation in other parts of the planet. The following Seeking Alpha article pours some cold water on all the Musk hype.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for Musk. He’s done great with Tesla Motors. In fact, he’s done so great that now Big Motor is out to get him. It’s amazing how much competition he managed to ignite and thus has done the world a great favor. He’s done even better with Space X given how much the enterprise has helped our extra-terrestrial research and development. But some of his statements are scientifically unsound and that devalues him in the eyes of those that matter a lot for his ventures’ future. I have no problem with idealism, but I do have a problem with cheap PR tactics.

Daryl Davis

Man Who Makes Friends within Ku Klux Klan Is a True Role Model

By providing an inspiring real life story of how empathy can change the world, this man has become a living embodiment of what society can achieve when it doesn’t fall prey to fear and hate.

When he started making friends among the KKK, Daryl embraced “the enemy” because deep inside he knew that there is no enemy. People make mistakes; they sometimes end up on a path that leads to suffering because they had few alternatives. That doesn’t make them any less human than the ones on the “other side”. But one important fact is that we’re all in the same boat. It’s up to us – to all of us – to grow each other up and to make sure that the boat we’re on becomes a party boat towards a beautiful land, not a dirge heading for the cemetery.

NFL Logo

Germany, Nationalism and the NFL

A far-right party has just entered the German parliament. It is a frightening indicator that even a nation that has put people through – and gone itself through – terrible suffering at the hands of such ideology is not safe from a wave of worldwide nationalism that threatens to do great harm to our society in the near future. In the meantime, somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean the very same nationalism is mocking sportsmen’s civic attitude. I’m referring here to Trump’s comments about National (American) Football League players who kneel during the singing of the national anthem in protest of the racial segregation in their country.

To call somebody that has gone through grueling physical trials to reach the pinnacle of a sport a “son of a bitch” is the lowest I’ve seen Trump sink since taking office. This is why for me this is even more important than the predictable election result of a German right-wing party. Regardless of Trump’s policies, as president of the United States he is also a trend-setter, especially in countries within the USA’s sphere of influence (which is not limited to NATO countries).