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Joseph Halter
I enjoy critical thinking personally and professionally. I am a professor at a Technical College teaching Economics, Ethics, College 101 and I use critical thinking in the curriculum to assist my students to learn how to think.

Posted November 14, 2020      

Assumptions, Benefits and Costs

Posted by: Joseph Halter | Posted for: the Community

{"ops":[{"insert":"One of the elements of critical thinking are Assumptions. Assumptions are ideas or things that we take for granted. For example, when I go to my car, I assume the vehicle will start when I turn the ignition with my car key. Nearly, 99.9% of the time, my assumption is true. It, however, has not been true 100% of the times. \n\nMany things in life are assumed. It makes our lives easier than trying to calibrate every situation that we encounter. As you can imagine, assumptions become habits over a period of time. Habits are useful to a point but can be harmful and protect us from our blind spots. \n\nThus, when a situation did not occur according to our \"plan\", we should reflect on our assumptions made and determine what we could have changed. \n\nI recently read this article by Jonathan Clement on "},{"attributes":{"link":""},"insert":"Never Assume "},{"insert":"and it helps us to understand some of the ordinary assumptions we make everyday. \n"}]}

Linda Elder - 15d Ago
{"ops":[{"insert":"Thank you for this comment Joseph. Though it is true that we need to check our assumptions, it is important to recognize that we must make assumptions to live a human life. Some things must be taken for granted for us to function. The question is, how good are your assumptions? Are they justifiable in context? How do we access our assumptions to check them for justifiability? Are we even open to examining our assumptions. Here is a starting place, in our Wheel of Reason, for finding one's assumptions in thinking:\n \n"}]}
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Posted October 9, 2020      


Posted by: Joseph Halter | Posted for: the Community

{"ops":[{"attributes":{"link":""},"insert":"UNBRIDLED GLOBAL CAPITALISM IS A POWERFUL SOCIOCENTRIC FORCE IN HUMAN LIFE"},{"insert":"\n\nThe heading of this blog is accurate but misleading. Unbridled \"anything\" can lead to extreme responses and the word sets the tone for the blog, unfairly.\n\nGlobalization has lead to sociocentric forces for good and bad. The blog appears to support some of the harmful affects of globalization. For a more complete understanding of globalization, please refer to the article on "},{"attributes":{"link":""},"insert":"What is Globalization?"},{"insert":"\n\nInteresting, 2020 has seen a significant change in reversing globalization to nationalism. Both US candidates are cautiously frowning globalization. From a political point of view, it serves their purposes, but from an economic point of view, is this a good trend? \n\nCapitalism and Socialism are simply concepts. Taken to its purest sense, neither one is useful. Capitalism simply means economic freedom to use our capital as we see fit. Socialism simply means economic fairness and each of us are in the production and consumption of goods/services together. These are simple definitions and can be taken to \"unbridled\" points of views. There are many variations between the two. If you ask many people what type of economy people have for their country, it would surprise them to find out it is mostly mixed between the two economic systems. Please review the "},{"attributes":{"link":""},"insert":"Economic Freedom site "},{"insert":"on were your country is on the continuum. \n\nBoth economic systems have benefits and flaws. The point made in the blog about unequal distribution of wealth and income for capitalism is true. Is this a problem? Many arguments can be made for both sides. \n\nRather than go on with these comments, my conclusion is this. Economic systems are creations of the human mind. Both capitalism and socialism have been practiced for centuries. A mix of both systems is usually the answer for most countries depending on the resources, political systems and customs of the culture. Both concepts are needed in the allocation of limited resources for the unlimited needs and wants of people and their societies. It really comes down to this "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"simple truth"},{"insert":": "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"The leadership of society and the citizens need to be fair-minded critical thinkers to effectively use the concepts of socialism and capitalism."},{"insert":" That is the huge challenge for all of us on this Community for Critical Thinking.\n\n"},{"attributes":{"underline":true},"insert":"Question: How do we as a community help ourselves to understand the Paul-Elder model for critical thinking to help us and others to implement the concepts for free and fair economic systems?"},{"insert":"\n"}]}

