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The Search for Wisdom

Posted By: Randy GageFebruary 29, 2016

No matter what you may be wondering about, there is someone who is eagerly waiting to tell you what to think.

The pundits on CNN and FOX will let you know who really won the last presidential debate. The analysts on ESPN will inform you which NFL quarterbacks deserve the “elite” label.  And the culture critics will let you know if the opera, play, or symphony that you attended last night was any good.

Of course you could figure all those things out for yourself...

But then you’d have to make a decision to become a critical thinker, and consciously think about what you think about.   I believe this critical thinking process is more important to achieving wisdom, than even education.  Because the value of any education is directly proportionate to your ability to effectively and productively process what you’re being taught.

This process of critical thinking, by its very nature becomes an ongoing one.  A process that provides you with continually increasing benefits.  Even exponential benefits, because as your knowledge base builds, you are able to realize higher levels of deduction, insight, and enlightenment.

The process often starts with contrarianism.

But please don’t confuse being a contrarian with automatic wisdom. Because if your default setting is to be a contrarian on everything – you are as easily programmed and misled as the unconscious people who allow others to direct them what to think.  Someone only need tell you that it’s sunny outside and they know you will immediately grab your umbrella.

It is only when you question premises, rationally evaluate their merits, and come to a logical conclusion that you break free of doctrines, dogma, and memes.

Another necessary component on the path to wisdom is curiosity.

Curiosity is what creates passion for learning. The most intellectually developed people are usually the most curious.  If you want to grow and develop, you must maintain your child-like curiosity about the world around you.   Just being curious is not enough, however...

You also need the next component, that of discipline.

Casual curiosity will lead you to investigate things that have surface interest for you.  That’s a good thing, because it ignites the spark of learning.  But learning of real substance requires discipline.

Meaning that it will require you to go deeper, studying things that never occurred to you, or don’t seem as appealing.  Disciplined learning (like a university education, or following a curriculum prepared by a coach or mentor for example) requires you to learn about things you may not have otherwise thought about studying.

For example, I have an audio series on the great philosophies of the world, and another on the principles of Objectivism.  They both give me a headache.  When I listen to them, I have to pause and replay, look up the meaning of new words, or just stop and process what I just heard so often, that they literally give me a headache.

But that’s the good kind of headache.  The type that comes from stretching your brain around new concepts, absorbing new vocabulary, and experiencing fresh thought patterns.

The final component I will suggest for developing wisdom is your capability for discernment.

Discernment is having the ability to form opinions by distinguishing and objectively evaluating information presented to you.  This skill is what allows you to make sound judgments.

Unfortunately discernment is a lost virtuosity in today’s world.  It is for this reason that we have presidential candidates and other leaders who are able to exploit people; playing on their fears and prejudices.  Leaders who do this take people down paths that aren’t for their highest good, and are sometimes dangerous.

As curiosity causes you to explore foundations, and contrarianism causes you to question premises – discernment requires that you evaluate information for danger signs like underlying motives, conflicting principles, faulty logic, incongruent philosophy, or emotional manipulation.

Sadly, there are way too many people walking around today with worthiness and self-esteem issues.  They’re desperately looking for people to tell them what to think – to take away the pressure of having to make decisions, discern truth from fiction, and think for themselves.

Simply being smart or educated is not the automatic cure for this…

Oftentimes the smarter you are, the greater the likelihood you are intellectually lazy.  This is evidenced by otherwise rational people, supporting a candidate like Bernie Sanders. (As opposed to compassionate but naive, young idealists – who are supposed to support someone like that.)  Or otherwise intelligent people of conscience voting for Donald Trump.

Intellectual people realize everything presented to them (including this blog), comes shaded with some bias.  When you filter everything through these attributes of contrarianism, curiosity, discipline, and discernment – you increase your likelihood to reach logical conclusions, draw rational inferences, and make sound decisions.

More importantly, each day you move closer toward wisdom.

-RG

111 comments on “The Search for Wisdom”

  1. I love this sentence "Because the value of any education is directly proportionate to your ability to effectively and productively process what you’re being taught."
    I am 100% sure that the most important thing I gained from my university education wasn't the degree, but instead the push in the right direction towards critical thinking, and the importance of asking questions.

  2. Randy, grow a pair and state where the problem of lack of critical thinking stems from - religion.  When we are younger, we are taught the bullshit religious dogma that our parents follow.  We do not question any of the crazy ideology (in my case, I was Catholic and it was considered a sin to eat meat on Friday - one of only dozens of crazy bullshit ideas pushed by the Catholic Church) for fear of being a "Doubting Thomas".  Until people realize that religion is nothing more than antiquated ideas formed by misogynistic males that want to control others, there will never be critical thinking.

