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Critical what?

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of PainScience.com: a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

Critical what? Hardly a day goes by I don’t read something smart online about critical thinking: how important it is, how to do it, why to bother. It’s everywhere. So … why is so much not-so-critical thinking still floating around out there?! It seems odd.

The answers are obvious of course: above all, good quality thinking is a skill, because it requires working around obstacles that are truly unknown to us without training (obscure logical fallacies and sneaky cognitive distortions). It’s a hard skill to learn even for people who are super motivated. There’s almost no chance if it threatens comforting beliefs … or, worse, the basis for making a living!

But it still seems mighty peculiar and ironic that there’s so much good information available about critical thinking that isn’t being used.

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