Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses Education Technology

Is Stanford Too Close To Silicon Valley? 171

Posted by Soulskill
from the pick-up-and-move dept.
nicholast writes "The New Yorker has a story by Ken Auletta about the connections between Stanford and Silicon Valley. The piece explains how important the university is to tech companies and venture capital firms, but it also questions whether Stanford has become too focused on wealth. 'It's an atmosphere that can be toxic to the mission of the university as a place of refuge, contemplation, and investigation for its own sake,' says one professor. The piece also explains Stanford's conflicted thoughts about distance education, which could transform the university or prove to be a threat to it."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Is Stanford Too Close To Silicon Valley?

Comments Filter:
  • by Brett Buck (811747) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @11:18PM (#39791297)

    Yes, New Yorker, you really hit the nail on the head there. Foolishly concentrating on marketable skills and useful scholarship, instead of the laudable pursuits like LGBT studies and Russian literature. New York institutions have it right - charge a lot and turn out people who have nothing productive to contribute and nothing better to do than occupy Wall Street (i.e crap in public and shout slogans) and whine about having to pay back their student loans!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, how dare they push out successful engineers!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @11:26PM (#39791329)
      Clearly you have never met the unproductive MBA graduates from Stanford.
    • by Black Parrot (19622) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @12:03AM (#39791473)

      One Slashdotter's trash is another's treasure.

      Also, I've heard over and over again the lots of businesses have a high regard for liberal arts majors as organizers.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Also, I've heard over and over again the lots of businesses have a high regard for liberal arts majors as organizers.

        You mean those people who put papers in binders then stack them on the shelves, or are you talking about the actual binders?

      • by dintech (998802) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @06:01AM (#39792861)

        Is Stanford Too Close To Silicon Valley?

        I wouldn't say it's too close, it's not really walking distance. I'll call the Dean and ask him if he can move the University a few miles west.

    • by ATMAvatar (648864) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @12:25AM (#39791595) Journal

      Instead, they should narrowly-focus only on those vocations which make the most money - professional sports, law, political science, and investment banking. All of those are immensely important jobs and a civilization full of nothing but those professions would be a prosperous one indeed.

      I am not defending LBGT studies and Russian literature individually, mind you, but if we ditched any field of study that didn't rain down money upon graduation, we would be much poorer for it.

      • I didn't mean to imply that the only valuable degrees that lead to multi-millionaires. A university isn't a vocational school. But you do need to have some useful contribution to make to the world, or you wind up on the damn dole.

        • by MightyYar (622222)

          Thousands of Starbucks baristas with English Literature degrees disagree!

          • by jythie (914043)
            Yeah.. who do you think cleans up all those technical documents engineers suck at writing? Or edits those geeky books like ORiely stuff that fly off the shelves. Most of the english majors I know are employed and using their degree, with at least one pulling in more money then me (being an engineer and thus not exactly poor).

            Just because you don't know what they do with their skills do not mean they are not in play. This is one of the problems, I think, with the tech community.. too insular, doesn't spe
            • by MightyYar (622222)

              I'm, uh, married to an English major who went on to get her JD and then MD - so take what I said as a joke.

            • Not all engineers suck at writing, and most suck less than you. Just saying...

              • by rnturn (11092)

                You'd think he was being paid by the comma.

                • You'd think he was being paid by the comma.

                  Sort of, you know, like a certain actor who, before he became a .com spokesman, was known for other, even less prominent, roles.

      • by MikeRT (947531) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @08:42AM (#39793871) Homepage

        LBGT studies, Womyn's studies, etc. would be tolerable if they were minors within a broader liberal arts background that at least left students with broad exposure to math, literature, philosophy, logic and other things which constituted the traditional liberal arts path. Instead, you have these insular majors which tend to focus on grievances that the group that is being "studied" has with American society. All of that to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars per year which leaves students at these universities absolutely crippled without even a rigorous, broad liberal arts education that might prepare them for SOMETHING productive down the road.

      • by stevew (4845)

        Hmm - me thinks you are a fan of Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy.. Which of the 3 ships would YOU be on?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @05:32AM (#39792739)

      Yes, New Yorker, you really hit the nail on the head there. Foolishly concentrating on marketable skills and useful scholarship, instead of the laudable pursuits like LGBT studies and Russian literature. New York institutions have it right - charge a lot and turn out people who have nothing productive to contribute and nothing better to do than occupy Wall Street (i.e crap in public and shout slogans) and whine about having to pay back their student loans!

