Social Criticism is Lazy Thinking

Why do people complain about the state of society? We all do this sometimes. We complain about the Bush administration, Dick Cheney, pollution, economic policy, declining morals, intrusive government, loss of civil rights. corporate greed, housing prices (My personal favorite!), the status of women, and a bunch of other things.

My very favorite topic of criticism happens to be the quality of thinking that underlies much of modern society. That’s why I keep blogging about social pollution. I ‘m not a super-genius but it doesn’t take one to see how many decisions are based on bad information, emotions whipped up by activists and politicians, and appeals to selfishness.

What am I going to do about it? I’ll offer a list of vaguely defined things to do. I think you should pick something and decide to do it. If you want to work with someone then send me an email.

1. Become an activist for science education! Any democratic society where many people think evolution is "just a theory"  andf chemicals are bad for you is cricling the drain.

2. Become an activist for critical thinking lessons in schools. There need to be lessons on logic and on the thinking lessons like those developed by Edward De Bono. (See http://www.edwdebono.com/cort/index.cfm for more information.)

3. Create an outrageous Web site. Pick a bad idea you’d like to shine a light on, and create a Web site like eatbabies.com. Yes, that is a real Web site.

4. Create an outrageous public demonstration. Naked chicks painted like animals works for PETA. Maybe something similar will work for fighing social pollution.

5. Write about the myths and baseless ideas that underlie modern life in some area, like social policy or lifestyles or spending habits. Pick something and get your work published whereever you can.

6. Badger politicians by auditing what they say and what they write. Publish the results in letters to the editor, Web content, or whatever you’ve got. If there is a public meeting or question and answer session maybe you can ask a valid but embarrasing question.

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~ by chetdavis on August 26, 2006.

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