Episode-1336- Critical Thinking and Issue Analysis

Today I want to discuss the concept of critical thinking and how we are often led by those in power.  How many “issues” are presented to divide us yet they really shouldn’t.  Most if actually examined critically would result in people either realizing the issue doesn’t matter and nothing should be done, or in general agreeing on the solution.

Those in charge can’t have this, a people divided are easily led, in fact a divided people given their consent to being controlled, having liberty taken and are in general okay with the oppression of their fellow man.

Way back in September of 2009, I did episode 269, in it I came up with a series of questions called, “The Issues Test” today I am going to revisit those questions.  While I am sure today’s show will have some similarities to the original, I am willing to be a lot will be new and different.  It has been over 4.5 years since I did that original early TSP episode.

Along the way I have evolved my thinking.  In some ways I am far more the pessimist, in regard to political solutions and government anyway.  In others I am far more optimistic, in regard to human beings and individual solutions.  I guess that makes me a realist! Sometimes people really seem to dislike the realist! Whether mired in apathy, pessimism or illogical optimism, people seldom want their fantasies disrupted.

The Realist Is Often Disliked for Speaking the Truth!

The Realist Is Often Disliked for Speaking the Truth!

Today instead of disrupting your fantasies about the world I would prefer to discuss how you can do so for yourself.  There is a lot to be done in this world, one must accept reality and not be misled if one is to accomplish anything meaningful.

The first time I went though this list of questions it was mainly related to legislative actions.  This time I am taking a more universal approach.  I believe it can be applied to news stories, life decisions, business choices, you name it.

Today We Revisit the Issues Test…

  • Will it effect me? (me meaning us, the average American)
  • Does it increase or decrease the power of government?
  • Is it Constitutional?
  • Does it make people that agree on 95% of issues fight amongst themselves?
  • What is it going to cost us? What is our ROI on it?
  • Who is paying for it?  Who benefits the most financially?
  • Is my personal prejudice or bias influencing my judgment on this?
  • What happens if we take this action?
  • What happens if we don’t do anything?
  • Does it set up the future potential for government intrusion in more areas?
  • Do I really need to be “for” or “against” this issue?
  • If we only focused on issues that “passed the test” what would be left?
  • How would that effect the ability of our government to bullshit us?
  • If everyone did this, would we know “what we believe” and “why we believe it”?

Resources for today’s show…

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32 Responses to Episode-1336- Critical Thinking and Issue Analysis

  1. Kilted Brewer

    I really enjoyed The Issues Test, and so I’m looking forward to this one. In fact, I’m downloading all the ‘Must Listen’ episodes to my phone right now, to share with my wife during a long family road trip.

    You and other listeners may be interested in this free online course, (I have no connection, just enjoyed it and have found it useful) it kind of ties into your topic on these two episodes. It’s called “Think Again” and is offered via Cousera. It covers basic language, logic, and reasoning skills… The kind of things folks need to see through the shenanigans employed by car salesmen, (some) teachers, hucksters, talking heads, and of course, politicians.


    It’s the kind of thing that I think should be mandatory in HS… Along with your issues test. Anyway, looking forward to listening to this one later (and the original tomorrow).

    Thanks for all the help.

  2. “The majority of people that smoke marijuana eat Twinkies and play Tetris and listen to the Grateful Dead. Right? And there are people that have legitimate uses for marijuana…”

    Majority of people?
    Legitimate uses?

    Cognitive bias?

    • Modern Survival

      Congratulations you made no point!

      • Thank you Jack for pointing out that I hadn’t made my point clear.
        My point was to question what you said as this was a show that asks us to see if our “personal prejudice”or “bias influences” our judgment.
        And through that would you know what you believe and why you believe it?

        Why do you think the “majority of people” can be typecast as having those traits?
        Who legitimized the use of that plant and why do we still listen to and repeat their rules and laws about what is legitimate about it?

        • Modern Survival

          Again you made no point! None at all, I did say there are legitimate uses for marijuana, absolutely. From a medical stand point is what I mean. But I don’t care and I don’t think anyone should care at all even if there were not. It isn’t your business what another person does if it doesn’t harm you or anyone else.

          As to the playing tetris comment, I don’t mean that literally, geez I guess you must be the product of modern schools? The point was that we don’t see people hopped up on pot, committing crimes or doing anything in general that is aggressive. Are there some pot heads that are assholes, yea but they are pretty much assholes period. We see a lot more drunks being violent then people on pot.

          Perhaps you should go to Colorado and smoke some pot?

          Anyway I don’t know that I am actually responding to your points because once again you didn’t make any.