  3. MariaJansson I agree.  College does not teach much specifically that pertains to the line of work you are finally going to partake in but it does help indoctrinate two things (hopefully) - discipline and critical thinking (unless you attend a religious college).

  4. pandkenterprises  So lack of critical thinking is solely the fault of religion?  I would argue that any critical thinking leads you to wonder what this world and this life is all about.  How can one not wonder about the spiritual world and it's influence, despite the influence of man.  In the end, from my observation, everyone makes up their own mind about religion anyway, whether they attend a place of worship or not.  Faith can be much more powerful than knowledge in the most dire situations.  I don't think religion can take the sole blame for lack of critical thinking.  Many people do not take things word for word and will find as the go along from what they've been told, that they will definitely question those ideas, as you clearly have.  And that's fine, but I believe most people question those things at some point, because even if they don't, a friend or co-worker or relative will, causing them to think more about it.  I understand what you're saying but I don't blame religion solely for lack of critical thinking.  It is a personal choice to not question things.

  5. This is a clear example of rational thinking. What a man or woman thinks determines what they do, not what someone tells or teaches them to think. You have given me channel markers that will protect me from going off the deep end...if I heed them.

  6. pandkenterprises MariaJansson I thoroughly enjoyed all my years in school, but critical thinking was what I needed the most. (I grew up in an extremely religious family..)

  7. Anthonydavid11 pandkenterprises Your response clearly shows that you do not discern what you read.  Nowhere in my post did I state "solely".  I believe politicians and news agencies are just as much to blame.  What I stated was religion is the place where it starts because most people are indoctrinated into some form of religion when they are very young.  With religion, you are continually told to have "blind faith".  Actually, practitioners that follow blindly without questioning are considered especially pious (in any other areas of life, you would be considered credulous). If someone wants to believe that an imaginary friend hovering in the sky will capriciously bestow them with miracles, so be it.  All I ask is for those people that believe such supernatural nonsense to please do not vote or get on a jury.  There are already too many problems with our political system and too many innocent people incarcerated.

  8. MariaJansson pandkenterprises Sorry to hear that.  I grew up in a moderately religious family, but as with all religious people we would pick and choose what we really wanted to follow from the Bible.  The main problem I experienced was attending a Catholic school for nine years.  I felt like a round peg in a square hole, to say the least.  All of the academic teachings were shadowed by Catholicism ideology.  Even at an early age, I did not believe most of the bullshit that was spoonfed to us (the eating meat on Friday thing, the Pope had a direct hotline to God, the priest changes wine into the blood of Christ, birth control is bad, etc., etc.).  Although I am straight and cannot speak definitively for a homosexual individual, I think I can empathize as to how they feel in a system where they just don't fit in.

  9. Hi Randy,
    I can see that you are moving into a higher plane of Philosophy to the level of Socrates or Plato...
    Btw, we will appreciate very much if you will make a Deep Topic that we have been lied to for a very long time...
    That our Earth is not a Sphere but Flat and the reason behind their lies.
    Cam you Stretch more your Philosophical Critical Thinking about this topic?
    We will appreciate very much your reply.
    Cheers,
    Rich

  10. @rich Yes we have known for a long time that the earth is flat.  I believe they are keeping it a secret, because they are afraid that you would walk to the edge and fall off. -RG

  11. pandkenterprises Not sure I would say the lack of critical thinking stems from religion.  I could just as easily make the argument that religion comes from a lack of critical thinking.  In any event, we can certainly say organized religion today does much to depress rationality and critical thinking. -RG

  12. Lack of any real choice - you have this blowhard on one side, and on the other side Grandma is a criminal and Grandpa is a commie; we are locked into a two party system, and people refuse to stop and realize that we could easily break it with some critical thinking... 🙂

  13. Oh, my, Randy! Well, I always leave a Comment when I read a blog post. My take-away is that discussion, dialog and free thinking are alive and well on this web site, post and Comments. 
    I also find in the discussions here, those who maintain they are critically thinking while being judgmental against others with opposing views, are exhibiting a tendency to generalize. They rely on false premises to draw false conclusions, in order to propagate support for their point of view. 
    Your post is strong, until I hit your politically grounded paragraph. When I read, "Oftentimes the smarter you are, the greater the likelihood you are intellectually lazy," I think, "Who sez?" 🙂 It is a false premise, followed by false conclusions. The whole post would be much stronger without that paragraph.

    As long as we continue talking, hashing out the discussion, a great deal of good will happen, though. A bit of open-mindedness will help as well. All sides of an argument have good and bad points, while nuances may be sadly swept away by sweeping generalizations. One must be vigilant to consider all sides and all folds of the blanket.
    In closing, as a side-note, those thinking they are educated critical thinkers, because they attended academic institutions, are often the most uncritically thinking of all. In fact, about all academic institutions can grant to critical thinkers, is to show them how much they don't know. This truly is the most important thing learned, long before critical thinking, which is not awarded along with a diploma, can properly evolve.
     

