OPINIONS

A few thoughts on the New Yorker piece

East Egg has never quite understood West Egg, and the ancien régime has never quite understood revolution. As with America, so also with Stanford.

As the United States developed into an industrial and economic powerhouse over the course of the 19th century, European intellectual circles responded with a condescending derision born of the fear that the Old World would be overtaken and rendered irrelevant. American scientific and civilizational advance was met with accusations that Americans were uncultured, unduly focused on technological development at the expense of refinement and propriety, and coarsely thumbed their dirty peasant noses at art and literature while heedlessly pursuing monetary gain.

“The American knows nothing,” wrote German poet Nikolaus Lenau in 1833; “he seeks nothing but money.” Heinrich Heine lamented the very existence of America, “that pig-pen of Freedom/Inhabited by boors living in equality.” Heidegger lambasted the U.S. in 1935 as a land of “dreary technological frenzy.” And the American spirit of commerce, fretted Nietzsche, was “spreading a spiritual emptiness over the continent.”

But America, of course, had its Mark Twains and F. Scott Fitzgeralds as surely as it did its Rockefellers and Vanderbilts, celebrated its Thoreaus and Emersons as surely as its Remingtons and Carnegies. Industry, though perhaps the engine of American prosperity, was never this country’s only or highest calling – and those who asserted otherwise undoubtedly missed the bigger picture.

So heads-up, Stanford: Lenau, Heine, Heidegger, and Nietzsche are back in town, and they’re writing for the New Yorker. But this time it’s not America being questioned, it’s our University. And this time, it’s not the dusty old scribblers of Europe secretly wishing they were on the other side of the Atlantic; it’s the East Coast cultural establishment that’s missed the train out West.

In a widely debated April 8th post on the New Yorker blog, Nicholas Thompson argues that Stanford isn’t even really a University; it’s “a giant tech incubator with a football team” where students feel pressured to “drop out in an effort to get rich fast.” Building on the premise established in fellow New Yorker writer Ken Auletta’s controversial portrayal of Stanford as “Get Rich U.,” Mr. Thompson (perhaps unwittingly) joins a venerable intellectual tradition of old money fretting about the energetic nouveau riche, of the archaic guardians of hidebound privilege worrying about the perils of creative destruction. Some snobby New Yorker commenters even jumped on the anti-Stanford bandwagon: “When one lacks personality, charisma, looks and charm,” sniffed one aristocrat who has obviously never had the good fortune to catch a glimpse of PoliSci professor Rob Reich, “a pile of money can be that soft place for them to fall.”

I don’t want to be too hard on Mr. Thompson. “The End of Stanford?” is a short blog piece, not a print article, and having written my own fair share of pieces I now fervently wish had never gone to print, I know that writers can occasionally churn something out to meet deadline that isn’t representative of their outlook as a whole. As a Stanford alum, I’m sure Mr. Thompson means well (I corresponded with him about Mr. Auletta’s piece last year and believe him to be a good guy and loyal alum), and I don’t think his piece quite deserves the level of outrage it’s sparked on campus. I also think he’s driving at a seriously important point: what is, and what should be, the purpose of a Stanford education? Is career success enough? (Hint: it isn’t.) Where and to which departments should greater funding be allocated? Do the majority of startups create meaningful social value, or just diversionary flashes of light on iPhone screens and piles of wasted programming talent?

But despite all this, I think Mr. Thompson’s piece deserves deeper examination, and that it largely misses the mark at which it aims.

First and most basically, the “Get Rich U.” stereotype simply doesn’t hold up under closer empirical scrutiny. Stanford’s Humanities disciplines were ranked #1 in the world by the London Times’ Higher Education Supplement, and as Kristi over at The Unofficial Stanford Blog pointed out, our individual social science/humanities departments (among them Psychology, English, Economics, Political Science, Sociology, and my very own History department) regularly receive top U.S. News and World Report rankings. We just built an elegant $50 million-dollar concert hall, enjoy an absolutely gorgeous (and free to the public) art museum, and Professor of English Ramón Saldívar won the National Humanities Medal last year. I can list Stanford’s MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipients (including a well-deserved win by History professor Richard White), Nobel Prize winners, and former Council of Economic Advisers chairmen off the top of my head. The d.school (and Stanford’s countless interdisciplinary majors) interweave the rigor of technical study with the élan of the social sciences and humanities, all in the service of solving tough problems that defy narrow specialization. (Professor White, for instance, leads a project called the Spatial History Lab that connects “data analysis and complex visualization graphical algorithms with traditional historical sources” in order to examine “historic perceptions of space in the newly settled American West.”) And as for Mr. Thompson’s slight on the intelligence of Stanford student-athletes – well, let’s just not go there.

