Critical Thinking is the process we undertake to decern between what information is genuinely helpful to us to know, and what is not.
We take for granted that the sources of news and information that we follow are providing us with facts, when in many cases – particularly in respect of what we believe to be legitimate or ‘mainstream’ sources, the information they provide is anything but.
When you are able to ask the ‘Who’, ‘How’, ‘What’, ‘When’ and ‘Why’ type questions of yourself, and see the benefits to yourself of why it is always good for us to do so, you can then apply this way of thinking to the process of filtering all the information that comes to you in a much more reliable way.
For example, try watching, listening to or reading the same news story from a number of sources and pay attention to what comes into your view. ‘What’ are they telling you; is it fact, opinion, subjective or objective? ‘Why’ are they telling you this; ‘Who’ will benefit from you accepting what they say without question? ‘Who’ and ‘What’ is hidden from view? ‘How does someone gain or how have they been incentivised by any of this’? ‘Who’ will be disadvantaged by this; ‘How’ and in ‘What’ way?
As you begin the process of repeatedly knocking on this same door, it is just as important to view the secondary and tertiary and however many sources of news and information that you visit in the same way, and that you do not simply trust a source like the government or an apparently reputable brand just because of who they are. It is regrettably the case that they expect the majority of us to be asleep and will often exploit that fact – which makes what they are doing even worse.
When we approach the selection and appointment of Public Representatives with self-awareness and think critically about the information that greets us within that process, it will be much easier to discern between false prophets and pretenders and those who once elected, will deliver decisions on our behalf for Public Policy which is Fair, Balanced, Just and always done right.