Thursday, 20 September 2012

I joined one of the MOOC s (massively open online courses- this one has about 55000 students enrolled) that have recently sprung up- to learn what the Stanford prof has to teach as well as to learn how to teach through different means and in different ways. The first two lectures were nice.
Through this and other online courses, I am hoping to come up with some method of teaching kids in schools to just appreciate learning- to view learning as a nice activity- like playing a game maybe.
Another cartoon that offends. By now, I am sure everyone realises that cartoons that are 
derogatory to religious symbols lead to an international backlash. Specially if the symbol is
islamic. Now France is spending a lot of euros to beef up security in its embassies. So why
could the cartoonist not desist? He/she knows that publishing the cartoon would lead to 
expensive security measures- spending his/her own tax euros which could have been used 
for beefing up their public schools or medicare or whatever. It may also lead to some acts 
of violence and some poor innocent person may get killed or hurt-- mind you, the artist will
get adequate protection.
Let us not even think of the higher moral value of tolerance for all religions, let us only
look at it from self interest-
Not publishing it is not going to harm anyone's interest. So why this compulsion to take 
protection under the freedom of expression and write or draw something that is so 
expensive to his/her own society?
I can understand publishing something - however offensive- that uncovers some truth that 
needs to be revealed, something that is important.  But this kind of self indulgence is difficult to understand.

When I was a child, festivals were fun. They were about good food, perhaps new clothes, some token praying (from the kids' point of vie...