The california aggie
wednesday, oCTOBER 3, 2012 3
On democracy and social revitalization Steve Wozniak supports a back-to-school, back-to-basics approach
By BRIAN RILEY Aggie Science Writer
Editor’s note: This article is part two of three in a series about Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple. He will be speaking at the Mondavi Center on October 29 as part of the UC Davis College of Engineering’s 50th anniversary. Wozniak is the founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and believes in the integration of technology and education. He is currently the Chief Scientist at Fusion-IO. Steve Wozniak, affectionately known as “Woz”, is not a common household name like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, even though he has had as much, if not more, effect on the personal computer as either of these other men. After co-founding Apple with Steve Jobs, he left the company to devote his efforts to the philanthropic integration of education, politics and technology. “Steve has this saying. He’ll say: ‘A family of five deserves five votes,’ and what he means by that is: Kids don’t really have a voice in the political system like adults do,” said Matt Spergel, son of Marty Spergel, a longtime business associate of Steve Wozniak. “For the most part, [kids are] kind of excluded from the political process.” Wozniak places great emphasis on the importance of schooling in a democratic society. “[Our] educational system involves home. It involves the culture of the country,” Wozniak said. “Education is considered a right,” Wozniak continued. “It’s been considered a right for hundreds of years and that means that not just the kings and the wealthy get it, but anyone gets it. Only governments can supply it to everybody and handle that equality and fairness thing.” Wozniak also addresses the practical considerations involved.
Steve Wozniak (left) and Steve Jobs (right) founded Apple Computer in 1976. “It always boils down to money,” Wozniak said, explaining that limited budgets translate into higher studentteacher ratios, even though lower ratios are proven to provide for effective teaching environments. Wozniak believes that if a teacher really cares, then they will never let a student pass through the system without fully understanding everything along the way. This practice becomes more difficult when a teacher is responsible for more students than they can handle. Marty Spergel was present at the very first meeting of the famous Homebrew
computer club in 1975, where he met Wozniak. Later Marty became involved with both Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs in supplying parts for the manufacture of the Apple II personal computer. “There’s only one thing that’s going to turn around the economy,” said Marty. “Unless there’s demand for products and services, this country isn’t going anywhere. All of the other stuff that politicians tell you is BS.” Marty marvels at Apple’s ability to create demand, in terms of people wanting to buy their products. “People wait in line to get those prod-
ucts,” Marty said. “All you need is about another 199 companies like Apple and that'll take care of about three-fourths of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the United States.” Both Spergel and Wozniak agree that they key to achieving success, either in business or as participants in the political system, is to learn to find the basic, simple facts involved in any issue. After becoming wealthy through the growth of Apple in the early 1980s, Wozniak returned to UC Berkeley to finish his bachelor’s degree that he had left unfinished. He enrolled anonymously under the pseudonym “Rocky Racoon Clark.” As Wozniak explained in his autobiography and in other interviews, one of his classes was taught by a TA who followed an antiquated type of Marxist social philosophy. Wozniak and the TA consistently butted heads throughout the semester. Was the TA stuck in a philosophical rut? “I’m not sure what a ‘philosophical rut’ is,” he said, adding that his method of reasoning is to simply “look at new facts and judge things.” Wozniak’s influence as a core insider at Apple ended before Steve Jobs rejoined Apple as CEO in the late 1990s. Jobs decided to change Apple’s course and join forces with Bill Gates. Apple has been criticized by social activists for making contracts with manufacturers overseas who have reputations for exploiting their employees in the effort to produce inexpensive parts, a practice that has accelerated in recent years along with globalization. Wozniak is sensitive about the topic of Apple making business agreements with Microsoft and, after an hour-long telephone interview, quickly ended the interview at the mention of Gates’ name. BRIAN RILEY can be reached at email@example.com.
RainBRO band project underway at UC Davis New wristbands identify LGBT allies in Greek community By DANIELLE HUDDLESTUN Aggie News Writer
UC Davis student Kyle Prosen recently created rainBRO sweatbands, which aim to provide understanding and knowledge about concerns that members of LGBT community frequently face. “The main purpose is to identify allies within the Greek system and give training. By starting with a basic level of information, we can move forward,” Prosen said. This began as a personal project. According to Prosen, when he was first figuring out his sexuality, he felt comfortable confiding in his fraternity. He wants every student, including those not involved in Greek life, to experience this sense of comfort.
