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If you haven’t seen "The Big Short" yet, see it. The movie is based on Michael Lewis’s 2010 book, “The Big Short,” about a handful of players who foresaw the 2007 housing bubble and subsequent crisis (a topic covered extensively in a slew of courses on campus and likely familiar to a decent portion of the student body here). The great mix of emotional storytelling and meaningful questions makes it one of my favorite movies of the past few years. If this were a work of pure fiction, I’d still love it - and that scares me. The fact that I was so riled up without knowing the factual accuracy is a recipe for misinformation. We have to understand that this is a movie first and an analysis of the financial crisis second. My opinion of the financial crisis already aligned with the narrative of the movie. It’s easy to watch a great story that simply confirms everything you already believe to be true. But that sort of blind acceptance just makes me uncomfortable, so I did a lot of thinking and a little research. In the name of making a good story, the movie makers and Lewis himself had to make heroes and villians arbitrarily.
The walls of The Daily Princetonian newsroom at 48 University Place are lined with books of our community’s shared history. Each book holds one year’s worth of issues of the 'Prince,' and in them you can find columns, articles and photographs that document snapshots of the University’s history all the way back to our founding in 1876.
Sometimes it’s okay to be a contrarian, particularly when it involves pop culture or Canada Goose jackets.
The bubonic plague, swine flu, ebola, meng — it never ends. There is always some scourge to hide from, to escape. And now, the most horrific condition is pervading society: introversion.
There are supposedly a lot of reasons to believe in climate change, but honestly, none of them ever really sold me. I’m not a scientist, but I got the feeling that this was one big conspiracy theory orchestrated by Obama and the Left. However, this December made me think — could climate change actually be happening?
When a friend of mine from Israel traveled to Berlin for vacation, she mailed me a postcard. The cover, a stock photograph of Brandenburg Gate, was pretty, but she uploads her own professional quality photographs to Facebook often. Hearing from her was pleasant, but she could have messaged me on WhatsApp. Really, technology has made the postcard obsolete. This, of course, is the reason her postcard was so special.
In the spirit of formulating a New Year's resolution, I’ve been reflecting on how I’ve grown during my Princeton experience and where I want to find myself on graduation day in a few short months. As a result, I found myself being nostalgic thinking about activities I used to do. I’m sure most Princetonians can think of an activity they’ve — for lack of a better word — quit. Yet “quitting” has a negative connotation that I think is undeserved because it’s rarely out of sheer laziness that we choose to suspend an activity. Whether it’s a varsity athlete who had to give up other sports to focus on one, or an artist or scientist who had to give up other hobbies too, I don’t think it should be frowned upon to deliberately quit an activity when we choose to spend our time in another way.
I have spent more time with needles in my arm than I had anticipated in the basement of Frist Campus Center. Two times were for the infamous meningitis shots, known for the ensuing arm pain. Apparently, that is the limit for most Princetonians when it comes to needles and Frist. More recently, however, I went to donate blood in that same multipurpose room.
The conventional wisdom that Ivy Leaguers are vacuumed up by finance and consulting firms at the expense of “non-traditional” careers has been so thoroughly discussed by students and pundits that “finance-and-consulting” may as well be a single word. David Brooks blames the “brain drain” on students with a “blinkered view of their options,” Bill Deresiwicz blames “entitled little shits” with a “stunted sense of purpose.” Whatever the cause, it bespeaks a bewildering lack of initiative that so few careers are open to us — or, more accurately, that we are open to so few careers.
On Dec. 16, the University offered early action admission to 785 students. Of the 4,229 students who applied, the vast majority were deferred for reconsideration during the regular decision process. Last year, columnist Marni Morse wrote about Princeton’s extraordinarily high deferral rate compared to peer institutions. During the 2014 Early Action round, 78.9 percent of applicants were deferred, while only 1.3 percent were rejected. High deferral rates not only confuse candidates, but also prolongs the stress of the admissions process. The Editorial Board calls on the Office of Admissions to reduce the number of deferrals and give out more definite decisions to its early admit pool.
“I know eating meat is morally indefensible, but I do it anyway.” This is a quote I’ve heard from more than one friend of mine. The morality of eating meat has been on my mind for at least a year, and after much thought I have been forced to come to the conclusion that in most cases, it is unethical. While the environmental impact of eating meat is large, to me, the biggest problem is the slaughter of farm animals. We all agree that purposefully killing a human is very, very wrong. The same reasoning should apply to all things with consciousness as well. Although these animals are less intelligent than us, most of them in adulthood are likely more intelligent than newborn humans, whom we all agree shouldn’t be killed. To make matters worse, farm animals are often held in very cramped housing, fed unnatural foods and, in general, treated immorally in their often short trips from birth to the slaughterhouse. With all this, it’s fairly clear that meat is ethically unsound.
If you’ve flipped open a copy of this paper to the Opinion section sometime in the past month, you’ve probably seen somebody discussing (and, in most cases, ardently defending) the so-called “right to offend.” It’s been invoked most frequently in the aftermath of the Black Justice League’s recent sit-in in Nassau Hall, and in response to protests at Columbia and Yale. It’s also been examined multiple times with respect to a more general framework of what it means to be in college in 2015.
Compared to the job search my classmates and I face, the sophomore stress over where to eat next year may seem a bit trivial. However, with the focus this campus puts on eating options, you could think students were choosing majors or jobs instead of menus. Eating clubs are such a central part of life at the University that the everyday words repurposed to describe the clubs — Bicker, hosing, discussions — all seem to have gained undeserved capital and significance in day-to-day life in the Bubble.
I have seen them throughout my college years. In fact, I have been one of them in the past.
Our employers ask us, “Before we hire you, we want to know — what are your views on women’s rights, given you’re in the Muslim Students Association?”
What if I told you that the University is tracking your every move? It knows whether or not you’re skipping breakfast, which dorm you visit to see a partner, whether you go back to your own room for the night and, if you do, the exact time you get there.
Starbucks’s red Christmas cups made national news this season. People complained that their plain red design was a symbol of the culture “war on Christmas” in the public sphere. Donald Trump even suggested boycotting Starbucks because of its choice in holiday design. And while this became a national controversy, there seemed to be less national or campus outrage in response to a Bloomingdale’s advertisement that insinuated rape. I don’t understand how the first caused so much anger and the second didn’t.
Firestone Library has seen hundreds of Princeton seniors make themselves at home among its labyrinthine stacks as they race to finish their theses. It is undoubtedly the library that sees the most traffic at the University, and it has recently undergone extensive renovations to make the space a more welcoming one for students who spend much of their time holed up inside its walls. In the several months that I was writing my own thesis at Firestone, however, it was those very walls that made me feel most unwelcome.
By the Alliance of Jewish Progressives
With course selection fast approaching, I am reminded that, as a sophomore, I am left with the inadequate time frame of one more semester to come to terms with the limitations of my skill set, the scope of my academic passions and the professional realities a certain degree might produce for me. As a lover of the humanities who has been sidetracked by some ill-defined yet insuppressible attraction toward the pragmatic, employable and fiercely pertinent intellect of STEM concentrators, I have hoped that some level of reflection would bring me closer to discovering the exact origins of this feeling of vocational uncertainty that I have and whether it is at all remediable.