So it’s clear from the numbers that we’re a lot more than just a “a giant tech incubator with a football team.” But I think there’s a larger, more important problem here: the New Yorker appears to mistake Stanford’s focus on high-return economic ventures for the fundamental core of its strength, rather than one of many results of that strength. That is an immensely reductive error, and Mr. Thompson, as a Stanford alum, must know better. Startups and entrepreneurialism are quite clearly symptoms, rather than the sole cause, of the unique ethos that makes Stanford what it is.

Here are the ingredients of that special sauce that, at least in my experience, makes Stanford singular:

People here tend to be (at least compared to students at other top schools) unorthodox yet hardworking, irreverent but driven, not afraid to make mistakes, adaptable, creative, interdisciplinary, and happier than most to define themselves by alternative metrics of success. (You also, of course, get the pre-med and pre-law kids who plow themselves into a set career path from day one, but a) every major research university has those and b) society needs zealous doctors and lawyers, so more power to you!). Combine that uniquely flexible esprit de corps with brilliant intellects from all over the world and an encompassing economic framework that rewards disruptive innovation, and sure, you often get explosive Silicon Valley success.

But you also get playwrights, hippies, politicians who dream big and think outside the box; you get Band Run; you get the friend of mine who wrote a hilarious senior thesis on the ethics of satire, is now at Yale Law School, and will probably end up a Supreme Court Justice; you get the John Nash-esque math genius who also designs puzzles for the weekly campus humor paper. Our students come from all walks of life and throw themselves into all sorts of tasks, from activism (take a look at any STATIC post) to politics to engineering to computer science (and sometimes everything at once).

All this is part of why I believe so strongly that Stanford’s many oddities and quirks, from student-run dining to runs through the library, need protection. Because Stanford’s success is inextricably entangled with the little things that help keep us weird.

By Ivy standards, Stanford is a young and unfettered school, much as by European standards, America is a young and unfettered nation. Youth brings strength. It disdains outdated traditions, breaks barriers, doesn’t write letters like this one, dreams and is dreamed of, draws the envy of the old and worn. Sure, all that can mean Clinkle; it can also mean Cory Booker.

Stanford is often grouped with the Ivies on the basis of average entering test scores, endowments, influential alumni, research funding. Well, I don’t agree. Stanford moves too fast for encrusting tendrils of ivy to creep over its walls and ensnarl the engines of progress that hum eternally beneath the sandstone. The “College of the West,” wrote David Starr Jordan in 1904, is home to no “dewy-eyed monk,” no “stoop-shouldered grammarian.” The true Stanford scholar, he predicted, would be the “leader of enterprise, the builder of states.”

And in the end, with national unemployment hovering at 7.6% and budget deficits looming ominously, what’s wrong with celebrating ties to industry, technology, progress? What’s intrinsically wrong with pioneering high-caliber online education for those who can’t afford a college degree? We raised a billion dollars last year – more than any university in history, largely thanks to our alumni network’s financial success, much of it sourced from startups and Silicon Valley – and a great deal of that is going to fund medical research and innovation at Stanford Hospitals and Clinics. Money may not be everything, but it sure helps when you’re trying to cure cancer.

So I’d urge you, New Yorker editors, to spend some time rethinking your position. Stanford may not look or act like the traditional university – but no matter what happens, this school will still be here, forging the future. And I’ll be here in the sun, thankful to be a part of this place and forever proud to call myself a member of the Stanford community.

Cheers.

  • guest

    To me, the biggest joke is that Thompson graduated in ’97. He writes like the Stanford he knew was very different than the present one. If he had been a member of the Class of ’67 I would understand (but not agree with) his lament. The fact is, the Stanford he attended and the Stanford of today are almost exactly the same. Sounds like he needed A) someone to know he was a Stanford grad and b) more attention. Just a dumb column.

  • bittergradguy

    You say that raising 1 billion dollars is a good thing. Tell me more about this “University”?

