Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ever wonder how so many pro Govt. papers still carry on with readers!

Rational and thinking people are normally put off with sycophantic and uncritical look at the failings of Government, especially one such as ours in Sri Lanka. However the reason why media of this nature are able to survive, is that the readership is unable to look behind the news and determine how much garbage is fed to them and determine which paper or TV or radio station they should read, watch or hear.

The Education system in Sri Lanka does not arm the average Joe with this type of critical thinking, It is a failing which many people do not seem to realize, and actually people do not seem to mind. Critical thinking in the eyes of teachers is NOT to be encouraged, as the teacher’s failings in this regard will be too apparent to the student. There is therefore no chance until we change the attitude of the teachers themselves to be able to take ownership of this way of thinking. It is very sad that what it does is to permanently deny the public a chance of logical reasoning.

Many would say too much knowledge is also bad. I agree, if there is no way to channel this into some useful personal goal. However it is not the quantum of knowledge but the ability to make personal choices out of facts presented and observations made and personal experiences one is confronted with that is important.

Many people are able to brainwash others who are not able think critically. That is why many in the political parties with good discipline and order, such as the JVP are able to survive on a platform that critical thinking will say has no future, but an adherent would swear by as being gospel. This is also the way many preachers and religious leaders are able to mesmerize congregations into believing what they say uncritically.

It is time we start identifying potential leaders who are able to inculcate critical thinking into their platform, and then through their followers get people to think about their lives and goals and then build a following of people who are able to rationally make judgments from the facts presented to them. This way we can begin the long journey of transforming people from being zombies of today to people who have self confidence in themselves and be able to rationalize the choices they make in their lives, not wholly dependent on any other person’s say so but on their honest interpretation of why they believe in what they do. You will be better for it.


ViceUnVersa said...

Freedom of speech, my blog seems to have dissapeared from the kottu feed?

Anonymous said...

Quiet near the spot but not on it. Absolutely essential topic, critical thinking is. We were not taught to question in school. However, cannot agree with you on two points.

1) Too much knowledge is not good????? - It is good. Knowledge and free thinking give rise to enterprise and innovation. Even useful personal goals stem from free and critical thinking. The two go hand in hand.

2) Critical thinking should necessarily lead to one conclusion such as the JVP should have no future. AND, which JVP committee meeting have you participated in? Very uncharacteristically, one can see you are out of your depth here. The JVP has decent within. There is room for criticising even the leadership. But once an argument is won within and democratically agreed upon, they put one idea out. Those who do still not agree leave that immediate arena or sometimes ultimately the party itself. Ranjit, here you are speculating big time. For JVP or any other party to survive (even the UNP for that matter) you have to agree on a certain set of principals. It is not similar to religious leaders as you say.

Anonymous said...

It's not that people are zombies due to lack of education. Sri Lankans are perfectly capable of making 'rational' choices based on cost-benefit analysis of perceived advantages and disadvantages.

My theory as to what is the cause of 'zombie-ism' in Sri Lanka is plainly due to the cost-benefit analysis of the zombies where they perceive being an uncritical zombie will yield them greater benefits than being a squeaky wheel, so to speak.

Throw on top of that the patron-client political culture that exists in Sri Lanka and wha-la! you get zombie clients that are following their patrons who eventually shower down patronage on these people. That's how they get ahead in the society.

Layer into that the fact that critically thinking, educated people are sucked into the migration industry vortex promising 'greener pastures' in white countries and you have a perfect storm.

The answer? Shut the migration tap off, get the educated people to stay in Sri Lanka and develop the country through the efforts of the educated who will hopefully take some leadership role, and the clients.