Anxious Times – A Stanford Roundtable

What happens when you get America's leading minds in a room to talk about the major threats of the 21st century -- terrorism, nuclear proliferation, pandemics, energy shortages, etc? Well, frankly you get a little scared ... and a bit more aware of the complexities of our globalized world.

Stanford University recently hosted a roundtable led by Ted Koppel, which brought together Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, former Secretary of State George Schultz, former Secretary of Defense William Perry, Yahoo co-Founder Jerry Yang, and Stanford President John Hennessy, among others. The event, entitled "Anxious Times Seeing Beyond a World of Perpetual Threats," is now available for free as a podcast in both audio and video. It's perhaps one of the more educational podcasts that you'll come by.

Richard Dawkins – The God Delusion

As E.O. Wilson gives, Richard Dawkin's takes. Everything evens out.

Richard Dawkins is biologist of international stature, too. But while Wilson is extending olive branches, Dawkins is taking no prisoners.  Bent on "convincing the literate public that they must now take evolutionary theory seriously," Dawkins, a scholar of evolution (who has brought us The Selfish Gene and The Ancestor's Tale) has taken an offensive posture in recent years against the evangelical contingent looking to replace evolution theory with intelligent design. Now, with The God Delusion, he is going directly after religion itself. In today's political culture, a complete dismissal of religion in the name of atheism and science is a hard thing to come by (unless you're reading Sam Harris or Daniel Dennett). But here you have it. Currently, the number #2 bestseller on Amazon.com, The God Delusion has clearly tapped into something. On one level, the strong sales can be attributed to Dawkin's book being the latest volley in the ongoing culture war that has propelled many books - most of the them mediocre - to the top of charts. (Currently, Bill O'Reilly's Culture Warrior is #10 on the Amazon charts. So there you go.) But on another level, it could have something to do with the fact that religion is nowadays very au courant, and, the room to take an agnostic or atheistic position has all but disappeared in the American public sphere. So, when a strong, unapologetic defense of atheism comes along, there may well be a pent up desire - at least, in some corners of the country - to embrace what Dawkins has to say.

Although some mainstream reviewers have questioned whether he makes the best case for atheism, it nonetheless remains true that Dawkins is one of our leading public intellectuals and can make his case with style and verve, something that comes across in his 11/1 NPR interview and this BBC broadcast, both well worth a listen.

On a somewhat less serious note, it also seemed worth posting Richard Dawkin's interview with another character who has been making news this week -- Ted Haggard, the evangelical minister who has been embroiled in a sex scandal and had to resign his position as president of the National Association of Evangelicals, an organization that boasts 30 million members.

E.O. Wilson’s Olive Branch: The Creation

A world renowned biologist, devoted Darwinist, and unabashed secular humanist, Harvard's E.O. Wilson has taken an intriguing religious turn with his latest work, "The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth." A Baptist by upbringing, Wilson offers literally a sermon addressed to America's large and growing evangelical community. The essence of the message is simple: We might have our political and intellectual differences, but, when it comes to staving off environmental disaster, we need to put our simmering differences aside and work together to solve a problem that affects us all. We need to save God's creation. If you consider the divide between red and blue America, you'd figure that Wilson's overture would fall on deaf ears. But, as Wilson tells it on NPR, it's anything but the case, and the first signs suggest that the culture wars aren't blinding either side from the much bigger issues at stake.

Recent reviews:

Washington Post: "Science and Salvation"

New York Times: "God is Green"

The Christian Post "Heeding Edward O. Wilson"

News & Information Podcast Collection



  • Democracy Now
    • Democracy Now with Amy Goodmamn (Audio) iTunes Feed
    • Democracy Now with Amy Goodman (Video) iTunes Feed
  • Mosaic: World News from the Middle East iTunes Feed
    • A daily compilation of television news reports from across the Middle East.
  • The Economist
    • Audio content from one of the higher quality journals out there.

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Free Educational Web Resources

Online Texts & Text Search


 
  • Authorama
    • This site provides many important public domain texts in a free, easy-to-read format.
  • Bartelby
  • Electronic Text Center Collections
    • Organized by the University of Virginia, this collection features 70,000 electronic texts, ranging across many topics and languages. This collection holds a great deal of texts from the American and English literary tradition (poetry, essays, fiction etc.). The Modern English collection is particularly robust.
  • Episteme Links - Philosophy e-texts
    • From this site, you can search by name for texts written by individual philosophers, and the site will then point you to them.
  • European Literature
    • This site will conveniently direct you to collections of literary e-texts from different European countries.
  • Google Book Search
    • Once fully developed, Book Search will ideally let users search the world of print text and help them discover new books and ideas. You might particularly want to check out the area dedicated to Shakespeare.
  • Google Scholar
    • Provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. Includes peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations. You can get more information about the scope of the product here.
  • HighWire Press
    • The same idea as Google Scholar above. Actually much of HighWire's content is contributed directly to Scholar's content collection. So you can access HW material in essentially two places.
  • Internet History Sourcebooks Projects
  • Live Academic Search (Microsoft)

