How to do critical thinking right, and then there’s the other way

Intelligence is hot, and so are many other nice attributes. This is why we all try to achieve some of them, to attract likeminded individuals and to create a nice spot of awesomeness. Among the most wanted abilities is the one of critical thinking and in order to be able to do something like that, there’s a lot of reading and learning required in the process. However, doesn’t it seem a bit odd today, the whole discussion of critical thinking? As though it has been turned into a mutated version of itself? We’ll sort it all out right here.

How-to-do-critical-thinking-right,-and-then-there’s-the-other-way

Opinions, aren’t they great? They come in all shapes and sizes, in all forms, styles and with all levels of enthusiasm available to express. They can be of various looks in terms of structure and complexity and they may be presented through all sorts of media channels. Now, what differs a good opinion from a ridiculous one? You know, not even ridiculous but embarrassing, on the verge of bringing us all back a notch on the Darwinian scale (or whichever other scale you prefer to use as measurement). It’s the kind of opinion that invites you to wish that you were someplace far, far away.

Now, back to the part on differences. What’s so great about taking part in some session where someone actually puts their opinion in a great way, with great content and a straight point? Of course, it’s mighty helpful if the subject of choice is a bit fun or at least appeals to you in some way. Then there are a few other things important to make an opinion great. That kind of opinion is often one which has the following set of qualities;

  • It should be simply put
  • It should be critical of something
  • It should come with suggestions for further discussions
  • It should be of some value, however small, still counts
  • It should by all means be presented in a pleasant way

Now, although many opinion wizards do encourage simplicity and great presentation skills, if the content in itself is boring then it doesn’t really matter how simple or well-presented it is – it’ll still suck. Content is important, yes, but what exactly is content? Some sort of critical idea, something referring to opportunities and potential of a thing. Here’s where the fun part kicks off big times – in order to be able to critically analyze anything, you need to have some knowledge in that field. You need to stay ahead of what’s happening in that field and make sure to include what’s relevant from your findings in that critical point of view.

If a donut tastes like paper and sugary glue because you tried one, then it’s reasonable to put forward an opinion on that donut tasting like, you know, paper and glue. You could then go on and suggest to the donut-makers how they could change this situation, bringing along nice links with recipes or whatever it may be. But if you read a Tweet with some dude saying that this donut tastes horribly and without having had a taste yourself, you go on and post a petition to sue the donut company for their disgustingly tasting donuts, then that’s not much of any reliable critical point of view, is it? Likewise, if a self-proclaimed political expert tells you what to think based on the Google study he conducted two minutes before airing on your favorite news channel, that’s not going to hold it.

Even worse, if those individuals insist on making statements repetitively, criticizing anyone and everyone for some likes, swipes and follows, then you know pretty soon on what kind of person you’re dealing with here (#IndependentOpinions). The problem is that while we are all quick on judging the people hanging out on Instagram and the other social media platforms, we’re often missing out on judging what critical points of view impactful people emphasize and how that affects our daily lives. Making a statement is lovely, it’s great. It might be covered up as one of those intelligent ones with actual criticism included, but as you see from the list above, it’s pretty easy to call those people out on their arguments.

Being against everything because it’s cool isn’t really critical thinking because it lacks the part “thinking”.

Likewise, making any form of expression in order to influence people, based only on short-term mindsets, egoism and a wish to be famous is just as dumb. It creates this false attraction, in which many people trust and find to be sincere. Until someone does some research and figures out that it’s not that way at all. If you want to avoid these mutations of so-called criticism being put out there, use critical thinking regularly yourself. It’s that simple.

Do you find the line between critical thinking and bullshit to be very thin sometimes?

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