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Is Stanford Too Close To Silicon Valley?

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the pick-up-and-move dept.

Businesses 171

nicholast writes "The New Yorker has a story by Ken Auletta about the connections between Stanford and Silicon Valley. The piece explains how important the university is to tech companies and venture capital firms, but it also questions whether Stanford has become too focused on wealth. 'It's an atmosphere that can be toxic to the mission of the university as a place of refuge, contemplation, and investigation for its own sake,' says one professor. The piece also explains Stanford's conflicted thoughts about distance education, which could transform the university or prove to be a threat to it."

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Well, there you have it (5, Insightful)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791297)

Yes, New Yorker, you really hit the nail on the head there. Foolishly concentrating on marketable skills and useful scholarship, instead of the laudable pursuits like LGBT studies and Russian literature. New York institutions have it right - charge a lot and turn out people who have nothing productive to contribute and nothing better to do than occupy Wall Street (i.e crap in public and shout slogans) and whine about having to pay back their student loans!

Re:Well, there you have it (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791325)

Yes, how dare they push out successful engineers!

Re:Well, there you have it (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791329)

Clearly you have never met the unproductive MBA graduates from Stanford.

Re:Well, there you have it (0, Troll)

QuantumLeaper (607189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791515)

All MBA graduates are unproductive not matter what University they went too. MBA are leeches more than anything without productive skills.

Re:Well, there you have it (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792221)

How is this drivel modded Insightful? MBAs, like all other graduates, come in all shapes and sizes. Some are great, some are unproductive

Would you prefer it if all business were run by people who have no formal education in economics, accounting, strategy og business mangement?

Get real.. I know MBAs embody the people that fire and hire you, but this MBA-bashing is childish and it's getting old.

Re:Well, there you have it (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792275)

Because 90% of the people here have no corporate experience above maybe the help(less) desk level. Therefore they think Dilbert Comics from 1994 are a completely accurate description of "PHBs"

Re:Well, there you have it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792765)

And because cunts like you think 90 percent of the people here work at help desks. Suck my cock when you say it next time. I like blowjobs from cocksuckers like you when I have to hear the shit coming from your direction.

Re:Well, there you have it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39793421)

And because cunts like you think 90 percent of the people here work at help desks. Suck my cock when you say it next time. I like blowjobs from cocksuckers like you when I have to hear the shit coming from your direction.

Bad morning at the help desk?

Re:Well, there you have it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39793677)

Are those your lips around my cock? Yes they are - please shove your head forward more - I want the tip of my penis massaging the back of your throat faggot. Jesus Christ says you won't go to magical pretend heaven until you swallow my cock!

Re:Well, there you have it (2)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39792869)

nonsense, slashdot is an aging professional crowd. those of us who have been managers and executives know beyond a shadow of a doubt that 90% of MBA's are ignorant disposable tools.

Re:Well, there you have it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792777)

I didn't know MBA's checked in source code.

  100% of all problems in the source code have been caused by engineers. They are the cause of bugs, security vulnerabilities, wasted productivity, and on and on.

Re:Well, there you have it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792779)

I have no mod points to mod parent down. Mods, are we allowing "insightful" of two sentence posts without any qualifiers or data to backup what is essentially an opinion? I disapprove of the use of the term "All" MBA graudates. You can qualify it with "Most" or "Some" followed by a few links to articles to contribute to the discussion, but "All"?

P.S. I have an MBA and CS undergraduate degree. I still work in a technical position by choice. Glad to hear my daily coding is considered "leech" work and not considered a "productive skill".

Re:Well, there you have it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792941)

its not your mba that allows you to do said technical work, and hence be productive.

Re:Well, there you have it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39793183)

Your original post didn't claim that, so just get the fuck back to work, asshole.

Re:Well, there you have it (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793485)

It's a slave owner that allows slaves to do any work, and hence be productive.

Hey, I have found a solution for all economic problems -- we need slavery and lots and lots of slave owners!

Re:Well, there you have it (2, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793193)

You do realize that an MBA is a Masters Degree in Business Administration. And depending on the track you get different areas of study. A lot of the area of study is very close to Computer Science. MBA is about running a business at peak efficiency. Computer Science is running software at peak efficiency. A lot of the concepts are very similar. The MBA from an accredited school is a rigorous academic process.
Also after Enron many if not most MBA programs have put a renewed effort in teaching ethics. And most studies that show most of the stuff you complain about those evil MBA's (Where a lot of those evil MBA's are either not MBA's they do not have the degree but have just advanced in careers without it, or the Full time MBA right after taking Undergrad in Business with no real life experience. You find the MBA who get their degrees threw night classes, or weekend programs are a much different breed of MBA)

Being that an MBA focuses on Administrative skills their productivity isn't measured in simple number of units, however in the ability to increase the number of units, or increase the quality of the numbers of units made, or get those numbers of units made for less.

