Here’s a slightly different approach to “thinkers” like Dana Milbank (Dec. 14).
When teenagers’ little gray cells start, at last, to talk to each other, and thinking becomes possible, these potential thinkers divide into two camps. (Sorry, make that three. Some of them decide not to think at all, but spend their time watching football, drinking beer and letting the rest of the world do their thinking for them. They’re probably having a pretty good time, at least for now, but that’s not for me.)
There are a couple of ideas or adages here that encapsulate and differentiate the two groups:
One group recognizes that being able to say “I don’t know” is the beginning of wisdom and saying “I don’t know, but I can find out” is the action to take.
The other group says “Don’t bother me with facts. My mind is made up.” And they go on their merry way, until their sky falls in on them, counterintuitively. What do they do then? (See “The Marching Morons,” by C. M. Kornbluth.)
We should all ask ourselves, which group speaks to and for me?