      Look it. Kids aren't stupid. Very few people are stupid enough to beleive the "do what you love and the money will follow."

      The job market is soooo bad, there are folks with accounting degrees, engineering degrees and the most surprising to me - nursing degrees - that are unable to get a job. The American Journal of Nursing reported last year that the job market for newly graduated nurses is one of the worst ever. And there's supposed to be a shortage right? Lawyers are having a horrible time too. I haven't seen the stats on new med school grads so I can't comment on that.

      And even if you did get into some "marketable" program things change - fast - in this day age. That's what happened to all those nrusing students. Four or five years ago, those kids went to nursing school because that's what they wanted - a marketable and hopefully, a guaranteed job. They graduted in '11 and low and behold over half of them can't get jobs. And there's even more people currently in school because the word hasn't gotten out. Yes, we will have a glut of nurses in a fe short years and folks will be saying, "Gee! Why didn't they get a degree in something marketable!? Morons!"

      Back in the 80s there were people studying Chinese lterature. The had to learn to read and speak Manderin. Then the 90s came and globalization - and all that trade with China. In the 80s I remember folks studying math. And back then, if you weren't actuarial, you would have to teach - it wasn't that marketable. (Actuarial is TOUGH. I've seen people wash out of that and go to engineering school for something easier.) Then the 90s came and search engines and applications that were math intensive. All of a suddent a math degree was the thing to get.

      What's "marketable" today could very well be saturated or have no market in a few years.

      • by jimbolauski (882977) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @08:29AM (#39793733) Journal
        I don't know where you live, but nurses are still in high demand. Two of my friends recently got nursing degrees one had a job within a week the other who did not work nights because she has a son took 1 month to find a job that fit her schedule. One month was a very long time as everyone else she graduated with had a job all ready. The unemployment rate for nurses is 2.2% that is one of the best rates for any career field.
      • by eln (21727)
        The problem with nursing is two-fold: One, it became the big thing like you said and too many people got into it all at once. Two, people got into the wrong kind of nursing. The reason nursing was projected to (and probably still will) face such a shortage is because of all of the baby boomers retiring and needing care. However, it turns out that most people really don't want to work in geriatrics. When I was going back to school a couple of years ago, I would ask nursing students what they wanted to d
      • by swalve (1980968)
        Many of the nursing journals have a different criteria for "nursing shortage" than the employment market has. They may mean that their employers don't employ enough nurses and make the workload too difficult/dangerous for the patient. Or simply that their subscription rate has gone down. It's kind of like the carpenter's union saying there aren't enough carpenters. "We aren't getting enough dues! There must be a shortage!"
    • by jythie (914043)
      Actually, this focus is bad for engineers too. Universities are more then training centers and diploma mills, they are useful because they are culturally different from corporate America (which already has itself) and this kinda focus can really cause issues for the learning/research environment. The way Stanford is going it becomes relevant to ask 'why even bother as a university?'

      The problem is not focus on 'useful' scholarship, but 'profitable' scholarship, which tends to lock out a lot of stuff that
  • by sackvillian (1476885) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @11:22PM (#39791307)

    My university's model is to attract as many international students as possible and charge them 3x the 'domestic' tuition rate, which is already high for Canada. Better yet is a privately-owned college they've licensed our 'brand' to, which allows them to do the same but with dirt-low entrance requirements and higher yet tuition!

    Even my previous institute, a very small liberal arts university on the opposite coast, was showing shades of the same. What else do we expect with burgeoning human resources departments and shrinking public funding?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I bet "as many international students as possible" is not accurate. My business school ( top 10-20ish ) said they could 100% fill the class with international students with perfect SAT/GRE scores.

      • by vlm (69642)

        My experience with international testing shows that all foreign TAs had perfect TOEFL test scores, but we all know they mostly didn't speak/read/write English.
        I wouldn't read too much into "perfect" international SAT/GRE scores.

        • by Alex Belits (437) *

          Most people who work in English-speaking country but whose native language is not English, first only learn techical English that is applicable to their profession, then s-l-o-w-l-y the rest of the language. For someone unfamiliar with their work, they may look ignorant and stupid for years (decades if they end up in an insular community of immigrants, but that's genuinely stupid in its own right).

          Then, there are countries that have just large enough percentage of people speaking English to develop its own

    • by mirix (1649853)

      The way I remember it at my local canadian university, for engineering, was something like this.

      10% international students,
      90% reserved for citizens,
      75% of which was reserved for in-province applicants,
      and 5% for Aboriginals.
      (give or take 5% on all of those, I'm a bit fuzzy).

