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Thursday, July 11, 2002

And what I didn't say about yesterday is...

I found a cheap copy of James Loewen's Lies My Teacher Told Me, a very thought-provoking book about how inaccurate and biased high school American history books are. I sat on the bus leafing through it, clucking my tongue every so often.

If you haven't seen the book, I highly recommend it (not to be a salesman or anything), mostly because I think it's important to realize just how clueless we can be, not out of stupidity, but because we're not taught the truth, and not taught to think about what's been left out. There's a great quote that Loewen cites (by Richard Nixon, of all people): "When information which properly belongs to the public is sytematically withheld by those in power, the people soon become ignorant of their own affairs, distrustful of those who manage them, and - eventually - incapable of determining their own destinies."

Between that book and "9-11", I've been in this interesting intellectual place, kind of questioning what I really know and what I think I know. It's an odd place to be in, but kind of a good one, too.

As a future "scientist" (if you're one of those who considers psychology a science), we're taught to think about different mental processes and test our hypotheses, always bearing in mind alternative explanations. Some of us don't do as well in thinking about other explanations, becoming blinded by our supposed learning and cleverness. And, a lot of times, we get blinded by what we think we know about other people and our world.

I could go on about a million other points from there, but I think that's the most amazing thing to ponder about in all this thinking I've been doing. It kind of relates to a point Matt made. And it's kind of funny how these things just strike you.

posted by Skattieboy @ 2:12 PM

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