When you are taking all your time to find the enemy of all of life problems, then you are not spending time solving them.

Re:Well, there you have it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39793257)

Oh! I didn't know it was a bolded masters degree. That makes it better.

Re:Well, there you have it (4, Insightful)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793519)

Computer Science is running software at peak efficiency.

Hearing pearls like this makes me suspect that some professions and degrees are actually mental diseases.

Re:Well, there you have it (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793745)

The problem is that not all MBA programs are alike. (like many masters level programs) If you have a tuition voucher from your employer, then you'll get in to some school no matter how stupid you are. And if you show up every Tuesday and Thursday night for two years, they'll Xerox off a diploma for you.

Re:Well, there you have it (4, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791473)

One Slashdotter's trash is another's treasure.

Also, I've heard over and over again the lots of businesses have a high regard for liberal arts majors as organizers.

Re:Well, there you have it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791513)

Also, I've heard over and over again the lots of businesses have a high regard for liberal arts majors as organizers.

You mean those people who put papers in binders then stack them on the shelves, or are you talking about the actual binders?

Re:Well, there you have it (3, Funny)

dintech (998802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39792861)

Is Stanford Too Close To Silicon Valley?

I wouldn't say it's too close, it's not really walking distance. I'll call the Dean and ask him if he can move the University a few miles west.

Re:Well, there you have it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791517)

Brett Buck
Education The Art Institute of Las Vegas

Re:Well, there you have it (5, Insightful)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791699)

Does The Art Institute of Las Vegas teach you how to draw to an inside straight?

Re:Well, there you have it (5, Insightful)

ATMAvatar (648864) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791595)

Instead, they should narrowly-focus only on those vocations which make the most money - professional sports, law, political science, and investment banking. All of those are immensely important jobs and a civilization full of nothing but those professions would be a prosperous one indeed.

I am not defending LBGT studies and Russian literature individually, mind you, but if we ditched any field of study that didn't rain down money upon graduation, we would be much poorer for it.

Re:Well, there you have it (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791719)

I didn't mean to imply that the only valuable degrees that lead to multi-millionaires. A university isn't a vocational school. But you do need to have some useful contribution to make to the world, or you wind up on the damn dole.

Re:Well, there you have it (2)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793353)

Thousands of Starbucks baristas with English Literature degrees disagree!

Re:Well, there you have it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792007)

Your comment is underrated. I ran of mod points for today.

That's a myth. Kids aren't stupid. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792739)

Yes, New Yorker, you really hit the nail on the head there. Foolishly concentrating on marketable skills and useful scholarship, instead of the laudable pursuits like LGBT studies and Russian literature. New York institutions have it right - charge a lot and turn out people who have nothing productive to contribute and nothing better to do than occupy Wall Street (i.e crap in public and shout slogans) and whine about having to pay back their student loans!

Look it. Kids aren't stupid. Very few people are stupid enough to beleive the "do what you love and the money will follow."

The job market is soooo bad, there are folks with accounting degrees, engineering degrees and the most surprising to me - nursing degrees - that are unable to get a job. The American Journal of Nursing reported last year that the job market for newly graduated nurses is one of the worst ever. And there's supposed to be a shortage right? Lawyers are having a horrible time too. I haven't seen the stats on new med school grads so I can't comment on that.

And even if you did get into some "marketable" program things change - fast - in this day age. That's what happened to all those nrusing students. Four or five years ago, those kids went to nursing school because that's what they wanted - a marketable and hopefully, a guaranteed job. They graduted in '11 and low and behold over half of them can't get jobs. And there's even more people currently in school because the word hasn't gotten out. Yes, we will have a glut of nurses in a fe short years and folks will be saying, "Gee! Why didn't they get a degree in something marketable!? Morons!"

Back in the 80s there were people studying Chinese lterature. The had to learn to read and speak Manderin. Then the 90s came and globalization - and all that trade with China. In the 80s I remember folks studying math. And back then, if you weren't actuarial, you would have to teach - it wasn't that marketable. (Actuarial is TOUGH. I've seen people wash out of that and go to engineering school for something easier.) Then the 90s came and search engines and applications that were math intensive. All of a suddent a math degree was the thing to get.

What's "marketable" today could very well be saturated or have no market in a few years.

Re:That's a myth. Kids aren't stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39793715)

What's "marketable" today could very well be saturated or have no market in a few years.

Or it could be said that you've probably already missed the boat if you're just getting into school by the time it becomes the "big thing".

