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greg dahlen

Alumnus, academy of achievement

TEDCRED 50+

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Shouldn't the best universities be in the best cities?

Can we agree that the best universities in America are Harvard and Stanford. Can we also agree that the top cities are Los Angeles and New York? Wouldn't one expect that the best universities would be in the best cities? Wonder why they're not.

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    Jun 23 2013: Personally speaking, university needs a relatively qiuet place so that it can devote itself to academic research, rather than the bothersome commercial elements. Thus, good universities shouldn't always in the developed areas.
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      Jun 23 2013: Yes, thanks, Billy, well, I didn't necessarily mean in, I should have said in, or near. What I'm getting at is, Stanford is the best university on the West Coast of the States, and it is near San Francisco. San Francisco is a great city, but not as great as Los Angeles. Logically, I would expect Stanford, the greatest West Coast university, to be near Los Angeles, the greatest West Coast city. What do you think?
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        Jun 24 2013: Do you mean that such stimulating cities will make the university more attractive to the talents in many fields ,which do benefit the university in many ways. Well, it's indeed a factor that people take into consideration when they are about to attend universities. And I think that such excellent universities have already considered the academic atmosphere and the economic advantages so that they choose second-tier cities as the ideal location, such as San Francisco. Because such cities' economic strength is strong enough to provide the universities with all the facilities they needs meanwhile the commercial elements in the cities won't cause too much interference to the normal academic research in the universities.
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          Jun 24 2013: Yes, exactly, that such stimulating cities will make the university more attractive to talent in many fields. You keep saying, B, that commercial elements potentially interfere with research. Can you tell me what you mean here, I see commercial elements more intertwined with research, that they stimulate each other, most commercial activity begins with research, and most research is done with an eye to the research having commercial usefulness.
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        Jun 24 2013: Sorry, I haven't express myself clearly. I totally agree with your idea that economy and academic research can stimulate each other in many fields. What I refer as "commercial elements" here are bothersome things like commerical advertisements and free vip cards for karaoke bar, which will distract our attention on some level. Maybe I'm somewhat overstating the bad effect. But I truly don't want to see such things everywhere in my university.So, I still think that university should keep a distance from the commercial things to ensure a fine academic atmosphere.
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          Jun 24 2013: When you mention those bothersome things, Billy, do you mean that they appear on campus, or that they appear in the community around the campus? I have visited a number of campuses, and I have found that they are all "clean." For example, USC is a well-known university right in the urban part of Los Angeles. The campus itself is "clean," it is not flooded with bothersome promotions, but of course if you walk into the area around it you will see many advertisements.
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        Jun 24 2013: yeah, right on the campus, though there may not be too much. Maybe the rules in your university are more strict than those in mine. In the campus, you can see trade marks on the court, commercial advertisement board beside the road and sometimes you can even see salesman distribute leaflets in front of the canteen....I fell sick when seeing such things. I sense that maybe it has something with the commercial environment around the campus and how I wish that the god could take such things away..away
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          Jun 24 2013: Well, okay, Billy, I'm sorry you're experiencing it that way. What I'm getting at in this conversation is a little different. If you look at our west coast of United states, you will see that the best university is Stanford, which is near San Francisco, about four hundred miles north of Los Angeles. And you will see that the top city is Los Angeles, in terms of how creative and productive and influential it is. So my question is, wouldn't a person expect the top university to be located near Los Angeles rather than near San Francisco? It's not a question of whether they are in the city or a few miles from the city, it's more that where you have the top university you would think it would be near the top city, but in this case, for some reason, it is not.

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