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Week 7: Charles Foster Kane vs. Sam Beckett

To vote, simply answer the following question:

Which person, if real, has the potential to offer the greatest contribution(s) to society?

Cast your vote three ways:

  • Submit your answer in the comments of this post
  • Respond via the Cornell or MIT Facebook pages
  • Tweet using the hashtag #MITCU

Need some inspiration? Learn more about Charles Foster Kane and Sam Beckett.

Representatives from the Cornell and MIT Alumni Associations will be looking for posts that are clever, witty, absurd, and downright ridiculous. The more entertaining we find your comment to be, the more likely it will tip the scale in favor of your alma mater. Voting ends each Friday at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Leave a comment


  1. Neil O

     /  November 7, 2011

    Kane is a megalomaniac who lives a life of excess in his private pleasure ground named Xanadu, all financed by yellow journalism and sensationalism with the sole intent to increase his paper’s circulation. He achieves wealth and status and little else.

    Dr. Beckett built the Quantum Leap project in order to go back and right prior wrongs. He’s trapped in an endless series of jumps that land him in the body of another person, and at each stop he addresses some misfortune in the life of the person whose body he jumped into. He never achieves wealth or status, and in fact never returns home to his own life and time even though (revealed in the finale) it seems he has the power to do so.

    Those with fabulous wealth and power have the means to influence at a grand scale, but not necessarily the wisdom to do right. It’s the modest contributions of individuals to those immediately around them, and the compounding effect of others doing the same, that makes the greatest impact to society.

    Dr. Beckett wins this one hands down.

  2. the alchemist

     /  November 7, 2011

    Sam Beckett did more to spread popular awareness of string theory than anyone else. Clearly a bigger contribution than the invention of yellow journalism.

  3. Tom Furlong

     /  November 8, 2011

    Without Charles Foster Kane Cuba would still belong to Spain. No independent Cuba = no Barcardi Rum or mojitos.

    Let me see- Cuba Libre or String Theory. No doubt which one has a greater impact on society: Bartender, another drink please, and cheers to CFKane!

  4. Jeffrey Folinus

     /  November 9, 2011

    Charles Foster Kane, certainly. And he would agree.

  5. Fei

     /  November 11, 2011

    My vote is with Sam Beckett, he spent his time helping people, righting wrongs.


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