As someone who developed with an arithmetic style of thinking, the easiest way I can describe the way I think is a sequence of boolean functions. Without getting too in-depth of what an actual boolean function is, I will try to explain it as simple as possible. In short, it is a logic expression where you have variables that are put together and it leads to an answer of 1 (True) or 0 (False).
As complicated as that sounds, we all think like this to some extent. Thought processing and reasoning take care of this for us. When I study or analyze something, I usually use this boolean style of thinking in order to come to some of my conclusions. A simple non-political example I can give is, “If I am underwater and try to breathe, will it work?” Obviously not. If we want to get complex and political, an example would be, “Why did Carter Page stay in touch with Stephan Halper during his entire FISA period?” If you start breaking that down into variables, you will start to see that the Obama administration only had control of the first FISA and after the third renewal, all of Trump’s people were in place by 8/2/17. Taking a big issue like that and breaking it down into smaller variables allows you to find the abnormalities in the sequence and understand that there is either more or less to the story/narrative that is being told.
When thinking critically and brainstorming about a certain subject or topic, an infinite amount of scenarios can be created, it is about finding the one string that makes the most sense. When new information comes out, it is important to redo the logic string with the new information instead of stretching a theory or thought in order to twist the new information.
Follow patterns not narratives.— Joestradamus IV 😺 (@Joestradamus91) January 14, 2019
Knowing how to critically think is not only a great way of learning and self discovery, it is also a way to defend yourself against the predetermined thought. As the name says, it is a thought or belief system designed to feed confirmation bias. By immediately suggesting a solution, it cuts the stimulation the brain experiences when trying to problem solve. The person on the receiving end is more likely to comply when an answer is immediately impressed upon them instead of leaving the answer open ended.
I actually use this exploit a lot in my career when writing Requests for Information. When running into problems in the field, permission has to be asked to the owner on how to proceed. By just telling the owner the problem, you are at the mercy of their reply. By simply offering the problem and a solution, 9 times out of 10, they will go with your solution. As the one doing the work, I can suggest the most cost effective solution that will make my company the maximum amount of money.
We are constantly bombarded with predetermined thoughts by both the Left and Right Wing Media outlets. Most of you can probably remember during the 2016 Presidential Election that if you didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton you were a racist, a sexist, and a xenophobe. I didn’t vote for Hillary, but it wasn’t because I am a racist, a sexist, and a xenophobe, it was because I thought that she was an awful candidate that exploited her position in government for maximum financial gain. Unfortunately, that predetermined thought was placed upon all of the voters and in the interest of not being called those three terms, people voted for Hillary Clinton.
A major recent example of a mass scale predetermined thought push was when Nike hired Colin Kaepernick for a new ad campaign and clothing line. Kaepernick was already a controversial figure for his kneeling during the National Anthem. He created a predetermined thought among his peers by creating the illusion that if you didn’t kneel for the National Anthem you supported social injustice, especially the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of police. Obviously that isn’t true, but people instead supported the notion and started kneeling themselves. The non-kneelers and kneeler criticizers were called racists by the kneelers. What the predetermined thought failed to include, hence the danger, is that kneeling against the National Anthem has nothing to do with the police or police brutality.
I would like to think that almost everyone would be against police brutality in general. The main ire I had with Kaepernick’s movement was that even though I do support the police and thank them for their service, there are a few bad cops and they were being used to shame the entire force. Also the National Anthem is meant for every American and not just the police. By kneeling he was disrespecting a majority that wasn’t even included in his protest. It was not a well thought out protest.
Getting back to Nike, they hired Kaepernick and immediately the line was drawn. Either you supported Nike and Kaepernick or it was a boycott. You can see how with each example, there are two outcomes that divide the country among party lines. This is the bias that is exploited. I wrote a thread on it back when it was happening which can be found here explaining the predetermined thought. In short, I like Nike sneakers. I am not going to stop doing what I enjoy just because of politics. While this was going on and the propagandists on both sides were herding people into thinking a certain way, no one offered the solution of just not buying Kaepernick’s line. Instead people were burning their Nike clothing/sneakers and probably had to spend money later on to replace it.
With all of the above being said, try not to allow propagandist exploit your natural confirmation bias into doing things against your self interests by implementing predetermined thoughts. Take back your mind and do the things that you enjoy doing. Everything in life starts with you.