    Thank you, Randy, for the opportunity to read and share your thoughts. Looking forward to more.

  14. No critical thinking skills!! It's so obvious that the Clinton's and the Trumps are in cahoots. They are very good friends. And folks can't even see through it. Hillary would not have run again without planting a lot of tricks. And who better to trick than Americans "the leading people that fall for the Okey Doke!!

  15. That's true Pauline Resnik, but at Donald's and Hillary's level it's a you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours game. Watch what I tell you. This election is going to be handed to Hillary. "It's all a setup!!" Hillary and Donald are in Cahoots. And Politicians who are great are masters at manipulation.

  16. Both political wings are of the same bird. The new world order. You never here them talking about the things they are in agreement on. As they work together towards the goal they both have. You only here them talk about the things the disagree upon. Things like gay marriage, abortion or rebel flags. That are designed to leave the masses squabbling. ( by design )

  17. There's so much good that comes from thinking & then stop and think again!
    Discernment is where choice comes from!
    Lazy thinkers react to their first thoughts & are quick to blame!

  18. I was just conversing with a friend about this very subject. We talked a little about yellow journalism and I told him that it has changed to yellow Facebook instead. Critical thinking is indeed a needed skill in our world....

  19. IMHO the groundswell of support for Trump is not so much supporting him on everything but more a statement we've been hearing for the last 8 years years : Throw the bums out! All of them! They are voted in and do not listen to the voters or pay attention to their frustrations that nothing changes in DC. It's time for old politics to get out of the way. And personally, I think because of the anti-establishment anger, Trump may be the only one with a chance to beat Hillary.

  20. Trump will win because we're tired of neocons in both parties engaging in unlawful and perpetual war. Between Bush's invasion of Iraq, his occupation of Afghanistan, Obama's bombing of Libya (which violated the War Powers Act), Obama's arming of Syrians, and Bernie Sanders' funding of the bombings in Yemen and Tanzania, only one man has stood out against these crimes, and that is Donald Trump. Trump also will end NAFTA, GATT, and CAFTA. You neocons are truly stupid people. 16 years of war, and 24 years of faulty trade agreements, and what do you have to show for it?

  21. That's why the Clinton machine are Masters of Manipulation Michelle. That's how you and the majority of people are supposed to answer. The Clinton's would not run a 3rd time without a guarantee. Trump believe you me has got a guarantee as well. CAHOOTS!!!!

  22. Communist always starts out as socialist!!! For the good of all people is total BS who in their right mind would give the fruits of their labor to a central body of government to be dispersed equally amongst the little people ?? That is totally freaking retarded!! No way a central body of government could do a power grab from that is there ??? Socialism is a step below communism period !!

  23. If you think Bernie Sanders is a communist then you need a class in remedial political science. There is a huge difference between democratic socialism and communism.

  24. Everyone quit drinking the koolaide. All parties have their own agenda. While we are all working and doing what we should be doing. They are creating all these barriers between us.

  25. Trump is also creating more alienation in our country and abroad. He doesn't intimidate others... he fuels his 'hate' and it's resonating with communities. This is disgusting for all of us.

  26. Y'all already are living in a social democratic society of these states. I can understand all of us 1% holding onto our money and not helping anyone else have a life.

  27. Just do we want from government. What do we expect it to be ......our everyday "parent". And that's just talking domestically.

  28. Sorry you have it backwards. He is intimidating others. The establishment wants to stop him because they know he will make this country great again. He's not playing by their rules and they hate that. He takes no money so he can't be controlled by anyone.

  29. On Trump I hear a pissed off American who wants to fix things and make this country great. The bullies are the GOP Establishment.

  30. It's not about him taking money. He's a self-serving narcissist and his mission is to put a 'TRUMP' banner over the WH. This is similar to a foreign leader in history

  31. Ok so how many of you want to py higher taxes, provide free college for everyone, free phones, free housing, free medical, free food and how about free auto insurance. We could all just take home less work more. Would that make everyone happy. There are no free rides someone has to pay. Why should we punish individuals for being successful. I understand that maybe not everyone has the same opportunities. However, if we all have to work to improve our lifestyle shouldn't everyone else. So no matter what side you are on just vote. Even with all the candidates out there there's not one I'm 100% with. Just think in the future since no one I know is running the Obamas, Clinton's, Bush's are grooming future generations in their families to run. I'm tired of all of them. It's time for someone different. How very sad is that. Maybe one of you will run for office.

  32. Hatred of what they believe was sacred!! That we would never rise to the highest office in the world!!!

  33. Trump would be a win for the American people. We would have the people actually elect a president instead of the two parties. He accepts no money from superpaks. He would be beholden to no special interests. That would be quite a change for the good...

