Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Several Remote Notions

So, what sorts of notions might be considered helpful in reducing our gullibilty?

It seems that if we simply 'digest' the subjects and currlicula offered to us by the present conventional educational process, we can become locked into 'subject prisons' where we devote extensive time and energy into learning more and more about less and less. We can also dupe oursleves into believing that deep technical knowledge of subjects will protect from the vagieries of human interface.

At the start of the 21st century it seems that subjects of general human concern such as philosophy and psychology are:

  • regarded as irrelevant subject matter except in 'subjects as themselves'
  • too high brow and specialised to be accessible to the ordinary person

We seemed governed by the cliche, that in order to develop oursleves we need to become 'specialists' and experts by gaining more and more knowledge about a tightly defined subject, such that if you wanted to pursue a doctorate level qualification, you would be merely pushing back the boundaries of knowledge with a matchstick head! Many good thinkers are Polymaths are able to draw connections across a broad range of topics. So why not become a specialised 'generalist'!

The suggestion here is that a general awareness and understanding of range of subjects & their key themes and issues will develop us into more integrated people capable of avoiding the trap of gullibility.

Here are some Jelly Beans from the Jar marked 'Eat these to Avoid Gullibility':

  • how adults learn (androgogy)
  • mental maps
  • managing change (note: this is NOT change management)
  • NLP
  • general philosophy themes
  • epistemology
  • creative thinking
  • systems thinking
  • outcome based thinking
  • synthetic thinking
  • integral thinking
  • spiral dynamics
  • process awareness
  • applied psychology
  • critical thinking
  • the unconscious mind
  • influence and persuasion
  • communicating
  • sense making
  • and there's more...

And the benefit of becoming aware these subjects and themes? Maybe we can increasingly identify unscrupulous use of this knowledge and wrest the 'control' exerted by people who attempt to deceive and manipulate us with their dubious integrity.

Balancing soft and hard know how, and valuing the polymath in all of us might prove most helpful. Imagine if we introduced such subjects at High School, and perhaps better questions are....who is deciding they aren't introduced?...and why?

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