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At Cornell anybody can walk into the library and find books in the stacks. Go to Harvard or Yale and you'll find armed guards in their way.

Cornell's libraries are gradually disappearing; they quit buying CS conference proceedings in 2008 and 95% of the books in physical sciences and engineering will be going into long term storage where you can only get them with a library card.

Recent literature will only be available by using a computer connected to the internal internet of the school, and there may be a time when all of those computers are behind a locked door and need a password.

As for "people engage in academia because they love it" I've seen at elite schools that 80%+ of the researchers are people whose parents were also researchers who started drilling into them with a young age that their life would be complete failures if they did anything else. Often they'd run so ragged publishing and perishing that it's hard to believe that they enjoy anything at all.




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