Thinking About Thinking

raphael_school_of_athensIt’s been a while, folks, but I’ve been busy pondering the mysteries of the universe. As you may have noted from the category, I’m all about thinking. I’ve often been told that I think too much, usually by people who I believe don’t think enough. So we’re even, I guess. Too many recycled ideas coming from them. Recycling paper and plastic, yes. Ideas, no.

The best way for us to come up with new ideas is to think, and further, to think about how we think. There’s a word for it: metacognition, which Oxford defines as “awareness and understanding of one’s own thought processes.” How did we come to believe anything to be true? In order to make any such determinations, we must exercise critical thinking, defined as “the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgement.”

There are and have been many great thinkers: Plato (that’s him with Aristotle in Raphael’s School of Athens above), that Socrates dude, Confucius Albert Einstein, Malcolm Gladwell, and René Descartes, to name a few. Descartes bet his very existence on the fact that he was thinking. I’m not saying that we all have to be that great.

I know, I know. We’re busy people. We don’t have time to ponder such things. I, for example, am busy with marathons of television series on Netflix, listening to music, and reading about the travels of this week’s celebrity boyfriend. Ah, precious time…

But… I still want to get you thinking. Here are some things that might get you thinking:

  • reading a book;
  • watching a different news channel;
  • opening a random page in the dictionary and finding a new word;
  • listening to music that you normally wouldn’t; or
  • that ancient past time silence. Oooh, weird.

And to get you started, here are some things to think about:

  • What is up with Sarah Jessica Parker trying to bring back stirrup pants? Seriously?!
  • Why do you have to take a pill to address the side effects of your other pill?
  • Why did Stephenie Meyer create vegetarian vampires in her Twilight series? Is there something profound that we can learn from this?
    Note: I love the series for entertaining distraction (one must read something besides great literature by dead people), but think there is more fun to be had with the Volturi than the Cullens—the kind of fun vampires have anyway.
  • Speaking of vegetarians, where can I go out to eat with my vegan friends? I’m just kidding—I don’t have any vegan friends. No offense, Ian McKellan (not my friend—yet).

But seriously folks, THINK. Think about anything that prejudices you against anything or anyone—yes, even vegans. Within reason, of course.

Any ideas? What do you wish people would think about? And please, no religion or politics. We can debate that over Thanksgiving dinner.

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