Re:That's a myth. Kids aren't stupid. (3, Informative)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793733)

I don't know where you live, but nurses are still in high demand. Two of my friends recently got nursing degrees one had a job within a week the other who did not work nights because she has a son took 1 month to find a job that fit her schedule. One month was a very long time as everyone else she graduated with had a job all ready. The unemployment rate for nurses is 2.2% that is one of the best rates for any career field.

Re:That's a myth. Kids aren't stupid. (1)

eln (21727) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793789)

The problem with nursing is two-fold: One, it became the big thing like you said and too many people got into it all at once. Two, people got into the wrong kind of nursing. The reason nursing was projected to (and probably still will) face such a shortage is because of all of the baby boomers retiring and needing care. However, it turns out that most people really don't want to work in geriatrics. When I was going back to school a couple of years ago, I would ask nursing students what they wanted to do after they graduated. The majority wanted to do obstetrics (delivering babies), despite our declining birth rate. Almost none of them wanted anything to do with geriatrics.

Re:That's a myth. Kids aren't stupid. (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793793)

Many of the nursing journals have a different criteria for "nursing shortage" than the employment market has. They may mean that their employers don't employ enough nurses and make the workload too difficult/dangerous for the patient. Or simply that their subscription rate has gone down. It's kind of like the carpenter's union saying there aren't enough carpenters. "We aren't getting enough dues! There must be a shortage!"

That problem is not unique to Stanford (3, Interesting)

sackvillian (1476885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791307)

My university's model is to attract as many international students as possible and charge them 3x the 'domestic' tuition rate, which is already high for Canada. Better yet is a privately-owned college they've licensed our 'brand' to, which allows them to do the same but with dirt-low entrance requirements and higher yet tuition!

Even my previous institute, a very small liberal arts university on the opposite coast, was showing shades of the same. What else do we expect with burgeoning human resources departments and shrinking public funding?

Re:That problem is not unique to Stanford (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791365)

Why aren't you putting a name to these universities?

Re:That problem is not unique to Stanford (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791413)

I bet "as many international students as possible" is not accurate. My business school ( top 10-20ish ) said they could 100% fill the class with international students with perfect SAT/GRE scores.

Re:That problem is not unique to Stanford (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793045)

My experience with international testing shows that all foreign TAs had perfect TOEFL test scores, but we all know they mostly didn't speak/read/write English.
I wouldn't read too much into "perfect" international SAT/GRE scores.

Re:That problem is not unique to Stanford (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793581)

Most people who work in English-speaking country but whose native language is not English, first only learn techical English that is applicable to their profession, then s-l-o-w-l-y the rest of the language. For someone unfamiliar with their work, they may look ignorant and stupid for years (decades if they end up in an insular community of immigrants, but that's genuinely stupid in its own right).

Then, there are countries that have just large enough percentage of people speaking English to develop its own dialect of English, but not large enough for that dialect to become known and accepted worldwide.

Re:That problem is not unique to Stanford (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793819)

Is that the dialect where the letter 'h' is pronounced "haych"?

Re:That problem is not unique to Stanford (2)

mirix (1649853) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791553)

The way I remember it at my local canadian university, for engineering, was something like this.

10% international students,
90% reserved for citizens,
75% of which was reserved for in-province applicants,
and 5% for Aboriginals.
(give or take 5% on all of those, I'm a bit fuzzy).

Does it make a difference though, money wise? I presume the overall amount the university gets is roughly the same per student, just the govn't isn't subsidizing the foreign nationals. Maybe it's a flawed presumption.

Re:That problem is not unique to Stanford (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793603)

The way I remember it at my local canadian university, for engineering, was something like this.

10% international students,
90% reserved for citizens,
75% of which was reserved for in-province applicants,
and 5% for Aboriginals.
(give or take 5% on all of those, I'm a bit fuzzy).

Does it make a difference though, money wise? I presume the overall amount the university gets is roughly the same per student, just the govn't isn't subsidizing the foreign nationals. Maybe it's a flawed presumption.

So... 180%? I can see why your university is broke.

(just kidding, i realize the 75+5 is part of the 90)

Re:That problem is not unique to Stanford (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792489)

This was my experience in college in BC as well, having gone to two different colleges in the area.

Stanford Grads are Awesome (4, Funny)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791345)

Can't tell you how helpful having some Middle-Manager type making an appearance in the interview room, proudly proclaiming his Stanford Alumni status and MENSA membership before laying out the all important "brain teaser" to save me from taking the interview any further. Funny how the recruiter mentioned beforehand that they were having such a hard time finding qualified candidates.

Mensa is the problem (5, Interesting)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791403)

Once someone tells me they're in Mensa, they are immediately labeled as an idiot. This of course is due to the biggest idiots I have personally known were in Mensa. Then there's the Mensa investment club, its been a failure 20 years and counting.