  34. Hitlers Nazi party started as a socialist idea. The Soviet Union was socialism on steroids. The new generation of voters doesn't quite understand that because political correct is taught in schools now, not basic history. Trump is far from my first choice, but he is better than anyone else this election cycle.

  35. They also don't want to look at what Socialism recently did to Greece and Venezuela, totally wrecked their economies. Even the Nordic countries started steering away from Socialism in the 90's and switched to market economies so they would survive...

  36. Because most rich educated Americans are subtle racist and they like what he stands for. He's their hidden voice

  37. Fact is my take hone salary has been higher when a democrat is in office...I guess this goes against the grain, but it is soooo true...living well and feeling blessed...

  38. You are obviously a hard working individual. You should be very proud of your accomplishments you have achieved.

  39. I too am very fortunate. But again have worked for I have. People of all parties work hard. There's nothing better then when I go out as a consumer to have choices. Also very happy to have choices who we can each vote for.

  40. Key word, intelligent. Fact is most Americans aren't politically informed. They imagine that, a successful business man will make a successful president. Not true. A business is ran like a dictatorship, while a government is negotiations. In fact trump, won't be able to do anything without congress and or senate. Somebody tell that to the Americans.

  41. Danny Cabrera Tienes un mejor salario que hace 8 anhos Por que seguiste estuduando y trabajaste duro hiciste buenas decisiones en tu carrera nada tiene que hacer con el gobierno democrata o republicano porque si fuera asi no habria desempleo o tanta gente pidiendo food stamps Medicare etc trabajaste duro y tuvistes buenas decisiones
    Por eso Estas mejor U0001f600

  42. This is going to crush Hillary. None of the other candidates have a chance against Hillary. Her and Bill are two powerful. I see so many people calling Trump a liar and questioning his integrity. But none of the other candidates would come close to beating Hillary. Trump has the best shot at keeping a evil power hungry Wall Street driven evil from destroying our country. A vote for Cruz or Rubio is a vote for Hillary in November.

  43. Remember hold them all accountable for their promises. No matter what party you are for think about what is right. I'm not going to be a sheep or drink the koolaide. Thank goodness for free will.

  44. Good points Tia, but it really has nothing to do with all that..its just luck...I was very good in the previous Clinton era too..again all luck...its just coincidence that it happened...thats my point...i dont like politics and with all respect it doesnt really matter to me...i vote for Kermit the Frog!!! U0001f609U0001f44d

  45. Trump is Hitler reincarnated. Does anyone seriously want him to be President? It's sad if you do. He would declare war on himself if he had a choice.

  46. I'm voting for my dog's. They at least sniff each other. My motto: To depend on me only. That way if I fail I own it. However, when succeed I own it. Really tired of watching the candidates act younger than my youngest grandson. What we need is a machine so when they all open their pie hole it tells who's real or who's s cowpie. Really have a lot of faith in my country, but in others still. I just want the facts is that to much to ask for.

  47. Trumps supporters have no idea what this man is made of... he is a path to destruction. His 'followers' don't care what he says or does ( he could commit a crime to their own family) and they would still vote for him. A true sickness in following a 'possible' madman. He is more dangerous than people know.

  48. Wow lady I think you bought stock and barrel in Kool Aide..... All of the candidates have their own agenda. Such as who should paint my portrait, where should I have my library ,then their spouse how should I decorate the White House. What kind of dog should we get. How else can we bend the taxpayers over. Oh my what will they ever do. Then their us the ones actually doing the work. Tonight one of the candidates quoted Kennedy. I bet he practiced that his whole life. Why couldn't he come up with something more original that he could own. Of all the elections this one takes the cake. So go put on your rose colored glasses and sing Kum by Yah...... LOL Because you are out of your ever lovin mind.....

  49. Sadly he is still better than anything on the other side of the isle - a career criminal who enables her husbands deviancy, or a batshit crazy senile commie who wants to be Americas first dictator....

  50. Well you are right not one has really showed us what they are going to do. One will be elected for sure. When they get in then they start back peddling. They always do..... None of them truly have the knowledge or the skill set to make us a great country again. So we are all again being set up to fail. Wonder what the founding fathers of our country would think.

  51. Bob Soules Sanders is a Democratic socialist far from your idea of a socialist and no where near a communist.

  52. Hmm..my husband's company, very large, very old company is laying off 40,000 people this month due to the cost of Obamacare. 40,000 in just one company. 94 mill out of work. I'm happy you're doing well but that is not a clear picture of what's going on in the country unfortunately.

  53. Remember this, we will make him a one term President. That's our goal.Remember we not going to approve anything he ask for.Republicans you created trump ,now you deal with it.

