Washington State

Censored

Apparently some students from Washington State University were less than happy having their accidental emails to yours truly posted online. Something about privacy issues, stalkers and the like. I’d post the email I received from the student, and the lecturer – but they would probably feel violated. I have removed names and student numbers from the original post. I don’t like censorship – I’m a freedom of speech advocate myself. Did you know that Australia has no constitutionally enshrined “freedom of speech” we’ve just stolen the concept from the US. Interesting stuff really – censorship can be a necessary evil, obviously certain sections of society need to be restricted from accessing particular content. A lot of Christians are pro-censorship when it comes to areas like the arts without really thinking through the issue – what if one day censorship swung around and tried to restrict religious discussion (ala the “Catch the Fire Ministries” court case on religious vilification) – we can’t have our proverbial cake and eat it too at that point – you’re either with free speech or you’re against free speech.

One person who probably should be censored is Joe. His blog is a fine example of that which we should be seeking to keep out of the hands of innocents. There are probably a number of things that really should be censored like Channel 7’s Sunrise program which last week ran an obviously fake photo of the Strand in Townsville under flood water believing it to be real. I emailed them several times seeking a retraction on behalf of Townsville’s tourism industry and they ignored me. Channel Nine ran the Sunrise story in their news bulletin last night after we got Tourism Queensland to put out a statement about the photoshopped picture. Funny stuff.

I was going to write about political activism and piracy (the nautical kind) but I’ll leave that until this afternoon or something.

Helping Washington State University Students change the world since 2007

I had an interesting experience today when my gmail inbox was subject to a deluge of emails from students submitting assignment topics for an upcoming assignment on climate change. 16 students were given the wrong email address (mine) to submit their assignment ideas – so I decided to have some fun – here’s a selection of their emails and my responses:
from: RS, 10:27 am (2 hours ago), Jan 30, 2007 10:27 AM
subject: R – GE301 Topic
My topic for Climate Change: Option 1: Global Warming Option 2: Governmental Policies

from: Nathan Campbell
to: R, Jan 30, 2007 10:47 AM
subject: Re: R – GE301 Topic
Wow that sounds very interesting – go for it…

That was pretty standard, a number of the students had the same ideas so I started encouraging initiative.

from: RD, 10:27 am (2 hours ago)
to nmcampbell
Professor Campbell I have decided to research and write my paper on how climate change has affected travel and tourism based on weather and other factors to different parts of the world. Rob Druffel

from: Nathan Campbell
to R, 10:48 am (2 hours ago)

Mmm, interesting – good to see you’re thinking outside the box. I’m not sure what country you guys are in – but apparently the Great Barrier Reef is about to die in Australia because of climate change.
from: cats
to nmcampbell, 10:29 am (2½ hours ago)
I have chosen the topic of Hurricanes/Tornadoes and how they have increased in severity in the past few years due to the climate change/global warming.
-J

from: Nathan Campbell
to cats, 10:51 am (2 hours ago)
Wow, that’s an original idea based on the 16 others I’
ve been sent today – be blown away by climate change…
from: MS
to nmcampbell, 10:28 am (2½ hours ago)
Nicole,

My topic is the melting of the ice caps.
MS
from: Nathan Campbell
to M, 10:49 am (2 hours ago)
Sorry, my name is Nathan. That’s pretty boring and 75% of your class mates have the same idea – why not look at the plight of the penguin due to climate change and overfishing… oh wait – Happy Feet already did that.


Evidently M was a little worried about her topic and sought some clarification.

from: MS
to nmcampbell, 10:42 am (2 hours ago)
If I chose my topic because I know basically nothing about it, can I writeabout that?
MS

from: Nathan Campbell
to M, 11:02 am (2 hours ago)
M, M, M
you have MY permission to write about whatever topic you want. Feel free to wax lyrical about the impact of climate change on goldfish for all I care. Unfortunately I won’t be marking your essay because I’m not your lecturer.

I’ve got myself a pen pal out of the mistake with Michele Tran taking great delight in the situation:

from: MT
to nmcampbell, 10:33 am (2½ hours ago)
Topic: Climate Change and the Effects on Human Health and the Risk ofInfectious Diseases
MT

from: Nathan Campbell
to MT, 10:56 am (2 hours ago)
Well well well, MT, Student ID XXXXXXXX,
That’s a novel idea. And if I was Professor Nicole Campbell I’d be very impressed. However, I’m not, as you can see – not not impressed, but not Nicole Campbell.

from: MT
to me, 11:00 am (2 hours ago)
Hi Nathan,I’m in class now and we were just laughing about the situation, apparentlyour instructor wrote down her email address wrong. Sorry for the inconvenience. Have a good day!-M

My curiosity piqued, I decided to find out where these people were coming from.

from: Nathan Campbell
to M, 11:08 am (2 hours ago)
Hi M,
What’s your class? What university/college/school are you all from. This has made my day.
from: MT
to me, 12:39 pm (28 minutes ago)
Hello there Nathan,Well I am certainly glad that we made your day:) I hope we didn’t overflowyour inbox too much with boring topics on Climate Change. Anyways, we allenrolled in a course called GE 301 which is an introductory course gearedfor transfer students to become familiar with the university’s learninggoals. And we attend Washington State University. So out of all the topicsthat was went to you which one of those would you say is the most interesting…and you don’t say mine:)

So there you have it, apparently the Washington State University’s Vancouver campus Electronic Services Coordinator has a similar email address to me.
She emailed me to apologise for the inconvenience.

from: NC
to nmcampbell, 11:20 am (1½ hours ago)
Hi there,Just wanted to send an apology. My students ended up with your email instead of mine for class today and I suspect you suddenly received lots of email regarding climate change. They now have the correct info and hopefully you won’t be spammed again! I’m sorry. It’s been a long day and I got 2 of my email addresses mixed together. My students said you had very polite responses. Thanks for that and again, sorry for the spam. Cheers, -N

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