Posted October 9, 2020      

Healthy Minds 2020

Posted by: Joseph Halter | Posted for: the Community

{"ops":[{"insert":"The Center for a Healthy Mind is holding a week long conference on topics that may be of interest to you. You can sign-up at this "},{"attributes":{"link":""},"insert":"site"},{"insert":" and the presentations have been recorded with notes. Tonight, the Dalia Lama presents his concepts. \n\n\n"}]}

Posted August 30, 2020      

Black and Blue

Posted by: Joseph Halter | Posted for: the Community

{"ops":[{"insert":"Much has been written of late of the social issues pertaining to Black Lives Matter and Support the Blue.\n\nI wanted to share an "},{"attributes":{"link":""},"insert":"article"},{"insert":" of recent concern with the police and black lives: \n\nI only share this post since facts can be helpful but we still have our biases and prejudices (egocentric and social centric thinking). Facts can only tell us so much and much of those can be taken out of context. \n\nWe need to support our police and lives that they protect.\n"}]}

Posted August 8, 2020      

Elements of Critical Thinking

Posted by: Joseph Halter | Posted for: the Community

{"ops":[{"insert":"This post is a follow though on a previous post relating to the Intellectual Standards for Critical Thinking. Dr Elder and Dr Nosich have both described the elements in their respective blogs on this site. \n\nI am sharing another map, that illustrates the elements and the Key Concepts for each. Please feel free to use to help you understand and others. "},{"attributes":{"color":"#2c3b86","link":""},"insert":"Elements or Parts of Critical Thinking"},{"insert":"\n\nLet me know if you have further comments or questions. \n"}]}

Posted August 3, 2020      

Intellectual Standard for Critical Thinking

Posted by: Joseph Halter | Posted for: the Community

{"ops":[{"insert":"I have been teaching and using critical thinking since 2006. Over the years, I have developed maps to help me and my students understand the framework of the Paul/Elder model. It can be daunting process to learn as explicated by Dr Elder in her most recent blog: "},{"attributes":{"link":""},"insert":""},{"insert":"\n\nI find the best way to learn more about this model is to break it down and to start using it. \n\nI am sharing a Intellectual Standard map I created a few years ago that I provide to my students. Please review and share if you wish this link: "},{"attributes":{"link":""},"insert":"Intellectual Standards for Critical Thinking. "},{"insert":"\n\nI would appreciate your questions and comments.\n\n\n"}]}

Posted July 31, 2020      

Dr Fauci Had a Plan

Posted by: Joseph Halter | Posted for: the Community

{"ops":[{"attributes":{"size":"large","bold":true},"insert":"Dr Fauci Had a Plan"},{"insert":"\nEe i ee i o\nAnd with his plan we had to wear masks\nEe i ee i oh\nWith a boo—hoo here\nAnd a boo—hoo there\nHere a boo-hoo, there a boo-hoo\nEverywhere a boo-hoo\nDr Fauci had a plan\nEe i ee i o\nDr Fauci had a plan\nEe i ee i o\nAnd with his plan we had to hand wash\nEe i ee i o\nWith a squirt-squirt here\nAnd a squirt-squirt there\nHere a squirt, there a squirt\nEverywhere a squirt-squirt\nDr Fauci had a plan\nEe i ee i o\nDr Fauci had plan\nAnd with his plan we had to social distance\nEe i ee i oh\nWith a move-move here\nAnd a move-move there\nHere a move, there a move\nEverywhere a move-move\nDr Fauci had a plan\n\nComposed by Joe, Deb and Kyle Halter\n"}]}

{"ops":[{"insert":"Very clever. \n"}]}
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Posted June 28, 2020      