  54. Republicans stupidity is backfiring on them.The President is laughing all the wayto the end of his term.me too.

  55. WHY IS IT ALWAYS THIS CLOWN AND HIS RANTINGS ON THIS PAGE-WHERE ARE THE OTHERS-YOU KNOW RUBIO, CRUZ AND CARSON...

  56. LOOKS LIKE THE RIGHT WINGERS WANT A DICTATOR, JUST WAIT - YOU WILL BE SORRY. HE;S NOT FOR THE SMALL BUSINESS GUY AND INSULTS EVERYONE WHO GETS IN HIS WAY-NICE GUY TO HAVE IN THE OVAL OFFICE-NO CLASS..

  57. Aww that's so nice of you to elect him for a term. Yes, see how it goes and then you can decide if you want to renew his contact that you gave him..

  58. Looks like people are pulling together to me... Maybe I'm just looking at the numbers though...

  59. Agreed. Everyone is different and it works for some and not for others. I am sorry that your husband's company is having some tough times.... I respect both of your opinions. It is a healthy to have civil POVs. I appreciate you both Michelle and Derrick.

  60. He is the best running for change he's not from the hill he will not kiss butts in congress or the world he doesn't kiss any ones butt

  61. The problem is that our educational systems do not teach people to
    THINK.  All they do is fill our heads with mostly rehashed lies, which
    we obediently spew out again at exam time.  And knowledge is not wisdom -
    you only have to look at the (often over-educated) members of the
    world's governments to see that!

  62. There isn't anyone really worth voting for from the candidates remaining. Their main focus is to see who can out bash the other. I'm embarrassed that other countries are seeing this debacle. And I think we have been yelling for more than 8 years about the mess in DC. But good grief...now the one people are voting for is talking about his penis on tv? Please!!! I wonder if this is a sign of the end times. Think about that one.

  63. Great post Randy Gage Fan Club Page ! It's like most people have forgotten how to think for themselves. TV is one of the biggest brainwashers and promoters of negativity and low values. I love your name for it - "the idiot box" 🙂

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  • 111 comments on “The Search for Wisdom”

    1. I love this sentence "Because the value of any education is directly proportionate to your ability to effectively and productively process what you’re being taught."
      I am 100% sure that the most important thing I gained from my university education wasn't the degree, but instead the push in the right direction towards critical thinking, and the importance of asking questions.

    2. Randy, grow a pair and state where the problem of lack of critical thinking stems from - religion.  When we are younger, we are taught the bullshit religious dogma that our parents follow.  We do not question any of the crazy ideology (in my case, I was Catholic and it was considered a sin to eat meat on Friday - one of only dozens of crazy bullshit ideas pushed by the Catholic Church) for fear of being a "Doubting Thomas".  Until people realize that religion is nothing more than antiquated ideas formed by misogynistic males that want to control others, there will never be critical thinking.

    3. MariaJansson I agree.  College does not teach much specifically that pertains to the line of work you are finally going to partake in but it does help indoctrinate two things (hopefully) - discipline and critical thinking (unless you attend a religious college).

    4. pandkenterprises  So lack of critical thinking is solely the fault of religion?  I would argue that any critical thinking leads you to wonder what this world and this life is all about.  How can one not wonder about the spiritual world and it's influence, despite the influence of man.  In the end, from my observation, everyone makes up their own mind about religion anyway, whether they attend a place of worship or not.  Faith can be much more powerful than knowledge in the most dire situations.  I don't think religion can take the sole blame for lack of critical thinking.  Many people do not take things word for word and will find as the go along from what they've been told, that they will definitely question those ideas, as you clearly have.  And that's fine, but I believe most people question those things at some point, because even if they don't, a friend or co-worker or relative will, causing them to think more about it.  I understand what you're saying but I don't blame religion solely for lack of critical thinking.  It is a personal choice to not question things.

    5. This is a clear example of rational thinking. What a man or woman thinks determines what they do, not what someone tells or teaches them to think. You have given me channel markers that will protect me from going off the deep end...if I heed them.

    6. pandkenterprises MariaJansson I thoroughly enjoyed all my years in school, but critical thinking was what I needed the most. (I grew up in an extremely religious family..)

    7. Anthonydavid11 pandkenterprises Your response clearly shows that you do not discern what you read.  Nowhere in my post did I state "solely".  I believe politicians and news agencies are just as much to blame.  What I stated was religion is the place where it starts because most people are indoctrinated into some form of religion when they are very young.  With religion, you are continually told to have "blind faith".  Actually, practitioners that follow blindly without questioning are considered especially pious (in any other areas of life, you would be considered credulous). If someone wants to believe that an imaginary friend hovering in the sky will capriciously bestow them with miracles, so be it.  All I ask is for those people that believe such supernatural nonsense to please do not vote or get on a jury.  There are already too many problems with our political system and too many innocent people incarcerated.

