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Comment: Comprehension fail (Score 2) 473

by TapeCutter (#48226727) Attached to: Employers Worried About Critical Thinking Skills

Critical thinking would preclude using quotes on a highly doctored phrase.

Nope, good grammar does that, he just failed to state he was paraphrasing.

In other words, they don't mean what you attempted to portray them to mean.

The actual meaning of the quote was NOT lost. ie: it explicitly states they oppose CT because they believe it will lead children to doubt their parents or as they put it "undermining parental authority", the wording also strongly implies they don't want the "authority" of fixed beliefs "undermined". The subtext of the quote is that parents and fixed beliefs are infallible and should not be questioned.

In simpler words the policy as you have quoted it says - We don't want educated children, we want obedient children.

Comment: Re:What is critical thinking? (Score 1) 473

by TapeCutter (#48226537) Attached to: Employers Worried About Critical Thinking Skills
Yes, the very nature of large organisations drains initiative, males in particular evolved to work in small groups of 5-6 and live in tribes of ~150 people, anyone not in their tribe was by definition "sub-human" but not necessarily a mortal enemy. A wise organisation acknowledges this and will give small teams a great deal of autonomy to achieve a particular goal, eg: think how the military would tackle the goal of "keep the park tidy and well maintained", you may have to explain to them that anyone can use the park, but you get the idea.

Disclaimer: I spent seven years in the 90's as technical lead on an automated job dispatch system that handled thousand of workers and tens of thousands of jobs each day, it covered the continent of Australia, at that time it was by far the largest mobile dispatch system in the southern hemisphere in volume of work and geographical coverage. The backend used "linear programming" techniques (WW2 logistics), no human could beat the daily work plan it churned out. A bunch of execs would get up at 5am and paw all over the plan, add some "special constraints" and end up with a less efficient solution. Often the "special constraints" were accepted anyway, since - we can't have (say) the telecoms minister waiting 2 days for a new install in his office, it has to be done first thing today, and it has to be done by employee X who drinks at the same pub, who gives a flying fuck if 25 nobodys drop off the original work plan?

Comment: Re:What is critical thinking? (Score 2) 473

by TapeCutter (#48226131) Attached to: Employers Worried About Critical Thinking Skills

"critical thinking" is the new buzzword.

I'm 55, the phrase has been around for a long time, Carl Sagan was fond of it (unfortunately my HS never mentioned it) so it wasn't until I dropped out and saw Sagan and Randi talking about it on TV that I became personally aware that it was a skill that can be taught. Perhaps it's been hijacked lately in the US to mean something else but I haven't noticed. To me it has always meant 'skepticism', in particular self-skepticism. Sagan also referred to it as his "bullshit detection kit". As for TFA, memorising facts* is essential but insufficient, ie: you can't even start to think about things that you don't remember, which is what Newton was getting at with his "shoulders of giants" comment.

*Facts as in - "two bodies attract each other with a force proportional to their combined mass and the distance between them", that the force is ~9.8m/s on Earth's surface is trivia, handy to know but not essential to the concept that's being memorised since it can easily be looked up or measured. A physics teacher who sets up a gravity problem and expects students to know the value of 'g' from memory, is doing it wrong. Of course there are exceptions where memorising numbers is a useful "short-cut" for the student, multiplication tables being the most obvious

Comment: Re:What is critical thinking? (Score 1) 473

by i kan reed (#48223403) Attached to: Employers Worried About Critical Thinking Skills

That's not a usage I've ever seen. It's certainly true people are quick to dismiss established ideas from powerful sources for various reasons that vary greatly in quality, but I don't think I've ever seen that notion attached to "critical thinking" as a definition.

Actual critical thinking is trickier to define. I like to think of it as always trying to come up with objective ways of comparing and judging ideas. And, critically, coming up with objective ways to compare and judge those "objective" measures.

The study of non-linear physics is like the study of non-elephant biology.