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Miles Seeley reports: "Re HP, I have spoken to perhaps a dozen people about the Compaq/HP merger. All agree that it is being done mostly because Carly wants to make her mark; and the best thing for HP would be to stick to its basics, at which it has succeeded admirably. All wish the Hewlitt family luck in their lawsuit".

My comment: Say money, not mark. I cannot speak to the merits of the merger, but I am struck by the fact that, while there is debate as to whether 15 or 45 thousand would be fired under the merger, there is no mention of the large bonuses top executives would earn. Their giving up these bonuses would make their actions less reprehensible.

Stanford would be a much better place if it paid attention to my advice, which it seldom does. Commencement ceremonies should provide an opportunity for the world to become familiar with academic leaders. Many universities use the occasion to get publicity by having people like comedian Bob Hope give the commencement address and then receive an honorary degree. Stanford, which does not give honorary degrees, until s few years ago invited leading academic figures to give the commencement address. Then, having become very publicity conscious, it began to invite names known to the public at large. I protested, and made a careful survey of all Stanford's commencement speakers since its founding. With one exception, their excellent speeches had been well received. My complaint was thrown into the waste paper basket.

Last year Carly Fiorina gave the commencement address. Although she was not a leading academic figure, and despite student protests, it seemed not too bad a choice. Now, whatever happens, her name will henceforth be associated with doubtful business practices. This year the commencement address will be given by Condoleezza Rice. She is an efficient aide to President Bush, but she is not a major academic figure. For her sake and for that of the US, I hope the Near East does not become another Vietnam.

Ronald Hilton - 4/13/02