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Regressive progressives

Last week, the State of New York banned rentals of unoccupied apartments for fewer than 30 days on Airbnb. The move was not without controversy, resulting in a protest in front of Governor Cuomo’s office, immense public debate and a federal lawsuit citing “irreparable harm” to the company. It is not hard to see why…

Computer science: A misnomer

Imagine if people majored in mathematics to learn to run a company, or trade stocks, or develop iPhone apps or sequence genes. That is an absurd situation, even if mathematical principles are essential to all those tasks. Yet, that is essentially what many Stanford CS students are doing in droves. As computing and coding as a whole are becoming indispensable tools for those who seek knowledge in other fields, CS appears to have become the learn-to-do-anything-and-everything major, even if most people really only want to learn software development.

The future of meritocracy

It is a basic tenet of the American Dream that if you work hard, you will be rewarded. Today, that is no longer true. As technology continues to widen the gap between the winners and losers of the economic rat race, we need to figure out how to incentivize people to try in spite of increasingly low odds of success.

Technological encroachment

Modern information technology has connected us, but also has opened our lives up in a way that makes us more vulnerable to coercion and more susceptible to the commercialization of our personal lives. However, the power that external agents (like Facebook, identity thieves, or the market) have over us is only the power that we give them.