Question. Question. Question.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Over at Litemind is a thought-provoking post by Luciano Passuello about how to use questions to improve thinking for any of various broad goals.

  1. Creative Problem Solving
  2. Shifting Your Perspective on a Problem
  3. Directing Thinking and Debate
  4. Education and Leadership
  5. Creating Conversation and Empathy
  6. Critical Thinking
  7. Shifting Your Focus
  8. Inspiration, Goal Setting and Action
  9. Self-Reflection
  10. Questioning as a Way of Life
And here is what Passuello has to say about using questions to improve critical thinking:
Skillful use of inquiry is the cornerstone of critical thinking. Again, it's only through questioning that we can truly think by ourselves -- instead of blindly accepting whatever we're told as the right thing to do or the only acceptable answer.

When I say "skillful use of inquiry", this does not mean necessarily getting fancy: oftentimes, it means being playful and "thinking like a child". Great critical thinkers don't get embarrassed to ask seemingly naïve questions: these are usually the most effective -- as well as the ones snob intellectuals are more prone to overlook.

As an effective initial set of questions to use, it's hard to beat the famous 5Ws (what, where, who, when and why). "Where did you see it?", "What are the causes of it?", "Why is the emperor naked?" [minor format edits, bold added]
I'm both fairly new to the Litemind blog, which focuses on "ways to use our minds efficiently," and have rather limited time to keep up with blogs (including my own!) these days. As a result, I don't know if I simply missed the fact that there is a free eBook offer there or it's new since I learned about (and last visited) the site last month. That said, if you look around there and like what you see, there's an easy way to cull the best that site has to offer.

-- CAV

--- In Other News ---

Speaking of questions, A Smart Bear asks, "How do I get my first few customers?"

I'm very glad to see that the "personhood" amendment got trounced in Mississippi, in the same election that saw it elect a Republican governor by an even wider margin and seat a majority Republican House for the first time since Reconstruction. There's a lesson in that somewhere for fiscal conservatives and libertarians who insist on pandering to the theocrats who are, in the words of a writer at Salon, "poisoning" the "GOP brand".

Android web app recommendation: Epistle. Oddly enough, I didn't first hear about this through Lifehacker, but there is a nice write-up of "Android's Dropbox Note Sync" there.

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