Last night, my friends and I were being lazy and watching some TV, some Fear Factor to be precise. As we were watching the contestants dropped from 6 to the sole winner of the show, after having to swim underwater and unlatch themselves from a spinning cylinder and swim to safety, visiting the morgue and having to be zipped in a body bag with pounds and pounds of nasty bugs, and slammed into a morgue drawer until the contestant could figure out how to detach herself from the chains that were on her wrists, and unzip the body bag, and finally go across a rope and collect flags as a helicopter carries both her, the flags and the rope across the ocean. Now let me break it down for those of you not avid in fear factor: contestants get $5000 for each mission that they win (meaning that they must complete the mission and receive the fastest time in completing it), if they refuse, or quit a mission they are eliminated from the competition, the slowest times also get eliminated. Now the sole winner at the end who scores the highest overall points wins $50,000. Keeping all this in mind, my friends and I debated on whether we would go on the show at all. I sided with three of my friends, we thought that going on the show was not an option for us at all; first of all in game show economics $50,000 is a complete rip off. Who wants to be a Millionaire has a huge pay off, and you don’t have to eat nasty bugs. Among other alternatives are wheel of fortune and jeopardy where you win money in a rather lazy, risk free way. In Fear Factor, you are not guaranteed any money at all, and to receive the money you must be the best, and not quit. Not only must you do your best to win, you have to do better than everyone else’s best as well. Now let’s say you put in 100% effort, and your competition also puts in 100%, but their 100% beats your 100%, this makes you a loser despite giving it your all. Now what exactly is $50,000? To me and many of my friends it’s what we will be making straight out of college as engineers, and lawyers. It’s a year’s salary. My friend the future lawyer, says that not only is it what he will be making once he gets out of school, but also that he doesn’t value money enough to have to do dumb stuff on television. The risk, or the possible adventures or thrills don’t add up to $50,000. Now that brings the counterpoint of one of my friends, he said that $50,000 today is worth more than $50,000 one year from now, its money that you can invest, or spend to create more money later. It’s also what I learned in my Engineering Economics class, a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow. While this may be so, $50,000 is not enough for me to succumb to being trapped with bugs, or eating bugs, or having anything to do with bugs at all. Now if the prize was $100,000 I guess I’d have to sign up.