In the wake of the dramatic events of 2020 and the beginning of 2021, including the Covid pandemic, theending of Donald Trump’s presidency, and the assault on the Capitol, we need to step back and assess whatwe have learned about our society and where we may be heading in the future. In that spirit, you will selectONE text we have read this semester and use it to construct a simple frame or lens through which to reflect onour public or collective experience.Recall the examples we discussed in our Zoom meetings, some of which are outlined below, and consider howthey may offer ways to think carefully about what’s occurring in the world and in our lives. Remember, too, thatyou’re welcome to select a concept that we didn’t discuss together!Charles Siebert might help us think about how our selfish actions are negatively influencing both humans andanimals, and the ecological crises to which this is leading.Michael Moss might help us think more about our connection to our food, and how modern corporations havecorrupted our perceptions of well-being, leading to distressing physical and mental health consequences.Joseph Stiglitz might help us consider how modern corporations use the government to enrich themselves atthe expense of the citizenry, and the implications this has on increasing inequality and democracy.Franklin Foer might ask how our digital communication platforms are changing our habits and perceptions ofreality, and whether we are actually losing control of our ability to think critically.Ta-Nehisi Coates might help us consider the systemic racism and discrimination in America that not onlybrought us Donald Trump, but also the important and potent responses symbolized by the Black Lives Matterprotests of 2020.The idea here is to connect a few idea rich passages from the texts to relevant events. For example,Facebook, Twitter, and other online platforms that have trafficked in unrestrained propaganda and fantasticalpostings, suddenly decided in 2020 to “fact check” user content, especially political content. Why did thishappen? What does it mean? How might Foer’s text shed light on this?
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