Exercise for the Reader

Don Shiraishi tells the following story:...

When Don attended college, pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering, he had a friend who majored in Chemistry. Don played a pretty sharp game of chess and enjoyed other games as well. His friend was not as good a chess player, but studied other games well enough to review new games for gamer magazines and write articles on how to play one side or another in the battle of Midway or the Arab-Israeli 1967 war.

Don graduated. His friend graduated. They lost contact.

Years later, Don got a visit from the Naval Investigative Service, who asked about his friend. "Was he really serious about games, or did he just play around?" they asked. Don told them that his friend had been pretty serious about his games. His friend, you see, had applied for a job writing war games for use in training commanders in tactics when the fleet received a new, longer-range anti-air missile or when the Soviets deployed a quieter submarine.

So here is today's question: If education is an investment, a deferral of current consumption made in anticipation of higher income, material or otherwise, later (you got a better definition? And don't get all mystical), when Don's friend was in college studying Chemistry and playing Lee at Gettysburg, which was his education and which was his recreation?

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