Felipe Cuatecontzi ’17 – Mar. 12 was such a busy day. In all, the class made visits to the Pew Research Center, ICANN and NPR. When the day first began, I had a hard time understanding how these organizations could possibly correlate with our class, which focuses on the rhetoric that is present in government and politics. After having discussions with the professionals of these individual organizations, I understood that these organizations were voices that fell into the relationship of government and organizations.
The first place we visited on that Wednesday morning was the Pew Research Center. It was explained to us that the Pew Research Center conducts research and polls to understand the relationship between religion and demographics in the United States. Leading the discussion was Dr. Gregory Smith, director of U.S. Religion Surveys, Religion and Public Life Project. Dr. Smith explained how religion is extremely important to monitor and analyze. Dr. Smith discussed that his research led to the conclusion that religion is the 2nd leading factor when determining the voting patterns of Americans, just behind race. This was very fascinating to hear, but what I found most fascinating was how Dr. Smith also went on to reveal that 1 in 5 Americans have no religious affiliation. These Americans are called “nones” as Dr. Smith labeled them. It was at this point in the discussion that you could notice an increase in question of how and why exactly religion is such an influence in how people vote.
After leaving the Pew Research Center, the class headed over to ICANN, The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. Personally, I think that the acronym rolls of the tongue a little easier. It was at ICANN that we met Patrick Jones ’96, who is a senior director, to engage in a discussion with him. Jones told our class that ICANN aimed at not only connecting Americans domestically, but also internationally. The purpose of ICANN is to manage Internet resources thru the Internet’s domain system. ICANN has also been aiming to extend its boundaries by connecting with multi-stakeholders and by using certain strategies to overcome obstacles that include language, government and culture ICANN has begun to do so. One thing that I found a little ironic about our visit to ICANN was that the day of our visit also happened to fall on the same date as the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web!