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A Deadly Information Cascade

       The events that have recently transpired have brought with it an information cascade, put in motion by the portrayal of news through the media. The attacks by ISIS in multiple parts of the world has caused people to take to social media and other platforms in order to voice their opinions but many of these opinions are black and white and influenced by each other. This information cascade has contributed to the growing racism we continue to see in this world.

       The article I read talked about how there is no way to win against ISIS but there is a way we can lose. The article stated many different reasons but the main reasons were, “We lose the war to ISIS by being simplistic. We lose it by letting emotion overtake reason. We lose the war against ISIS by losing ourselves.” We are seeing many instances where we are losing to ISIS. People are ignoring their own beliefs by letting the media feed us information about an extremist group of a religion consisting of billions of people, people are beginning to group millions of people together based on a small fraction, and people are beginning to talk about ways to deal with these problems that are overly simplistic.

       This growing racial tension is not restricted to just the Middle East but also on our own soil. Our very own presidential candidates are resolving the problem by closing off the borders to refugees unless they are Christians and closing mosques and requiring Muslims to register for a national database. College students have taken up picket fences in order to fight for equality, an idea that we thought we had achieved. In a recent poll, an overwhelming majority voted to not allow refugees into the country. The information cascade has spread to such an extent that people are unwilling to help other human beings without homes.

      The attack on Paris was an eye-opener to the disguised problem that we all tend to overlook because it is easier. The information cascade has always been there but this event enhanced it and drove it into a downward spiral. By ignoring our own beliefs, we are letting the majority rule us and not expressing ourselves like humans should. 

Sources:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/22/opinion/sunday/how-isis-defeats-us.html?ref=opinion

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