QuestionsWeb LinksClass OutlineClass notes

Question for Discussion: How does our Age of Truthiness
make it difficult for us to understand the major problems
facing our emerging global society and economy?


Reading: No More Teaching of Critical Thinking in Public Schools”;
Thinking Critically, Challenging Cultural Myths”
“Scheherazade
in the White House
”; "Truthiness"; “You can’t handle Truthiness”;
Critical Thinking in a time of Political Truthiness"; "The Death of Facts";
Philosophy in the Age of Truthiness

Video: Colbert on Truthiness, Stephen Colbert on The O'Reilly Factor, Colbert on Texas Thinking,
Colbert at the White House Dinne
r,
Colbert Signs Off

Assignment: Write a couple of paragraphs introducing yourself to me:
What are some of your favorite activities? What is your major?
Where did you grow up? What are your favorite movies?
What are your favorite books? What are your favorite TV shows? What kind of
music do you listen to? Where would you like to be in ten years? Are you
optimistic about your future? Are you optimistic about our future?
(20 points--due on Friday)

Assignment: Come to class with a list of what you think are the
major problems facing the U.S. in the 21st century
(10 points--due on Wednesday)

Assignment: Drawing on the class readings and videos for Jan. 12, write a
short essay-- no more than 2 pages--arguing for or against the proposition
that "We live in an age of Truthiness and the death of Facts."
(40 points, due on Wednesday, Jan. 21)



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  • So What is Critical Thinking and Arguing?

    1. No More Teaching of Critical Thinking in Public Schools (annotated version)

      The Republican Party of Texas has issued their 2012 political platform and has come out and blatantly opposed critical thinking in public schools throughout the state.

      With regard to critical thinking, the Republican Party of Texas document states: "Knowledge-Based Education - We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student's fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority." (page 20, Republican Party of Texas, 2012).

    2. Texas GOP Declares: "No More Teaching of 'Critical Thinking Skills' in Texas Public Schools"

    3. Colbert on Texas GOP and Critical Thinking (see video -- 1:25)

    4. Our Concept and Definition of Critical Thinking;

      Critical thinking is that mode of thinking — about any subject, content, or problem — in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully analyzing, assessing, and reconstructing it. Critical thinking is self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. It presupposes assent to rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use. It entails effective communication and problem-solving abilities, as well as a commitment to overcome our native egocentrism and sociocentrism.


    5. Why Critical Thinking Diagram

    6. A Checklist for Reasoning

    7. Overview of Critical Thinking Skills (see ADA website)

      1) Be capable of taking a position or changing a position as evidence dictates

      (2) Remain relevant to the point

      (3) Seek information as well as precision in information

      (4) Be open minded

      (5) Take the entire situation into account

      (6) Keep the original problem in mind

      (7) Search for reasons

      (8) Deal with the components of a complex problem in an orderly manner

      (9) Seek a clear statement of the problem

      (10) Look for options

      (11) Exhibit sensitivity to others’ feelings and depth of knowledge

      (12) Use credible sources


    8. What is Critical Thinking?

      Critical thinking is a higher order of thinking: it is the practice of using a number of different advanced thinking skills in a variety of complex ways.

       Critical thinking focuses on thought: it looks at how facts are proven, arguments are formed, conclusions are reached, not just what the facts, argument or conclusion may be.

       Critical thinking is self-reflexive: it involves reflecting on, questioning and testing your own thinking processes.

       Critical thinking is discipline-specific: it engages in particular forms of reasoning, such as mathematical reasoning, historical analysis or literary interpretation, which are specific to a particular discipline


    9. Thinking Critically, Challenging Cultural Myths

    10. "Overview of Critical Thinking" (annotated version)

    11. Our Concept and Definition of Critical Thinking

    12. Video: What is Critical Thinking

    13. Bloom's Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain”

    14. Critical Thinking and Critical Pedagogy



    Truthiness

  • "We increasingly live in a world of Truthiness, Propaganda,
    Public Relations and the Big Lie."

    Chris Lewis, Ph.D.

  • Is Tinke Winke Gay?

  • Why do some people think the purple teletubby is gay?

  • Gay Characters on Children's TV, from Bert to SpongeBob

  • Is President Obama a radical muslim?

  • Is Obama A Radical Muslim? Here's 20 Reasons That Prove that He is

  • Ex-CIA Employee Admits President Obama is a "radical Islamic
    Enemy of America?"


  • “Scheherazade in the White House

  • Karl Rove, Master Hyperrealist | Scott Thill - Huffington Post :

    "The aide said that guys like me were 'in what we call the
    reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. 'That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."


  • Reality-based community - Wikipedia

  • The O'Reilly Factor | Bill O'Reilly | Fox News

  • "Truthiness"

  • Colbert on Truthiness (video)

  • Critical Thinking in a time of Political Truthiness"

  • Stephen Colbert on The O'Reilly Factor (1:45, video)

  • Colbert at the White House Dinner (1:40, vdeo)

  • "The Death of Facts"

  • Philosophy in the Age of Truthiness

  • Adolph Hitler and the Big Lie:

    As Hitler wrote in his 1925 autobiography Mein Kampf (James Murphy translation, page 134):

    "[I]n the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying. These people know only too well how to use falsehood for the basest purposes."

    The Big Lie technique was made possible by the onset of modern mass media in the early 20th century, particularly radio and motion pictures, but also billboards, and high-speed printing and distribution for magazines and newspapers. With modern mass media, the psychological effect of the Big Lie on large numbers of people was tremendous.


    Thus, Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Propaganda Minister, greatly refined the technique using mass media in the 1930s. Goebbels wrote:

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
  • Spotting Spin - The Lies Before Your Eyes - 28 Tricks

    "Spin" refers to the forms of marketing  and public relations that use trickery and psychological manipulation. It developed out of military propaganda techniques. It refers to deceptive methods used to create a desired impression upon people; or to create a desired action (or prevent an action) by a person, group of people or the general public. Spin is spun in response to, or in preparation for something. The focus of spin-doctors tends to be on either promoting or covering up the actions of their employers (or doing both of these). 

  • Colbert Signs Off (3:40, 5:50, video)


What will the World look like in 2050?

U.S. in 2050 (Shell) ;

Future Scenario Earth 2050 - ABC News;

Earth 2050 - Driven by Design;

The World in 2050 - Future study -- Frank Appel

Where do I get my news?

1. United States Nation News sites

2.The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - Political Comedy - Fake News

3. Colbert Nation | The Colbert Report | Comedy Centra


How should we feel about the News?

  1. Do Americans worry about the growing problems facing their World?

  2. Are Americans able to face their fears about the Future?



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2000 by Chris H.  Lewis, Ph.D.
Sewall Academic Program; University of Colorado at Boulder
E-mail: cclewis@spot.colorado.edu
URL:    http://www.colorado.edu/AmStudies/lewis/ecology/index.htm