Thinking About Thinking

I noted over at Suite101 that I’ve been doing a lot of thinking this week. What I don’t say in the blog is how suspicious we are as a society, and as individuals, of people who think a lot. We’re so obsessed with productivity, and things, that we mistrust people who stare into space without actually doing something. I actually once had a Management Accountant tell me that anything that couldn’t be measured was worthless. Indeed, our whole society seems predicated  on providing ways of avoiding thinking — be it TV, radio, the internet, etc, etc…

Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

4 Responses to “Thinking About Thinking”

  1. Jennifer Shumate says:

    I wouldn’t say that I’ve encountered much mistrust for thinking in general, but I do get a few sideways looks for not thinking like everyone else. Just yesterday, a friend of my husband’s told me that I “whine a lot”. When I asked him to elaborate, he referred to some of the stuff I post on Facebook – like the link I posted about several thousand teachers getting RIFed or all the healthcare reform stuff, etc. I guess the logic is that he didn’t like the stuff I’ve posted, so it’s “whining”.

  2. I think you’re overthinking it. 😉

    Seriously, the more you have in common with someone, the more easily they relate to you. When you have little in common with someone, you don’t relate. When you cannot relate to someone, you don’t trust them.

    We are surrounded by addictive amusements that not only take up time, but give us things to talk about with other people.

    Thinking about your life takes time. This reduces the time you have to spend on addictive amusements, and reduces how much you have in common with those around you.

    Decades ago I made a conscious decision to not watch TV regularly (conceded, except for Dr. Who). It’s not because I think that it’s all crap. I’m sure I could find good stuff — people whose opinions I respect rave about Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, NCIS, etc. But acquiring those addictions would reduce the time I have for more important things. The immediately noticeable effect of this decision was that I related less well to the people around me. The separation has grown worse with time. Subtract other addictive amusements, such as alcohol and spectator sports, and you lose a lot of your common experience with our culture. The result is that you’re odd. People mistrust the odd.

    After a quarter century of this, I’d be eccentric if I had more money. And people around me catch on real quick.

  3. Have your read “Fahrenheit 451” recently? Thinking goes with reading like bubble goes with squeak, and some people would find their lives much easier if we never did either. So they fill our lives with TVs saying nothing, nothing, nothing, and saying it loud, loud, loud.

    Keep taking the red pills.

  4. Colin says:


    Agree completely.


    I agree to an extent, but I’m not talking about spending all your time in a trance — just taking a few minutes out each day.

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• April 9th, 2010 • Posted in General • Comments: 4