    8. MariaJansson pandkenterprises Sorry to hear that.  I grew up in a moderately religious family, but as with all religious people we would pick and choose what we really wanted to follow from the Bible.  The main problem I experienced was attending a Catholic school for nine years.  I felt like a round peg in a square hole, to say the least.  All of the academic teachings were shadowed by Catholicism ideology.  Even at an early age, I did not believe most of the bullshit that was spoonfed to us (the eating meat on Friday thing, the Pope had a direct hotline to God, the priest changes wine into the blood of Christ, birth control is bad, etc., etc.).  Although I am straight and cannot speak definitively for a homosexual individual, I think I can empathize as to how they feel in a system where they just don't fit in.

    9. Hi Randy,
      I can see that you are moving into a higher plane of Philosophy to the level of Socrates or Plato...
      Btw, we will appreciate very much if you will make a Deep Topic that we have been lied to for a very long time...
      That our Earth is not a Sphere but Flat and the reason behind their lies.
      Cam you Stretch more your Philosophical Critical Thinking about this topic?
      We will appreciate very much your reply.
      Cheers,
      Rich

    10. @rich Yes we have known for a long time that the earth is flat.  I believe they are keeping it a secret, because they are afraid that you would walk to the edge and fall off. -RG

    11. pandkenterprises Not sure I would say the lack of critical thinking stems from religion.  I could just as easily make the argument that religion comes from a lack of critical thinking.  In any event, we can certainly say organized religion today does much to depress rationality and critical thinking. -RG

    12. Lack of any real choice - you have this blowhard on one side, and on the other side Grandma is a criminal and Grandpa is a commie; we are locked into a two party system, and people refuse to stop and realize that we could easily break it with some critical thinking... 🙂

    13. Oh, my, Randy! Well, I always leave a Comment when I read a blog post. My take-away is that discussion, dialog and free thinking are alive and well on this web site, post and Comments. 
      I also find in the discussions here, those who maintain they are critically thinking while being judgmental against others with opposing views, are exhibiting a tendency to generalize. They rely on false premises to draw false conclusions, in order to propagate support for their point of view. 
      Your post is strong, until I hit your politically grounded paragraph. When I read, "Oftentimes the smarter you are, the greater the likelihood you are intellectually lazy," I think, "Who sez?" 🙂 It is a false premise, followed by false conclusions. The whole post would be much stronger without that paragraph.

      As long as we continue talking, hashing out the discussion, a great deal of good will happen, though. A bit of open-mindedness will help as well. All sides of an argument have good and bad points, while nuances may be sadly swept away by sweeping generalizations. One must be vigilant to consider all sides and all folds of the blanket.
      In closing, as a side-note, those thinking they are educated critical thinkers, because they attended academic institutions, are often the most uncritically thinking of all. In fact, about all academic institutions can grant to critical thinkers, is to show them how much they don't know. This truly is the most important thing learned, long before critical thinking, which is not awarded along with a diploma, can properly evolve.
       

      Thank you, Randy, for the opportunity to read and share your thoughts. Looking forward to more.

    14. No critical thinking skills!! It's so obvious that the Clinton's and the Trumps are in cahoots. They are very good friends. And folks can't even see through it. Hillary would not have run again without planting a lot of tricks. And who better to trick than Americans "the leading people that fall for the Okey Doke!!

    15. That's true Pauline Resnik, but at Donald's and Hillary's level it's a you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours game. Watch what I tell you. This election is going to be handed to Hillary. "It's all a setup!!" Hillary and Donald are in Cahoots. And Politicians who are great are masters at manipulation.

    16. Both political wings are of the same bird. The new world order. You never here them talking about the things they are in agreement on. As they work together towards the goal they both have. You only here them talk about the things the disagree upon. Things like gay marriage, abortion or rebel flags. That are designed to leave the masses squabbling. ( by design )

    17. There's so much good that comes from thinking & then stop and think again!
      Discernment is where choice comes from!
      Lazy thinkers react to their first thoughts & are quick to blame!

    18. I was just conversing with a friend about this very subject. We talked a little about yellow journalism and I told him that it has changed to yellow Facebook instead. Critical thinking is indeed a needed skill in our world....

    19. IMHO the groundswell of support for Trump is not so much supporting him on everything but more a statement we've been hearing for the last 8 years years : Throw the bums out! All of them! They are voted in and do not listen to the voters or pay attention to their frustrations that nothing changes in DC. It's time for old politics to get out of the way. And personally, I think because of the anti-establishment anger, Trump may be the only one with a chance to beat Hillary.

