Reposted: Dan’s Ten Rules for Critical Thinking on the Internet

This was originally written and posted in 2015. It would appear that not much has changed.

Feel free to add your own rules in the comments below.  


1.  One statistic can never tell the whole story.

2.  A meme does not constitute an argument.  It is an advertisement for a particular point of view.

3.  Do not agree or disagree with anything based solely on Rule 1 or Rule 2.

4.  Always seek and cite multiple original sources.

5.  Life is not simple and cannot be boiled down to a catchphrase.

6.  Exception to rule #5:  “Life’s a bitch and then you die.”

7.  Strive to be fair in your thought process.  “We can never hope to be objective we can only hope to be fair.”  (I am paraphrasing and I don’t recall the original source of this quote.)

8.  Read “How to Lie with Statistics” by Darrel Huff.

9.  Freely allow facts to get in the way of your preconceived notions.

10.  Be willing to change your mind in the presence of a winning argument.


Reposted: Dan’s Ten Rules for Critical Thinking on the Internet — 1 Comment

  1. Before getting into a discussion, I’ve started asking people I know who can become “reactive” whether or not they can be persuaded. This does a couple of things. First, it immediately forces the other person to be more aware of her or his natural inclination to “win.” Second, as few wish to be considered intractable, the person becomes more inclined to listen critically – not to crush an opponent – but to convince her or himself, and other observers, that he or she is a reasonable person. And finally, it’s my experience that the person actually becomes more inclined to listen… and to respond more reasonably.

    Then I go in for the kill. 😉

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