Critical analysis toolbox in the age of imbecility

Imbecilicus Morritrumpicus
Imbecilicus Morritrumpicus

Here’s the thing: we live in an era of imbecility.  Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, and Scott Morrison have encouraged wilfully ignorant, aggressively stupid people to vigorously push cretinous ideas and propositions, demanding for them some kind of equivalence with facts, reasoned argument, and rationality.

Ugh!  What a repugnant achievement.

In itself that wouldn’t be so bad.  But since the late 1990s, our universities have no longer taught critical thinking.  Not even in the humanities, which used to exist principally to teach critical analysis of information about our history, politics, philosophy, literature, and other arts.  To create the intellectual engagement necessary to maintain liberal democracies, free from the depredations ushered in by the Trump-Johnson-Morrison imbeciles.

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Rittel & Webber on ‘wicked and tame’ problems

Consequences for equity: Differentiation of publics has heightened pluralism, making it difficult to satisfy all, or even most of them in policy formulation. The problem lies at the nexus of goal-formulation, problem-definition, and equity issues (p 156).

Revolts: 1960s RANDian systems theory approaches led to revolts by blacks, students, anti-war demonstrators, conservationists – movements all opposing ‘underlying systemic processes’ [is this Marcuse’s One Dimensional Man being challenged?] (p 157).

‘Makeability’: the idea that the future can be shaped by enough planning intellect (p 158).

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