      Does it make a difference though, money wise? I presume the overall amount the university gets is roughly the same per student, just the govn't isn't subsidizing the foreign nationals. Maybe it's a flawed presumption.

      • The way I remember it at my local canadian university, for engineering, was something like this.

        10% international students,
        90% reserved for citizens,
        75% of which was reserved for in-province applicants,
        and 5% for Aboriginals.
        (give or take 5% on all of those, I'm a bit fuzzy).

        Does it make a difference though, money wise? I presume the overall amount the university gets is roughly the same per student, just the govn't isn't subsidizing the foreign nationals. Maybe it's a flawed presumption.

        So... 180%? I can see why your university is broke.

        (just kidding, i realize the 75+5 is part of the 90)

  • by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @11:31PM (#39791345) Homepage Journal

    Can't tell you how helpful having some Middle-Manager type making an appearance in the interview room, proudly proclaiming his Stanford Alumni status and MENSA membership before laying out the all important "brain teaser" to save me from taking the interview any further. Funny how the recruiter mentioned beforehand that they were having such a hard time finding qualified candidates.

    • Mensa is the problem (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Fujisawa Sensei (207127) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @11:45PM (#39791403) Journal
      Once someone tells me they're in Mensa, they are immediately labeled as an idiot. This of course is due to the biggest idiots I have personally known were in Mensa. Then there's the Mensa investment club, its been a failure 20 years and counting.

      So next time you meet Mensa member be sure to ask them how their investment club is doing.

      • by hairyfish (1653411) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @12:48AM (#39791721)
        I may be ruining the joke here, but the Mensa test is actually a two part test. Most people with half a brain get past the first part, but by actually joining Mensa you fail the second. Mensa is the group that failed. Smart enough to know, but not smart enough to know better.
        • by SpzToid (869795)

          I used to feel that way about Mensa too, until I found out Geena Davis was in it. (But then again, she can do anything.)

      • by mikael_j (106439) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @12:50AM (#39791729)

        I have to say that most Mensa members I've met have been people I would consider intelligent, interesting and fun to be around while most of the anti-Mensa folks I've been around (you know, the ones who hate on Mensa and Mensa members) have been boorish, dumber than the average Mensa member and quite frankly not a lot of fun to be around.

        Of course, I haven't met every Mensa member (and definitely not every non-member).

        • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @06:54AM (#39793083) Homepage Journal

          I have to say that most Mensa members I've met have been people I would consider intelligent, interesting and fun to be around

          I have to say that everyone who has told me they are a MENSA member has been boorish and quite frankly not a lot of fun to be around no matter how intelligent they might be. When you have to tell people that you belong to a club for supposedly smart people, you aren't one. You're merely clever.

        • by vlm (69642)

          Its a bragging thing, you can always identify the losers by looking for the braggarts. .mil folks who brag and tell combat stories to civilians, generally, have never been overseas, or at most were ultra REMFs and are lying about the whole thing. The guys who try not to talk about it, or won't even talk about it unless they're drunk or with their buddies who were there with them, they're the real heros.

          The mensa situation is the same. Most people bragging about their membership are not even members. Its

      • by Okian Warrior (537106) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @01:01AM (#39791795) Homepage Journal

        Invariably the person will not have solved the problem themselves - they're simply repeating an interesting problem that they read about some time in the past. Oftentimes they read that it makes for a good interview question.

        You handle this by exclaiming "you like puzzles? That's great! I love puzzles too, here's one for you..." and then give the simplest, least obvious, most vexing conundrum you have. Look this up ahead of time so you have one ready to use.

        Let them sputter and hem and haw for a minute, then give them another one. "Or how about this one - it's one of my favourites!"

        Depending on how trashed you think the interview is (from when the manager burst in the first time), you can turn the screws a little. If you're not getting the job anyway, you can reverse it so that it seems like you don't *want* the job because no one else in the company can pass *your* puzzle requirements. "Oh, I thought you had a lot of bright, motivated, self-starting individuals. That's what the job requirements said you wanted...".

        I keep a Chinese block puzzle [basiccarpe...niques.com] in my pocket for just such occasions.

        No interviewing manager has ever had the guts to refuse my puzzle after asking their pet puzzle question, and I have yet to find one who was any good at puzzles.

        Oh, and I also got a lot of job offers.

        • by El Torico (732160)

          I keep a Chinese block puzzle [basiccarpe...niques.com] in my pocket for just such occasions

          Thanks for the link; I was a carpenter when I was younger and that's a very useful web site.