        • “Who legitimized the use of that plant”

          Who legitimized the violence you evidently support against people who use that plant? Violence against twinkie-eaters would make more sense.

        • To answer your question directly, the user of the plant legitimized its use, each time. That’s where legitimate authority for such decisions comes from, people.

          Still the outstanding question is who legitimized the associated violence. You?

        • Modern Survival

          Exactly. How does anyone legitimize the use of a gun, force and abduction to kidnap and hold a person against their will for the possession, growing, eating or smoking of a fing plant?

          When you put it this way it makes many squirm! But its a drug! So are many plants, in the end this is what is advocated by making pot illegal. The ability for men with guns to point them in your face, beat you with sticks if you don’t comply, have dogs bite you, lock you in a car, steal your property, hold you against your will in a cell where you are co housed with actual violent offenders, all because you owned or grew a plant!

          How is this legitimate, though the FORCE OF THE STATE. No civilized society should have such a law!

      • Wow dude! Mr. McMullet man, That’s Deep! Man…

        HA….Did you know like your icon or avatar or whaterver has like 4 little white throwing stars in the middle and like the whole thing looks kinda like a throwing star?

        Dude, that’s cool.

        Wow and, I just noticed like if you stare at the center long enough like the whole thing looks like it’s spinning around and around and….

      • Legitimate (adj) – conforming to the law or to rules.
        Antonyms – illegal.

        I thought taking it literal wouldn’t be a problem on a show about critical thinking and issue analysis. I’m bringing up questions on the language used by Jack about a hot topic issue. Painting over users with a broad brush in a negative light while saying that certain people have “legitimate uses”(medical), to me, is language that sounds no different than a politician being quoted on the evening news.
        To use the word legitimate when talking about the use of plant is to continue following the propaganda of the State. They are the ones trying to convince us of what is and isn’t legitimate concerning cannabis.

        Blueprint- not sure why you think I support violence against users, as that couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m questioning the language used by Jack when he spoke about cannabis. To me it reeked of bias and continues the propaganda. It was a ripe example of where we could use some critical thinking and analyze the language we use when discussing the issue.

        • Wow, huge mea culpa. I’m sorry. I completely misunderstood. Thank you for clarifying. I feel I should burn a sacrifice to atone.

          And you make an excellent point. I hate to even use the term “legalize”. They just need un-illegalize it; quit making it illegal. “Illegal” is a condition in which state agents will stick a boot in your ass for engaging in an activity. There’s no such thing as “legal”, as if the state has some ultimate authority with which it may grant the right to being alive and doing stuff. It’s either “normal” or it’s illegal.

        • Modern Survival

          McMullet is nothing but troll, a typical dumbass troll that doesn’t understand a new email and name do not mask his identity.

          As for the claim that anything that is illegal is not legitimate, that is typical thinking of a statist drone! At one time it was legal for one man to own another man, as long as the owned man was black in this nation. I guess if I claimed that that black man deserved at that time the same freedoms, liberties and rights as a white man, McMullet would say that isn’t legitimate. Because McMullet is an idiot!

    • Interesting. I’m positive that folks of opposite thinking would think you an idealists for being optimistic about individuals, community groups of people and making their own decisions and solutions, instead of it being carried out by government. Who’s the realists and who’s the idealists? Kinda scarily funny.

  3. I printed this one and put it on my door at work.

  4. Totally off topic but I wanted you guys to know, if you are subscribers to https://www.youtube.com/user/Iraqveteran8888
    You already know, Barry a huge 2nd amendment advocate and Prepper died Saturday of a heart attack, best known for Eric’s hugely popular Youtube channel and the show Prepper Hillbillies, he will be missed!

  5. Ronnie in Iowa

    http://archive.audubonmagazine.org/incite/incite9911.html <sorry, adding more as I now think on this. Marijuana isn't just about smoking it. The value of this plant is truly endless. There are hundreds of reasons those in power do NOT want it legalized. Their money and power would be threatened.

    And yes, it cures cancer, among many other things. I have a friend who had bone cancer. She had been thru big Pharma's cooking/poisoning process and was told "sorry…nothing more can be done for you" and she was sent home to die. Not ready to give up, they went to Canada and sought help. Six tubes of cannabis oil later…and now ten YEARS later…she is here, cancer free!! Her bones are still weak but she is quite able to get around on her own and lives a very happy, healthy life. She enjoys her art and gardening tremendously plus fights to legalize and educate the ignorant about cannabis. Cancer is a multi-BILLION dollar BUSINESS.
    For anyone interested in this please take time for these. They are the best two I have in my collection of information.


