Critical Thinking

In 1905 Einstein’s mistake was to miscalculate the
clock synchronization procedure on which he based special relativity.

He might never have discovered the working math behind his theory of general relativity.

Even a genius can make mistakes. It comes down to a simple fact.

He was human and like all humans he is subject to making mistakes just like you and I.

Have you had that same feeling that you know you just did something stupid and don’t know why?

Or you made a decision and followed it up with a massive face-palm.

Coupled with the fun which is doubting your decision making capability. Wondering how you could have made that mistake…. Again!

That is followed by anger, frustration and wanting to scream like a banshee.

Instead you stand there feeling slightly ashamed, frustrated, angry, sad and stupid. Nobody has made that t-shirt yet instead you get “Been there done that, got the t-shirts!”

Most of the time the t-shirt is to boast. I was awesome or survived!

Never “I woz stupid T-shirt”.

That is a difficult pill to swallow.

To say you are wrong. It literally sticks in your throat. It feels all tight and you get defensive as well.

There are reasons for these behaviours, feelings and reactions.

That is another story. Most likely a podcast. I first have to map it out and find the flow before I can explain it in detail. So hold on to that thought.

Why are you here?

Most likely because you just did or have done stupid things repeatedly.

Or you want to learn about thinking critically. That skill that Einstein and other geniuses had or current ones have.

I know I have that t-shirt hidden away in my subconscious as well as a big hand imprint on my forehead. Which at this time in my life is fairly big, as it accentuates my concord like nose…

Based on the survey by Mindedge 61% of people thought they took critical thinking classes and 13% couldn’t remember.

Rounding that off 75% of visitors like you who come to this blog are willing to learn and develop thinking as a skill.

Or want to scratch an itch to find out why they do want to learn about critical thinking.

But if you are like me and you were never taught how to think critically. Even though everyone thinks they can think critically. Which is due to a cognitive bias. More on that later.

First ask – what is thinking critically? Do you know how to?

To be honest I didn’t know. I thought I did but in reality most of my decisions were emotionally driven. Which I didn’t fully realise.

This is the case for every person on the planet. Even Einstein assumed the clock synchronisation.

Some are less influenced by emotions than others but the reality is emotions play a big part in our decisions.

To find out why we first need to learn about some brain basics.

This is going to take you to a whole new level of brain understanding.

I am not talking about brain physiology. I am no neuroscientist.

In essence I am an analytical IT geek who works in cyber security with a fascination for psychology.

I am talking more about thinking principles.

This is the proverbial Dummies Guide to Critical Thinking.

This is the catch. If you have ever picked up a dummies guide then you know it is more complex because of its simplicity.

My aim is to achieve that level. I aim to relay the concept for you to understand but once you get that then the journey starts.

Think of analogies. They highlight relationships between words and concepts.

Although they can be simple in effect the complexity which it encompasses is revealing. It’s like peeling an onion. It makes you cry and it takes some effort to get to the core and see all the layers.

Here is an analogy example.

That’s as useful as rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic!

This uses comparison between futility of tidying up within the bigger context of a sinking doomed ship. There is so much meaning implied but the message comes across very effectively. It does require an contextual understanding of the Titanic which provides a understanding of the preceding sentence.

Good analogies evoke emotions and vivid imagination all which helps to convey a message. Analogies associate context and meanings which allows for better understanding. Really good analogies wrap this up in a single short phrase.

BTW – Approximately 79% of people have skipped to this section. 16% of you have read every word.

By the next page you will know 2 things.

First – Which mindset you possess. Secondly is this for you?

Are you in the “knowledge economy”? Then this could be for you.