So next time you meet Mensa member be sure to ask them how their investment club is doing.

Re:Mensa is the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791493)

You are implying that every single member has input on the decision making processes of the organization as a whole, and this isn't true by any means in any organization larger than 1 person. Perhaps it is true that the individuals in charge of that fund aren't financial wizs but ehh...

I'd rather have a group made up of Mensa people than a group made up of non-members... but that obviously depends on the goal of the group... bue ehh...

Re:Mensa is the problem (5, Funny)

hairyfish (1653411) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791721)

I may be ruining the joke here, but the Mensa test is actually a two part test. Most people with half a brain get past the first part, but by actually joining Mensa you fail the second. Mensa is the group that failed. Smart enough to know, but not smart enough to know better.

Re:Mensa is the problem (1)

SpzToid (869795) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793375)

I used to feel that way about Mensa too, until I found out Geena Davis was in it. (But then again, she can do anything.)

Re:Mensa is the problem (3, Insightful)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791729)

I have to say that most Mensa members I've met have been people I would consider intelligent, interesting and fun to be around while most of the anti-Mensa folks I've been around (you know, the ones who hate on Mensa and Mensa members) have been boorish, dumber than the average Mensa member and quite frankly not a lot of fun to be around.

Of course, I haven't met every Mensa member (and definitely not every non-member).

Re:Mensa is the problem (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793083)

I have to say that most Mensa members I've met have been people I would consider intelligent, interesting and fun to be around

I have to say that everyone who has told me they are a MENSA member has been boorish and quite frankly not a lot of fun to be around no matter how intelligent they might be. When you have to tell people that you belong to a club for supposedly smart people, you aren't one. You're merely clever.

Re:Mensa is the problem (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793087)

Its a bragging thing, you can always identify the losers by looking for the braggarts. .mil folks who brag and tell combat stories to civilians, generally, have never been overseas, or at most were ultra REMFs and are lying about the whole thing. The guys who try not to talk about it, or won't even talk about it unless they're drunk or with their buddies who were there with them, they're the real heros.

The mensa situation is the same. Most people bragging about their membership are not even members. Its not like HQ GPG signs your certificate and you actually check the sigs. Go to the Mighty GOOG, enter "mensa membership" and click on "Images" in the black bar, and you get a pages of membership certs and cards ranging from ancient to recent. Anyone who is not a total noob/idiot can print their own cert in at most an hours work. Making a really good fake cert is probably a better overall intel test than passing the official test, anyway.

How to handle mensa types (4, Interesting)

Okian Warrior (537106) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791795)

Invariably the person will not have solved the problem themselves - they're simply repeating an interesting problem that they read about some time in the past. Oftentimes they read that it makes for a good interview question.

You handle this by exclaiming "you like puzzles? That's great! I love puzzles too, here's one for you..." and then give the simplest, least obvious, most vexing conundrum you have. Look this up ahead of time so you have one ready to use.

Let them sputter and hem and haw for a minute, then give them another one. "Or how about this one - it's one of my favourites!"

Depending on how trashed you think the interview is (from when the manager burst in the first time), you can turn the screws a little. If you're not getting the job anyway, you can reverse it so that it seems like you don't *want* the job because no one else in the company can pass *your* puzzle requirements. "Oh, I thought you had a lot of bright, motivated, self-starting individuals. That's what the job requirements said you wanted...".

I keep a Chinese block puzzle [basiccarpe...niques.com] in my pocket for just such occasions.

No interviewing manager has ever had the guts to refuse my puzzle after asking their pet puzzle question, and I have yet to find one who was any good at puzzles.

Oh, and I also got a lot of job offers.

Re:How to handle mensa types (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792795)

You sound like a giant asshole.

Re:How to handle mensa types (3, Interesting)

Bucc5062 (856482) | more than 2 years ago | (#39792919)

See, I felt the opposite and feel he was turning it around on assholes. Asking a brain teaser at an interview is just plain stupid. Unless the job is solving brain teaser or alien languages what value is a question like that? None. It is a job and 99% of the time the job function will be mundane and routine.

Now a good interview would ask about current events, thoughts on direction in the industry of choice or any other manner of questioning that gets into who the person is, what they think about, and will they fit with a group. The next time I get asked what are the principles of Object Oriented Programming are, I may just sum it into one phrase "get the job done well", as to whether I know encapsulation, polymorphism, or the rest of the esoteric terms has no value to my work.

Re:Mensa is the problem (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793857)

The Groucho Marx rule?

Re:Stanford Grads are Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791423)

Are you implying that their goal of finding qualified candidates did not succeed?

If you are finding an easy time of finding qualified candidates, your standards are probably too low.

