Friday, January 31, 2014

A blogging suggestion

When commenting on a past rather than the most current post on someone else's blog, it's a good idea just to say "see my blog for a response to this post," and then post your comment on your own blog. Not only is this a good source of ideas for your own posts, in case you're having trouble thinking of something, it also makes it more likely that everyone else in the class will see it.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Summer Internship opportunities

MCLA has received substantial funds (which the college matches) from the Department of Education for internships. The Dean would very much like to spend this money on solid, credit-bearing internships, which must begin before July to qualify. Financial need is not requisite, but students must be Massachusetts residents and willing to fill out some forms. Among available postings are positions on local farms. The subsidies are sufficient to cover the costs of tuition for the credits earned.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

(EE, WR) Blogging Problems

It was naive of me, I suppose, to think I could get full blogging participation simply by making it clear how important it is to the course, and reinforcing that by announcing that minimum blogging every week is a condition of getting a grade for the course. By that standard, even after the first week's fiasco, several of you are now ineligible to receive a grade. If you are in that category, please make an appointment to see me as soon as possible.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

(EE) Ethically Strange Coalitions

Friday's New York Times had a piece on the Coca-Cola company taking climate change seriously:
There are several layers of irony here -- the company's business model involves privatizing water supplies and making billions by selling sugar-water to children -- but when they see climate change affecting the bottom line, they become potential partners in an effort to do something about it.

(WR) Taking Detachment Seriously

One of the key concepts in the Gita is detachment, and it's a notion that is very easy to misunderstand. Without saying too much here, I want to suggest that you think about what it might mean, and don't be too quick to assume that it is obvious.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

(EE) The Population Bet

Here is a review of an interesting book about the population debates of the past half century. I don't know if you can read this link without a subscription; we have the hard copy in the common room at 100 Porter Street if you are interested.

Friday, January 17, 2014

(EE) Global Warming

I don't want to be alarmist, but there are solid, objective reasons to think things may be quite a bit worse than they seem. Here John Atcheson details why they likely are:
 The point is not to foster despair -- in fact, despair might even turn out to be an attitude that an adequate ethic forbids us to indulge in: Rebecca Solnit suggests (in an essay I'll share with you later) that we may have a duty to be actively hopeful -- though it is important not to confuse hope with optimism.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

(WR) Return of Confucius

Nice article in the current New Yorker magazine about a resurgence of interest in Confucius in contemporary China. I'd give you the link, but it's behind a paywall. I think the library still subscribes to the paper edition (and maybe there's even a way into the magazine through the Library site -- haven't tried that), but it's good enough that I might photocopy it for you later in the course. As I said, we're not really here to study contemporary manifestations of the traditions we're reading, but snippets of the present can sometimes help us grasp the past.