Picture1

KANKANHALLI | Office Hours: An Exposé

There’s a saying that goes something like, “it’s all about who you are when nobody’s watching.” It’s the principle behind the Panopticon, but it isn’t too far removed from daily life. It’s open to interpretation, but I take it as an appeal to some internal sense of morality. Do good, be good, even in solitude, even despite an entire force of chaotic energy at your disposal. It isn’t a huge ask — maintaining civility in the absence of an audience — but, admittedly, it isn’t my natural instinct when I enter a sweet, relieving, empty room. That is what I was hoping it would be — a sweet, relieving, empty room — when I strolled into my weekly office hours on Sunday, a confidential number of minutes tardy, footlong sub in hand, ripe for consumption.

sun-ethics

MORADI | CS Needs an Ethics Requirement

Here’s a frightening proposition for this recruiting season: Cornell’s computer science undergraduates are woefully underprepared for careers in tech. Cornell’s CS undergrads are bright and technically apt. They learn from some of the best minds in the field, and they score some of the most coveted positions in the industry. It’s not that these future developers can’t solve the problems put forth before before them. It’s that they often have no idea what the problems are in the first place.

Picture1

LEUNG | (Not) Behind Closed Doors

While my professor unpackaged the books and distributed them around the room, I felt as if I was actually witnessing a part of history; as if this was something I would look back on years from now and say, that was me he handed a copy to. That was my professor. Prof. Andrew Moisey, art history and visual studies, recently published The American Fraternity. This photobook places photos that Moisey took in an unnamed fraternity at the University of California, Berkeley, in the early 2000’s next to text that comes from a 60-year-old ritual manual that was found on the fraternity’s floor. Starting in 2000, Moisey documented his younger brother’s involvement in the fraternity, from initiation rituals to drunken parties to an untimely funeral.

Picture1

RUSSELL | On Texting

She wiggled her fingers through a clump of hair and pursed her lips. “It’s not like that.”

“What’s it like then?”

“He’s just…”

“Don’t ask any questions, just answer his.”

When you spend your Tuesday evenings “studying” at Starbucks, you grow so accustomed to eavesdropping on these types of conversations you forget you’re doing it. This time, I sat on a high up wooden stool, following intently as a pair of friends went back and forth about proper etiquette when texting a guy who quite clearly isn’t “the one.”

You don’t need an Ivy League education to ascertain that texting is a lot more complicated than it should be. When I get a late night iMessage from a friend I can only wonder whether it’s the result of a brainstorming session with a panel of trusted advisors or a drunk whim from Hideaway. But that’s the beauty of it.

Picture1

PINERO | I Believe You, Brett Kavanaugh

Dear Mr. Kavanaugh,

Watching your confirmation process has caused me great distress. As the daughter of one father, it makes me sick to see a good, upstanding family man torn apart by baseless allegations. In hopes that it will help you navigate this crisis, I’ve formulated the following strategy for you and your team. First: deny, deny, deny. You’re doing a great job already, but you can’t let the pressure get to you.

Picture1

AHMAD | Who Am I?

Countless times throughout my undergraduate career as a psychology major, I’ve been forced to memorize lists of psychologists’ names and their corresponding theories. These theories are sometimes fascinating and other times mortifying (yes, I’m looking at you, Freud), but they are almost never memorable. Sure, I can generally tell you what Kohlberg’s theory of morality is, or half-heartedly explain what Piaget’s deal was. I’ve never fully understood what was up with Freud, but I could still monotonously recite his psychosexual stages if you really wanted me to. My point is, none of the details of these psychological theories ever stood out to me.

Picture1

LAM | Social Media Firms Need to Provide Tangible Services to Live on Ad Revenue

This past summer lacked one thing: a new social media fad. It seems that app developers have finally realized that an idea doesn’t cut it unless they figure out how to make money from it. Social media is a peculiar good or service in the economy. It adds some value like communications and entertainment, yet people are often unwilling to pay for access, unlike a bottle of water or a subscription to Netflix. This phenomenon is probably because of the demographics involved: teenagers or college students often don’t have a lot of cash to spare.

Picture1

VALDETARO | Our Discomfort Is Worth It

The #MeToo movement has dominated news cycle after news cycle since last October, as men, and some women, from all walks of life have been accused of sexual misconduct. This has most famously been through allegations against figures such as Harvey Weinstein, almost-Senator Judge Roy Moore, actual-Senator Al Franken, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, and now, Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. They are accused of a wide range of acts that have forced us to consider not just how we deal with the abuse of power dynamics with sex, but what that abuse should be constituted as. This more complicated, more nuanced question forces us to deal with a topic that is present not just in gender issues, but in all of society’s most contentious and most controversial topics: discomfort. Discomfort is not as often in the headlines.

Guest Room

GUEST ROOM | House Candidate Mitrano ’95 Describes Platform, Students Voting

My name is Tracy Mitrano. I am the Democratic challenger running for Congress in New York’s 23rd District against Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY). I write to urge every Cornellian to take the midterm elections seriously. If and how you vote on November 6 could well determine the kind of society and political culture that will shape your lives for decades to come. Running for political office takes grit, determination, clear vision and, most of all, strong personal values.

Picture1

WU | A Career in Finance, Ten Years After the Crisis

Ten years ago, before many of us had the requisite adult teeth to pronounce “synthetic collateralized debt obligation,” capitalism failed. Or at least it seemed that way. On September 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers, once an investment bank holding assets worth thrice the GDP of Greece, filed for bankruptcy. It was, and remains, the largest bankruptcy in American history. Markets tumbled across the globe in a housing-fueled financial crisis that wiped out over $30 trillion in wealth by March 2009.