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Complacent Valley

This is not what a Stanford education is supposed to look like, I remember thinking. It was only my third week at the University when my entire freshman dorm had marched off to the annual Fall Career Fair held in White Plaza. I wandered through its rows aimlessly, unsure of what I, without a single grade on my transcript, was meant to offer the nicely dressed recruiters, waiting eagerly for me behind their well decorated booths. The thought of my summer internship or first job had barely crossed my mind; as for me, school had just barely begun.

CS + Ethics

Early this year, research fellow Hilary Cohen and professors Jeremy Weinstein, Mehran Sahami and Rob Reich were pictured in a copy of The New York Times. They stood together in the atrium of the Gates Computer Science Building, a determined look crossing each of their faces. “On Campus, Computer Science Departments Find a Blind Spot:…

Kids these days

In the late ’60s, Joan Didion ventured to San Francisco in search of “social hemorrhaging.” She had an apocalyptic tone and an eye for disaster. She came to the city that was a mecca for kids that wanted to stay lost. She came to write about the rebels, the runaways and the counterculture. Slumming it…

Stanford’s rebels

Editor’s note: This column references a 1972 New York Times article, “In the Matter of H. Bruce Franklin,” which was not linked or attributed in the text below. It also erroneously dates H. Bruce’s Franklin’s receiving tenure to 1970 and names Alan Dershowitz as having represented Franklin; Franklin received tenure in 1965, and Dershowitz prepared a brief on…

Google’s city

After blocking the construction of the Lower Manhattan Expressway – which would have uprooted neighborhood blocks and erased Washington Square Park from the map – Jane Jacobs packed her New York memories and moved to Toronto. She was off-put by the Roman-inspired grandeur of constructions like New York’s Lincoln Center, which dedicated immense amounts of space for…

The future of history

In the ’30s, Palo Alto caused quite a stir. This quiet and conservative university town that only voted for its first Democratic president in 1960 – when it chose John F. Kennedy – became, overnight, the scene of a rather salacious scandal. The Palo Alto Medical Clinic, considered the first group practice in the U.S., had just…