  • savesuites

    ….that funds breakthroughs in medicine as much as it does entrepreneurs – not to mention financial aid relieving parent contributions. Miles, tell me something you’re bad at. I’ve seen your Taylor Swift video, so I’m curious what you can’t do well.

  • 2014

    Much better response than the whiny one on TUSB. Thanks, Miles – another great piece.

  • Proud Student

    Hi Miles,

    This was very well articulated. Thank you for writing this. I completely agree with your analysis that the article was reductionism, and your piece really describes the nuance that Stanford has. It made me proud to go here.

    Thanks

  • Hmm…

    “We just built an elegant $50 million-dollar concert hall, enjoy an absolutely gorgeous (and free to the public) art museum…”

    That’s the nouveau riche for you. While many will make at least an attempt to appear cultured, they prefer the glistening products (found in museums and concert halls) over the messy creation. They are not cultured enough to know that you can’t have the former without the latter, thus they fund the ends while neglecting the means.

    Stanford spends hundreds of millions on concert halls and museums, and yet have campus rehearsal spaces increased? Have the fine arts received more funding to accommodate all the students who are presently turned away from art studio classes? Has any effort been made, after Roble Theater was demolished, to build another theater?

    People who don’t need money (the old money) are freed up to care about not needing money and can thus spend their college years reading philosophy, attending slam poetry events, and pursuing drama, music, or dance out of interest alone. Stanford hates these people, though, because they don’t have a drive to do great things in the world. They’re wealthy enough to not be motivated by money, and wise enough to know that fame is highly unlikely. I know, because I am one of these people.

  • 2011

    This is my 6th year at Stanford (4 years of undergrad, 2 years of grad), and Stanford today is incredibly different from Stanford 6 years ago. When I came to Stanford over Admit Weekend, there weren’t even any roundabouts in the intersection of death. Housing options and the rules or the draw have changed, eating clubs have shut down, parking lots have been torn up. Munger wasn’t even here 6 years ago! I took so many intro classes in Kresge, which is now gone. The law and business schools are brand new. The Engineering Quad has only been existence for a few years now, but most students don’t remember a time without it. A map of Stanford today looks very different from a map of Stanford 6 years ago. The student body has also certainly changed, as Stanford has become more and more selective and the size of each undergrad class has increased. If Stanford could change that much since 2007, I’m sure it has changed dramatically since 1997.

  • Grateful

    I don’t think you’d be saying that if you were on financial aid. We are incredibly lucky.

  • guest

    I’ve looked through the Daily archives, and Stanford was a different place in the ’90s. Chelsea Clinton came and went, the internet was taking off but hadn’t penetrated to the point where laptops and cell phones were used in class, Cory Booker was here and judging by his op-eds, racial tensions were higher and LGBT students were not close to as accepted as they are today.

  • InterestedCitizen

    The linguistics of this article as well as the argument crafted are breathtakingly brilliant. Thank you for this read and well done!

  • Class of 2011

    Thanks for writing this!!! Brilliant!!

  • CM – Stanford ’11

    This is an absolutely spot-on response to the recent New Yorker blog post about Stanford having become a “tech incubator with a football team.” While I think Mr. Unterreiner may have been a little harsh on the east coast establishment, my experience in New York has exposed me to a an undercurrent of a bias towards “convention over configuration” (to borrow a concept from my software engineering friends).

    I took what is probably one of the more conventional routes out of Stanford and have found myself on Wall Street (which, ironically, is rather unconventional for a Stanford grad). One of my younger colleagues decided that he no longer had an interest or passion for finance, so he quit his job and has started a post-baccalaureate program with the intention of ultimately getting an MD-PhD. To put it mildly, let’s just say that not everyone at my firm was supportive (especially at a junior level). In a bizarre irony, my experience of bankers has shown them to be a very risk-averse bunch who enjoy talking and thinking about great and unconventional things, but the relative certainty of generous pay days keep them tethered to their desks. My aspirational colleague decided that talking and thinking were not enough, and instead decided to act. The natural human response to such radically unconventional behavior is disdain, but in an ‘appropriately irreverent’ culture, such behavior is celebrated.

