MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Thinking’

Doug Casey on Why People Outsource Their Thinking to “The Experts”

Posted by M. C. on July 8, 2021

The people who run the State have control of the money supply, the economy, the education system, and the media. They’ve gotten control of the medical system. They’re replacing traditional religion, as well, with what amounts to new secular religions; that’s an interesting twist.

Christianity is on its way out. It’s already a dead duck in Europe and is hanging on in the US only among the lower classes. The elite no longer believes in traditional religion. It’s being replaced by updated versions of Marxism, which was always a secular religion, even though it claimed to be “scientific”—like Greenism and Wokeism.

https://internationalman.com/articles/doug-casey-on-why-most-people-outsource-their-thinking-to-the-experts/

by Doug Casey

International Man: Thanks to the internet and modern technology, the average person can now access information on almost any topic with relative ease.

But it seems people are doing less critical thinking than ever.

Why do you think that is the case?

Doug Casey: Technology is a double-edged sword when it comes to critical thinking. It’s paradoxical that something so associated with knowledge and research is often at odds with wisdom. I think that’s partly because today’s technology offers instant answers—no thought required. You can go to Google, and an answer is at your fingertips. It doesn’t require research or thought—the answer just appears. It subtly obviates the need for contemplation.

Let’s first define what critical thinking is. I’d say it’s the process of questioning the validity of the assumptions and the accuracy of the data for everything. A critical thinker never assumes or takes anything for granted.

We can’t always be sure what the quality of a googled answer is, but most people assume it’s honest and correct. However, considering the nature of the people who run Google, Wikipedia, and websites of that nature, I prefer to assume that the quality of many answers is low.

In fact, the volume of data available through computer technology is so great that there’s a tendency to confuse all that quantity with quality. When the world, and the data stream, is moving very quickly, it seems you have less time to contemplate its meaning. You can get lost in it and lose perspective.

It reminds me of a scene out of the original Rollerball movie from the 1970s with James Caan. Books no longer exist. All knowledge is contained in an all-powerful computer. The scientist in charge of the computer is talking to another character and says, “Yeah, for some reason, we’ve lost the 13th century,” and he kicks the machine. It’s the only source of what used to be in millions of books.

We’re almost in a situation where everything comes from one source—basically Google—rather than researching books, getting answers from a dozen points of view, and thinking critically about their meaning. Sure, Google gives you many references. But how many others have been “cancelled?” How many considered politically incorrect are buried as deep as the 13th century in Rollerball?

International Man: Whether it’s finance, economics, politics, and many other areas, it seems almost everywhere you look, people are looking to the so-called “experts” to tell them what they should think about a given topic.

Where does this come from? How did most people come to trust the “experts”?

Doug Casey: As the amount and complexity of data grows, it’s natural to want an expert to sort it out for you. But experts are known for knowing a lot about a little, not for having broad, integrated knowledge. People understandably look to them to make decisions for them. That’s foolish. Better that you go to a philosopher than a technician when the time comes to decide on something important. But philosophers are in short supply today, so people listen to celebrities.

A celebrity is someone who’s famous for being well-known. People automatically assume that famous people must know something they don’t. The public doesn’t know much, but they know more about some celebrities than they do about their own friends, neighbors, and relatives. And that engenders trust. People trust a celebrity who endorses something he knows nothing about because they think they know him. It’s another consequence of mass media. The average person is much more likely to accept Google’s, or Wikipedia’s, or some celebrity’s opinion than to research something themselves. Critical thinking is hard work, and questioning authority doesn’t usually make you any friends.

I see it in the newsletter business all the time. Somebody who’s glib and can present well can be transformed into an instant expert, even though he knows very little—as long as he’s good at presenting and gaining people’s confidence. We see that with the talking heads on TV as well. They’re really just actors who don’t know anything, but they’re good-looking, well-promoted, and have a nice social veneer, so people trust them.

It makes no sense, and neither does the public’s obsession with credentials.

See then rest here

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Is Thinking Cancelled? – Kunstler

Posted by M. C. on July 21, 2020

The mayors of New York, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, Minneapolis, Portland, Atlanta, and Washington DC have all allowed rioting, looting, property destruction, and arson to reign in their streets, and entertained measures to defund and hogtie the police, or abolish them altogether. These are all Democratic Party-controlled cities with Democratic mayors.