      • by swalve (1980968)
        The Groucho Marx rule?
    • I wonder whether people who take great pride in their mensa membership realize that it's the bottom tier in a hierarchy of brainy-clubs that's at least 4-5 layers deep.

    • by vought (160908) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @01:46AM (#39791973)

      Exactly. Consensus hiring is Stanford voodoo clubhouse bullshit too - "we all thought you were awesome, but Arnie here wants to hire the girl with big tits who is almost as good as you, so...see you later!"

      I live in Silicon Valley and most of the recent Stanford grads I meet are like West Coast Romneys: legacy kids, well-heeled by their own rich parents and friends, and already assured of that new 5-series or a spot at the VC table, no matter how stupid the idea is (paying 1 billion for Instagram...).

      Yeah - I resent the hell out of the culture here. It's gone from what you know to who you know in 20 years. Now, instead of building things in Silicon Valley, we just reinvent the same scams to fleece money from consumers - thanks in part to your Stanford MBAs.

      • 1 billion Papiermark (Germany) wasn't worth a lot as well, in 1922. Maybe the figure has more to tell about the value of the US Dollar than it has about the value of the company in question?
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        Why use Romney as an example of "legacy kids"? Guess what Romney's father did not go to Harvard, but Obama's did. Obama is the "legacy kid".
        • by swalve (1980968)
          Romney's dad was governor of Michigan, chairman of AMC and the Secretary of HUD. That's pretty "legacy".
          • When discussing colleges, the term "legacy" generally refers to kids who got special consideration for admission because one or both of their parents are alumni of that particular school.
  • by MikeTheGreat (34142) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @11:46PM (#39791409)

    the mission of the university as a place of refuge, contemplation, and investigation for its own sake

    It was really nice when the college's mission used to be refuge, contemplation, and investigation for its own sake, but in today's shrinking economy that is (more and more) no longer the case. Now-a-days not only does the college as a whole feel immense budget pressure, but if individual departments don't ante up each year then they'll be on the chopping block [slashdot.org]

    • the mission of the university as a place of refuge, contemplation, and investigation for its own sake

      It was really nice when the college's mission used to be refuge, contemplation, and investigation for its own sake, but in today's shrinking economy that is (more and more) no longer the case. Now-a-days not only does the college as a whole feel immense budget pressure, but if individual departments don't ante up each year then they'll be on the chopping block [slashdot.org]

      It's unfortunate, IMO, that most people go to college to get a job rather than to get an education.

      • by Moofie (22272) <lee&ringofsaturn,com> on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @12:25AM (#39791597) Homepage

        I'm not wealthy enough to spend $50k on the joys of an abstract education. I need a job to pay for my loans.

        Some people are rich, and don't have to care about that. That's great. The rest of us just gotta do what we gotta do.

        • by mikael_j (106439)

          Some of us live in countries where you don't pay tuition to attend tax-funded universities. Of course, it's still wise to at least consider the usefulness of your education once you have a degree (or feel sufficiently educated for those who don't care about the piece of paper).

        • by DrEasy (559739) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @03:21AM (#39792295) Journal

          That's why I wish vocational schools had more prestige. There needs to be clear a distinction made between learning skills and getting an education. Neither is a bad thing in itself. I believe that learning skills, at a School (could be anything, ranging from Engineering to Law, Medicine, Journalism, Design, etc), can be viewed as an investment in the future (in terms of getting a job), and as such it is ok for it to rely on tuition fees. But getting an education, at a true University (with Arts, Math, Physics, History, Social Sciences, etc.), should be something that is fully subsidized. It wouldn't cost as much as you think to fund, since not many people would gravitate toward it in the first place. Once it's made clear that a University won't get you a job, you will only have people who go there who don't quite yet know what to do with their lives (until they figure out that to get a job they should go to a School), or people who have truly scholarly interest in the topic at hand.

          There would be bridges between the two, of course. Schools would most likely require some courses to be taken at a University (this way, Schools would also partially subsidize Universities).

          • by eln (21727)
            That sounds good in theory, but I don't think it would work in practice. If you're in the middle or lower classes, you don't tend to have the time to waste pursuing an education for its own sake. Instead, you need to concentrate on doing something that will make money when you're finished. So, even if you had an interest in this University concept, you probably wouldn't go because you know that you would be wasting several years of your life with nothing marketable to show for it.

