Why does no-one do 24/7 critical thinking: a thought-piece

Critical thinking, as philosophers traditionally define it, requires scrutiny of assumptions, evidence, and reasoning involved in any proposition. Of course, none of us do that scrutiny all the time. I don’t, for example, question whether the appendage coming out of my left shoulder—my arm—is part of my own body.
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Have we constituted a group that might effectively promote a new organization of scientists (or inquirers)?

Thought-piece by Peter Taylor circulated by email soon after the “Ecology at the Boundary of Human Systems” workshop, March 2000.
1. Have we constituted a group that might effectively promote a new organization of scientists (or inquirers)? [Referring to proposal for American Federation of Scientists]
2. What would we need to do to assess this likelihood? What inquiry would we need?
3. How would we support each other to pursue that inquiry?
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Workshop on Making Spaces for Connecting, Probing, Reflecting, Creating

“Most workshops are dysfunctional—this one wasn’t!” read one evaluation from the first New England Workshop on Science and Social Change (NewSSC) workshop in 2004. Appreciative feedback like that may feel like validation for any workshop or collaborative processes that you facilitate, but how well can you articulate or support the principles or theory about personal and group change that underlie those processes? Moreover, how would you lead people who experience the dysfunction in many workshops, collaborations, conferences and meetings into making the effort to create something more fulfilling?

This four-day workshop is intended to allow participants to delve into the principles or theory that underlie their own workshop or collaborative processes and develop plans to make those processes more effective in some sense(s) that they deem important….
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I didn’t know that I could gain a lot by valuing the perspectives of people who are older and yet…

My response to friends who asked for a note for their child’s 13th birthday.

Dearest L,
You’re 13. You don’t need to pay any attention to what us old folks say. But from watching you since you were little, I suspect that you will think and ponder over this, even though you’ll make your own sense of the present, past, and future.
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Hope or shift to the other side of one of a series of alternations

Time and again she comes running towards you with a bunch of hopes she has found and picked in the undergrowth of the times we are living. And you remember that hope is not a guarantee for tomorrow, but a detonator of energy for action today.

Let’s imagine the “she” referred to in this quote by John Berger, the late English Marxist art critic and social commentator, is oneself Read more of this post

“I feel some abstractions coming on…”

Van Gogh, at the end of a 1888 letter on display at the Guggenheim in New York, writes:

“I feel some abstractions coming on and if I do not quickly fill up my paper I would again get to drawing and you would not have your letter.”

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Generativity not reactivity

This 5-minute audio thoughtpiece on generativity and reactivity advises anyone feeling depressed or distracted or dissipated or reluctant during the turbulent politics of these days is to protect space to be generative not reactive.  Hear more Read more of this post

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