    20. Trump will win because we're tired of neocons in both parties engaging in unlawful and perpetual war. Between Bush's invasion of Iraq, his occupation of Afghanistan, Obama's bombing of Libya (which violated the War Powers Act), Obama's arming of Syrians, and Bernie Sanders' funding of the bombings in Yemen and Tanzania, only one man has stood out against these crimes, and that is Donald Trump. Trump also will end NAFTA, GATT, and CAFTA. You neocons are truly stupid people. 16 years of war, and 24 years of faulty trade agreements, and what do you have to show for it?

    21. That's why the Clinton machine are Masters of Manipulation Michelle. That's how you and the majority of people are supposed to answer. The Clinton's would not run a 3rd time without a guarantee. Trump believe you me has got a guarantee as well. CAHOOTS!!!!

    22. Communist always starts out as socialist!!! For the good of all people is total BS who in their right mind would give the fruits of their labor to a central body of government to be dispersed equally amongst the little people ?? That is totally freaking retarded!! No way a central body of government could do a power grab from that is there ??? Socialism is a step below communism period !!

    23. If you think Bernie Sanders is a communist then you need a class in remedial political science. There is a huge difference between democratic socialism and communism.

    24. Everyone quit drinking the koolaide. All parties have their own agenda. While we are all working and doing what we should be doing. They are creating all these barriers between us.

    25. Trump is also creating more alienation in our country and abroad. He doesn't intimidate others... he fuels his 'hate' and it's resonating with communities. This is disgusting for all of us.

    26. Y'all already are living in a social democratic society of these states. I can understand all of us 1% holding onto our money and not helping anyone else have a life.

    27. Just do we want from government. What do we expect it to be ......our everyday "parent". And that's just talking domestically.

    28. Sorry you have it backwards. He is intimidating others. The establishment wants to stop him because they know he will make this country great again. He's not playing by their rules and they hate that. He takes no money so he can't be controlled by anyone.

    29. On Trump I hear a pissed off American who wants to fix things and make this country great. The bullies are the GOP Establishment.

    30. It's not about him taking money. He's a self-serving narcissist and his mission is to put a 'TRUMP' banner over the WH. This is similar to a foreign leader in history

    31. Ok so how many of you want to py higher taxes, provide free college for everyone, free phones, free housing, free medical, free food and how about free auto insurance. We could all just take home less work more. Would that make everyone happy. There are no free rides someone has to pay. Why should we punish individuals for being successful. I understand that maybe not everyone has the same opportunities. However, if we all have to work to improve our lifestyle shouldn't everyone else. So no matter what side you are on just vote. Even with all the candidates out there there's not one I'm 100% with. Just think in the future since no one I know is running the Obamas, Clinton's, Bush's are grooming future generations in their families to run. I'm tired of all of them. It's time for someone different. How very sad is that. Maybe one of you will run for office.

    32. Hatred of what they believe was sacred!! That we would never rise to the highest office in the world!!!

    33. Trump would be a win for the American people. We would have the people actually elect a president instead of the two parties. He accepts no money from superpaks. He would be beholden to no special interests. That would be quite a change for the good...

    34. Hitlers Nazi party started as a socialist idea. The Soviet Union was socialism on steroids. The new generation of voters doesn't quite understand that because political correct is taught in schools now, not basic history. Trump is far from my first choice, but he is better than anyone else this election cycle.

    35. They also don't want to look at what Socialism recently did to Greece and Venezuela, totally wrecked their economies. Even the Nordic countries started steering away from Socialism in the 90's and switched to market economies so they would survive...

    36. Because most rich educated Americans are subtle racist and they like what he stands for. He's their hidden voice

    37. Fact is my take hone salary has been higher when a democrat is in office...I guess this goes against the grain, but it is soooo true...living well and feeling blessed...

    38. You are obviously a hard working individual. You should be very proud of your accomplishments you have achieved.

    39. I too am very fortunate. But again have worked for I have. People of all parties work hard. There's nothing better then when I go out as a consumer to have choices. Also very happy to have choices who we can each vote for.

    40. Key word, intelligent. Fact is most Americans aren't politically informed. They imagine that, a successful business man will make a successful president. Not true. A business is ran like a dictatorship, while a government is negotiations. In fact trump, won't be able to do anything without congress and or senate. Somebody tell that to the Americans.

    41. Danny Cabrera Tienes un mejor salario que hace 8 anhos Por que seguiste estuduando y trabajaste duro hiciste buenas decisiones en tu carrera nada tiene que hacer con el gobierno democrata o republicano porque si fuera asi no habria desempleo o tanta gente pidiendo food stamps Medicare etc trabajaste duro y tuvistes buenas decisiones
      Por eso Estas mejor U0001f600

    42. This is going to crush Hillary. None of the other candidates have a chance against Hillary. Her and Bill are two powerful. I see so many people calling Trump a liar and questioning his integrity. But none of the other candidates would come close to beating Hillary. Trump has the best shot at keeping a evil power hungry Wall Street driven evil from destroying our country. A vote for Cruz or Rubio is a vote for Hillary in November.