Re:Stanford Grads are Awesome (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791435)

Yeah, that's it. Not that if you filter for other unrelated attributes (hair color, polyester shirts), you'll also potentially lose a few talented programmers. Notch filters gotta filter for the right shit or all you get is noise.

Re:Stanford Grads are Awesome (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791541)

I wonder whether people who take great pride in their mensa membership realize that it's the bottom tier in a hierarchy of brainy-clubs that's at least 4-5 layers deep.

Re:Stanford Grads are Awesome (4, Interesting)

vought (160908) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791973)

Exactly. Consensus hiring is Stanford voodoo clubhouse bullshit too - "we all thought you were awesome, but Arnie here wants to hire the girl with big tits who is almost as good as you, so...see you later!"

I live in Silicon Valley and most of the recent Stanford grads I meet are like West Coast Romneys: legacy kids, well-heeled by their own rich parents and friends, and already assured of that new 5-series or a spot at the VC table, no matter how stupid the idea is (paying 1 billion for Instagram...).

Yeah - I resent the hell out of the culture here. It's gone from what you know to who you know in 20 years. Now, instead of building things in Silicon Valley, we just reinvent the same scams to fleece money from consumers - thanks in part to your Stanford MBAs.

1 billion (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 2 years ago | (#39792511)

1 billion Papiermark (Germany) wasn't worth a lot as well, in 1922. Maybe the figure has more to tell about the value of the US Dollar than it has about the value of the company in question?

Re:Stanford Grads are Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792619)

A friend of mine was going to Stanford when I was her roommate, and we were roommates in San Francisco even after her car broke and it meant a bike ride to a train ride to another bike ride (and in rainy weather, buses). Even those days when the commute was 3 hours round-trip, she never once thought about moving down there. It's so conservative that her fellow female PhD candidates were all already or on their way to becoming stepford wives, and their degree was their last bit of reputation-building before they went to join the pod people and become useless.

Re:Stanford Grads are Awesome (1, Informative)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793323)

Why use Romney as an example of "legacy kids"? Guess what Romney's father did not go to Harvard, but Obama's did. Obama is the "legacy kid".

Should I state the obvious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791381)

questions whether Stanford has become too focused on wealth.

I think that boat had sailed a loooong time ago. Most research universities are quite focused on wealth. The total amount of grants brought in matters most in tenure decisions (and who cares about teaching).

Such a quaint definition of college... (2)

MikeTheGreat (34142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791409)

the mission of the university as a place of refuge, contemplation, and investigation for its own sake

It was really nice when the college's mission used to be refuge, contemplation, and investigation for its own sake, but in today's shrinking economy that is (more and more) no longer the case. Now-a-days not only does the college as a whole feel immense budget pressure, but if individual departments don't ante up each year then they'll be on the chopping block [slashdot.org]

Re:Such a quaint definition of college... (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791487)

the mission of the university as a place of refuge, contemplation, and investigation for its own sake

It was really nice when the college's mission used to be refuge, contemplation, and investigation for its own sake, but in today's shrinking economy that is (more and more) no longer the case. Now-a-days not only does the college as a whole feel immense budget pressure, but if individual departments don't ante up each year then they'll be on the chopping block [slashdot.org]

It's unfortunate, IMO, that most people go to college to get a job rather than to get an education.

Re:Such a quaint definition of college... (5, Insightful)

Moofie (22272) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791597)

I'm not wealthy enough to spend $50k on the joys of an abstract education. I need a job to pay for my loans.

Some people are rich, and don't have to care about that. That's great. The rest of us just gotta do what we gotta do.

Re:Such a quaint definition of college... (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791741)

Some of us live in countries where you don't pay tuition to attend tax-funded universities. Of course, it's still wise to at least consider the usefulness of your education once you have a degree (or feel sufficiently educated for those who don't care about the piece of paper).

Re:Such a quaint definition of college... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792423)

Someone pays for it in the end. "The Government" gets money from taxes. If your education is a net drain on the economy, that's no better than a net drain on the individual. It's nice to have that facility for some long-term research positions, but how many Russian Literature and/or Underwater Basketweaving experts does one country's economy need to support?

Re:Such a quaint definition of college... (0)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 2 years ago | (#39792429)

Did you copy and paste this reply? I already used the description "tax-funded" not "government-funded" so your little explanation of that part was completely pointless.

Also, it's only a net drain on the economy if you assume that no good will come from an educated population.

Re:Such a quaint definition of college... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792811)

Don't mind the cocksucking teabagging cunts that come in here. That or the passe wanna-be libertarian faggots.

Re:Such a quaint definition of college... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792839)

Also, it's only a net drain on the economy if you assume that no good will come from an educated population.