Do you suppose that voters have had a good look at these scenes and concluded that the Democratic Party is perhaps uninterested in civil order? And for what purpose, exactly? Does it reflect badly on President Trump…

https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/is-thinking-cancelled/

James Howard Kunstler

Everything’s in play now. Consensual reality is on the run — the old certainties of US history and the receding promises of the future sink into a fiery sludge of the corona virus present. Things happen without apparent consequence. Authority is on the lam. Coercion stalks the land rooting out thought-crime. Fantasies and delusions rush into the space that reason has vacated in fear of its life. Maybe better not think at all. But you can’t help it, can you? To be human is to be dogged by your own thoughts.

One thought I can’t help thinking is that the failure to resolve the dishonest operations of RussiaGate is a big part of what drove authority and responsibility, those two sentinels of sanity, AWOL. The crimes of officers in the FBI, DOJ, CIA, and other agencies go unadjudicated while clear evidence of their seditious misdeeds has been publicly documented and widely published. It seems as if this great matter of attempting to overthrow the president has come down to the sheer will of William Barr and John Durham daring to ignite the engines of consequence, and you wonder if they have any idea how their stalling damages the national psyche.

General Flynn, the American Dreyfus, remains twisting slowly in the wind despite the DOJ dropping charges against him. Judge Emmet Sullivan is busy destroying the credibility and authority of the federal bench with bad faith procedural shenanigans underwritten by Ben Wittes’s Lawfare claque of Beltway shysters maneuvering in the background to protect Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Is it not past time for the DC Circuit Court of Appeals to force Judge Sullivan to end the case, or admonish and remove him?

Beyond all the legalese bullshit, an innocent man’s life is stuck unfairly and unjustly in limbo after three years of a malicious prosecution. Why has the attorney general not preferred charges against Gen. Flynn’s chief prosecutor, Brandon Van Grack — or, for that matter, against Robert Mueller, Andrew Weissmann and the whole Special Counsel staff — for withholding evidence and plenty of other obvious prosecutorial mischief? Mr. Barr has stated plainly more than once that the agency he took charge over in 2019 “us[ed] the criminal justice process as a political weapon.” Is that against the law or not? Does it injure this society to leave that question unanswered, month after month?

In a better society, the newspapers would have rushed to Gen. Flynn’s defense. Except our leading newspapers are so vested in years of their own untruth that they don’t dare to cover the story. Where is the consequence for Dean Baquet, editor of The New York Times, since Times staffer Bari Weiss disclosed his failure to control the ideological bullying, coercion, and hostility to fair play in his newsroom?  Mr. Baquet has not just wrecked an institution; he’s made the whole business of covering reality look like a hustle. Does The New York Times’s board of directors not care about its reputation? Maybe the message is: why should anyone care about his or her reputation? And what kind of culture grows out of that code?

The mayors of New York, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, Minneapolis, Portland, Atlanta, and Washington DC have all allowed rioting, looting, property destruction, and arson to reign in their streets, and entertained measures to defund and hogtie the police, or abolish them altogether. These are all Democratic Party-controlled cities with Democratic mayors.

Do you suppose that voters have had a good look at these scenes and concluded that the Democratic Party is perhaps uninterested in civil order? And for what purpose, exactly? Does it reflect badly on President Trump that the murder rate under Bill de Blasio and Lori Lightfoot is suddenly off-the-charts while they are busy undermining police authority and its ability to protect the public? What do you make of St. Louis Chief Prosecutor (effectively DA) Kim Gardner moving to prosecute Mark and Patricia McCloskey for defending their house against a mob that threatened to burn it down? Missouri governor Mike Parson declared over the weekend that he’ll pardon the couple in short order if they are charged — at last, an unequivocal and decisive action on behalf of sanity.

There will be a whole lot more in the way of real-life problems to make the American people crazy in the months ahead. We have not even cleared up the affronts to decency and reason that happened before the corona virus landed and began destroying millions of lives and livelihoods. The siren call from anarchy is already blaring. Is there anything about this republic that you think is worth defending? Is thinking cancelled?

Be seeing you

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