Intellectual liberation

Opinion by Alizeh Ahmad
Sept. 9, 2016, 7:36 p.m.

Editor’s note: for the first edition of The Stanford Daily magazine, three opinions writers responded to the current state of Stanford’s culture. The other pieces can be read here.

Stanford air crackles. The crisp bite of new beginnings comes not from the buildings bathed in morning gold, or from the names, vestiges of the greatness of eras past, plastered across stone walls. For the electricity to arise from anything other than Stanford’s moving parts would be counterintuitive –- whirring bikes that set the mind abuzz, fervent ideation in a smattering of different tongues and the ringing of music performed with gusto cause the heart to palpitate with the breathless campus rhythm.

The university’s ever-nascent frontier mentality sets Stanford culture apart in dynamism and idealism. There is an ardor to solve, to create, to redraw lines deemed restrictive of the realization of full potential –- all for the sake of the other man or the future man, but oftentimes to shatter the grip of antiquity in the name of fresh perspectives, too. In an environment that catalyzes the collision of backgrounds and niches, all the while looking fixatedly to the future, there is little time for fruitless comparison and stagnation; what results is meritocracy.

What else results is a tendency toward collaboration. This, in my experience, meets an adherence to integrity to make the delightfully unorthodox. It is a recognition that the momentum produced by combining intellects and disciplines can be harnessed to yield otherwise inconceivable results.

Through the work of members of the Stanford community, the Farm’s innovative vigor has coursed through a variety of industries, fields and communities globally. It is not an overstatement to note that it has had a hand in directing the course of human progress in many arenas. That vigor is visible, for example, in the tech industry’s forward sprint. And it is that vigor that makes Stanford what it is -– an incubator for progress and intellectual liberation.


Contact Alizeh Ahmad at alizeha ‘at’

Login or create an account