I have always believed that the power of education was to create critical thinkers. The more people became educated, the higher their powers of critical thinking would become. I have spent my whole life touting the beauty and power of logic and reason. Not Spock-like, non-emotional reasoning…but a kind of relativistic reasoning that uses information and emotion to find the best answers to life’s most complex questions…or at least life’s most complex situations.
Now we are in a digital age where information is abundant and the answers seem to be a click away. The power and flow of digital thought and innovation is truly astonishing, but there are people I meet that are still unaware and completely off-put by the technology around them. I was baffled by this until I realized that these people that seemed so unimpressed, confused or dismissive are using the technology the same way they use all other forms of media in their lives.
Instead of approaching this technology with open-minded, inquisitive excitement and wonder, they are passive reactors to what their peers and popular culture feeds them. A world of education opportunities, connectivity and knowledge is at their fingertips and they seem to only see the surface. It seems too complicated and yet at the same time too shallow for them to bother putting in the effort to learn and explore this new world. I’ll grant them that a huge part of the internet is devoted to mindless content… but if they took a little time and applied a little of their critical thinking skills, they would find a wondrous array of great minds discussing important issues that affect us all. Even more exciting is the opportunity to interact with these modern critical thinkers… wondrous!!