DERISIVELY KNOWN as “Bushmen,” the San people of South Africa suffered the fate of many other hunter-gatherer communities. First threatened by African farmers with a more settled way of life, San society was dealt its mortal blow by the entry of Europeans. Following their arrival in Cape Town in 1652, the Dutch treated the indigenous people of South Africa as vermin—massacring the San in the thousands and cowing them into submission. Little evidence was left of their culture, though the cave art that adorns rocks across Southern Africa gives us a momentary glance into their worldview.
THE FIRM. That’s what they call McKinsey & Company, and the leading F in Firm is richly deserved. The consultants are everywhere. Corporations, governments, the most prominent NGOs… Consultants apply their know-how and unimpeachable credentials to the problems of every company with the money to afford their fees. And they do indeed solve problems—they boil the data down to transferrable sets of questions that allow inexperienced recent grads to pretend to make a difference.
THE STATE of religion in politics today is a disappointment to those who hear echoes of fire in the voices of the prophets. Historically, the Left has veered away from religion. Today, it has considered religion primarily through the challenge of defending marginalized groups. But it must move beyond that and recognize the transformative power of the religious imagination to inspire change. Only a pluralist project of prophetic vision can accomplish the task.
WINTER QUARTER. Frigid in ambient air temperature, but typically also in spirit. To warm you in the coming months—and to offer entertaining, educational respites between pluvial sprints across the quad—the Sphere has compiled an alphabetized list of the most scintillating classes at Stanford. In recognition of recent (frightening) events on the global political stage, we’ve especially tried to identify classes to help you make sense of the months ahead. Worried about imminent war with Iran? Try POLISCI 245R with Abbas Milani. More generally anxious about authoritarian politics both at home and abroad? We have a seminar for that, too. Keep reading below for our longest course list yet.
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.