Think Outside the Box end of 2003

It is amazing, that in the post-information age, people prefer enclosed thinking. The art of asking is now strictly for jokers and young people with an outgoing personality. Small children ask questions such as why is the sky blue, and future jokers continually ask “but why?” The truth is that no one has the answers; most people today prefer to read something and quote specific content as truth.

A religious person will answer the child’s question with spiritual quotes such as God made the sky blue and quote a text based of a particular faith to answer the joker. The scientist will use jargon such as the shape of our eyes and prisms and quote complex words from a journal to answer the joker. The average person will remember some things from their school years, and truthfully answer the joker with “I don’t know, it is just blue”.

I was recently reflecting on how people believe everything they are told. I remember one experiment in a nightclub. I convinced one lady that I was Italian. She asked for prove, and I quoted a website of mine. She printed out the material and still believes I am Italian, even though I explained to the truth to her. The theme of this article is to prove how lazy the human mind has become.

I cannot understand why most people do not like research. With the information on the internet, it is very easy to disprove urban legends and myths. Most people believe everything that is given to them from local news. I am not immune, some of the myths I believed until I was in university are as follows. All Jamaicans are drug pushers, USA blacks are lazy, all Asians are crafty but weak, women need men for protection, monarchy systems are wonderful, and all news is well researched.

Imagine my shock, when I found out about evil monarchs, women physically beating men, Asians excelling in sports, USA black tier one scientists and Jamaicans who ever touch drugs. With the exception of women beating up men, the rest seems to be all I read about and meet. Most people blame the media, however the media only plays one part, and people want to believe generalizations. There are still people today who believe women cannot become violent or break the law. There are others still stuck in my pre-university mindset. I did not learn about the myths and urban legends in a course. It was in my free time when I read and observed people in my surroundings.

There is a war on terror ongoing, and it still astonishes me, that most people prefer to gets any news about the war from biased local news. In our free world, we are not patriotic if we ask questions such as, why war? The media presented the pre-war opinion of the general populations as being pro-war. This was a lie that was easily disputed by a quick search on the internet. Most people did not bother to search.

The dangers with non abstract thinking are that it forces people to conform. Everyone is an individual, who is not part of a group that can easily be marketed to. It is part of the Medias job to conform the masses so that products can be pushed more quickly. The internet is not free from this either, numerous websites ask for your email and contact information so that they can pedal products to you.

The solution is simple. Do not just mindlessly give out information such as your name, address, phone, and other contact without asking why it is needed. I have asked experts why I need to shop for a new computer every three months, or the latest movie, or watch the current Hollywood smut. I tried a new experiment; I cancelled my cable TV for almost one year. The call centre person thought that I was crazy. Here are some of her comments. Is this a joke, nobody cancels cable, is it the price, we can reduce it, we can give you two months free, please you are a valued customer, I will give you a 40 day grace period in case you change your mind. I said no thanks, and she mentioned that after the grace period, I would have to pay a higher reconnection fee, I declined. In the year, the cable was turned on twice without my permission. I knew the cable was reconnected when I received the bill for the internet connection. Both times, the cable company could not understand why I declined their unsolicited offer. During the time off the TV, I have upgraded my skills at night school, become more social and enjoyed my precious free time. I might stay off TV for good.

The internet provides instantaneous news and a chance to join in the discussion in forums. The truth and knowledge are not taught in any institution. One must search for it. Teachers provide an individual with basic tools. It is the individual’s job to use those tools to seek high learning through self taught research. Do not become a lemming, think of the opportunity and remember that the information is free for all.