    Stanford’s celebration of its students who are “unorthodox yet hardworking, irreverent but driven, not afraid to make mistakes, adaptable, creative, interdisciplinary, and happier than most to define themselves by alternative metrics of success” is a model for the future of education. We now, more than in living memory, need radically unconventional thinkers, undeterred by risk of injury to their reputation or pocket book.

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

    - Theodore Roosevelt, speaking at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910

  • Guest

    This is a great piece – however, your argument is hindered by framing this as a West/East debate. It’s a common belief of the West Coast that we are morally superior – but I do not believe the original New Yorker piece (besides being published in “The New Yorker”) was AT ALL supposed to create a dichotomy between the two halves of our country.

    If anything, Clinkle has a number of Europeans on staff – even further East than New York! Don’t introduce unnecessary divisions into your articles… they serve to turn off audiences that would otherwise be receptive.

  • ’04StanfordAlum

    As an fellow alum – when I read Mr. Thompson’s blog (especially this comment: “The full name of the University is Leland Stanford Junior University, and people used to joke that the campus included two schools: Stanford University and Leland Junior College, the latter of which involved a set of courses that even the most dedicated of athletes could complete with reasonable grades”) I was left wondering if we had even attended the same school. Most of the athletes I knew at Stanford were not only great athletes, but were also very dedicated students who were held to the same academic standards as everybody else (which is a far cry from how athletes are treated at many/most other schools). Thank you for this article!

  • bittergradguy

    Let’s think about this… I’m a grad student.

  • Guest

    Who are you talking to?

  • Craig Albrecht

    In fairness, a writer for the New Yorker would know what an institution in decline looks like.

  • nice

    smooth, tight, and nuanced

  • Shakespeare

    “So it’s clear from the numbers…” Stanford is pioneering the development of metrics for the humanities too!

  • ’80 Grad

    Of course, the truly dignified response to this brief New Yorker blog post would have been no response at all. The worst thing one can do to one’s critics is ignore them.

  • Proud Grad Student

    Fantastic! I love it. Thank you for taking the time to put this together. I think Stanford needs to be experienced to be believed. Some people have a very narrow blinkered vision of what a university needs to be and can’t see the big picture.

  • JulianusApostata

    It is fine to be modern. But what sort of values (and what sort of ethical confusions) does Stanford foster? Does the existence of real achievement in the Humanities change anything to Stanford? To bring the point home. I have a trophy wife, blonde, who works for charities. She is very accomplished; no one would say that in her own right, like the seductive Ramon Saldivar or the accomplished Richard White, that she is an idiot. To the contrary. But she is my ornament, and I take her to parties. Are these the humanities at Stanford?

    The author (unwittingly, to use Unterreiner’s own expression) compares the scorn of Old Europe for America in past centuries to the East Coast establishment’s current frown at West Coast achievement. “What spanks General Motors spanks America” is an old mental structure. So seems to be the (to older civilizations, be they Old Europe or East Coast Fitzgerald) the elegiac and preachy “forever proud to call myself a member of the Stanford community”, which closes the piece. A fine, fine piece of Old American clericalism.

    In this sense Unterreiner is very right; there is a gap in understanding between (some) members of the Stanford “community” (whatever that is to a History Major) and (some) critics, be they from the Farm itself (the “community’), East Coast renegades, or Old World Nietzscheans.

  • steadygaze

    “East Egg has never quite understood West Egg, and the ancien régime has never quite understood revolution. As with America, so also with Stanford.” West Egg Cali is bankrupt, Mass Egg is as rich as ever, quack, quack…

  • steadygaze

    Theodore Roosevelt, Harvard College, 1880, and the duck-writer of this article writes that “the ancien régime has never quite understood revolution…” Shame.

  • Chris_8304

    This is as good an article as I have ever read in the Daily, well done.

  • http://disqus.com Peter Mullen

    Honestly, who really reads the New Yorker anymore? Sounds like a pathetic attempt to remain relevant. Much too late.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cherries1 Christopher Herries

    There’s actually a new SLE-style freshmen dorm going up next year specifically for the arts. And I believe there’s a music room going up in Wilbur pretty soon.

  • Miles

    Hi Hmm…

    Thanks for the thoughtful response. I have a few musings in return.

