This fairly long article (it's from The New Yorker, and they have alot to say) takes an in-depth look at Stanford University's role in academia and silicon valley. This 'look' ponders the position Stanford plays with regard to student and faculty entrepreneurship. Look no further for an example of this role than the current student who creates an app called "Snapchat". Snapchat allows photos you send online (you know the kind, the ones you want to disappear the moment after you send them), to exist only for a limited period of time, then they disappear. 

Reading the article I was constantly reminded of the cordial relationship between the Stanford population and the Silicon Valley business community. Most academic institutions seem to incorporate a certain disdain for business and business culture. Now, before everyone leaps down my throat----I think whether this is a reality or not, it's certainly a perception. We see business and commerce as something that hinders the freedom, the free-flow of ideas and individualism that college represents.

Traditionally, I think it's safe to say that most students see business as a greedy soul-sucking corporate machine. AKA, the enemy. Perhaps much of this is based on certain idealistic (antiquated?) visions we have about college. However the environment at Stanford is quite the opposite. But how did the population at Stanford brush aside the usual campus politics associated with commercial enterprise? Was it the access to the "free-flow" of cash money that was, is, and remains in such close proximity?

Things to consider for a blue (cold) Monday.    

Alonzo LaMont

alonzo@jhmi.edu

 

 

 


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