As a sociologist I understand both the useless nature of any one person's thoughts and the importance of generating content in a digital world. 

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This is the e-mail response I received from my Senator regarding net neutrality.

See below for contact information should you feel the need to contact him as well.

Unlike academic language, you should pay attention to the calculating use of adjectives.


Dear Robert:

Thank you for contacting me regarding Internet regulation and commerce. I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this matter.

Over the past two decades, Americans have increasingly relied on the Internet in their personal and professional lives, and new technologies play a central role in the Internet’s growing importance. Many of these technologies have been developed in Texas. As Texans and Americans, we all benefit from advancements that encourage economic growth and make day-to-day life easier.

I believe in an open and free internet and that we need policies to meet the evolving challenges of technological advancement. However, government regulations move slower than technology, and we must ensure the laws we pass do not stifle innovation. A top-down regulatory approach can unnecessarily constrain an industry’s ability to create and deliver new products and services to consumers. In the Senate, I have supported legislation that facilitates innovation and opposed policies that threaten it.

As you may know, on December 14, 2017, the FCC voted 3-2 to restore internet freedom, reversing the 1930s-era utility-style regulation ("Title II") contained in the 2015 Open Internet Order, commonly referred to as “the net neutrality rule.” This action reinstates the light-touch regulatory structure established under the Clinton Administration that protects consumers, closes the digital divide, and brings next generation networks and services to all Americans. A return to the pre-2015 regulatory framework restores the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) jurisdiction to protect consumers and companies should Internet Service Providers engage in anticompetitive, unfair, or deceptive acts, which is the FTC’sprincipal mission and purpose.  

I support the FCC’s transparent approach to reduce burdensome regulation and improve internet access and services. I am also proud to cosponsor the Restoring Internet Freedom Act (S. 993). This legislation would nullify the former net neutrality rule, ensure Congress maintains its primary authority to reshape communications policy, and restore the competitive freedom that has characterized the Internet. S.993 has been referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Although I am not a member of this Committee, I will keep your views in mind should S. 993 be considered by the full Senate during the 115th Congress.

I appreciate the opportunity to represent Texas in the United States Senate. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.



United States Senator

517 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Tel: (202) 224-2934

Fax: (202) 228-2856


How do I get this made into a reality television show?

 Also some of the 198 should be graduate students, recent faculty, and people of color. 

Also some of the 198 should be graduate students, recent faculty, and people of color. 




Christmas Travel

A great example of how the social influences the personal, I'd like to introduce you to something I've been personally struggling with lately: the expensive prices of flights over the Christmas holiday (and also chanukah, Kwansaa, Chinese New Year, Valentines day, etc). As a graduate student, the United States Government recently passed a tax bill that would count my not paying tuition as part of my income (as if we can rely on companies like BP to research how to help every American child have access to preschool: here's a link to BP's two-week leave family policy, btw.) 

Because we value certain days out of the year over others, as a society and as a culture with historically growing but potentially dwindling influence over global economic events, large groups of people try to travel during the "holidays." Consider the fact that we wouldn't have rush hour traffic if we didn't agree that working 9 to 5 is the regular "business" day in America. This culturally agreed-upon date, in turn, influences other aspects of our lives; ranging from how we consider gift-giving to the locations that form the cornerstones of family reunions. Is it, therefore, consequential for inequality if only certain individuals within our society are able to realize their family traditions surrounding travel during Christmas? 

Despite what some people might say, every U.S. president has celebrated Christmas, because Americans care about Christmas. So much so that it was $800 dollars less expensive to fly home from my family's "Christmas," on the 24th rather than the 26th.

I realize that I am a very fortunate person to be able to ride a flying machine to visit my family hundreds of miles away for something so trivial as a cultural event. But there must be other people that contemplate the socially constructed, consequential, and arbitrary nature of time during the holidays too, right?