Nicholas A. Christakis describes himself as a “scientist, author, physician, sociologist, and Yale professor working at boundary of natural & social sciences.”  You might remember his name from that ridiculous controversy at Yale, when his wife Erika — who was also a professor there — had the temerity to suggest that the Ivy League students who attend that revered university should be able to dress themselves for Halloween.  (Check out the “Yale Shrieking Student” to see the incident to which I am referring.)

Recently, Christakis posted an article from The Guardian on Twitter that showed another silly way that the University of Reading is showcasing their “fear of words.”  He linked to an article that stated:

An essay by a prominent leftwing academic that examines the ethics of socialist revolution has been targeted by a leading university using the government’s counter-terrorism strategy.

Students at the University of Reading have been told to take care when reading an essay by the late Professor Norman Geras, in order to avoid falling foul of Prevent.

Third-year politics undergraduates have been warned not to access it on personal devices, to read it only in a secure setting, and not to leave it lying around where it might be spotted “inadvertently or otherwise, by those who are not prepared to view it”. The alert came after the text was flagged by the university as “sensitive” under the Prevent programme.

More absurdity: University alerts students to danger of leftwing essay! Undergrads warned not to access essay on personal devices, to read it only in a secure setting, and not to leave it lying around. The far R and far L are united in their fear of words.

Christakis should know.  He and his wife had both suffered greatly over the weird political correctness at Yale, and it’s good that he’s pointing it out when it happens on the other end of the spectrum.

I disagree with this socialist’s ideas, of course.  But students do not need to be warned or coddle before they encounter stupid material.  A marketplace of ideas allows people to talk freely about bad ideas, combatting them with better ideas.  This is the basis for all free thought and liberty.  Students used to know that, but that was before professors made them a nest of pillows and brought in puppies to help them deal with the stress of the world.

Life doesn’t issue warnings, and neither should universities.

Image Credit: Max Pexels

Hat Tip: The Guardian

About The Author

Mark Meckler

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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