Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Russians are Coming, the Russians are Coming

I was feelin' sad and kinda' blue,
I didn't know what I was a gonna do.
The Communists was comin' around,
They was in the air,
They was on the ground,
They wouldn't gimme no peace.
                                                                                        — Bob Dylan

Russian trolls have invaded our homeland, according to The Atlantic.

Posing on social media as angry Americans, they're riling our political factions.

"The ultimate intent is not so much victory for a certain side, but a loss for everybody: sapping the credibility of US institutions and tearing open as many wounds as possible," The Atlantic reports.

"After Election Day, we should not be surprised to find a vocal group of internet users with mysterious IP addresses decrying the result as a fraud and driving talk of conspiracy—and even of resistance or secession.

"In time, we may see a multiplying number of homegrown violent extremists (along the lines of the infamous Oregon militiamen), encouraged by the subtle manipulation of a certain rival government."

They have us by the brains.

Our only defense: a little critical thinking.

According to The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking, " Much of our thinking, left to itself, is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed or down-right prejudiced. Yet the quality of our life and that of what we produce, make, or build depends precisely on the quality of our thought."

To improve your critical thinking, the Guide says, you need to:
  • Raise and formulate important questions clearly and precisely;
  • Gather relevant data and use abstract ideas to interpret that data;
  • Come to reasoned conclusions you can test against others' standards;
  • Stay open minded and explore alternative systems of thought; and
  • Communicate effectively.
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