Bermuda Post

Saturday, Mar 02, 2024

After Covid, we must embrace critical thinking again

After Covid, we must embrace critical thinking again

Blind submission to authority has to stop, now that we are coming to the end of the pandemic
I’ll never forget the most valuable lesson I learned during my first year at university, taught to me by a literature professor who had fled the USSR: All totalitarian regimes throughout history have shared one key trait – they control all knowledge. This is essential to their success, because if you can’t control what information the public can access, then you can’t effectively control a population.

“If you ever give up your right to freedom of information,” he would frequently remind me, “all of your freedom will be gone. You’ve lost everything.” This stuck with me and, over the next four years, I was fortunate to have a few great professors who expanded on it by teaching me how to keep that freedom. To be free, you must first learn how to think.

Freedom must be fought-for and preserved in a variety of ways but, if you don’t first know how to think, you won’t even recognize when your freedom is being taken away in the first place. As my professor explained, “For a people to be free and remain free, each person must recognize that he or she is an individual capable of independent thought, and learn to think critically about all subjects.” Anything less than that leads to regurgitating memorized information that may or may not be true.

In free countries, people can access public information, share knowledge, exchange ideas, and openly debate. This is all crucial, since being able to pose contrary ideas that go against the mainstream narrative is the foundation for creativity, invention, and progress in every field, from philosophy to physics. Anywhere people are free to question the status quo and present new ideas without fear of persecution, societies tend to thrive. Without this freedom, there would be no personal computers, or start-up companies. We wouldn’t have advances in medicine or engineering. We would be nothing more than submissive human capital to a tyrannical state – much like North Korea, for example, where independent media is banned and citizens are subject to a one-party, one-man rule. It is a country in perpetual stagnation and darkness, quite literally.

In America, we have taken our freedom of information and freedom of speech for granted for a long time, but it has gradually been slipping away. And for this we have no one to blame but ourselves. For years we’ve been sleepwalking at an ever-quickening pace into what I can only describe as a dumbing down.

It started with relying on Google to answer our questions, and then we let Netflix ‘binge watching’ become our public pastime. Instead of the once favorite activity of people watching, our heads are bent to stare at a screen, as we mindlessly click between apps. We have become a nation of passive consumers – the perfect kind of public to manipulate with propaganda and mind control. So I guess it should have come as no surprise when those who seek power seized upon the opportunity to control the people when it presented itself.

The blind submission to authority during Covid was a major wake-up call for me – and I hope for many – that losing our right to question the mainstream narrative is a dangerous and slippery slope to the loss of all freedom. I watched in horror over the last two years as people who were once considered progressive who championed free speech and an open internet called for silencing, deplatforming and tighter top-down information control. They began chanting mantras and propaganda slogans that instructed us to “follow the science!” As if science was a Bible, rather than what science actually is, which is a continual search for knowledge.

There is no such thing as ‘the science’ and science is not meant to be followed, but studied. There are scientific conclusions we have reached, of course, like the existence of gravity, but no real scientist would ever advocate dismissing skepticism, even of the most widely accepted theories. In fact, if you can’t question something, poke at it, and look for alternatives, then it isn’t science. If you can’t question it without fear of being “cancelled” or blacklisted by your own government, then it quite obviously isn’t science; it is a branch of authoritarianism. This doesn’t necessarily mean that what becomes the consensus is wrong, but how we arrive there matters.

To put the Covid-19 mandates into perspective, there was a time when our very same government sprayed a poison on children called DDT and, at the time, you were the equivalent of a right-wing conspiracy theorist if you thought this was dangerous. It took questioning “the science” to end it. Similarly, we now know that lockdowns during the pandemic had little or no effect on mortality (according to a study from Johns Hopkins University), but caused a great deal of social, societal, and economic harm, especially for our youth. To end the lockdowns and finally to speak out against them, it took the efforts of those willing to go against the narrative. But they had to first know how to think about what was happening, not to sit back and passively accept what they were told.

I’ll never forget a Forbes article from 2020 that warned we must never “do our own research.” That should be left to the experts. You know, the people who know better than you. Now, please understand that I don’t mean to suggest that medical degrees and years of scientific research don’t matter, or that anyone can be a self-appointed doctor. But anyone absolutely has the right to conduct research, ask questions, and make decisions for themselves – especially about their own bodies. Your body is your private property, and the best way to keep it that way is by freeing your mind to question more.

In much of the Western world, we are still mostly free (although we need to fight harder to preserve it). We should use our freedom to continue to evolve as humans by thinking critically, asking questions of others and of ourselves, and engaging in civil debate. We should strive toward intellectual curiosity, not adherence to dogmas spouted out by self-appointed ‘experts.’ If we allow a few tech companies, CEOs of pharmaceutical companies and politicians (of any party) to think for us, or to decide who is or isn’t allowed to have a public opinion, or what type of information we are permitted to read, then my college professor was spot on: we’ve lost everything.
Newsletter

Related Articles

Bermuda Post
0:00
0:00
Close
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
'I just lost it' Lowe’s worker fired after 13 years of employment for confronting thieves trying to steal $2K of merchandise
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
×