The Art of Thinking


“There is always a well-known solution to every human problem–neat, plausible, and wrong.” – H. L. Mencken

In today’s world, we want answers! The thing is, problems are complex, expensive, and time consuming. Sure, when we have an immigration problem all we need is a wall, right? Gun violence? Well, we took prayer out of school. Shootings in a church? Look at these jingling keys, here you go, jingle jingle! The art of thinking is dying.

Seriously though, we want simple answers to our problems and just be done with them. The world we live in is not like that though. Take for instance an article I am working on. There’s a guy named Jeff Cooper. He wrote a book in the 1970’s that basically set us down the path to gun stupidity in our country. Why did he write the book? Well, violent crime had been on the rise in the U.S. since the mid 1960’s, and middle America was scared. How bad was it? Well, I take to the Google to find out more. Turns out, violet crime had steadily declined for hundreds of years before unexpectedly, and against all convention wisdom, climbed dramatically and stayed elevated for about thirty years. Why did that happen? Well, that article will have to be written before I can address Jeff Cooper.  Back to my original point, any problem isn’t going to have simple answer until we dig down and find the cause of the problem in the first place.

But problem solving isn’t sexy. People are happy to soak up overly simplistic solutions that will never work because they feel good. (Think: Bringing back coal jobs when coal fired plants are closing down all over the world). People don’t want to understand how the economy works so they believe  the stock market averages are the best measure of the economy. People don’t understand addiction so they blame addicts for their lack of character. They don’t understand how a child die so young so they defer to the mysteries of God.

Problems are hard. They take work to uncover and fix. Don’t believe the simple answers to complex problems; they are just there to placate you. We deserve better.

(Stay tuned for the above mentioned articles in work)!

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About Surferjeff

Jeff is a writer and photographer who empties his head on this blog. Reader beware!

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