I asked the lifeguard at the Stanford pool if I could look in lost & found for some goggles I left there last week.
He said they don’t give goggles back to people because there is a “pinkeye threat.”
Then he said, “We usually just give them to Goodwill.”
I assume you see the problem here?
Actually, this is susceptible to at least two interpretations. The first is the Paternalistic Interpretation. On the Paternalistic Interpretation, Goodwill cleans goggles donated to it. But Stanford doesn’t trust its high-achieving high-iq high-functioning students to do so themselves, even if it were to kindly offer the suggestion. The Paternalistic Interpretation jibes nicely with most of Stanford’s other policies, like the bike tickets, the coercing many undergrads into buying terrible food at outrageous prices (antitrust division, are you listening?), the party policies, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum.
But I, as well as Adam, prefer the second, which we can call the Ebenezer Scrooge/Machiavelli Interpretation, viz.,
“Apparently those suckers who shop at Goodwill deserve pinkeye?”
On the Ebenezer Scrooge/Machiavelli Interpretation, Stanford is finally striking a mighty blow in the perennial town-vs-gown conflict by infecting Palo Alto thrift store hipsters (or just anyone without a Google Engineer-sized clothes budget) with a dread disease. Somewhere in Hennessy’s office, there’s a Leninist, who thinks that if Palo Alto is made to appear to sufficiently oppress the hipsters, the contradictions in the suburban yuppie system will be revealed, the proletariat will arise and seize the means of latte production, the City Arborist will be sent to the guillotine, and the Stanford University Police Department will finally get to do the job that it’s been training for all these years under the guise of harassing students with parking and bike tickets: move in while the city is in chaos, establish martial law, commandeer a fleet of priuses and invade the county seat (wherever it is) to overturn the land use plan and then use slave labor from Facebook to erect a gigantic pink smoke-belching eyesore on top of the dish just to express its dominance, Caligula-style. I, for one, welcome our new… oh, buggerit.