You have yet to demonstrate that it benefits society. Most "education" at university is useless, because most people in this world are in-fact stupid and incapable of ever achieving any kind of noteworthy accomplishment. As a hard working research scientist myself I am sure as hell glad that the government doesn't rob me of my hard earned money to give it to some loser to study Philosophy or Art History or some other rubbish that can be simply understood by reading a few books on your own time.

Re:Such a quaint definition of college... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39793641)

Hah, a "research scientist", in other words "the hired help". Too bad you don't have skills or talent to make any real money so now you have to whine and cry about taxes. Try creating some jobs then get back to me, douche.

Re:Such a quaint definition of college... (2)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793633)

What is so bad about taking money from a rich asshole who produces nothing but pain, suffering and occasional death, and use those money to pay for education of thousands of people who both benefit from it and do something helpful for others?

Re:Such a quaint definition of college... (3, Interesting)

DrEasy (559739) | more than 2 years ago | (#39792295)

That's why I wish vocational schools had more prestige. There needs to be clear a distinction made between learning skills and getting an education. Neither is a bad thing in itself. I believe that learning skills, at a School (could be anything, ranging from Engineering to Law, Medicine, Journalism, Design, etc), can be viewed as an investment in the future (in terms of getting a job), and as such it is ok for it to rely on tuition fees. But getting an education, at a true University (with Arts, Math, Physics, History, Social Sciences, etc.), should be something that is fully subsidized. It wouldn't cost as much as you think to fund, since not many people would gravitate toward it in the first place. Once it's made clear that a University won't get you a job, you will only have people who go there who don't quite yet know what to do with their lives (until they figure out that to get a job they should go to a School), or people who have truly scholarly interest in the topic at hand.

There would be bridges between the two, of course. Schools would most likely require some courses to be taken at a University (this way, Schools would also partially subsidize Universities).

a misunderstanding of science and engineering (3, Insightful)

Goldsmith (561202) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791483)

It's more than a little insulting when scientists and engineers are painted with the "uncreative and money grubbing" label simply because we work on things that have practical value.

I don't understand why anyone would criticize a university for training students to "serve the public" and for having an unusually happy and diverse student body.

Re:a misunderstanding of science and engineering (5, Informative)

wanax (46819) | more than 2 years ago | (#39792097)

I think you're misunderstanding the primary complaint about the venture funding bias:
1) Stanford admissions selections, while probabilistic, are dominated by socioeconomic status (this also highly correlates with several often used measures of 'smarts', like the SAT).
2) Stanford students and graduates have privileged access to venture capital funding for their start-ups.
3) This gives incentive for a certain type of highly achieving student to apply to Stanford -- those interested in receiving VC money.
4) That incentive compromises Stanford's ability as a top-tier research institution to attract students who are interested in basic research in proportion to those interested in immediately applicable research topics.
5) Without the broad basic research base, the quality of Stanford alums starts declining because their applied ideas don't use the best current science.

I don't think, even if this cycle perpetuates that it spells death to Stanford or anything, but it sure is non-optimal in terms of technological development, and it will surely also cause a dip in the quality of Stanford's research output, which has generally been extremely high in the past 40 or so years... and given the amount of GDP the Stanford has access to and their research record in the past 40 years, that's bad news not only for the US tax payer but humanity as a whole.

Re:a misunderstanding of science and engineering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792825)

Because of instead of hard sciences or real research you can waste more time making more faggoty instagram companies. Fuck your 'practical value' bullshit cuntflaps, and get back to making another piece of shit social bullshit website - sand hill road demands it, chop chop.

Jealous much, NYC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791497)

Stanford was the finalist for opening an extension in NYC, but backed out when NYC changed the terms.

William and Mary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791605)

Is William and Mary too close to Camp Perry?

Stanford Management Company, the real reason (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791635)

Stanford has become more like that. Some of this comes from a big organizational change.

I went through Stanford in the 1980s. (MSCS, 1985). Stanford hadn't really started operating innovation as a profit center at that time. Their biggest revenue patent was the one for FM music synthesis, the technology used by electronic keyboards before sampling. There's been much financial progress since then.

In 1991, Stanford spun off the management of its endowment to the http://www.smc.stanford.edu/ [slashdot.org] ">Stanford Management Company. Many universities have an organization to manage their endowment, but Stanford's is more active than most. SMC isn't on campus. It's located on Sand Hill Road, next to the famous office park where all the major venture capitalists have offices. SMC invests in venture capital firms, and this has worked out very well. Stanford directly owns part of Google, part of Cisco, part of Sun, part of Facebook... Stanford has $27 billion in investment assets. (Harvard is still ahead, at $32 billion, but Stanford is catching up.)

