Monday 20 April 2020

The Power of Critical Thinking

After seeing yet another Facebook platitude with some random statistics from an unknown source, with its subliminal messages (yes, plural) and fearmongering, I'm reminded how important it is that we all think for ourselves and mind the gap, between what is stated and what is unsaid, unresearched, unscientific or otherwise engendered. If only critical thinking was taught in schools. From primary school. I remember being so disappointed a number of years back now, when my eldest son was progressing to years 11/12, and his school decided not to do the International Baccalaureate. Their Critical Thinking module seemed critical then. Academic hoop jumping does not help us think. Now, more than ever, we need to read widely, and behind the numbers, as much as we can, and not just accept and repost things at face value. Those of us that can decode statistics. I look at them and get my husband, a doctor of sciences to decode them, so I am not saying we all need to be statisticians, but there are websites that explain things if we can be bothered to look at sources.

I no longer comment on 'political' posts on Facebook. I don't see the point. People will keep posting what they want to believe, however erroneous the source material, but for those of us who are in any way serious about the truth, I think we should overcome our desires to be 'right' or 'right-on' and think first before we post/repost, after all, there are so many mechanisms of control at play - in and out of the press, do we really want to be their mini-puppets of mind control? Where I mostly find Facebook unhelpful, Twitter is handier in terms of people commenting at the source, and I have found it to be a helpful means of acquiring information at the source - mind the trolls though, they really are lemmings. We really must consider before hopping on board - why are people repeating this? Is it true? Might there be an agenda? What subtle messages lie behind this statement/text?

The government is getting quite a bashing from 'people who know better.' I feel a bit sorry for them (the bashed and the bashees.)  These are unprecedented times. Wouldn't it be more helpful if we drew together despite our differences to actually make a difference as so many are doing with words of encouragement and offering to but shopping for people and so on? Of course, we need an opposition government to hold our government to account, but couldn't they, given the times, just think a little more critically before criticising? I was stunned by the tribal hatred that came out against the PM when he was in hospital. Don't people stop to think that there was a man, a partner (of a woman with child), brother son? Whatever our political allegiances, let's think before we 'speak.' The internet is fraught with hazards. And often just fraught with so much postulating and talk that would not take place face to face.