Use Your Big Brain

Screen Shot 2020-05-04 at 10.03.06 PM 1Time to turn on your big brain and use it.

Be very careful.

Ask yourself… who is trying to influence me right now?

Be very careful, because people are.

Ask yourself… who is taking advantage of this situation to try and manipulate what happens after this situation?

Don’t be paranoid. But be careful, because people are.

This is something we didn’t have to worry about in China. We had one message coming down, and we followed it. That might sound naive, but it was what it was, and there was a comfort in that.

But most of you are in a different system.

In the west, everything is open. This is great, typically. But in a time of crisis, it can be confusing. Because there are people taking advantage of the openness to try and achieve their own goals.

So be careful.

Be thoughtful.

Use your critical thinking skills.

Think through the stories coming across your social media. Who is publishing this? Are they publishing truth? Are they looking for hits? Are they trying to sway our society? Even if I agree with their premise, are they worthy of my support?

Don’t just repost, but think. Consider. Make your decisions based on reason… not emotion.

And for heaven’s sake, read the articles you’re considering reposting. Don’t just read the headlines.

People tried to influence us this way in 2016, and they succeeded, and that was just a presidential election. Now, we’re in a global pandemic in an election year and are you seriously trying to tell me that people won’t try to influence things during 2020?

2016 had nothing on 2020. 2016 can’t hold 2020’s beer.

But don’t be paranoid. Don’t be fearful.

But do be careful.

Be thoughtful.

Right now it is imperative that we turn on every critical thinking skill to which we have access.

Historians will look back on us and they will judge us on how we react to this time. They will judge how our reactions impacted this time.

Let’s show those future historians that we’re better than those who would try to manipulate and influence and cajole us into doing their bidding.

Let’s turn on our big brains and use them.


4 thoughts on “Use Your Big Brain

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  2. I know this may come off as a little chippy, but it seems like you are telling other people to think, but taking comfort in the fact that you didn’t have to… I do like to exercise my critical thinking skills, but how can you preach to me about this when you have totally delegated those skills? This seems somewhat hypocritical. I’m curious to hear your explanation.

    • My apologies. I didn’t communicate clearly.

      Here in China, we weren’t given much information, or the information we were given was tightly controlled, and so there wasn’t much to do but soldier on.

      Maybe it was different for Chinese people, but I don’t speak the language, so I wasn’t privy to all the theories and attempted manipulations. All I had to go on was what I saw on a few English language news sites, but I didn’t just accept everything they said. In fact, I just stopped paying attention to it all at one point because it was giving me too much anxiety. What mattered was keeping my family intact and healthy.

      When the virus hit the west, it was the complete opposite of my experience here. My news and social media went from the virus as an afterthought or a beer joke to 24/7 nonstop coverage in a heartbeat.

      Freedom of speech means that people can say just about anything, which means there are hundreds of threads to pull from, and that was what I was saying. That we should all be using our big brains. And it does apply to me, too, because I read the same things everyone else does.

      Does that clarify my intent?

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