Lest We Forget: Website Recalls Horrors of Eugenics

first_imgThe American Holocaust Museum has a website, “Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race.”  It discusses how Hitler’s Germany depended on currently popular scientific ideas of eugenics to try to create a master race, and in the process, eliminate the unfit – millions of them.  The website was mentioned in Science this week.The website profiles 10 scientists who cooperated with Hitler’s regime and legitimized it with science.  Did you know Josef Mengele had two doctor’s degrees?  He sent countless victims to their deaths, and even ordered some killed just so he could harvest their organs for study.  Hitler and his scientists were not amoral, but considered themselves very moral: abiding by what they believed were laws of science, rooted in evolutionary theory.  The cold cruelty of these murderers who committed such unspeakable horrors is all the more frightening when we consider that many were scholars and intellectuals, following the dictates of their twisted moral philosophy based on bad science rooted ultimately in Darwinian ideas.  Spend some time reading and thinking about these stories.  As long as evolutionary thinking still holds the reins of power, don’t think for a moment it could never happen again.(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

‘Spend wisely, avoid the debt trap’

first_img14 January 2009In the context of grim market conditions characterised by high inflation and interest rates, as well as record over-indebtedness, the National Credit Regulator is urging South African consumers to think twice before applying for credit.“Consumers are advised to borrow money responsibly and wisely, especially at this time of the year,” NCR senior education and strategy manager Peter Setou said in a statement this week.Setou pointed out that consumers were often desperate for financial assistance at the beginning of the year, and might recklessly take out various forms of credit, which included credit cards, clothing accounts, overdrafts, and long- and short-term loans.“This entails borrowing money without planning how to repay the loan, borrowing money from unscrupulous credit providers, signing loan contracts they do not understand, and eventually finding themselves in worse financial predicaments,” he said.Consumer rightsSetou pointed out that it was paramount that consumers be familiar with their rights as borrowers in order to protect themselves from unscrupulous lenders.The National Credit Act, he said, was aimed at regulating South Africa’s credit granting industry, curbing reckless lending, and ensuring that consumers were protected from harmful business practices by lenders.Key features of the Act are to ensure that interest rates and fees are regulated, and that the advertising and marketing of credit contain prescribed information on the cost of credit.“Compare interest rates and other costs from different providers, always ask and make sure you understand what the total monthly payment, including insurance and all other charges is,” Setou said. “Avoid paying over too many months; it will cost you more in the end.”In addition, a credit provider cannot legally enter into a credit agreement unless the provider has given the consumer a pre-agreement statement and a quotation in the prescribed form, as well as giving the consumer a copy of a document that records their credit agreement.‘Must haves’ vs ‘nice to haves’Setou pointed out that while many consumers received their bonuses and other extra income during the festive season, they did not plan on how to spend their money – ending up spending their extra income on “nice to haves”, instead of “must haves”.He explained that consumers failed to plan for the New Year, for essentials such as school fees, uniforms, rent, transport and electricity, and were left with no money as they had exhausted all their income.The NCR, together with partners like the Department of Trade and Industry, provincial consumer affairs directorates, the Financial Services Board, and the Council for Medical Aid Schemes, have been running awareness campaigns countrywide to educate consumers about their rights and obligations.“We believe that an informed consumer is a protected consumer,” Setou said.SAinfo reporter Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

When Your Funding is Your Worst Enemy

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts Tags:#start#StartUp 101#startups Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… dana oshirocenter_img One of the biggest tests of startup founder savvy is the period after you’ve just raised funding. It’s akin to the Amish rite of passage rumspringa, as young and sometimes inexperienced founders are given the opportunity to explore new opportunities in the hopes that the experience will ground them and strengthen them as leaders. Unfortunately, many do not find their way back to the path of revenue, or even to a product roadmap. Funding is often sought out to scale up a product, but it can also be your worst nightmare. If there’s one thing we learned from the dot com bust, it’s that you should be looking for your revenue model before building the in-office climb wall or partying on luxury yachts. Silicon Valley business lawyer George Grellas explains, “In early-stage companies, you will regret such spending when you hit the bumps in the road where you wish you had that cash. Inevitably, you will hit such bumps. Plan accordingly.” This funding problem isn’t so much about founders not knowing about free web apps to run their everyday business or the cost savings of an elastic workforce and cloud services. This funding problem is one where a ramen profitable company has just been given what it believes to be a blank check. Funding is not a blank check, it’s a promise to get the company to an agreed upon milestone in the hopes that the value of the business will grow. If the value of the business grows, investors, cofounders and hopefully early employees will benefit. The sooner you hit your milestones (if the business model and product roadmap are correct), the less likely you are to have to issue more stock and give more of the company away. In other words, the less you waste on luxury items, the more likely everyone you work with is going to get paid. Retain your staff with decent pay, good machines and a comfortable chair, but let them know what they stand to gain by hitting the milestones. Every successful entrepreneur will tell you to spend where you know you’ll see a return on investment – the right business development mix, good engineers and a solid infrastructure. Remember that if you do manage to see a lucrative exit, you’ll have all the time in the world to live the high life, but for now, maintain your focus and stay as lean as possible. If you’ve got lean startup tips, by all means leave them in the comments below. As well, cautionary tales of good money being thrown after bad are also welcome. Photo Credit: Photos8.com Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more