A monkey hangs from a tree overlooking a river and therein sees a fish. The monkey sees it flailing and struggling in the water and considers how the fish must be in distress completely submerged. The monkey sees the fish has no legs or arms so there must be no way for it to get out of the water and save itself. So the monkey has compassion on the fish and reaches in to brings the fish to dry land saving the fish. Much to the monkey’s delight, it sees the fish can finally rest after a long struggle in the water as it falls into a deep slumber.
One understands from this story the fish is not sleeping, but has been killed unintentionally. This story points out how different contexts can allow different beings to thrive within them. The setting, or context, plays a major role in the fish’s ability to live. Similarly the Center for Information and Communication Science (CICS) is affected by its own context, the United States of America. One question stemming from this analogy is, “How does the US impact CICS, just as water and dry land have different impacts on the fish?”
Before assessments can be made about the value of the context, it is first important to understand the nature of the fish. The major mission of CICS is to develop leaders in the professional sector between business and technology. This goal is met through a rigorous Master of Science program in Information and Communication Technologies at Ball State University. There are factors of the United States context which give life to CICS while other aspects have a killing affect.
One way the USA is water to CICS is through its emphasis on information and information technology development. This has sparked opportunities for CICS to grow and develop utilizing materials provided within the US. There are a plethora of technology companies seeking advancement and development in the information field created many opportunities due to the monetary investment of the nation. The environment calls for programs to produce people who have experience with information technologies. CICS recognizes this and develops leaders in the field to meet this need for experienced professionals. CICS provides this experiences with information technologies in their courses to stimulate learning helping graduates thrive in the ICT field.
Another aspect of the US context which helps CICS grow is through the connectivity of the nation. For better, or worse, the United States is becoming a more interconnected place. One example comes from the development of the Internet of Things (IoT). A major research area within the US right now is the IoT or the interconnection of all devices to provide information one may need at any given time. Allowing communication to flow freely between any platform whether it is a refrigerator, car, television, phone, computer, or toilet. Information is being sent between multiple objects to render potential problems as solutions. This growth and development in information development requires leaders to be at the forefront providing CICS with a great purpose and identity in the US.
The US is a life-giving place for CICS to grow and develop. This keeps CICS developing and swimming. If the US was not a context in which CICS could develop, it too would be sleeping restfully on the dry land as the monkey sits by feeling good about its heroism. This however is not the case, and until the context of the US becomes detrimental to CICS, or the identity of CICS fundamentally changes so it may not thrive, i.e. if a fish were to sprout lungs, then the success and life of CICS will continue on.