    And I think poison ivy should be illegal! Damn near died from that when I got the urushiol oil in my eyes off of the back of my glove while wiping sweat from my face. My entire face swelled up as did my airway. Nasty stuff!! Happened to another person who used to kiss her goats after milking them. They'd been eating poison ivy and had the urushiol all over their faces. So goat kissing should probably be illegal too. Right Jack? 😉

    • Ronnie in Iowa, for the audience here I think that rather than link to youtube it may be worthwhile to go straight to the “authority” on the matter:
      Cannabis Antitumor

      Also of note regarding cannabis as a neuroprotectant is our very own government’s patent here: Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants

      Interesting that if cannabis destroys, actually targets cancer cells in lab tests that our medical system is still pushing chemo on victims. Profit?

      This information is likely not published because our Drug Czar/ONDCP etc are basically mandated to lie to us. This can be confirmed in Title VII Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998: H11225

      • Ronnie in Iowa

        Thank you Jose for this info. I will surely be referring to it often.

        http://youtu.be/3_cN5zk91ZE IF I POP THIS BALLOON<what they USED to teach on Sesame Street many eons ago.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahx14Yx7c5I You Won't Believe How Big Pharma Targets Kids for Profits! <youtube disabled the "like" feature on this presentation. Hmmmmm…wonder why. Maybe they wouldn't be able to count that high.

        This was a superior show Jack. I will be forwarding to many people.

    • I can add first-hand that a family member, who had a spinal injury from an old car accident, went to the doctor last year due to the back pain being severe to the point where this person’s children were helping them up and down stairs. This person was a marijuana user and was directly told by their caretakers to continue its use. The reason they cited was that the type of injury and irritation caused by it should have developed into a cancer by now, and they believe that this person’s use of it was the reason it had not. I am not a medical professional, so I can not validate this, but I would say it is just as equally valid as other claims from medical professionals on either side of the debate.

      I’m still looking for valid claims against legalization that aren’t related to someone trying to convince me to have the same emotional experience as they do on the topic, which is not a very compelling argument. Most of what I hear is along the lines of what the mob would consider the politically correct, safer side of the argument for fear of being ostricised by that same mob. Its easy to target someone when there is high opportunity that the sidelines will join in and attack the same target. There is less fear of having to defend a point when there is a mob behind you already on your side who has been influenced by the same entities that have brought this argument about in the first place. With so much contention over this matter, and seeing as how we have seen so many “scientific” studies that have been clearly biased, why aren’t we hearing some arguments where even a single compound of the probably millions of compounds ingested when marijuana is consumed is studied and known to actually cause damage to the human body?

      We sit around and get pills prescribed to us from doctors who are receiving kickbacks from these pharmaceutical companies, only to find ads on tv 6 months later from law firms suing companies that have produced these drugs and caused deaths, and little to nothing is being argued over this. I think that would make a more respectable debate regarding the safety of what humans are ingesting.

      We’ve all heard and I agree with the failures of school systems, and we hear arguments about how children don’t do well in this system if they are using marijuana, but doesn’t that imply that the school system is something good that our children should be doing well in? Would they have been doing well if marijuana was not in their life? What is considered “doing well” in school nowadays?

      There’s the whole gateway drug argument as well, and I have yet to see anything to substantiate that use of marijuana leads to the use of other drugs. That argument is being made on the assumption that other drugs would not be taken by these individuals if they hadn’t had marijuana first, which is an impossible conclusion to draw. None of this seems very convincing. With so many folks arguing against it, what are the arguments being presented that cause a community like this to simply accept these arguments without critical analysis or evaluation of the contrary?

      • Modern Survival

        @infosec, you said, “I’m still looking for valid claims against legalization that aren’t related to someone trying to convince me to have the same emotional experience as they do on the topic, which is not a very compelling argument.”

        Let me say, WELL SAID, seriously, well said.

      • infosec: I wanted to elaborate on your comment ” it should have developed into a cancer by now, and they believe that this person’s use of it was the reason it had not.” I believe you are exactly right and to quote from cancer.gov that I linked above :

        “Cannabinoids may cause antitumor effects by various mechanisms, including induction of cell death, inhibition of cell growth, and inhibition of tumor angiogenesis invasion and metastasis.[9-12] Two reviews summarize the molecular mechanisms of action of cannabinoids as antitumor agents.[13,14] Cannabinoids appear to kill tumor cells but do not affect their nontransformed counterparts and may even protect them from cell death.These compounds have been shown to induce apoptosis in glioma cells in culture and induce regression of glioma tumors in mice and rats. Cannabinoids protect normal glial cells of astroglial and oligodendroglial lineages from apoptosis mediated by the CB1 receptor.[15]”

        This is our governments own research! Conspiracy theorists often state that these studies were stopped due to pressure from BigPharma and BigMedicine. If the studies prove true, I think it is fair to say that government has directly enabled a painful, costly death for millions while directly enabling corporations to profit handsomely from charging people to kill them.

