Critical Thinking

According to Wikipedia, Critical thinking is the objective analysis of facts to form a judgment.

Critical thinking, although being developed by humans for over 2500 years, owes its formalisation and early documentation to Socrates. His insight was that we cannot depend upon those in authority to have sound knowledge and insight in the subjects they are governing.

This seems to have been picked upon lately, and exploited in the resurgence of popularism. Just look at the mis-information from the likes of Trump, Bolsonaro and more directly, France’s Gilets Jaunes.

The skill of critical thinking is now, more than ever, a required skill for a modern world invaded with information (and mis-information) spewing out from the high pressure firehose of the Internet and its Social Media networks.

Take a step back, think about the links between the information you’re exposed to. Try to determine the ‘real’ importance of what you’re being told. Build counter-arguments as a mental exercise, this challenges your confirmation biases. Look out for inconsistencies in the arguments and approach your ingestion of information in a consistent and systematic way. Lastly, use empathy to look at the argument from the point of view of others, even if you don’t believe in it.

24 January 2019, F.W.I