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May 6, 2023Liked by Michael Woudenberg

Happy to have discovered your Substack Michael. Thinking about letting my 12-year-old read it too (when I asked her what she wants to be when she grows up, she said “I want to be a polymath.” Funny - she already is! Exhibiting artist, singer, plays 3 instruments, loves math and writes at high school level).

On the ability to think critically and with nuance. This is an ability we are losing fast, ironically due in large part to the way we approach and use technology. Technology that has such profound potential, and humans are blowing it a little. This is the reason I’ve joined Substack in fact. To do my part in fomenting nuanced thinking in society. And to find others doing so.

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If you haven't seen this one yet, I'd recommend it for your daughter too regarding social media and communication interactions in general.

https://polymathicbeing.substack.com/p/the-conoftext

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thank you will take a look!

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Great feedback and I'd love to help an aspiring polymath navigate the boons and banes in a world of specialization.

I agree on the technology, specifically social media. It's designed to trigger, not contemplate. I like saying you have to offend to trend.

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May 6, 2023Liked by Michael Woudenberg

Yes, especially social media. Offend, shock, enrage, bully, goad... all the raw emotions we love to hate with. Also a lot of positive ones ofc, but the person-to-person connection and empathy are largely lost.

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Interesting read.

One element one could also weave through this is the idea of experience with age. At 60, my brain thinks very differently than it did at say 30 or 40, about many things. COVID was a good example of that. I know a 30 year old who followed every irrational rule and mandate that came along. We had other thoughts, based on experience and a knowledge base. Masks were dumb, not to mention ineffective, so was the random 6 feet apart “rule” and I won’t even wander into the whole “vaccine” issue.

I wonder how many are critically thinking about COVID, post COVID.

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Great points. Age does have the advantage of patterns of failure and absurdity you don't have when you are young. Yet it is my contention, with COVID, that everything was already there but was lacking logic and critique. It didn't take much logical formulation to see the absurdity in the rules by and large.

Now as to whether they'll think critically about COVID post COVID? I'd say my emperical and annecdotal observations don't inspire confidence. I actually wrote this essay on Cognitive Blindness after a series of conversations where people who were totalitarian in 2020 had no memory of it and even 'glitched' when shown their posts and comments and instead blamed everyone else for their behavior.

https://polymathicbeing.substack.com/p/you-know-nothing

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