About SIM – Status Quo is an Assignment where you explore the concept of the sta

About
SIM – Status Quo is an Assignment where you explore the concept of the sta

About
SIM – Status Quo is an Assignment where you explore the concept of the status quo, define keepers and changers of the status quo, and analyze how dimensions can be used to theoretically explain the status quo.
Estimated Time
An estimated 2 hours is needed to complete this activity.
The Concept of the Status Quo
Any simulation centers on the concept of a status quo. Status quo is “the existing state of affairs” (Merriam-WebsterLinks to an external site.). For our course, we focus on status quos that range from legal and political to social and economic.
Legal and Political Status Quos
Legal and political status quos include the international laws and conventions, alliances and conflicts, the national constitutions, federal and state laws and regulations, judicial rulings, and the configuration of control of an international, national, or subnational government. These legal and political status quos differ from social and economic status quos.
Social and Economic Status Quos
Social status quos are what is perceived to be moral, ethical, and just. While economic status quos are country-to-country trade and investment agreements, private business models, business-to-business agreements, and business-to-consumer relationships.
Can there be Other Status Quos?
A question that is regularly asked by students is: can there be other status quos? The answer is yes. We can have environmental, religious, linguistic, racial, ethnic, fiscal, monetary, and business status quos. We can status quos that exists on different levels, such as the status quo of your family, community, city, county, state, and country. We can even have international status quos. While we focus on legal, political, social, and economic status quos, you are right to think that other status quos exist.
Keepers and Changers
At any given time, a status quo exists. There are entities who support keeping the status quo, while there are other entities who want to change the status quo. Someone or something that wants to keep things as they are can be labeled “keepers of the status quo.” While someone or something that wants to change things as they are can be labeled “changers of the status quo.”
What is an example of Keepers and Changers?
Assume a family that has two moms and two children. The parents agree that the children should only watch 1 hour of television a day. Since they are the parents, the moms establish the status quo given their position and authority within the family.
On the other hand, the children feel that they should be able to watch 2 hours of television of day. They reason that since there is only one television in the house, they should both get 1 hour each to watch the shows of their choice.
Since the children do not agree with the status quo, they would be viewed as the “changers of the status quo”, while the parents who prefer the status quo would be viewed as the “keepers of the status quo.”
Keepers and Changers Playing in a Policy Space
A policy space is an abstraction used by political scientists to describe a more complex reality. A policy space helps us distill complex political concepts into lines, planes, or cubes. These objects, which are synonymous with 1, 2, or 3 dimensions, help us focus our attention on the political topic, issue, or status quo before us.
Dimensions of the Status Quo
Remember that the status quo is defined as the “current state of affairs”. The status quo can be abstractly placed on 1-dimension, 2-dimensions, or 3-dimension space, as depicted in the following three images. Note, in the explanation above, I referenced the idea of a 2-dimension space.
Line: 1st Dimension
A status quo can be represented as a single dimension, which is visually represented as a horizontal line. While the figure below has both a horizontal axis and a vertical axis, we can ignore the vertical axis for the moment and just focus on the line atop the horizontal axis. The line goes from 1 on the left, to 7 on the right.
Let’s return to our example of the parents and children. The status quo is that the moms only allow the children to watch 1 hour of television a day. This means we can place the status quo at the number 1 on the far left. Now, the children want to move from the left side of the line to the right side of the line. In other words, the children want to move from 1 to the number 2 or greater.
Plane: 2nd Dimension
Next, a status quo can be represented in two dimensions, which is visually represented as a plane with a horizontal axis and a vertical axis. The figure below has both axes, and it has a line in the lower left and moving to the upper right of the plane. So, the lowest point of the line is x = 1 and y = -3. While the highest point of the line is x = 7 and y = +3.
Continuing with our example, but instead of just looking at the number of hours the children get to watch television, let’s also consider their happiness on the vertical axis. Recall that the status quo is that the moms only allow the children to watch 1 hour of television a day. This means we can place the status quo at the number 1 on the far left.
With the 2-dimension space of the plane, we allow look at the children’s happiness on the vertical axis. If the children only get to watch 1 hour a day, their happiness is -3. However, if the children could watch television 2 hours a day, their happiness would increase to -2. Now, if the kids were able to watch 7 hours of television a day, their happiness would be a whopping +3.
Another way of viewing the plane is in quadrants: upper left, upper right, lower left, and lower right. The image below represents these quadrants, assuming the status quo is located in the center of the plane.
Cube: 3rd Dimension
Finally, a status quo can be represented in three dimensions, which is visually represented as a cube with three axes. The figure below has three axes: x,y,z. The bluest bubble is located on left at -3,-3,-3. The white bubble is located in the center of the cube at 0,0,0, and the reddest bubble is located at +3,+3,+3.
Please visit a 3D Model on GeogebraLinks to an external site. to explore the cube for yourself. You will be able to rotate the cube and get a clear sense of how the bubbles move from lower part of the cube on one side to the upper part of the cube on the opposite side.
Let conclude our example, by looking at three dimensions: number of hours the children get to watch television (1stdimension), their happiness (2nd dimension), and sitting time (3rd dimension).
At bluest bubble, lettered “A”, the children are watch 1 hour of television, their happiness is at its lowest, and their sitting time is at its least. As the children change the status quo, from bubbles A, to B, to C, to D, to E, to F, to G, there are three changes happening simultaneously: their hours watching TV is increasing, their happiness is increasing, and their sitting time is increasing.
I recommend you visit https://www.geogebra.org/3d/utfmwzcrLinks to an external site. to visually explore the cube for yourself and see how bubbles A through G ascend diagonally through the cube.
What are the benefits of using dimensions to explain the status quo?
There are three benefits of using dimensions to explain the status quo.
First, dimensions can be used to put the status quo in a space. By itself, status quo is an idea that exists as a definition and in our minds. However, by having this idea exists in space, we can contain the status quo. And by containing the idea, we can better explain it, especially when we introduce political actors, as you’ll find out later.
Second, political scientists use dimensions to study, analyze, and explain the status quo, as well as political behavior and political institutions. In the discipline, spatial theory Links to an external site.and spatial modeling are used to explain voter behavior, candidate behavior, and elected official behavior, among others. This form of theorizing and modeling allow us to generalize our empirical observations of politics.
Third, abstraction is a skill that each of us can discover, develop, and refine over time. Abstraction is a noted skill of individuals who study mathematics (WikipediaLinks to an external site.). While we are not study mathematics in this course, knowledge that we can develop our abstraction skill is a first step towards thinking about politics in a general, as opposed to specific, way.
Instructions
Step 1: Select a Dimension
Select one of the dimension spaces that most intrigues you.
Step 2: Clearly state your selected dimension in your submission
For example: “I selected the 1st”.
For example: “I selected the 2nd”.
For example: “I selected the 3rd”.
Step 3: Explain your Selected Dimension
In 5-sentences or more, explain the dimension you selected. You can use the following questions to help explain your choice:
Which dimension space most interests you (1, 2, or 3) and why?
What is at least one trade-off in using a dimension space versus another dimension space?
What is at least one benefit of using a dimension space versus another dimension space?
How do you think about status quo and dimension space, given the descriptions above?

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