            The general upshot of
            • by DrEasy (559739)

              How would that be worse than the current situation? Right now those who do non-professional degrees spend all that time AND money on something that won't get them a degree. What I'm proposing is to make the state subsidize those degrees so that at least student's aren't in debt once they've completed a program that doesn't lead to a job. If anything, this should mean that we'll see MORE lower and middle classes in university, aided in that by everybody's taxes.

          • then make community college that base level and say that jobs can't say you need a BA or higher when the job does not need it.
            For lot's of tech jobs tech training is better then BA in CS.

            • by mini me (132455)

              that jobs can't say you need a BA or higher when the job does not need it.

              There is no job that needs it. What asking for a BA does is provide a filter to limit the number of applicants to a manageable level. If you ask your parents, they'll probably tell you that in their day you only needed a high school education, a result of a time when many did not graduate high school. Today everyone does, so the filter has been stepped up to the University level.

              In industries where labour is short, like software deve

              • but what happens when it goes to MA, PHD for base level?

                Also what about trades like training?

                • by DrEasy (559739)

                  but what happens when it goes to MA, PHD for base level?

                  The student debt will just get that much higher. Unless the education bubble eventually bursts, the day people start defaulting on their debt repayments.

                • by mini me (132455)

                  but what happens when it goes to MA, PHD for base level?

                  I would say that to some degree this has already started. If more people choose to obtain BA level educations, it will become more widespread. After that, some new filter will have to be found. It doesn't necessarily have to be education-based. Education has just been the easy target so far. But perhaps the educational institutions will accommodate by offering increasing levels of education, or maybe you'll need multiple degrees to even be considered?

                  A

  • by Goldsmith (561202) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @12:04AM (#39791483)

    It's more than a little insulting when scientists and engineers are painted with the "uncreative and money grubbing" label simply because we work on things that have practical value.

    I don't understand why anyone would criticize a university for training students to "serve the public" and for having an unusually happy and diverse student body.

    • by wanax (46819) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @02:22AM (#39792097)

      I think you're misunderstanding the primary complaint about the venture funding bias:
      1) Stanford admissions selections, while probabilistic, are dominated by socioeconomic status (this also highly correlates with several often used measures of 'smarts', like the SAT).
      2) Stanford students and graduates have privileged access to venture capital funding for their start-ups.
      3) This gives incentive for a certain type of highly achieving student to apply to Stanford -- those interested in receiving VC money.
      4) That incentive compromises Stanford's ability as a top-tier research institution to attract students who are interested in basic research in proportion to those interested in immediately applicable research topics.
      5) Without the broad basic research base, the quality of Stanford alums starts declining because their applied ideas don't use the best current science.

      I don't think, even if this cycle perpetuates that it spells death to Stanford or anything, but it sure is non-optimal in terms of technological development, and it will surely also cause a dip in the quality of Stanford's research output, which has generally been extremely high in the past 40 or so years... and given the amount of GDP the Stanford has access to and their research record in the past 40 years, that's bad news not only for the US tax payer but humanity as a whole.

  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @12:33AM (#39791635) Homepage

    Stanford has become more like that. Some of this comes from a big organizational change.

    I went through Stanford in the 1980s. (MSCS, 1985). Stanford hadn't really started operating innovation as a profit center at that time. Their biggest revenue patent was the one for FM music synthesis, the technology used by electronic keyboards before sampling. There's been much financial progress since then.

    In 1991, Stanford spun off the management of its endowment to the http://www.smc.stanford.edu/ [slashdot.org]">Stanford Management Company. Many universities have an organization to manage their endowment, but Stanford's is more active than most. SMC isn't on campus. It's located on Sand Hill Road, next to the famous office park where all the major venture capitalists have offices. SMC invests in venture capital firms, and this has worked out very well. Stanford directly owns part of Google, part of Cisco, part of Sun, part of Facebook... Stanford has $27 billion in investment assets. (Harvard is still ahead, at $32 billion, but Stanford is catching up.)

    Arguably, Stanford is a venture capital firm which runs a school on the side for the tax break.

  • Here we have a nice article about one certain school becoming too tightly focused, and perhaps overspecialized... conveniently ignoring "sports" schools which are a complete farce as degree granting institutions.

    At least Standford is dealing with marketable, long-term job creating fields. If you think they need to tweak their focus a bit, that's fair. But if you're really interested in improving the collegiate scene as a whole I'd start with the students who are lined up for the picking this Thursday

    • by tjb (226873)

      The first overall pick in that NFL draft is going to be a Stanford alum.

