Critical thinking

posted by Jeff | Thursday, October 25, 2012, 9:51 AM | comments: 0

I noticed this morning, in the weird tired state that comes with getting up early for an early flight, that I haven't written anything all week. Or more specifically, I haven't posted anything this week.

The truth is that I've written quite a bit. I get a few paragraphs in, or even finish, and I decide not to post. I actually felt almost cowardly about it, as though I was filtering because I didn't value what I had to say. As most anyone who knows me personally would tell you, I'm not really one to filter. I tend to be very direct because I feel it's the most efficient way to communicate.

What I think is really going on is that I've started to apply critical thinking to writing, in a way that I haven't before. In fact, I'm even thinking about the value of this kind of thinking when it comes to something as relatively unimportant as a personal blog. Do I short circuit my own discovery when I'm not talking "out loud?"

It's easy to take things at face value. The simplest explanation isn't always the right one, but we want it to be. Look at the political discourse in the US. Politicians spoon-feed the simplest nonsense to people and they willingly gulp it down and accept it. The availability of information hasn't led us to carefully consider it, perhaps because the volume of it is too daunting. We take the easy way out.

My frustration with our culture's reluctance to dig a little deeper and be informed is pretty obvious, and not something I've done any filtering on. I think that's why I've applied more critical thinking to writing. I can't bitch at everyone else and not hold myself to the same standard.


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