Critical Thinking

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Two days ago I was having dinner with some friends and family.  Predictably politics crept into the conversation.  At that time it was revealed to me that President Obama has no less than 80 aliases and as many social security numbers.  I thought at first it was a joke.  But no, it was declared to be true by several people at the table.  When I asked where this information came from, just as predictably I found out it was “on the internet”.

Consider this.  If I send an email to everyone declaring that a new elementary sub-atomic particle exists it would be very difficult, probably impossible for the recipients to prove that it “does not” exist.  Never the less it is not sufficient for me to declare the “possibility” that such a particle exists just because it cannot be disproved.  To be taken seriously I have to provide some evidence that this particles exists.

In the Wild West free-for-all world of the internet this is not always the case.  It seems that anyone, no matter their political party affiliation, can make a declarative statement with no evidence to support it and when it is read and passed on by like minded people it just takes on a life of its own.  Very soon you find yourself seated at a table with a group of very smart people, some with post-graduate educations repeating what they read like it was chipped in stone.

Please, keep your minds open.  Think critically.  The world we live in depends on it.



4 thoughts on “Critical Thinking

  1. MJ/Grady

    If you would like another side of the coin, watch “Free Speech TV” on directive tv. You will see portions of news stories that you see on national network tv, that give a very different twist to what has been reported and makes it a whole different outcome…true or false? If what you are watching is what you believe, think of how you can take a written article and take out key points and what you thought was the truth is now a different has to read or watch or listening to more than one point if view to get to their own conclusion, but is that conclusion the truth or just their version of the truth. Just like in statistics, the outcome can be slanted to whatever one wants the end result to be. Example being…a juror and listening to two lawyers tell the truth about what happened. Who do you believe? My conclusion is that pretty much one believes the person close to their core values. Regardless of the Internet, news media, books, radio, tv. Magazines , newspaper, it is only their version of the truth. Now if it was Paul Harvey! Everyone believed him. And of course “Father Knows Best”..
    I personally believe that actions speak louder than words. Did you know that I too have many more aliases than just the name most of my family and friends know me by and if asked someone close to me would say not so..try this and critically think about it..Jane, MaryJane, Mary, MJ, M.J., Mary Jane, Mary Jane J., Mary Jane Jane, May J. Jane , ..I won’t even go to the last name/names, or the combination. So my point is that I agree. Don’t believe everything you hear, see, read, get all sides and points of view and come to you own conclusion.

    1. twintahoe Post author

      When I used the term alias I meant it in the dictionary sense, that is an name assumed by someone to conceal their identity.
      Your examples are more like nicknames and probably not used to conceal your identity.

      a·li·as [ey-lee-uhs] Show IPA noun, plural a·li·as·es, adverb
      a false name used to conceal one’s identity; an assumed name: The police files indicate that “Smith” is an alias for Simpson.

  2. MJ/Grady

    I don’t know if “they” call them Alais..all I know is that the state of Texas considers me Mary and I have never been Mary in my life..the other names I mentioned are also names various entities have decided to name me. When I sign legal documents I am required to sign a statement that I am not those people even though some consider those names my legal name. No, I have never tried to deceive anyone with those names, although many call me them.

  3. MJ/Grady

    By the way, I put “alias” in google for a definition and it serves as a fine example of exactly what we are talking about…I was using one definition of alias and you were using another which totally changes the meaning of the conversation….your definition of an illegal use of other names for nefarious reason, and mine for other names that I am called by. Once again, when critical thinking is applied, a conversion can still be misconstrued if both parties do not know what each person is using for a definition. There are a multitude of definitions of alias. However, when I reread your first note, someone having a number of social security numbers would make a critical thinking person assume your definition. I was addressing the names, not the SS.


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