    • Windows Live Academic Search is Microsoft's version of Google Scholar.
  • Making of America
    • Assembled by the University of Michigan, this site offers a digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction. The collection currently contains approximately 9,500 books and 50,000 journal articles.
  • Online Books Page
  • Oxford Text Archive
    • The OTA works closely with members of the Arts and Humanities academic community to collect, catalogue, and preserve high-quality electronic texts for research and teaching. It's an extremely rich collection, ranging from ancient texts to modern.
  • Perseus Digital Library
    • A database offering access to over 600 primary and secondary texts focusing on the Classical World. Here, you'll find Homer's Iliad and the Odyssey, among other works.
  • Philosophy on eServer
    • Another site that offers access to canonical philosophical texts, from Aristotle to Derrida.
  • Project Gutenberg
    • Contains 19,000 free books in full text.
  • The New York Times First  Chapters Collection
    • Access the complete first chapters of books reviewed in NY Times Book Review, or appearing on the bestseller lists.

Web Directories

Reference

Stay tuned -- this page will be under continual and active development.

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Free University Online Courses

This page is no longer updated, please our new collection of Free Courses from leading universities.


  • Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative
    • A collection of free online courses and course materials. Courses range from physics and chemistry, to french and statistics, to economics and calculus.
  • Columbia University - The Fathom Archive
    • This archive, provided by Columbia University, offers access to a complete range of free content developed by member institutions for Fathom. The member institutions included the University of Chicago, University of Michigan, London School of Economics, British Museum, and British Public Library, among others.

  • Columbia University - e-Seminars

    • Columbia offers here a series of e-seminars, which are three to five hour online classes. Registration is required. However, Columbia offers a 60-day free trial before asking for payment.
  • Cornell University
  • Harvard University
    • CyberOne: Law in the Court of Public Opinion. Click here to access. Also see Open Culture description.
    • Homeric Odyssey and the Cultivation of Justice. Cick here to access.
    • Understanding Computers and the Internet. Click here for more info.
  • Johns Hopkins School of Public Health - OpenCourseWare
    • The project provides access to course materials from the school's most popular courses.
  • MIT OpenCourseWare
    • Provides access to MIT syllabi and course materials for educators, students,
      and self-learners around the world. MIT is the leader in the OpenCourseWare initiative.
  • MIT OpenCourseware (with Video and Audio)
    • While
      MIT's OpenCourseware initiative mostly focuses on providing educators
      with syllabi, reading lists and lecture notes for MIT courses, the
      university has decided to provide more complete video and audio
      elements for some courses. You can access the list here.
  • Notre Dame OpenCourseWare
    • A very diversified set of educational resources for faculty,
      students, and self-learners throughout the world.
  • OpenCourseWare
    • The OpenCourseWare Consortium is a collaboration of more than 100
      higher education institutions worldwide committed to creating free and open digital publications of high quality educational materials. Here you can find a complete list of universities offering OpenCourseWare.
  • OpenLearn
    • The Open University's OpenLearn website provides free and open educational resources for learners and educators around the world.
  • ParisTech "Grad School" OpenCourseWare
    • A large collection of free course materials presented by eleven of France's foremost scientific and engineering institutions.
  • Tufts OpenCourseWare
    • Following MIT, Tufts is making available its syllabi, reading lists and course materials for educators around the world. They're putting a focus on medicine, dentistry, nutrition, foreign relations, and arts & sciences.

University Video

University Radio Shows


  • Georgetown University Forum

    • The Georgetown University Forum is a weekly radio program highlighting
      the research and expertise of Georgetown University faculty.

Stay tuned, this page will be under continual and active development!

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Open Culture in the Media

Recent mentions of Open Culture in the media:

07/08 - Haaretz - article

06/08 - The Chronicle of Higher Education - blog post

05/08 - MSN Sympatico - Article

01/08 - The Chronicle of Higher Education - article

12/17 The Chronicle of Higher Education - Wired Campus - article

11/07 Guest on FORA.tv - here

10/23/07 Boing Boing - blog post

10/2007 Smart Money: The Wall Street Journal Magazine (Print edition. Page 132)

08/08/07 El Pais - article

6/05/07 The Chronicle of Higher Education - podcast

5/16/07 Lifehacker - article

5/01/07 Engadget Spain - article

3/21/07 PBS's MediaShift - article

3/13/07 Future Tense (American Public Media) - blog + interview

2/09/07 Future Tense (American Public Media) - blog

2/08/07 Houston Chronicle - article

1/07 About.com Web Search - "Best of" Gallery

"One of the best places on the Web to find educational media." "Open Culture

is one of the best sites I've come across lately for a wide variety of

not only university podcasts, but anything related to culture and

educational media."

1/20/07 Lifehacker.com blog

1/11/07 Future Tense (American Public Media) - interview + blog

1/04/07 Christian Science Monitor - article

12/07/06 Der Spiegel's Ehrensenf - article

12/08/06 TUAW.COM - blog

"Open Culture, the website which recently brought TUAW readers a dose of podcast culture, reports on a series of 22 podcasts available from the New York Times. ... I'm quickly becoming a big 'open culture' fan, as they keep digging up these great podcast media finds."

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