What would Timothy Leary say about the politics of today if he were still alive?
Leary was a well known psychologist and writer who developed a philosophy of mind expansion.
He was known for advocating the importance of thinking critically. Indeed, this is a fundamental skill separating innovators from followers.
We found a rare video (see below) of him talking about his role as a performance artist, which he saw as inspiring others to think for themselves and question authority.
He says that we’re imprisoned by ideas, so he wants to help stimulate the shackles of language tying us to religion, political ideologies and so on.
Critical thinking today is becoming a crucial skill. It helps people to use discernment in the face of a barrage of media and information reaching us through the internet, friends, films, television, radio, newspapers and magazines.
The recent U.S. elections and new administration have raised the issue of fake news, where there is little fact checking and instead sensationalist news stories are getting engagement on social media channels.
In the face of fake news and spin, critical thinking is necessary to see fact for illusion and gain more control over the reality we’re presented with.
It’s also necessary for breaking free from the filter bubble – the phenomenon whereby social media and search engines show us similar content to what we regularly engage with, resulting in only seeing information that fits with our preexisting perspective. The result of this is that we’re not exposed to ideas that challenge our worldview.
Critical thinking gives us control of the information coming out way. It enables us to filter out the sensationalism and only give emphasis to that which helps us to learn and grow.
The importance of critical thinking was shared as an idea on Ideapod by Lisa Martin, and it’s provoked a number of responses (you can see more by clicking on the link above):
Nicholas J Donalds: “Too often I am bombarded by information I never asked for. It’s an overwhelming amount of input. Human attention is treated as a commodity in the business world. Many people benefit from an uneducated population… but imagine a world of free thinkers! I think this problem speaks to our culture more than it does education. Our teachers are trying their hardest I’m sure of it.”
Chato: “I am taking a class for college that teaches us how to think critically. It really does help because I agree that most people will believe a lot of things that are thrown at them without questioning it.”
Shubham: “The fear of failure didn’t allow us to think critically. We have to stop thinking about the result. just think independently.”
Here’s the video of Timothy Leary.