Hand of power should not deal the cards | AspenTimes.com
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Hand of power should not deal the cards

Dear Editor:

Critical thinking incorporates the ability to question and analyze information and come to some sort of conclusion with the goal of establishing some sort fact or truth, a platform from which to direct further endeavors. It has a lot of survival value, keeping us from doing things that aren’t in our best interests. For example, if we look out the window, and see that there is a tremendous blizzard blowing outside, we know from our experience that we’ll need to put on a warm coat, hat, gloves, perhaps a scarf and certainly boots, if we need to go out into the storm, right? That’s critical thinking in a practical application.

Which brings me to my next point: One of the main tenets of totalitarianism is to limit, manage and control the flow of information so that only what one wants known is known. In this way, one is able to predicate the perceptions and beliefs of a given populace, to mold and shape history, and fabricate “fact” or “truth.” Where we go from there is determined by what we “know,” and what we believe to be in our “best interests.” Critical thinking skills allow one to be able to discern fact from fiction, truth from fallacy, and therein lies the rub, the threat for those who would exploit ignorance.

The ongoing, once secret, reclassifying of documents previously declassified and available for study by historians and other interested parties, by the CIA, under a directive from President Bush is indicative of such informational tinkering taking place; not that any of the previously declassified material posed any real threat to national security; the fact is, most of it was pretty innocuous stuff, which is why it was declassified in the first place. But that grab for power, the authority to decide what is and isn’t sensitive material, that’s what needs to be watched out for!

Being able to decide what is considered to be sensitive, fact or fiction, is a very powerful tool. In the wrong hands it could be very detrimental to your well-being. My advice is to be very wary of who you give it to, and be very certain it’s being used for your best interests.

There is a quote of Abraham Lincoln that I think those who would attempt to mold history would do well to keep in mind: “History is not history unless it is the truth.”

Bob Keenan

Carbondale


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