tightrope Cont. from front page Dean and Levine compiled thousands of surveys and individual student interviews, taking into consideration organizational climates, cultures, goals and institutions. In a phone interview, Dean stated that the impetus for the just-released book was the events surrounding Sept. 11 and its aftermath; the authors were interested in learning about its impact and the changes it has incurred for individuals and society. In actuality, the authors made the realization, subsequent to the research process, that this specific event has had a minimal impact on society as a whole. One key finding is that more than two-thirds of students (64 percent—up 20 percentage points since 1976) say the goal of college is to increase one’s earning power. Lane states that the idea of “earning power” can be attributed to a fault in higher education; universities once had the support of both the government and community, and have recently come under in-
“With wristbands on campus, the purpose is to identify allies. Even if you are not a member of Greek life, you can identify someone to talk to, especially if those people are your friends. It provides allies which can help point you in the right direction,” Prosen said. There are two types of wristbands: a silicone band signifies identification as an ally, while a sweatband means personal identification. “I decided to join the project because Kyle asked for some help, and since he's my friend and there aren't many members of the Greek community who are openly LGBT, it seemed like the right thing to do,” said senior genetics major Kyle Scroggins, another student primarily involved in the execution of this program.
creased scrutiny. The message of the economic value of higher education has been advocated more, rather than reinforcing the positives of a good education. Lane states that young people are a product of the forces that have shaped them; society has pushed the idea of higher education being “for the money” rather than for the nonmaterial benefits. “I would argue people coming of age in the United States have almost always been interested in ‘having a good job’ that empowered them to live a ‘comfortable lifestyle.’ However, because of the vastly changing economic structure that may play out in new ways, students are more focused on their ‘earning power’ than before,” said Joshua Hayes, UC Davis Ph.D student in sociology, in an email interview. Today’s college students were born into a world already using mobile phones, email and the Internet; by the time they entered kindergarten, text messaging and smart phones were facts of life, according to their Summary of Key Findings. Perhaps it does not come as a
According to Scroggins, the project will also give students resources to create a more comfortable and accepting environment. “I’ve personally known a few LGBT kids who were interested in Greek life, but ended up deciding against it because they didn't think that they would be accepted for being who they were, so by identifying allies within the Greek community, it will help ensure that everyone gets the college experience that they want, without having to worry about whether or not they will be accepted,” Scroggins said. Three hundred wristbands total were ordered and funded by a private donor. They are given out to the fraternities and sororities, and people can pay $1 extra for additional wristbands. Prosen is expecting his venture to expand past college and Greek life.
shock to the general public that today’s “traditional” college student (despite the ever present diversity on college campuses nationwide) is an example of our plugged-in and technology savvy generation. Dean and Levine learned through their research that an increased amount of students expressed discomfort in interacting with people via face-toface communication. Dean questioned what campus administrators can do to make sure basic communication skills are being properly reinforced. A common fault of the technological age, not mentioned in the book, is the increasingly shrinking space in response time to text messages or email, etc., Dean said. As a society, people are interacting at a greater pace and greatly diminishing the “cushion” time for making mistakes and errors, adds Dean. In terms of academics, more than two in five students report grade-point averages of A- or higher—the highest proportion in more than 40 years—but 60 percent of all students believe their grades understate the true quality of their work, the press
According to the rainBRO mission statement, the program is intended to help students become familiar with the LGBT services that are being offered, as well. “[RainBRO serves] to promote exposure of LGBT issues to the greek community and enable members of the greek community to understand some of the underlying difficulties facing the LBGT community… to make their words/actions conscious of how they relate to heterosexism, to encourage self-education for those that are willing, and to make first year LGBT Davis students feel more comfortable within the greek community,” the statement reads. Next quarter, Prosen will be working to start a similar program in UC Berkeley. DANIELLE HUDDLESTUN can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
release entitled Digital Natives Not Ready for Reality stated. Dean and Levine’s research showcases that a heavy amount of grade inflation is present on college campuses; however, students maintain that their individual grades underestimate their capacities to perform well academically. Grade inflation may not necessarily ring true for UC students in particular; the UC system stands at one end of the curve in Dean and Levine’s research. Dean and Levine’s book lacks clearly defined outlines in terms of college selectivity and acceptance rates that may explain the greater likelihood of a particular statistic in one school versus another, according to Dean. “As an employee in the university, there is definitely a push for us all to be part of ‘a successful institution.’ Good colleges have good students. Good students are happy students. They’re also successful,” Hayes said. The authors note staggering statistics in terms of students’ social lives, including: 47 percent of undergraduates say they have had a “hook up” or casual sex by the
time they graduate, and 23 percent of students had unplanned or unprotected sex because of alcohol or drug use. Dean also links the increasingly casual nature of “hook ups” and its relation to alcohol consumption with a decreased sense of true human intimacy. Hayes reiterates Dean’s statement noting that sex is being conceptualized in a different manner. The picture of the “typical” college student in today’s day and age has become greatly fractured. Lane admits that Generation on a Tightrope is being interpreted as a negative representation of today’s college generation; however, contrary to popular belief, it is simply a reflection of today’s traditional college student, in comparison to previous generations. The authors aimed to explain how the current generation can best be educated to help them better prepare for the future. “We have never had a perfect generation; with every new generation, a set of strengths, weaknesses, and challenges follow,” said Dean. GHEED SAEED can be reached at email@example.com.
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SUBLIMINAL MESSAGES DO NOT WORK