Middle school students protest reported firing of teachers for teaching black history

On Monday, middle school students in the US capital of Washington, DC protested the reported firing  of their teachers for adding black history to their social studies curriculum. 

The students attend Howard University Middle School of Mathematics
and Science, known as MS2, which is affiliated with an historically
black university. The school made local headlines  last
week when parents said the principal had fired three teachers for
supplementing their curriculum with additional African-American

MS2’s administration has not yet released  a comment on the allegations.

Happy Black history Month.

Middle school students protest reported firing of teachers for teaching black history


Machine/Feminist/Existentialist/Virtue Ethics:

I send this email every semester, and every semester it gets a little more complex…

Hello everyone. What follows is a fairly long email filled links and thoughts on Machine Ethics, Virtue Ethics, Feminist Ethics, and Existentialist Ethics:

“The Rights of Machines—Caring for Robotic Care Givers”: https://www.academia.edu/6742156/The_Rights_of_Machines—Caring_for_Robotic_Care_Givers

“Today’s unmanned systems may be dumb compared to humans, but they may not be all ‘bad.’” http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2014/05/now-military-going-build-robots-have-morals/84325/

“The Machine Question: AI, ETHICS AND MORAL RESPONSIBILITY”: http://events.cs.bham.ac.uk/turing12/proceedings/14.pdfhttp://link.springer.com/journal/13347/27/1/page/1


-Aristotle says that the highest good is that thing which is desired for its own sake only, and not for the sake of anything else. Aristotle determined that “Happiness” seemed to be this, but that even happiness was in the service of something higher: The Good.

-Aristotle’s determination of The Good as the ultimate end/purpose of all behaviour prefigures and lays the groundwork for Moore’s Intuitionism, as well as many other theories.

-Aristotle says that happiness is natural and comes to all, the Good is always around, but the virtue it takes to get to The good must be taught and Habituated. While our passions may lead us to something like happiness, they are merely Had, being passive; but our virtues are Active, and they push us to action and modify our behaviour.

-Aristotle finally says that the highest virtues are found in mediation and MODERATION. To fly to either extreme is to lose sight of the harmonious, balanced middle.


We’ve already talked about the problems of the constructed idea of “Women’s Perspectives,” but it bears repeating: The idea of “A Woman’s Perspective” having come from a “natural” or “biological” predisposition is the problem of conflating things which exist— Biological Facts— with things which are Interpreted— Perspectives on Those Facts.

When we say things like “women are evolutionarily predisposed toward childrearing” or “caring for others” or “docility,” or any other thing of the sort, we are ignoring completely the fact of how the cultures we build shape what we can do with the facts of biology, and how those facts of biology are not as rigidly defined as we may initially think.

Keep this in mind, going forward

-Feminist Ethicist Nel Noddings Makes the distinction between “One Caring” and “One cared-For,” saying that it is the relationship between the two which matters most, not whether you happen to be one or the other.

-Noddings references David Hume, saying that even male philosophers think that feeling is important.

-Noddings says that there are TWO Feelings of Care: 1) Natural Caring, which is simply the feeling of care as it comes about in a situation where we see someone in need, and

2) Memory of Care: This includes memories of being both One Caring and One Cared-For. Under this, noddings says, our sense of morality is shaped in reaction to our own best moments as people; those times when we were most responsive to another’s needs and their attendance to our own.

-Noddings says that though Kant was right, and the Duty to be moral is paramount, that duty is actually subject to our caring attitude. If we do not WANT to care, then that duty is hollow.

-Our drive to care is followed by our ability to consider, and reflect on whether we actually SHOULD care, within a certain situation. But what if, after reflection/consideration we find that we distrust or hate the previous object of our caring?

-We are not OBLIGED To Care. We must consider our own needs and the needs of others.


Power-/Status-Oriented Feminist Ethics: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-ethics/#FemistAppEth


The overlap between Existentialism and Feminism rests with a woman named Simone de Beauvoir. She was a pioneer in both schools of thought: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/beauvoir/


Here are a few links:

“Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is” “So, the challenge: how to get across the ideas bound up in the word “privilege,” in a way that your average straight white man will get, without freaking out about it?

“Being a white guy who likes women, here’s how I would do it…” http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/05/15/straight-white-male-the-lowest-difficulty-setting-there-is/

‘Girls and boys’ differing understanding of when to talk, when to be quiet, what is polite and so on, has a visible impact on the dynamics of the classroom. Just as men dominate the floor in business meetings, academic conferences and so on, so little boys dominate in the classroom – and little girls let them.’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/voices/yourvoice/classroom_talk.shtml

“NPR- Casting Call: Hollywood Needs More Women” http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=197390707

“My theory is that since all anybody has seen, when they are growing up, is this big imbalance – that the movies that they’ve watched are about, let’s say, 5 to 1, as far as female presence is concerned – that’s what starts to look normal. And let’s think about – in different segments of society, 17 percent of cardiac surgeons are women; 17 percent of tenured professors are women. It just goes on and on. And isn’t that strange that that’s also the percentage of women in crowd scenes in movies? What if we’re actually training people to see that ratio as normal so that when you’re an adult, you don’t notice?” -Geena Davis

PBS “Language Myth # 6: Women Talk Too Much” http://www.pbs.org/speak/speech/prejudice/women/
“No, they don’t. Rather, they don’t in every situation. Social context and relative power determine who talks more, men or women. Janet Holmes sets the record straight and establishes the reasons for the lingering myth of female chattiness. (The research cited in this essay was first published in 1999.) “

Continual Depictions of ONLY MALE Cardiac Arrest on Television colour what we expect ALL CARDIAC ARREST to look like: http://feministing.com/2012/02/23/for-women-heart-attacks-look-different-and-so-do-heart-health-outcomes/

Lewis’ Law: http://wilwheaton.tumblr.com/post/61622240642/birchbone-queensassyofthefatties-lewiss

Audio of the Panel “Gender, Race, and Identities in Comics,” from the Comics and Popular Arts Academic Conference at 2013’s Dragon*Con, with Presenters Kari Storla and Daniel Amrhein: http://thehangedman.com/cpac-files/02GenderRaceAndIdentitiesInComics.mp3

Audio of the Panel “Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Cosplay and Fandom,” from the Comics and Popular Arts Academic Conference at 2013’s Dragon*Con, with presenters John Flowers, Kari Storla, and Daniel Amrhein: http://thehangedman.com/cpac-files/05RaceGenderAndSexualityInCosplayAndFandom.m4a

Audio of Comics Author Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Keynote Speech, from the Comics and Popular Arts Academic Conference at 2013’s Dragon Con: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BwT-l2KJb7hmakFmT1JEcWFzc3c/edit

A Cartoon: http://seriouslyamerica.tumblr.com/post/86909058080/the-rugrats-dont-have-time-for-your


Machine/Feminist/Existentialist/Virtue Ethics: