Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"Stop, hey, what's that sound?"

"There is a loftier ambition than merely to stand high in the world. 
It is to stoop down and lift mankind a little higher"
-Henry Van Dyke

Sounds like an innocent statement right? On a personal level, it might be easily done, but it was apparent to me today in my Political Science class with Prof. Suzuki that the world has a long way to go
The prisoner's dilemma. Although many forms of this situation were discussed today (one of which involved stags and a can understand why I came up with my own version), I couldn't help but think of the old, low-budget television show Friend or Foe.

As with any game show, the major premise was to (what else) win money. How they went about filling their bank account is not relevant to my point but in the end, the top two contestants had to make one of two choices which, combined, came out to four outcomes. The choices were friend or foe and neither contestant knew prior to their choice what the other had or would pick. 

If both chose friend, they would split the money. If both chose foe, neither would get the money. If one chose foe and the other, friend, the contestant who chose foe would get the entire prize to himself. 

So what would you chose? For a single contestant's ideal outcome, he would chose foe, although this is in hopes that the other contestant would chose friend. For the best outcome for both, one would chose friend, but this is taking the risk that the other will not chose foe and, thus, take all of the winnings. 

The point is, you can never count on what the other person will do. So is it every man for himself, or do you try to be the "better" person? Is this situation proving the idea that "nice guys finish last" or is re-enforcing the fact that we can all come out a little bit better if we compromise.

If you've kept up, you can understand that the "prisoner's dilemma" is very similar to the world's "security dilemma".  Or even the world's struggle with capping ozone-eating smokestacks. In any case, it's hard to count on what 

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

"We are living in a media world"

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
When I was younger, my "aspirations" changed from day to day. Whether on a given day I was fighting fires in my mind or chasing down vicious criminals, one factor remained unchanged: I wanted to help people. Now, twelve plus years later, here I sit, beginning my journey to a degree in Journalism. I must admit, upon making this decision, I felt a little selfish; I felt as if I was taking a path that would lead me to doing anything but helping mankind. Turns out, I was extremely wrong.
After my first Journalism 101 class today in the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, I remembered why I had chosen the field in the first place. The media is all around us. If not for the media, how would the average citizen be able to hear and understand the views of candidates running for election? If not for the media, how would organizations like the Humane Society or campaigns like the "Live Above the Influence" campaign against drugs get their message out to the masses as they do with newspapers and television ads?
Although the media is obviously changing, I believe that it is not withering away, it is simply upgrading. In fifty years from now, whether I'm checking the weather for my grandson's soccer game or looking to adopt a new pet, I'll still be receiving the amount of information I need and demand (even if it is through a chip in my arm); and in fifty years, I'll look back at my first few days as a college student and be glad that I chose a major that could help me make a difference.