Alternative Facts, Perception, and Critical Thinking

David Meltzer discusses alternative facts and critical thinking
“Alternative Facts” – Making America think again

This is not a political blog, but I believe these tumultuous political times have helped many to realize the importance of critical thinking. Critical thinking is awareness. Awareness allows us to interpret the results of effective analysis through the use of skills, tools and/or techniques. Of course, we cannot use this type of awareness for everyday decision-making, unless we want to be slowed down by too much critical thinking. We can, however, use this higher level of thinking, higher consciousness, and awareness, to help us sift through the BS.

Leveraging Data

Like the students at the University of Washington who take the “calling bullshit in the age of big data” class, this is an age where we are forced to sift through a ton of content. An enormous amount of information is available and all of these skills, tools, and techniques can come in handy to utilize that information. The battle most recently over how many attended the inauguration and the infamous press conference of “alternative facts” that unfolded since that event is absolutely a test or critical analysis of one’s perception.

Cause and Effect

Many view the “alternative facts” that were presented as lies that are totally unacceptable. Many take a tough view because lies, especially told under the spotlight in a press conference by an important Press Secretary, are always found out because the truth vibrates the fastest. It is not our job to put judgments, conditions, or excessive analysis upon facts because they’re truly meaningless. We have the power, and our thoughts put the meaning into the effect. We, through our thoughts, awareness, and critical thinking are actually the cause of the effect. I would argue, though, that the “alternative facts” are just a difference of perception, even though you may mathematically be able to prove them as untrue. Our perceptions are our reality and that is not something that is easily affected by others.

You better think

What this situation should teach us is when it comes to awareness and critical thinking, our thinking is the cause and our perception is the effect. That is how a Press Secretary can get in front of millions of people and state “alternative facts” while others perceive them as nothing more than lies. We need to make America, as a whole, think again in order to “be great again”.

By: David Meltzer


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