    Your first point (paragraphs three and four) is well taken. Certainly Stanford could increase funding to small-scale artistic endeavors that are more easily accessible to students – I, for one, would MORE than welcome that. But two things to consider on this:

    1) Just because constructing more small arts-related buildings would be good doesn’t mean that constructing large arts-related buildings is bad. The fact remains that Stanford has devoted a considerable amount of resources to the arts – just on a different scale than it appears you would like to see.

    2) There are other, more subtle ways Stanford has of reflecting care and passion for the arts. If you noticed that Materials Science professor John Bravman, who left to become President of Bucknell two years ago, was replaced by Drama department star Harry Elam as Vice-Provost for Undergraduate Education – well, there’s one way. The planned SLE-style dorm (Chris beat me to it) is another. And Rock, Sex, and Rebellion – well, the class title says it all!

    Your second point (your last paragraph) seems a bit more muddled, so let me try to wade through it.
    First, I’m not sure whether you’re saying that being part of the “old money” crowd is a good thing, a bad thing, or if you’re just making a morally neutral observation about the nature of old money. Let me know which of these is closest to your intent.

    Second, I have never witnessed much “hate” at this University directed toward anyone, and certainly not from the University toward its students. But what most bothers me about this paragraph is that you argue frankly that students who love “attending slam poetry events” and “pursuing drama, music, or dance out of interest alone” automatically “don’t have a drive to do great things in the world.” You also heavily imply that the only reason Stanford students could possibly have to change the world is being “motivated by money,” and that once they become jaded enough to realize that “fame is highly unlikely,” they might as well give up on that whole changing the world thing.

    Why does loving poetry and drama disqualify you from wanting to do great things in and for the world? I know so many Stanford students who see literature and the arts as so much more than diversionary entertainments. They see them, on the contrary, as fiercely energizing influences – ways to fill us with the human spirit we need to go out and fix a broken world. Why isn’t that a possibility too?

    Interested to hear your thoughts in reply.

  • Miles

    As a History major, Shakespeare, let me tell you that numbers are not at all foreign to the study of the humanities, at Stanford or anywhere else. Whether analyzing the frequency and timing of certain words’ usage in WWI-era British media (the subject of a senior English thesis by a friend of mine), comparing depictions of violence against women in African-American-owned and white-owned newspapers over time (a classmate’s senior History thesis), or measuring the influence of Union veterans on 19th-century Pacific Coast metropolises (one component of my thesis last year), the humanities, too, definitely benefit from numeracy and quantitative tools!

  • Miles

    I see your point, and it’s well-taken! Let me see if I can clarify my position a bit for you.

    I’m obviously not arguing that innovation and economic dynamism are genetic traits – something that only West Coast people have in their blood, and that those unfortunate New Yorkers and Europeans can never attain no matter how hard they try.

    Instead, I believe that individuals shape and are shaped by institutions and cultures, and that people self-select into cultures and institutions they prefer. Of course there are people from all over the world at Stanford – East Coast and Old Europe included. But why did those people choose to come to Stanford? Why not Harvard, Princeton, or Yale? Think about why YOU picked Stanford. What was it about this place that brought you here over somewhere else?

    The people this school attracts, almost by definition, tend to be those who prefer Stanford’s operating style – a style I firmly believe to be unique among major American universities.

    Last thing: as you rightly point out, I don’t think in the slightest that Mr. Thompson went into the article hoping to “create a dichotomy between the two halves of our country.” What I’m arguing is that regardless of his intent, his piece reflected a universal tendency – recurrent throughout history – for centers of existing culture to be skeptical about institutions that do not place the same priority as they do on reproducing and perpetuating that culture. Stanford is one of those rebellious institutions, and I love this place all the more for it.

    Does that help clarify things at all? Let me know if you have more questions or comments!

  • Miles

    PS – When I said “paragraphs three and four,” I meant “two and three.” Cheers-

    -Miles

  • johnnyfoy

    This essay doesn’t address the very real ethical issues that Thompson was reminding us of in his piece, the same ethical issues that were the focus of the earlier Auletta article. To answer Thompson by claiming that Stanford does indeed have humanities departments, majors, and research groups merely states the obvious while missing the point entirely. It is not a serious reply. And to claim that the central “core” of Stanford’s identity and mission as a university remains with its humanities and social sciences is just false, clearly so to many within and without the campus but obscurely to some who, for lack of any other explanation, remain willfully ignorant of the fact due to their affection for an alma mater.

