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Standardized testing: the scourge of student life

Tests should at no point be the be-all-and-end-all, as they are now among public education systems. Even in their most enlightened forms, they should be no more than a small part of a student’s education toolkit. From the perspective of learning, passing tests doesn’t begin to compare with inquiring and pursuing topics that engage and excite us – as learners, not test-takers.

In Conversation with Sandra Liu Huang

When Quora first got off the ground in 2010, there were plenty of such sites on the Internet. Yet, as its founders saw, “no one had come along to build something that was really good yet.” What differentiated Quora was not so much the idea, but the product itself. The lady behind some of the most important nuts and bolts that make Quora tick is Sandra Liu Huang, its director of product management.

Privacy is (not) dead

Against this backdrop, the main contribution of Eggers’ – alongside many others’ – to the privacy debate does not reside in their having anything new to say about privacy. In fact, little is new. They are merely asking that we take pause, to linger over what it means to surrender shreds of our personal life. They ask a question with no easy answer: what is gained and what is lost? Whatever that answer may be, it is hardly time yet to ‘get over it’, as Zuckerberg would have us do. Not now, and probably not ever.

Litost, and Love

One summer day, I found myself sharing a bench outside Encina Hall with a stranger. In place of awkward silences, said stranger wanted to know what I was reading (Carl Jung). A long conversation about dreams and symbols ensued. And then, quite out of the blue, she asked: “Are you happy at Stanford?” Instinctively, I…

On Changing the World

If you’re on your way to building the next app that the first world will love for a few months and then forget, think hard about whether you’re delivering on the promise of making the world a better place. Don’t start a startup just because you can. Think outside of the technological quick-fix box.

The new digital age (part 1 of 2)

How will war, diplomacy and revolution change with increased access to information technologies? How much privacy and security must individuals relinquish in the new digital age? Is there anything technology can do about ongoing revolutions? The CEMEX auditorium was packed to the brim Tuesday with listeners eager for answers to these questions. Onstage, technology met policy: Jared Cohen — a young Stanford alumnus and director of Google Ideas — was flanked by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Google Chief Eric Schmidt.