Arguably, Stanford is a venture capital firm which runs a school on the side for the tax break.

Re:Stanford Management Company, the real reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792155)

No, arguably Stanford is NOT a venture capital firm which runs a school on the side for the tax break, because all the profits go back to the university, and must be spent according to all the rules etc. that ensure this is spent on stuff relevant to the university. If Stanford had invested all their money in stock in oil companies, would you say Stanford was an oil company which runs a school on the side for a tax break too?

Re:Stanford Management Company, the real reason (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792451)

The whole idea of a non-profit entity is a myth. The money always goes somewhere. In a typical well-run and well-meaning non-profit charity, some of the money goes to the charity's beneficiaries (they profit), and some of it goes to pay non-volunteer employees (especially upper management), who also profit. Because the profits aren't at the "corporate" level, but instead disbursed to "beneficiaries" and "employees", we senselessly call it non-profit. In a for-profit public corporation, the shareholders form a collective entity which acts like an upper management position, and they take home profit in terms of market returns. In a private one it's the same thing, but the pool of shareholders is a small private club. There's really not a huge difference here, especially when you start bending the rules by calling SMC a non-profit university when they're raking in $27B via private equity investments. I guess the students and professors are the ultimate beneficiaries of the profits, and then buy into the system through tuition, time served, and using their talents to promote Stanford's name.

I'd take the original description a step further. Stanford is a venture capital firm which re-invests some of its profits in operating a side-business school which very successfully specializes in creating more entrepreneurs which will create more tech startups for Stanford to invest in. They've created a feedback loop of money, and the students/profs-cum-entrepreneurs and various Stanford faculty that derive money on the side from their positions in this scheme all benefit from the profits of the system as a whole.

Label it whatever you want, but they certainly don't need to steal from my income taxes to fund themselves at this point, so I'd rather they didn't get free tax-break government handouts :P

Article is obsolescent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791679)

Soon Stanford will have tens of thousands of students around the world, via the WWW.

Interesting focus (2)

jxander (2605655) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791709)

Here we have a nice article about one certain school becoming too tightly focused, and perhaps overspecialized... conveniently ignoring "sports" schools which are a complete farce as degree granting institutions.

At least Standford is dealing with marketable, long-term job creating fields. If you think they need to tweak their focus a bit, that's fair. But if you're really interested in improving the collegiate scene as a whole I'd start with the students who are lined up for the picking this Thursday (that would be the NFL Draft, for those not in the know)

Isn't Stanford within Silicon Valley? (2)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791775)

Sure Stanford is 'close' to Silicon Valley, although depends on what one means by 'too close'. If by Silicon Valley, one is talking about the Santa Clara county cities, like Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, San Jose, Milpitas, Mountain View, and just outside it, Fremont, then yeah, Stanford is just a 10 minute drive on the 280 and 20 minute drive on the 101. Fifteen minutes on El Camino Real.

TFA, it's good that Stanford & Berkeley are there to service the Bay Area companies, or whatever's left of them.

Tray Von Martin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791813)

am i the only one that thought that Stanford was a city in Florida where "Stand Your Ground' means you cna chase after a (black) youth in a hoodie and shoot him, and call it self defense

Re:Tray Von Martin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792477)

am i the only one that thought that Stanford was a city in Florida where "Stand Your Ground' means you cna chase after a (black) youth in a hoodie and shoot him, and call it self defense

But only if you're Mexican. Don't try that if you're white, or it turns into a Hate Crime.

The other way around... (5, Interesting)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791817)

It's not that Stanford is too focused on Silicon Valley. It's that Silicon Valley is too focused on Stanford.

As an outsider to the valley, I find it pretty creepy how obsessed everyone is about Stanford and Stanford grads. It's as if, when one of them walks in the room, I'm supposed to cream my jeans over his very presence. Sure, some of them are smart, but so are some east coast state school graduates, community college graduates, and non-college-grads. I don't quite understand the "oooooooh Staaaaaaanford!" aura.

It's also pretty shitty that "Went to Stanford" is often an un-spoken, "soft" job requirement for more than a few valley tech companies.

Re:The other way around... (2)

vought (160908) | more than 2 years ago | (#39792009)

Thank you for echoing what this silicon valley transplant has seen and felt during nearly 20 years here.

Stanford University is pretty much a "free hire" pass at many companies here. Based on many of the project and product managers I've met who graduated from there, that tendency has cost valley companies a lot of money, but at least the BMW dealerships and Coach stores are happy.

Re:The other way around... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792189)

Me too sirs for I have a similar problem. The university where I did my Ph.D. is not well known yet rated the best in research for its field in the UK for the last 2 Research Assessment Exercises. It must be close to being top in the entire world.