  6. Sorry I haven’t listened to the podcast yet, but I can’t resist the tempation to post on this topic.

    First, everyone likes to think that they have critical thinking. I hope Jack addresses this dilemma.

    Second, here is a recent example of the governments lack of critical thinking (not that we lack examples): http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2014/04/portland_will_flush_38_million.html

    • Modern Survival

      Actually very few people make the case that they have critical thinking skills, sadly most under 30 haven’t even heard the term at this point.

      • OMG, logic and thinking! (shriek)
        You are a breath of fresh air, Jack.
        I’m curious from your recent comments on ‘spirituality’. Are you leaning in the direction of a form of pantheism or perhaps eternal return? I’ve arrived at similar positions from what I can tell. I find more value in stoic/epicurean/laconic thought or wabi-sabi/Confucian-esque principles at this point than the standard religious approach I was brought up with, and of course ‘The Golden Rule’ aka categorical imperative is timeless and extremely ancient. Having the right answers is not nearly as important as asking the right questions…

        • Modern Survival

          I am a Deists many label us pantheists, but I don’t see it that way. The below sums up my feelings on this very well,

          “Well, as always the question is answered differently by different deists but this is one there is largely a consensus on. Most deists would say, indeed there is “one creator”, one supreme intelligence but many different views of that exist. Again I can only give you my view.

          I would define God as a singularity. I personally define God sum total of all consciousness and intelligence that exists in the entirety of all space, matter, time and dimension. Some would call this pantheism, most of those that do so with any negativity are followers of one of the revealed religions.

          Pantheism is simply defined as, “the view that everything is part of an all-encompassing immanent God,or that the universe, nature, god and divinity are all identical.” A lot of evangelical pastors get their panties in a wad over pantheism stating that it basically says that everything is god, hence man is god. This is simply typical defensive religion, acting out when anything challenges their view of faith.

          Frankly pantheism is a far more inclusive view of what Christians call “the body of Christ”. To say that we and everything else that exists is a part of God is not to say that we are all God, that is just nonsense. That would be like saying since your big toe on your left foot is part of you, your toe is you. Cut off your toe and you still exist, incinerate it, compost it or feed it to a dog and you still exist do you not? Yet while attached to you it is part of you right? If you stub it you feel pain, if it is tickled you laugh, if you get a foot rub you feel pleasure or if you get bit by an ant on it you itch.

          This is why I choose to use my reason to see God as a singularity. I believe that you and I and my dog and all energy and consciousness are part of God, yet that singularity exists in a single point as well. In fact reason would lead us to believe that this is the only way God could be omnipotent and omnipresent. For God to know you as well as you know yourself God would have to be part of you, see though your eyes and understand the world and the universe as it exists in your heart.

          Think about it this way, the creator cannot be omnipresent if God only sees the universe or more accurately the multiverses as they exist for God. God must know how all things exist for all beings. This is how I view God, a singularity of all consciousness and intelligence that is connected to the same.”

  7. Michael Thorpe

    Good show Jack. I had a friend who pushed critical analysis on me at the ripe age of 27! Of course, he is an artist, but he taught me the value of breaking things down in a way I had never discovered. Goes to show what we can learn outside the classroom.

  8. Jack, totally unrelated but have you messed with that bittip button? It’s not very elegant. The parent div containing the popup iframe has an onclick event associated with it to close the whole div, but that event is overridden by the internal iframe itself. The way to close the whole thing is to click your mouse outside of the visual part of the iframe (the blue part). Visually, it looks like you are clicking outside of the blue and in reality you are and you are clicking on the (transparent) outer div, triggering the onclick event to close the whole thing.

    I would advise you (or the vendor providing the service?) add an explicit button to close the whole thing. It should be a trivial change and would greatly enhance the user experience, imo. I’m sure this is low on your list of things to do but since it directly impacts a primary channel you use to connect with customers I thought you might want to know its a little goofy…

  9. Does anyone have a link to the marijuana study he mentioned in the beginning of the show? I would like to share it, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere.

  10. Thank you. Your view was the only one I was looking for and I’d categorize you as a fellow ‘truthseeker’.
    ‘Nature is an infinite sphere whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.’ Blaise Pascal