I Have A Name

Posted by: Joseph Halter | Posted for: the Community

{"ops":[{"attributes":{"italic":true,"color":"#0047b2","size":"huge","bold":true},"insert":"I Have a Name"},{"attributes":{"align":"center"},"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"I am an enigma "},{"insert":"\nSome people have met me and know me well or may I say not well?\nSome people have met me, but hardly noticed me.\nSome people have not met me… only time will tell.\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"I am an enigma."},{"insert":"\nI am a fighter; destroyer and I bring pain and fear.\nI am deceptive and a mystery to all.\nI am a chameleon and the way I mutate is not clear. \n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"I am an enigma"},{"insert":"\nYou cannot see me, but you can feel me and see my destruction.\nYou cannot hear me, but I can hear you breathe and halt you.\nYou cannot smell or taste me, but I am good at sensory reduction.\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"I am an enigma"},{"insert":"\nFear me or fear me not. \nIgnore me at your peril. \nPity those since I am a freak of natures plot.\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"I am an enigma "},{"insert":"\nStop me if you will but it be a real challenge for the human mind. \nSocial unity, smart choices, and respecting my rules are the way keep me down.\nSome are trying hard, but I am still evil and evolving in time. \n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"I am an enigma. "},{"insert":"\nPeople think they have their “rights” when dealing with me, but this is my shame.\nPeople from the left or right or political bent call me names but I am making my own stigma.   \nEvasive, contagious, insidious, and deadly is my game. \n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"I am an enigma"},{"insert":". \nI have a name. \n\nComposition created by J Halter\nFootnote: This composition relates to the pandemic. Your feedback is welcomed. \n"}]}

Posted May 6, 2020      

Models and Assumptions and their limits

Posted by: Joseph Halter | Posted for: the Community

{"ops":[{"insert":"Reading an article from Bloomberg, "},{"attributes":{"link":""},"insert":"Why Models Can Never Get Things Quite Right"},{"insert":", brought reinforcement to me on care and use of models and assumptions in our thinking.\nThe purpose of the article is provide arguments and rationale on the shortcomings of the models we use to make decisions based on the limited and inaccurate information that evolves from a complicated issue, in this case, the pandemic or COVID-19. Oftentimes, we do not have good information and thus assumptions need to be made. Assumptions are then tested over and over again after more information is gathered. \n"},{"attributes":{"background":"#66a3e0"},"insert":"George E. P. Box stated that “all models are wrong, but some are useful.”"},{"attributes":{"background":"#ffffff"},"insert":" is a great quote. Many of us use models and make assumptions in the profession that we are involved. We know the precision and accuracy of a issue or problem has to be explored, examined and validated consuming time and resources. "},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"#ffffff"},"insert":"I bring this topic to our attention, since we are all pursuing the use of critical thinking. "},{"attributes":{"background":"#ffffff","color":"#9933ff"},"insert":"The model by Elder/Paul is an excellent model to analyze and assess our thinking to improve it. Is it perfect? No. The model is useful"},{"attributes":{"background":"#ffffff"},"insert":". It will help us to improve our thinking at a higher level if we continue to reevaluate our thinking and learning from our "},{"insert":"decisions. \n\n\n"}]}

Posted March 26, 2020      

Intellectual Courage

Posted by: Joseph Halter | Posted for: the Community

{"ops":[{"insert":"\nRead this quote in The Atlantic and thought it was profound and applies to the Intellectual Traits of the Elder/Paul model.\n“I believe moral courage is more difficult than physical courage,” Ronald Neumann, the retired ambassador, told me. “I was an infantry officer in Vietnam. Some courageous officers on the battlefield became very cautious bureaucrats.” Physical courage in battle is made easier by speed, adrenaline, comrades. “Moral courage—you have, in many cases, lots of time, it’s a solitary act,” he said. “You are fully aware of potential repercussions to your career, and it’s harder. It shouldn’t be harder—you’re not going to get killed—but that’s the way it is.”\nHow many in our profession practice intellectual courage?\n\n"}]}

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