But it's not a traditionally known university. In my chosen field (related to my PhD topic) I can see new graduates from Stanford getting swept up whereas I cannot even get the time of day. If I shout about it, it seems like sour grapes; if I don't mention it, hiring managers draw their own conclusions ("is this like a community college?")

Re:The other way around... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792921)

Mention it, but in the correct way. Say, "I opted for the Blablabla uni because it consistently got the very best ratings, and I must say I really had a great time there" while smiling to yourself. do not say "arrrrgg I am such a misunderstood genius. Why will nobody hire me? Whyyyyyy?"

absurd notion (3, Interesting)

ohzero (525786) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791901)

Suggesting that because the university has fostered a large number of financially successful commercial ventures, that it could be toxic to the education of innovators is completely lame. In fact, it is so lame that I wonder if the topic was entirely made up for lack of content. Technological innovation can do 3 things that matter: 1. Advance society, making us all better in some way. 2. Foster financial stability for large numbers of people. 3. Raise questions about either number one or number two. Without financially successful technological innovation, we'd be Cuba in the 50's. Really happy, not that prosperous, and ready for a big change that would fuck us all.

Colleges are a cesspit of fraud and racketeering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792005)

It's Time To Charge Colleges With Fraud And Racketeering
http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=205124

Entrepreneurial Examples (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792075)

Main drawback of Stanford: the girls aren't hot. Maybe if they weren't so close to Silicon Valley they could attract some hotter girls.

Seriously though, the main thing about Stanford is that there are a ton of entrepreneurial examples floating around. Most people at Stanford think (whether it is true or not) along the lines of "hey, I'm as smart or smarter than that guy. I can start a company too." That's about all it takes to build a culture of entrepreneurship. This is a good thing for the ones who have what it takes to be entrepreneurs (Yes, I am biased as an alum and an entrepreneur - the programming, marketing, accounting, project classes were worth every cent) - for those who are going to be employees - not so much: I find it hard to hire from Stanford for the sheer hubris granted them by nearly guaranteed offers from Google. Berkeley kids and students from the Midwest are much more humble and a better value (also less likely to leave after a year to start their own competing startup).

Which one would you move? (1)

trancemission (823050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39792633)

Could be a big job moving a university however

Oh wait.....

those filthy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792663)

one percenter Stanford grads!

Labyrinthine Mind (4, Insightful)

djl4570 (801529) | more than 2 years ago | (#39792681)

The most labyrinthine mind I have ever met was an MIT student majoring in economics. He was hired back in the mid eighties as a summer intern at a defense contractor and tasked with writing a fairly straightforward cross reference program (One input file and one output file) for which I had prepared a Warnier diagram. He tossed the design aside and produced a program that contained seven different read statements and three different write statements. I had to debug the program afterwards; It was a virtual reconstruction of the Winchester Mystery House. I realized at that time that admission to a prestigious universities does not mean the person can produce a usable deliverable.

Re:Labyrinthine Mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39793531)

It was a virtual reconstruction of the Winchester Mystery House.

LOL, I'd never heard of that, thanks.

Makes the Pack O'Cards [packocards.co.uk] look almost sane.

wow (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792841)

This article is a California circle-jerk. Listen, Californians: nobody else cares. Can't that big earthquake happen so we can stop hearing about California ever again?

Nothing new (1)

J'raxis (248192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793279)

This is nothing new [johntaylorgatto.com] , and nothing unique to Stanford. Here's a page from history:

Three decades later at the University of Chicago, William Rainey Harper, former Chautauqua wizard, began a revolution that would change the face of American university education. ...

Harper, following the blueprint suggested by Andrew Carnegie in his powerful "Gospel of Wealth" essays, said the United States should work toward a unified scheme of education, organized vertically from kindergarten through university, horizontally through voluntary association of colleges, all supplemented by university extension courses available to everyone. Harper wrote in 1902:

The field of education is at the present time in an extremely disorganized condition. But the forces are already in existence [to change that]. Order will be secured and a great new system established, which may be designated "The American System." The important steps to be taken in working out such a system are coordination, specialization and association.

Harper and his backers regarded education purely as a commodity. Thorstein Veblen describes Harperâ(TM)s revolution this way:

The underlying business-like presumption accordingly appears to be that learning is a merchantable commodity, to be produced on a piece-rate plan, rated, bought and sold by standard units, measured, counted, and reduced to staple equivalence by impersonal, mechanical tests.

Harper believed modern business enterprise represented the highest and best type of human productive activity.

(That page is a chapter in a much larger book [johntaylorgatto.com] about the modern education system, by the way, which is well worth a read in its entirety.)

is Harvard too close to Wall St.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39793583)

Let us contemplate this...

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