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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Thinking   Fri May 19, 2017 11:41 am

Thinking.
I’m reminded of the “Think” signs that were on all desks when I worked for IBM.  People were encouraged to “Think” resulting in numerous innovations for improvement in efficiency as well as contributing to new inventions.  George Carlin did a comedy skit about “Critical Thinking” that made much sense. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vt_5wYNkPTI.  It may be that people today have stopped thinking for themselves and rely on others, like the media, to do the thinking for them.  Critical thinking prompts one to question what they hear.  In this our age of information, we have access to much information.  Doing a search (a Google) allowing us to find information from various sources.  There is no excuse for ignorance.  Education is not dependent on attending a school.  The only prerequisite is the desire for learning.
In days past, if a student didn’t measure up, they were required to re-take the class.  Today the “no child left behind” program has led to incompetence. Although the idea was good for the benefit of disadvantaged students, it lowered the standards of education.  In days past people with a 7th grade education were more learned than many today who completed a High School education.  Reading, writing and arithmetic was something required of every child.  At the same time, students who showed excellence were advanced.  Progress gave us calculators that replaced the need to compute manually.  Relying on technology is no substitute for basic knowledge.  To rely on batteries or electricity to function can bring a job to a standstill.
 
We are inundated with information and it is up to us to determine fact from fiction.  That requires critical thinking and research.  We cannot rely on the word of “so-called” leaders to speak the truth.  We are currently experiencing that with our government.  Those who don’t think for themselves are sheep being led to the slaughter.
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Thinking   Fri May 19, 2017 2:46 pm

Not much critical thinking, reading or analysis by internet users of any age, Abe. Most are happy in their comfort zone and prefer to surround themselves with like-minded friends on social networks. I question everything, research every post that contains an opinion, and read articles from start to finish. Do I change my mind about things I believe in? Rarely, but at least I am open to opposing views if they can be verified.

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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Thinking   Sat May 20, 2017 1:14 am

Agree with what you said, Shelagh.  I admit being guilty of having shared posts on FB without checking them out.  I have changed this process and share some posts without checking with friends I trust, however my innate desire to trust is being shattered.  Thinking about the trust factor occurred to me yesterday while driving.  I trust that oncoming vehicles will stay on their side of the road and adhere to driving rules.  Imagine driving if some basic trust didn't exist.   
There are positive and negative effects on selecting like-minded friends.  That comfort zone you mentioned, at least in my view, has much to do with a trust factor as well as avoiding the frustration of trying to explain everything one says.
This past week I was asked to give an interview by an on-line book reporter related to my published books.  I was apprehensive, but agreed to the recorded interview.  The interviewer’s intro about me as an international businessman led me to suspect some set-up and I was cautious when asked about my opinion on current events in the M.E.  I recall discussions that I had with reporters during the Lebanese Civil War who expressed their frustrations with the agencies they represented that censored their reports with adjustments to suit their reading audience.  I am of the opinion that “live” reporting is more credible than edited reports.
While I think that “critical thinking” is important, I also believe that too much thinking, over analysis, can interfere with ones true feelings.  Questioning what we hear is a good habit.   Keep in mind that we live in an ever-changing world and our past views may no longer be valid.  As Ghandi said:  “Live as if you were to die tomorrow.  Learn as if you were to live forever.”

I believe that we all have those "second thoughts" and wish we "would have said" or "could have said" something different.  It is a reminder that having someone read our manuscript before publication can help to avoid confusion/misunderstanding.
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Thinking   Sat May 20, 2017 3:07 am

You might find this interesting, Abe. It's a short read:
http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/new-reuters-poll-proves-many-americans-cant-think-themselves

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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Thinking   Sat May 20, 2017 7:10 am

Excellent Shelagh.  Thanks. 
It seems that history is mentioned when reports like this are written by educated people. 
IMV, if you don't know where you came from, how will you know where you are going?  History repeating itself is nothing new.  It is much like repeating the same mistake hoping that it will eventually work, much like the "trickle down theory".  As my son says:  "What we learn from history is that we don't learn from history." (He was a history major)
Americans like the word "Free".   That is another misunderstood word.  There is always price to be paid by someone and the price is not always monetary.

Perhaps we as adults should place more emphasis on "thinking" and petition our schools to include that subject in the school's curriculum.  Parents can also challenge their children to "think" even when they are expected to obey what the parent says.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Thinking   Wed May 31, 2017 3:59 pm

When I lived in California, all education in the state was tuition free.  That meant there was no division between economic layers in attendance at public schools and state community colleges and the state university system.  The wealthy attended the private schools and colleges, but they also attended the community colleges because the offerings were grand:  piano, tennis, kayaking, boxing, running, sports, drama and of course all the regular stuff like accounting and plumbing.  Right out of high school you went to the cc.  Everyone of every age went to the community colleges.  Education was a connection to new friends, new ideas, new activities, new businesses, new jobs - we met each other in the art class or in the olympic pool and went off to start a business.  It was out of that educated melee that Silicon Valley emerged.  I put my son in the elementary school by me in Cupertino.  There was money available for advanced programs - but my son's school couldn't qualify because there were so many advanced children the state said the entire school should be designed around advanced learning.  From my perspective the technological explosion came from two factors:  1) California free state education k-university and 2) Japan being forbidden to invests in their military machine and instead invested in technology proliferation. The third factor was the movement of manufacturing to the undeveloped countries.  But it took all three factors plus.

It is the free availability of quality education for everyone - and that takes a committment to be taxed so that every school is a great school and every kid gets s tutor program to help fill gaps.  

The innovation didn't come out of the poor schools in Mississippi or the white schools in the grain and corn belt.  The innovation came from California - where all the fruit and nuts and diverse people lived and worked together until -

Until the repubs fixed property taxes at a fixed rate in California and ended free education.  The demise of the free community college and university system provided for the rise in divisiveness and lumping of poverty into the cities where education opportunities were limited. California till then recruited and trained the finest teachers in the nation and put them in their k12 system.  I was one of them.  It was a grand time to be an educator - beautiful schools and remarkable resources to be certain every child could learn at their own pace.

Quality education requires a community committment, a monetary committment and a political committement.  In concert.  We have a political football.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Thinking   Wed May 31, 2017 11:05 pm

Enjoyed your post, DK.  It confirms the advantages of a “free” education.  The “free” aspect is in reality not cost free.  Someone must pay. Tax is the method used.  In Europe where education is proclaimed “free” it is supported by taxes.  The proposals offered by Bernie Sanders for free healthcare and education have the same or similar basis for funding.  When mention is made about a European country, like Denmark, where healthcare is free as well as education, the response from some Americans say:  “Yes, but they have to pay higher taxes”  Of course they do.  What they fail to consider is that the higher taxes are for the benefit of the citizens.  Some people still complain that they have to pay school taxes when they don’t have children in school.  It is short-sighted. This attitude is a reflection of their claimed “Christian” values.  It makes a mockery out of the word “Christian” that is for many, just a title.  The campaigns of some politicians have used the “God” word to solicit votes, and it worked.  The problem, IMV, is the pure capitalistic system that is too profit oriented.  How often have you heard someone say, “What’s in it for me?” Isn’t that a greed mentality pervasive in our society?  How often have you heard the words: “Christian values”?  Does one think about those proclaimed values that are associated with their religion?  Are those “Christian” values simply “buzz” words?  Christian values, biblically speaking, are socialistic, i.e., “doing unto others…”  Socialistic democracy, as practiced in Denmark and some other European countries benefit everyone.  What is the meaning of democracy in America? 
What DK shared about the former education system in California is a good example.  The lack of education is evident in our society.
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