WHO ARE college newspapers’ most avid readers? Judging by their comment sections, it’s not college students. From the Stanford Daily to the Harvard Crimson, from the Daily Californian to the Yale Daily News, we see comments from off-campus right-wingers all over. They range from the informal to the erudite; from the funny jab to the disgusting insult; from the cliché of the young troll to the diatribe of the concerned boomer—and there are a lot of them.Continue reading “Annoyed with right-wing comments on the Daily? Then revolutionize college admissions”
Category: The Contrarian
A Left Defense of Universal Basic Income
IN A WORLD in which fiscal policy becomes more complex with each passing administration, an alarmingly simple proposal like universal basic income brings all parties into a state of shock. At its core, UBI seeks to give citizens a periodic, no-strings-attached cash grant to do whatever they want. Whether you are rich or poor, from San Francisco or from Bakersfield, every so often you receive a check in the mail for a fixed amount directly from the government. You could spend it all in a one-night extravaganza or save it to buy the car you always wanted—you could even burn the money in a bonfire if you like (though I would not recommend doing so). The fundamental principle behind UBI is for citizens to choose what they want to do with their money, whatever that choice may be.
Don’t Dismantle Legacy. Expand It.
AT GREAT universities like ours, the privileged children of alumni and faculty don’t need to bribe their way in—that’s what legacy admissions are for. Since the bribery scandal broke, plenty of ink has been spilled on the ethical implications of legacy admissions. Seldom, however, are the arguments in favor of legacy taken seriously: let’s break them down.
A Protest against Protest Art
I have a weakness for protest art. I’m one of the few remaining fans of Phil Ochs, arguably one of the greatest protest singers of all time. Sixty years ago, he had a friendly rivalry with Bob Dylan. To our generation, he’s virtually unknown.
In Defense of Utopia
When I first came to Stanford, I had high hopes for the diverse intellectual atmosphere I would encounter here. And although I have met some incredibly bright and interesting people, I feel we have lost the art of discussion around campus. Conversations lack intellectual idealism and tend to narrow viewpoints to simple binaries, leaving little room for nuance. We judge ideas solely on their practicality, and have a tendency to dismiss as out of hand controversial ideologies, decreasing our ability to effectively evaluate ideas, especially those ideas we disagree with. To put it bluntly, we seek comfort, not intellectual rigor, from our discussions both inside and outside the classroom. But in so doing, we leave our opinions unchallenged, and with it, the ability to both defend and criticize our views – a tool we cannot afford to lose at a university.