Happy New Year!

The German translation of my book is now in bookstores, readers of this blog are generous souls, and a troubling examination of free speech on university campuses sheds light on the climate debate.

Thank you, dear gents and ladies, for your response to my holiday cocktail appeal. My Christmas was warmed and my spirits have been lifted due to your generosity.

I am hard at work on a research-intensive story, and expect to be able to share the fruits of that labour with you soon. In the meantime, I’m pleased to announce that a German translation of my book, published in hardcover, is now available in bookshops across Germany and Austria, as well as from Amazon.de.

If you’re looking for a break from climate matters, late last year I read a frightening book by an American First Amendment lawyer titled Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate. It’s author, Greg Lukianoff, is my new hero.

His portrayal of contemporary American campuses provides valuable insight into the often juvenile, highly personalized tone of the climate debate. Essentially, he says that American universities now actively discourage the airing of a full range of views on all sorts of topics.

Because little debate is now permitted on campuses, colleges are turning out thousands of students every year who don’t have the first clue how to participate in a civil debate. Good sportsmanship, respect for alternative views, grace under pressure – young people aren’t learning any of these things. That has consequences in the real world.

As Lukianoff says in his first chapter:

The tactics and attitudes that shut down speech on campus are bleeding into the larger society and wreaking havoc on the way we talk among ourselves…the one institution that could be helping elevate the national discussion may actually be making it worse.

By any measure, Lukianoff is left-of-center on the political spectrum. He has never, for example, voted Republican. But his commitment to free speech leaves him horrified at what he sees:

Political correctness has become part of the nervous system of the modern university…For decades our universities have been teaching students that speech with a chance of offending someone should be immediately silenced…When students risk punishment for speaking their minds, something has gone very wrong in the college environment.

This is an important book. One that warns us that “What happens on campus doesn’t stay on campus.”

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  • Jean

    Amy,
    You're jumping to conclusions here:
    Why, when you call a corporation like this, do you so often feel it's mostly run by highly compensated people who've had their brains sucked out of their skulls and replaced by shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and other taco fixings?

    No one has had their brains sucked out and replaced with salad… Salad is all they had from the get-go! ;-)

  • Jeff Simmermon

    Amy — we're offering service credits to customers who were affected by the outage. Call customer service and ask for it, they should set you up.

    -Jeff Simmermon
    Director, Digital Communications
    Time Warner Cable

  • Dona

    Well, I don't know what TW's problem was … I had just switched back to TW after several years with Verizon, and hadn't cancelled Verizon yet, so I was able to switch to my Verizon and access the Internet that way.

    But … HA! … I tried calling for three hours (every five minutes or so hitting redial). Got a busy signal for three hours. Finally got through, only to reach a recording that said "If you're calling about a problem connecting to the Internet, we are aware of the problem and are working on it. We don't know when it will be resolved." The next day (I also sent a message via the Internet through my Verizon connection) I received a wonderful message that "We have resolved this issue." Oh wow! 12 hours later the issue is resolved.

  • Dona

    And they have a lovely article posted on their website about solar interference during certain months of the year (except their article says it will cut you off for 15 minutes or so at a time). Hummmmmmmmmm! 15 minutes vs. 12 hours? And interestingly the solar interference didn't affect Verizon.

  • Dona

    Guess what! I think I'm going to stay with Verizon and tell TW where to put their Internet services. And I sure as H___ don't plan to pay for my friggin' two weeks of service and the $33 to get that joyful experience.

    Next … Dish Network is starting to look very interesting to me for my television viewing!

  • BitchListener

    Look people, if you only knew how stupid you sound. First, Time Warner Cable has problems, yes. Second Dish Network is a suction that will lure you into a fake rate that will go up once you sign up and does not deliver if you actually read the small print Dona. Finally, the original poster, please get some sense. If the Internet is DOWN, it is DOWN for every device that connects with the exception of your PHONE's internet. It is 2009, and 10 years ago is not 10 centuries ago. You people should be grateful we've accomplished this much in a matter of a century vs the past 10 century's. You want a month's credit for being down for a short period of time? Give me a break, you spent many minutes on the phone, and you want a month's credit??? Wake up bitch, don't you know that giving a month's credit for a few hours of downtime is the biggest crock of shit out? You probably would have received your month of credit if you were actually a nice bitch, but by the way you send, you sound like a dumb bitch who probably will never get what you want.

    Thank You

    Bitch Listener
    User-Error Tech
    Your Momma's house.

    Have a good day now ya hear?