Our Generation’s Finest Minds

In Our Generation’s Finest Minds, in the 4/1/2014 Stanford Review, John Luttig and Miller Aaron discuss the extent to which today’s most talented students focus on money-making opportunities rather than on solving serious problems facing America. (Luttig is credited as an author in the paper publication, but not the online one.)

Here’s an excerpt:

At the most recent Stanford computer science career fair, there was a line of about 20 eager Stanford students attempting to talk with recruiters wearing bright yellow shirts from Snapchat. … These social platforms have spawned a very substantial consumer marketplace. This marketplace, however, is dominated by companies that focus on entertainment and gaming. … Jeff Hammerbacher, the founder of Cloudera, mourned this phenomenon: “the best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads.” …what if this brainpower were invested in solving the challenging problems in science or in fixing our nation’s educational shortcomings? … Although entrepreneurship is at a historic high… is the true power of computers being harnessed to solve the most urgent problems of our time?