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Response #1

Throughout the analytical works “Demagoguery and Democracy” by Patricia Roberts-Miller, “Reality Bites” by Dana Cloud, and even a 2018 podcast by the name of “The Business of Internet Outrage” by  “The Daily” produced by The New York Times, there is a common theme that society has devolved into one based on division and ignorance of mind. In other words, naive realism. Throughout all of these works, the author makes a detailed argument building up ho naive realism effects contemporary society. 

In her work, “Demagoguery and Democracy”, Roberts-Miller frames most of American society to live in naive realism, in which “Many people believe that it is both possible and desirable to perceive the world exactly as it is, with no mediation; the most ‘objective’ view with the least interpretation, a mental state to which one can will – oneself largely by rejecting complicated thinking about the situation”(Roberts-Miller). Naive realism is a concept that revolves around the ideal that people see the world as it is presented. A clear example of this can be seen in “The Daily” podcast which was produced by The New York Times. In it, either Christy or Corey, who are the owners of a big conservative facebook page Mad World News, mentioned that they “got better at what topics were reliable. Popular cop stories. If there’s something about a cop tried to do their jobs thugs use them as punching bags what kinds of headlines could get people to click”(The Daily). This quote specifically refers to the ideology that put America into the state of naive realism that is mentioned by Roberts-Miller. This can be seen in both the consumer and provider of information in this case. With the consumer most likely not fact checking the source of the article and simply accepting it for what it is. On top of this, the provider is only in it for the money, or is at least mainly motivated by obtaining money, and unaware of their real effect on society, living with the “if other people did it, it can’t be that bad” which falls into its own level of naive realism.

Although all of this seems to fit hand in hand, Cloud’s opinion on the subject is for a different reason which most importantly is not opposed to the idea that naive realism is destroying American society. Cloud writes “fact checking is an ideological distraction that prevents ordinary people from assessing the claims that guide perception and action from understanding truth as something more complex than facts”(Cloud 74). This quote supports the idea that fact checking contributes in its own way to naive realism in the way that it is possible to not have a clear view on life even from the “enlightened” standpoint of trying to fact check. Or at least the idea that trying to solely fact check everything will inevitably lead to falling into the pit of naive realism itself with the truth being lost in the search for clarity. 

 At the end of the day, naive realism can be seen in everyone to an extent. The most clear example that is directly seen in contemporary society with the example of “The Daily” podcast with Corey and Christy promoting, yet also falling victim to naive realism. This can also be seen on the other side of the spectrum when people fall into heavy reliance on fact checking. As a whole, naive realism is the major idea that Roberts-Miller and Cloud were alluding to when talking about what has impacted the transformation of contemporary society the most.


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