Big Ideas Big Problems Analysis

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“I saw it on the news; therefore, I know everything about the situation.” And “Did you see that headline? I cannot believe that happened.” These are both examples of things we would say after simply seeing a news headline or a few minutes of media coverage on a recent event. Many of us presume that we are being presented with all the information. In Stefan Halpers article, “Big Ideas, Big Problems” he expresses that we are often susceptible to “Big Ideas” and the “sloganeering” of major events. This in turn causes “Big Problems” because the slogans lack detail and accuracy. He offers powerful support of his ideas in the form of real world examples, expert opinions, and a subtle counter argument; therefore, making his argument credible and…show more content…
Most commonly quoted is George F Keenan, an American diplomat and historian, and his observation that “Truth is a poor competitor in the marketplace of ideas” (Halper 92). Halper agrees with Keenan in that the truth is sometimes overlooked when we are presented with a big idea or “slogan.” Overall concepts and issues are hidden behind eye catching phrases that give the audience an impression of understanding. Halper also quotes a couple well known columnists including, Joseph Alosp and James Reston. Alsop (Washington Post) and Reston (The New York Times) both “reported local developments through the lens of Big Ideas” (Halper 94). Halper continues to explain that these columnists would write about the domino theory and that one after another countries were going to fall under communism (94). However, a nay-sayer might argue that this is exactly the problem that Halper is trying to express. They could argue that he is referencing these “experts” that are committing this fallacy themselves. But never the less, showing that he has properly found other professional references and opinions on the matter helps justify Halper in his argument tremendously. It helps create a seemingly unbiased argument that many readers would find stable and
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