Monday, June 16, 2014

Critical Thinking Is Becoming Passe In The 21st Century

Any one (and as I look about me it appears to be an increasing few) with two critical thinking brain cells to rub together can see that critical thinking is becoming passé in the 21st century. But, there's the rub, I think one needs to have more than two to actually achieve a critical mass to engage in any sort of critical thought. What is more, is that the incredible cause for this bizarre dichotomy may be no more further away than the nearest internet capable device. It's fucking destroying any real discourse.

As this century devolves, it no longer comes as any surprise that when you go to sleep one night knowing that Native Americans are called Native Americans and when you wake up the next morning with news sites blaring headlines that exclaim, "Obama Visits Indian Country". "What the fuck?" no longer is standard operating procedure. No one seems to be questioning the change and you feel like changing your name to Winston Smith just so you can fall on the right side of whatever it is you're suppose to be allowed to be. You read history that the people of the United States were "war weary" after World War II only to discover that there have been almost 300 wars since then and the United States, war weary though it may be, strapped for cash though it may be, has started more than three-fourths of those wars. Then your head may start to have a slight but oddly persistence throbbing when realizing the last time the U.S. Congress declared war was for World War II! If you're lucky, though, your Winston Smith kicks in and you forget that because of that fact, every war since World War II has been illegal under the Constitution.

Because it takes some critical thought and at least a passing knowledge of history to realize that the United States is nothing more than a two party dictatorship, that doesn't prevent most folks from slipping and sliding down the same muddy hillside into the same muddy pig pen of the usual suspects to argue over. Incessant, pointless non-critical thinking "discussions" about the same issues that haven't really changed for decades. Abortion. Guns. Illegal Aliens. Racial divisiveness. And the new kid on the block, man-made climate change. The internet and its chat forums, instant messaging and so forth, have turned this devolving century's concept of a critical thinking "discussion" into a putrid cesspool of ad hominem, straw men fallacy, hasty generalization, begging the question, false cause, false dichotomy, ad ignorantum, burden of proof reversal, non sequitur, and/or bandwagon fallacy. This devolution allows for the impersonal aspect of any internet "chat" and for the "winner" of any argument to be self-proclaimed and to take their ball and go home, in a virtual sort of way.

Yet, there are even more "tools" to be used over the internet, thanks to the continued use and popularization by the Mainstream Media (MSM), politicians and progressive/regressive websites of two Orwellian words; Orwellian because their meanings have been changed into pejoratives. "Truthers", as if the truth is now a bad thing, and "haters", as if pointing out negatives is now a, well, hateful idea. The use of these pejoratives allows the so-called critical thinker to deliver an imaginary and devastating blow to the other person and allows themselves to be awash in the false knowledge of smug superiority over mere human peons.

It's not that the MSM is completely negligent in their reporting. We know that our computers and televisions, which are equipped with microphones and cameras are routinely used to spy on us, whether by governmental agencies or perverted hackers (which one might say could be one in the same). We find ourselves completely unalarmed by this apparently (there have been no riots in the streets over these facts) and when chatting with someone about the latest cool car or game, we do not blink an eye when ads start popping up on our devices exhorting us to purchase the very thing we had just been talking about!

You are devolving now into a bunch of Winston Smiths and soon you'll be arguing with me that 2+2 = 5 and will have been programmed enough to send whatever people you feel compelled to, and have them start snapping my finger bones when I say 2+2 = 4 just once too often.

And don't get me started about auto-correct!


Eric Sloane said...

To quote actor William Hurt:
"The internet is making us stupid."

Fonkius Maximus said...

You are mistaken, sir. 2+2 never equaled 4. It has always equaled 5. Except when it equaled 3. Which it doesn't, it equals 5.