My Daddy can Beat your Daddy

That was one of the taunts I heard as a child growing up in New York City.  Physical strength was revered over any other “manly” quality and certainly over grace, charm, and integrity.  It was all about who could win in a fist to fist competition.  Doesn’t that sound a bit childish to everyone?

Well, so does tit for tat threats rather than diplomacy and a sense of community on this blue marble we all live on together.  One of the latest that reminds me of the nuclear escalation games we played decades ago is now cyber warfare.  Take a look for yourself. Read this New York Times article.

So, rather than discussing our differences and agreeing that the well being of our world depends upon a sense of community and caring, we now see digital warfare escalation.  Can’t everyone see that this bravado does little to dissuade anyone from doing the wrong thing and actually invites would be small players to strike the first blow?

I don’t know how many of you remember the movie War Games, but the premise was that human compassion would threaten our nuclear readiness so the decision about missile launch would be left to a computer system called WOPR (War Operation Plan Response.)  A kid hacking into the network accidentally triggers it into a world war countdown which gets aborted at the last minute when this kid is taken to the command center and teaches the computer system to consider the outcome.  When he succeeds, the computer says something we should all consider.

“Strange game”  “The only winning move appears to be not to play the game at all.”


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