Skepticism is the best of the isms. It is critical thinking, it is science (the scientific method), and vise versa. Question everything, doubt what you're told, look for the other side of the story, or as Ronald Reagan put the Russian proverb, "doveryai no proveryai" (Trust but verify). If someone is not skeptical of what they are told, and won't question or consider facts that don't support their view, that doesn't make them a bad person: but they're not a practicing person of science, logic, reason or critical thinking. If they can't accept their biases or that truth, then they're not a self-aware person.
|4 Stages of Scientific Discovery
Some folks idealize science and give it a credit for objectivity and integrity that it doesn't deserve. But like politics, business, industry, school, and research, it’s made of people. People have egos, frailties, emotions, blind-spots, bigotries and so on. So if someone is claiming that science is pure and that scientists follow the scientific method, they're in denial... or so deep into a belief system of faux objectivity in science, that they might as well belong to a cult.
The 4 stages of scientific discovery are:
- Denial in its existence
- Denial in its significance
- Misattribution to who did the work
|Allegory of the Apes
Apes in a cage will remember lessons, long after they're applicable. An allegory about how Apes are victims of systems-memory, and that they will remember to follow rules, even after they've forgotten why they were doing them in the first place (and why it might be OK to stop). Humans fall prey to the same false assumptions.
"Don't ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up"
~ C.K. Chesterton
|Driving by watching the rear view mirror
A common mistake I've seen businesses repeat, over and over again - or more accurately I've seen many companies do once or twice until they go out of business or the idiots doing it are fired, is to "drive by watching the review mirror".
Instead of analyzing and thinking, learning technology (and markets and customers), they decide, "someone else is doing it, and since it worked for them, it'll work for us".
I want to head-smack them.... and then point out the first rule of Italian racing; "what's behind you, is not important". You're not them, they're not you: different timing, resources, talents, markets, culture, personalities, and so on -- so crushing brilliant new ideas (e.g. my ideas) because that's not what someone else is doing, is just stupid. I have no problems being told "no", if you have an intelligent reason for it, and can back it up. But "that's not what everyone else is doing" is called a bandwagon fallacy, and isn't intelligent or support. So, "everyone else does it that way", makes as much sense to me, as driving while watching all the cars behind you. By the time they slam on their brakes or swerve (and you notice and react), it is already too late. I prefer to keep my eye's on the road, and not try to lead by following.