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Sunday, November 20, 2005

the best kind of contest

As 'ambitious' Harvard elites vying for résumé-worthy achievements and accolades, most of us were raised to think (and actually believe, on some level) that zero-sum is the only worthy game in town. What good is winning if no one else loses? But Harvard Green Campus Initiative, organizer of the 'emPOWER harvard' campaign, has devised a competition boasting the best of both capitalistic and communitarian ideal-typical worlds: the kind of merit-based contest (neither random nor rigged) where winners earn prizes and bragging rights by virtue of their efforts, where everyone can potentially win simultaneously, and where everyone's efforts benefit the community as a whole. Not even the Crimson can resist Harvard environmentalist groups' feel-good/do-good strategies that have helped the University earn a 2005 Green Power Leadership Award. So take 20 seconds out of your pre-Thanksgiving-frenzy day to sign the online emPOWER harvard pledge, help earn renewable energy certificates (RECs) to offset energy costs in your house, and, in short, do what Harvard kids like us do best: win big.

2 Comments:

At 10:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Katie, for showing us that Harvard students can be as patronizing to each other as they tend to be to the rest of the outside world.

 
At 11:34 PM, Blogger katie loncke said...

hey, dude, i include myself in the pool i mock. i'm not above a little ego stroke every now and again. 'specially if it means i get a tree-hugger badge of honor.

do you disagree that the concept of competition is heavily associated with 'beating other people,' particularly here at harvard?

if so, do you think we should celebrate everyone-wins scenarios that provide an alternative to this vision?

in the same everyone-wins vein, a friend forwarded me an interesting recent nyt editorial that argued for 'integration' as the u.s.'s new foreign policy doctrine. i don't agree with all the reasoning behind this version of international 'integration,' but it's worth a look.

http://web.lexis-nexis.com.ezp2.harvard.edu/universe/document?_m=5fec07eaa70529944a8b5de1c3c8278c&_docnum=2&wchp=dGLbVlz-zSkVb&_md5=606d0cfbbf0a364b7543496b28c33861

or if you have timesselect, richard haass 'is there a doctrine in the house?'

 

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