    Also, I’ve served as a graduate instructor at Stanford for the last two years and, having taught nearly a hundred students, I suspect it’s innacurate by most measures to refer to Stanford undergrads as “unorthodox,” “irreverent,” and “creative.” Intelligent, ambitious, and conventional, sure – but not the first three.

  • JulianusApostata

    Was this intervention from a former History Major? I wonder how an instructor in that discipline would judge a statement like “universal tendency (…) recurrent throughout history”. Perhaps he should have read more on the vapidness of such expressions. Nietzsche, and Foucault, admittedly both Old style renegades,have a few things of interest to say on such notions, but even lesser souls shiver at such generalizations.

  • SgtPeppers

    I agree 100% with Guest’s sentiment.

    As a native of the East Coast who currently attends a top West Coast university myself, I find your implicit rhetorical dichotomy between East and West divisive and devoid of nuance.

    You apply the same type of heavy-handed generalizations to the Ivys (and East Coast intelligentsia in general) that you are attempting to critique in The New Yorker piece.

    Your whole “self-selection” and “Stanford is rebellious” line of reasoning similarly seems to be a sweeping oversimplification of why people would attend a West Coast school, and how truly “rebellious” your school is compared to an Ivy. You may have been watching “The Social Network” a bit too much.

    I found your piece entirely too hyperbolic for my taste, although I do find you to be a talented writer. Shrug.

  • JulianusApostata

    What looks like an Engineer can be more than just an Engineer. John Bravman was a great supporter of the humanities, and not only in words. I wonder why he left… Elam is of course a humanist, and a fine one (I smile at the “star’; he is one, but how canned the rhetoric). And under whose watch was the humanities Area One requirement scuttled?

  • UCB

    Agreed. The reply doesn’t address the main criticism. There were serious conflicts of interest raised that are completely elided here. Instead we get dissembling in what reads like a brochure for Stanford. This non-answer is more damning of the article itself.

  • Miles

    You’re quite right, Julianus! Professor Bravman is wonderful – he was my freshman dorm Dean and (in my opinion) one of the greatest administrators this school has seen. I hope I didn’t come off as belittling his dedication to the humanities, because that is the last thing I would want or mean to do.

    I also think Elam is doing a fine job (and it seems you agree) – I think it says something that Stanford has chosen to continue Bravman’s legacy by selecting Elam for VPUE.

    Email me (milesu1@stanford.edu) if you’d like to chat further on this or anything else! More than happy to-

    -Miles

  • Stanford ’12

    As a graduate instructor, how much time do you spend around Stanford undergrads to believe it’s inaccurate that they be referred to as “unorthodox,” “irreverent,” and “creative.” Please take a stroll down The Row. They ARE your normal teenagers/early adults after all. “Work hard. Play hard.”

  • Kinesin1

    This article is nothing less than an eloquent, thought through, well researched, and entirely on-point piece of writing. It just may be the finest Stanford Daily article that I have come across in my 4 years at Stanford. My compliments, Mr. Unterreiner.

  • Alec Whittever

    Stanford is also the kind of place where a journalist like Miles can successfully challenge the administration (in the matter of Suites dining) — and the administration can change course thoughtfully.

  • David Roeske

    Miles — any chance you can get your friend to share the Ethics of Satire thesis, or is it already searchable somewhere? Would love to read it. Thanks!

  • Miles

    Email me and I’ll ask!

    Cheers,

    Miles

  • g

    Bravo. Nice gatsby plug.

  • BothCoasts

    As someone who’s gone to school both at Stanford and an Ivy League school (Harvard), I can say that I haven’t been particularly impressed with Stanford; I’ve been quite underwhelmed, actually. With the exception of the athletic program, I’d advise almost any prospective student to choose Harvard, Yale, Princeton, or Columbia over Stanford.

  • Golf Clap

    My generalizations, tropes, and baseless sweeping inferences from statistics are better than your generalizations, tropes, and baseless sweeping inferences from statistics. Yeah. Discuss.

  • Vndrevv L

    By rushing to gauchely quantify the University’s contribution to the ‘arts’, you merely reassert @9e5aabb7f5e5cf84eb6229c4b58b5b0c:disqus ‘s point. Also, massive concert halls and museums are hardly the incubators of the contemporary art world, imo.

  • Bruce

    In fairness, a Rhode Scholar would know something as well.