      Just sayin'

  • by unixisc (2429386) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @12:57AM (#39791775)

    Sure Stanford is 'close' to Silicon Valley, although depends on what one means by 'too close'. If by Silicon Valley, one is talking about the Santa Clara county cities, like Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, San Jose, Milpitas, Mountain View, and just outside it, Fremont, then yeah, Stanford is just a 10 minute drive on the 280 and 20 minute drive on the 101. Fifteen minutes on El Camino Real.

    TFA, it's good that Stanford & Berkeley are there to service the Bay Area companies, or whatever's left of them.

  • by Stiletto (12066) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @01:05AM (#39791817)

    It's not that Stanford is too focused on Silicon Valley. It's that Silicon Valley is too focused on Stanford.

    As an outsider to the valley, I find it pretty creepy how obsessed everyone is about Stanford and Stanford grads. It's as if, when one of them walks in the room, I'm supposed to cream my jeans over his very presence. Sure, some of them are smart, but so are some east coast state school graduates, community college graduates, and non-college-grads. I don't quite understand the "oooooooh Staaaaaaanford!" aura.

    It's also pretty shitty that "Went to Stanford" is often an un-spoken, "soft" job requirement for more than a few valley tech companies.

    • by vought (160908)

      Thank you for echoing what this silicon valley transplant has seen and felt during nearly 20 years here.

      Stanford University is pretty much a "free hire" pass at many companies here. Based on many of the project and product managers I've met who graduated from there, that tendency has cost valley companies a lot of money, but at least the BMW dealerships and Coach stores are happy.

  • absurd notion (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ohzero (525786) <onemillioninchange@ y a h oo.com> on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @01:26AM (#39791901) Homepage Journal
    Suggesting that because the university has fostered a large number of financially successful commercial ventures, that it could be toxic to the education of innovators is completely lame. In fact, it is so lame that I wonder if the topic was entirely made up for lack of content. Technological innovation can do 3 things that matter: 1. Advance society, making us all better in some way. 2. Foster financial stability for large numbers of people. 3. Raise questions about either number one or number two. Without financially successful technological innovation, we'd be Cuba in the 50's. Really happy, not that prosperous, and ready for a big change that would fuck us all.
  • Labyrinthine Mind (Score:5, Insightful)

    by djl4570 (801529) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @05:14AM (#39792681) Journal
    The most labyrinthine mind I have ever met was an MIT student majoring in economics. He was hired back in the mid eighties as a summer intern at a defense contractor and tasked with writing a fairly straightforward cross reference program (One input file and one output file) for which I had prepared a Warnier diagram. He tossed the design aside and produced a program that contained seven different read statements and three different write statements. I had to debug the program afterwards; It was a virtual reconstruction of the Winchester Mystery House. I realized at that time that admission to a prestigious universities does not mean the person can produce a usable deliverable.
  • This is nothing new [johntaylorgatto.com], and nothing unique to Stanford. Here's a page from history:

    Three decades later at the University of Chicago, William Rainey Harper, former Chautauqua wizard, began a revolution that would change the face of American university education. ...

    Harper, following the blueprint suggested by Andrew Carnegie in his powerful "Gospel of Wealth" essays, said the United States should work toward a unified scheme of education, organized vertically from kindergarten through university, horizontally t

  • Tech / Vocational / Community do need more respect and yes some jobs do need post high school trading. But there is Too Much Emphasis On College Education
    http://www2.ed.gov/pubs/CollegeForAll/intro.html [ed.gov]
    and not all trading is a good in to a 2 year or 4 year or more College plan. Part or issues of tech schools and some class plans in community is that they try to fit a trades / tech class plan in to a BA, AA ,ECT when some kind of Badges system is a better fit.

    http://chronicle.com/article/Badges-Earned-Online [chronicle.com]

    • Tech / Vocational / Community do need more respect and yes some jobs do need post high school trading.

      But there is Too Much Emphasis On College Education
      http://www2.ed.gov/pubs/CollegeForAll/intro.html [ed.gov] [ed.gov] and not all trading is a good fit in to a 2 year or 4 year or more College plan.

      Part or issues of tech schools and some class plans in community is that they try to fit a trades / tech class plan in to a BA, AA ,ECT when some kind of Badges system is a better fit.
      http://chronicle.com/article/Badges-E [chronicle.com]

  • A few shifts of the San Andreas fault and they'll be farther apart.

  • They really should get their heads on straight and focus on the stuff that matters like a top notch football and basketball team.

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein

Working...