Thursday, January 30, 2014

An Interesting FYI on US Sanctions

I am currently taking a MOOC (massive open online course) from Coursera and the University of Copenhagen on Constitutional Struggles in the Muslim World.

This is an excerpt of a communication from Coursera:

“As some of you already know, certain U.S. export control regulations prohibit U.S. businesses, such as Coursera, from offering services to users in sanctioned countries (Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria). The interpretation of the export control regulations in the context of MOOCs has been ambiguous up until now, and we had been operating under one interpretation of the law. Last week, Coursera received definitive guidance indicating that access to the course experience is considered a service, and all services are highly restricted by export controls. In particular, the notion of “services” includes offering access to human grading of quizzes and assessments, peer-graded homework, and discussion forums. Regrettably, Coursera must therefore cease offering MOOC access to users in certain sanctioned countries in order to ensure compliance with these U.S. laws and to avoid serious legal ramifications.”

Monday, January 27, 2014

Politics and Language

It is sometimes not just what you think what you have said or mean, but how people perceive what you have said. Language, on the other hand, can also be distorted for political means. Language counts.

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
- Maya Angelou