MOOC Mania

 

I have become a certified MOOC freak. There are several different platforms for MOOCS – Massive Open Online Courses – such as edX and Coursera, and happily many others are available on YouTube. (Many are available through those platforms as well as on YouTube.)

I prefer the edX platform if I use one. I have never gotten a certificate or worried about that at all, so I ride free, just for the joy of cramming my ever-curious mind.

What’s so amazing is that anyone at all can, for free, peek in at some of the most elite and incredible classes being taught today.

Harvard’s most popular course, Justice,” for instance, taught by Professor Michael Sandel, is a class everyone should at least check out. I am big on “archived” courses, because they are always “self-paced,” but Justice actually just began again for real, so check it out.

Here’s the little course intro video and text below:

Taught by lauded Harvard professor Michael Sandel, Justice explores critical analysis of classical and contemporary theories of justice, including discussion of present-day applications. Topics include affirmative action, income distribution, same-sex marriage, the role of markets, debates about rights (human rights and property rights), arguments for and against equality, dilemmas of loyalty in public and private life. The course invites learners to subject their own views on these controversies to critical examination.
The principal readings for the course are texts by Aristotle, John Locke, Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, and John Rawls. Other assigned readings include writings by contemporary philosophers, court cases, and articles about political controversies that raise philosophical questions.

Other favorites of mine are Boston University’s War for the Greater Middle East taught by the amazing Andrew Bacevich – archived now at edX – and all three of the foremost Lincoln/Civil War Historian’s – (Dr. Eric Foner’s) – courses on Civil War and Reconstruction from Columbia University.

Jump in!

 

SCOTUS: Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer of women’s rights as an advocate in early ’70’s

ruth_bader_ginsburg

Frontiero v. Richardson

Advocates

Joseph J. Levin, Jr. Argued the cause for the appellants

Samuel Huntington Argued the cause for the appellees

Ruth Bader Ginsburg for American Civil Liberties Union, amicus curiae, by special leave of Court

Facts of the case

Sharron Frontiero, a lieutenant in the United States Air Force, sought a dependent’s allowance for her husband. Federal law provided that the wives of members of the military automatically became dependents; husbands of female members of the military, however, were not accepted as dependents unless they were dependent on their wives for over one-half of their support. Frontiero’s request for dependent status for her husband was turned down.

Question

Did a federal law, requiring different qualification criteria for male and female military spousal dependency, unconstitutionally discriminate against women thereby violating the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause?

 

Oral Argument: 17 January 1973

This case was a turning point in sex discrimination cases and the first case (of many) to argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court by an amazingly convincing young female attorney, Ruth Bader Ginsburg (as amicus curiae for American Civil Liberties Union, by special leave of Court.) She does not disappoint.

on 14 May 1973 the court decided 8-1 in favor of appellants in what would be a stark turning point in sexual equality/discrimination cases; a cause that now Ruth Bader Ginsburg would take up again and again; and win again and again.

It is interesting to look back at how one of the most influential and respected Jurists of our time began her career, but also to see the genesis of this area of law at a time when narrowly conscripted roles of women and men went from being taken for granted to being questioned for the first time in any real way in society, but what is most interesting is just how vital the unquestionably persuasive power of this young female attorney was in changing minds in real time on the opinions of the supreme court justices she argued in front of.

(Side note: the single dissent in this ruling came from Justice Rehnquist.)

 

and he really can’t hurt me

He may win two or three rounds. Or the first five.

But after the first five he will just be

completely exhausted.

And this is better than me jumping and dancing

and running-

wasting a lot of time

all this moving, trying to keep from getting hit

and he really

can’t hurt me”

“WATCH this thing careful tonight.

You will notice how I will just completely wind this man down.

Watch careful.

You’ll notice, when the bell rings,

I’ll walk right out and take his shots.

I’ll offer him a deal he can’t refuse.


Who is the dope?

Anyone who chases me into the rope”

 

#AndIFeelFine

“We’ve come to a dangerous place.”

                                              ~Tyrion Lannister