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Right Thinking

homer brain Thinking right is right thinking.  Yes, it’s a play on words, and yes, I’m implying that those on the right of the political spectrum are better at it than those on the left.  The evidence, in measurable results, is overwhelming.  However, people on the left aren’t stupid. They’re not morons, yet when presented with the same facts, they arrive at completely different conclusions.

Some of this, of course, is because of personal bias, which isn’t limited to any one side of an issue. Conservatives can be as guilty of personal bias as can liberals.  However, once that emotional bias is set aside, something that, in my observations, conservatives are better at than liberals, and the facts are presented, liberals still get it wrong.

Why?

When I’m not writing this blog, I work in technical support. My job is to think critically and logically in order to properly diagnose computer systems.  I was trained for it from an early age by my father, who is a physicist, and I’m pretty good at it, based upon my resolution rate. I fix about 98% of the problems I face on any given day.  In other words, at the risk of sounding braggadocios, I know how to think.

In doing my job I encounter a lot of people who wrongly assume that because something happened just before their problem manifested, that it is the direct cause of their problem.  Cause and effect seem like simple things to figure out, but in truth, it’s a little more complicated.  Without going into too much detail about the analytical tools I use to solve problems, deductive versus inductive reasoning, probing questions, developing and testing hypothesis, and so on, let me just summarize by saying this.  Analytical thinking doesn’t come naturally, and in the course of human history, it’s incredibly rare. 

It is a learned skill, and just because a person is intelligent doesn’t mean they know how to harness that intelligence, or, as I like to say, “Not everyone equipped with a brain is trained in its use.”  Our public school systems share a considerable amount of blame in this. Critical thought can be taught, it can be learned, and it can be mastered. 

For the past several decades, however, the emphasis hasn’t been in critical thinking, but on social engineering.  This is evidenced in the declining scores of our students against students from other countries.  We are losing our edge as a thinking people, which is tragic.  In the first part of the 1960’s we set a goal to reach the moon in less than a decade, when the technology to do it didn’t exist.  Today, 40 years later, we set the same goal of going to the moon, but this time it’s going to take us two decades even though we already have the technology to do it. 

It may not seem important, but consider that whenever a society has embraced critical thought, it has ascended in art, science, and achievement. When that same society abandons critical thought, it fades into obscurity.  Lincoln said it best. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”

One Response to “Right Thinking”

  • 2365tog5632:

    I really admire your blog and your way of thinking. It not only makes sense, it IS sense. It has changed the way I think about various things in my life, especially about being a better man. Though I’m only 18, I look forward to being an inspiration to my siblings, friends, and cousins. Thanks for suggesting the right ways to be respected and still respectful, humble and yet proud of my accomplishments. If only everyone could take this in and get it.

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