The One Thing that Terrifies Me…

There’s a lot of things that should probably terrify me in the world today – but there’s one that stands out above all others. The apparent complete abandonment of “critical thinking”. This may not come as much of a surprise if you’ve read my posts on drivers blindly following their GPS system into life-threatening situations.

Today I read a story on Cnet that had me scratching my head. From what I can tell it was written by a guy who works in some kind of computer repair job. The post (found here) is basically about the hazards of screws when it comes to your laptop more specifically screws you “can’t get undone”.

The line that made my jaw drop was:

Thanks to a single screw the owner of this laptop computer now has to buy a new machine.

Huh? Come again???

Basically he was defeated by a single screw, which had gone form being a Philips head to a perfect little circle. Now, this happens all the time but what shocked me was how easily he shrugged and gave up. His solution was “Hard Drive is stuck, by a new computer”. He then goes onto to detail a bunch of other ways a tiny little screw has defeated him in the course of his job.

Wow.

Come on people, in this day of persistent & pervasive information most of life’s basic problems can be answered by just stepping back for a second and considering the problem. If that doesn’t provide a solution, ask around – A simple Google search for “Removing a Stripped Screw” turned up 73,000+ results.

At the end of the day here’s one piece of critical thinking I’ll save you from having to do. If you go to a repair shop and the guy behind the counter is named Michael Horowitz just run, run, run away.

  • erin

    Ha! Scary… good post.

  • thcrawford

    I believe that critical thinking should be a core part of curriculum in all of our schools, age appropriate of course. If your search turned up 73,000 results, it’s just as important to be able to use critical thinking to discern which of the ideas will work best in the current situation.

    With the sheer volumes of information, it is just as important to have critical thinking skills that allow consumers of information to be able to identify bias, compare and contrast ideas, make judgements about the best course to take, and validate sources.

    There are appropriate, practical, and even fun ways to teach this in high school, college and even grade school.