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Word Count: 999
Reality is merely an illusion albeit a very persistent one These words by Albert Einstein beautifully sum up the Allegory of the Cave of Plato In Platos cave prisoners are chained facing a wall they cannot see anything except the shadows on that wall which are being cast by objects placed in front of a fire Those prisoners do not see the fire nor the objects The shadows on the wall are their only reality and they have been exposed to this illusion all their life in a persistent and exclusive manner I think the easiest and the most obvious analogy to make is that of todays mainstream televised media for example CNN news in the US Most of the people in the US cannot see or experience events in other countries and they rely on CNN to get their information Since they have been exposed to CNN all their life and since CNN seems to report all domestic events accurately this majority of citizens assume that CNNs reporting of foreign events must be similarly accurate even though they have no way of verifying this accuracy In my opinion this is similar to the first stage of the Cave Allegory belief Just like the prisoners in the cave believe that the shadows are real objects in their own sense the viewers believe that the foreign news they see on CNN is the truth In the next stage one of the prisoners breaks his chains and is able to turn around He sees the fire and the objects casting shadows on the wall He is deeply perplexed Similarly one of the viewers leaves the comfort of his couch and travels abroad he is also perplexed when he notes discrepancies in CNNs reporting of foreign events This discovery spurs a flurry of thoughts questions and even fear In Platos text the prisoner then leaves the cave through a long steep tunnel The viewer is
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