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.
A few months ago, I found myself walking the pristine halls of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, or the SFMOMA as it’s known. Prior to the visit, I was quite excited – the SFMOMA, after all, is the home of one of my favorite paintings. I remember entering the gallery where it was featured – with its pristine white walls and tiny labels – and searching for it. I remember finding it, far bigger than I expected yet just as impactful. I remember sitting on a bench and staring at it for what felt like hours but was likely just half of one. And I remember being disappointed, deeply and utterly disappointed.
The Stanford College Republicans’ (SCR) efforts to bring themselves in line with the national party have met with mixed results. In an email sent to SCR members, a freshman member of SCR suggested that there would be little overlap between the group’s “target audience” and attendees of Stanford Admit Weekend’s community-center welcome events—or, in the words of the SCR member responsible for the email, “race-based events” like the “Chinanx [sic] Community Welcome.” Our sources tell us that SCR’s new “targeting strategy” is just the first in a series of initiatives to make SCR look more like the GOP. Other initiatives in the works include tuition subsidies for high-income students and an expansion of the group’s on-campus ammunition dump.
A few months ago, a few friends and I watched the first launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy. Half of us were transfixed. The other half thought we were wasting our time. The difference between the two camps usually comes down to whether space exploration itself is a waste of time. The first looks to space and sees nothing, but the second looks up and sees endless possibility.
On April 10, Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of Congress on how Facebook manages user data, defending his company against accusations of privacy violations. In light of this scandal, Facebook quietly dropped a plan with hospitals and health organizations to receive anonymized patient hospital records in a data sharing program that included Stanford’s own medical school. The data would be anonymized before being shared to avoid privacy violations, but Facebook planned to deanonymize the data, ostensibly to look out for users’ health. This planned invasion of privacy exemplifies the dangers of Silicon Valley’s move into the healthcare industry. If Silicon Valley tech giants become omnipresent forces in the healthcare industry, like Facebook is for social media or Amazon for e-commerce, they would be able to manipulate the decisions we make regarding our bodies, or even eliminate the possibility of freely making those choices. This is a violation of our human right to bodily autonomy, which demands that we be able to freely make choices about our bodies and that no one else make such choices without our consent.
The historical annals are replete with narratives of student heroism. The global uprising of 1968 which challenged capitalism, American imperialism, and contemporary gender and sexual norms was foremost a revolt of students. In France the memory of May 1968 endures as a moment when university students almost created a revolution while, in the States, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) flourished, mobilizing hundreds of thousands at the height of anti-Vietnam protests. But tales of student activist prowess are not limited to the New Left of 1968. The two most prominent revolts against Soviet authority – the 1956 Hungarian Uprising and Prague Spring – very prominently featured students. Even Stanford has an illustrious history of student protest, having played an important role in the movement to divest from Apartheid South Africa in the late 1970s. At their most valiant, students have articulated nuanced and insightful politics, and have led national, and even global, insurrectionary movements.
I doubt anyone will ever write a rap musical about the European Union – the idea of overpaid technocrats engaging in rap battles about banana regulations is somehow not very appealing. But there is more to this story than meets the eye. The EU is a tale of post-war quixotic dreams, and the corruption of these ideals by greed, arrogance, and unaccountability.
A short story
American politics has reached a point of stagnation. Liberals and conservatives stand in perpetual opposition and display no intention of pursuing thoughtful future avenues. The wisdom of past voices is forgotten and identity is defined in terms of difference and not shared dreams. For both liberals and conservatives, there is a dire need for redefinition. But recognition must come first.
At the last G20 summit, Xi Jinping informed Theresa May that Britain and China must ‘shelve their differences’ over Hong Kong. Xi could not be more correct. Britain has been in a state of perpetual decline since its superpower heyday in 1914. During the 20th century, Britain ceded its empire and global status without formulating a new role on the global stage. Britain’s historically backward outlook suddenly appeared to shift in 2015 with the declaration of the creative and forward-looking ‘Golden Age’ of British-Chinese relations. Predictably, Britain has since backtracked. To prevent a directionless twenty-first century, Britain must look back to China.
Whether you’re a physics major who needs to fulfil a couple of WAYS requirements, or a sociology and anthropology double major looking for an inspiring course, the Sphere has you covered. Our writers have gathered six of the most fascinating and unusual courses on offer Spring quarter.
Continue reading “Six Must-Take Humanities Classes Spring Quarter”