    43. Remember hold them all accountable for their promises. No matter what party you are for think about what is right. I'm not going to be a sheep or drink the koolaide. Thank goodness for free will.

    44. Good points Tia, but it really has nothing to do with all that..its just luck...I was very good in the previous Clinton era too..again all luck...its just coincidence that it happened...thats my point...i dont like politics and with all respect it doesnt really matter to me...i vote for Kermit the Frog!!! U0001f609U0001f44d

    45. Trump is Hitler reincarnated. Does anyone seriously want him to be President? It's sad if you do. He would declare war on himself if he had a choice.

    46. I'm voting for my dog's. They at least sniff each other. My motto: To depend on me only. That way if I fail I own it. However, when succeed I own it. Really tired of watching the candidates act younger than my youngest grandson. What we need is a machine so when they all open their pie hole it tells who's real or who's s cowpie. Really have a lot of faith in my country, but in others still. I just want the facts is that to much to ask for.

    47. Trumps supporters have no idea what this man is made of... he is a path to destruction. His 'followers' don't care what he says or does ( he could commit a crime to their own family) and they would still vote for him. A true sickness in following a 'possible' madman. He is more dangerous than people know.

    48. Wow lady I think you bought stock and barrel in Kool Aide..... All of the candidates have their own agenda. Such as who should paint my portrait, where should I have my library ,then their spouse how should I decorate the White House. What kind of dog should we get. How else can we bend the taxpayers over. Oh my what will they ever do. Then their us the ones actually doing the work. Tonight one of the candidates quoted Kennedy. I bet he practiced that his whole life. Why couldn't he come up with something more original that he could own. Of all the elections this one takes the cake. So go put on your rose colored glasses and sing Kum by Yah...... LOL Because you are out of your ever lovin mind.....

    49. Sadly he is still better than anything on the other side of the isle - a career criminal who enables her husbands deviancy, or a batshit crazy senile commie who wants to be Americas first dictator....

    50. Well you are right not one has really showed us what they are going to do. One will be elected for sure. When they get in then they start back peddling. They always do..... None of them truly have the knowledge or the skill set to make us a great country again. So we are all again being set up to fail. Wonder what the founding fathers of our country would think.

    51. Bob Soules Sanders is a Democratic socialist far from your idea of a socialist and no where near a communist.

    52. Hmm..my husband's company, very large, very old company is laying off 40,000 people this month due to the cost of Obamacare. 40,000 in just one company. 94 mill out of work. I'm happy you're doing well but that is not a clear picture of what's going on in the country unfortunately.

    53. Remember this, we will make him a one term President. That's our goal.Remember we not going to approve anything he ask for.Republicans you created trump ,now you deal with it.

    54. Republicans stupidity is backfiring on them.The President is laughing all the wayto the end of his term.me too.

    55. WHY IS IT ALWAYS THIS CLOWN AND HIS RANTINGS ON THIS PAGE-WHERE ARE THE OTHERS-YOU KNOW RUBIO, CRUZ AND CARSON...

    56. LOOKS LIKE THE RIGHT WINGERS WANT A DICTATOR, JUST WAIT - YOU WILL BE SORRY. HE;S NOT FOR THE SMALL BUSINESS GUY AND INSULTS EVERYONE WHO GETS IN HIS WAY-NICE GUY TO HAVE IN THE OVAL OFFICE-NO CLASS..

    57. Aww that's so nice of you to elect him for a term. Yes, see how it goes and then you can decide if you want to renew his contact that you gave him..

    58. Looks like people are pulling together to me... Maybe I'm just looking at the numbers though...

    59. Agreed. Everyone is different and it works for some and not for others. I am sorry that your husband's company is having some tough times.... I respect both of your opinions. It is a healthy to have civil POVs. I appreciate you both Michelle and Derrick.

    60. He is the best running for change he's not from the hill he will not kiss butts in congress or the world he doesn't kiss any ones butt

    61. The problem is that our educational systems do not teach people to
      THINK.  All they do is fill our heads with mostly rehashed lies, which
      we obediently spew out again at exam time.  And knowledge is not wisdom -
      you only have to look at the (often over-educated) members of the
      world's governments to see that!

    62. There isn't anyone really worth voting for from the candidates remaining. Their main focus is to see who can out bash the other. I'm embarrassed that other countries are seeing this debacle. And I think we have been yelling for more than 8 years about the mess in DC. But good grief...now the one people are voting for is talking about his penis on tv? Please!!! I wonder if this is a sign of the end times. Think about that one.

    63. Great post Randy Gage Fan Club Page ! It's like most people have forgotten how to think for themselves. TV is one of the biggest brainwashers and promoters of negativity and low values. I love your name for it - "the idiot box" 🙂

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