These days we like to think of “smart people” as those who can fly through an IQ exam with exceptionally high scores. Or maybe someone that can reiterate… regurgitate, lines from a 16th century poet? How we measure intelligence today is completely nonsensical and ludicrous in my opinion.

Just because someone can rattle off “answers” to a quiz or exam, does not make them intelligent. It tells us they have a great memory. Nothing else. Did they have to “think” to come up with the answers or just “remember”?

In case you don’t know the difference in what I am referring to, it kind of goes like this…

When presented with a problem, if we immediately “remember” the answer by the books we’ve studied, or teachers that taught us, then we are not really thinking at all. To think would involve coming to YOUR OWN SOLUTION by in fact actually “thinking” and studying the problem and then coming up with a solution based on your own research rather than depending on what a textbook or teacher told you is the answer. What if the book or teacher were wrong? Never wrong? Ok then tell me why it is that we murdered the famous Greek philosopher, Socrates, because he proposed the idea that the Earth was a sphere and in fact, not the centre of the universe after all? You see you first need to understand that at the time, the church, and therefore the populous, believed that an imaginary/invisible man on his chariot would drag the sun up in to the sky every morning and down again in the evening. How could someone dare challenge this theory? Ya…I know…crazy isn’t it? Well it was death to anyone who challenged this theory. Socrates was only one of hundreds, if not thousands, of free thinkers that we executed for their “out of the box” thinking.

To think outside the proverbial box, is to simply think for yourself. Ask questions. In fact….QUESTION EVERYTHING.

For hundreds of years we’ve suppressed the truly intelligent people and shunned them as “dumb” or “not normal” even criminals. These days it would appear that our educational systems are bound and determined to keep society “dumb” (in the true sense of the word) rather than promote free thinking. I like to envision a modern day classroom that when presented with a problem, all voices are heard, discussed and analyzed. I would like to hear 20 different solutions to the same problem. Because the reality is…there really are many more “answers” to a problem than just the one you are taught. A good example is how we tend to “think” about how we can go about getting the same job done, but for less money. This is thinking. But why don’t we utilize this in our school system? No, we only use it to purchase the materialistic items that we believe are necessary in daily life in order to keep up with the Jones’s. WE ARE IN FACT A CAPITALISTIC SOCIETY. And isn’t that just convenient for those Capitalists that want a beaten down society that can not think for themselves.

Ok so that last paragraph sounded a bit like Hyde from That 70s Show. But you catch my drift?

I’ve said it before and I will say it again…when my son Skyler starts to go to school, we will be complimenting the lessons and curriculum he is taught in school, with a little “free thinking” exercises at home. This way I can hopefully raise my son to be an open and free thinking individual that solves his own problems rather than referring to a book or what he learned in school. Thinking over remembering.

This is not to say that books and teachers are useless. Absolutely not! No, I just believe that we should utilize ALL resources at our disposal in order to accomplish and in turn, truly learn, just how to solve a particular problem. I believe even the “wrong” answers need to be given consideration because sometimes…just sometimes, we come across something great that many people believed “dumb” or “ludicrous”. Lest we forget the discovery of  the “structure” of DNA was by Francis Crick, who later went on to be awarded the Nobel Prize for this discovery. Did I mention he was on LSD when the idea came to him?

I’m not saying drugs are great and all stupid people are geniuses. No. What I am saying is that maybe we need to start looking a little more at how we “educate” our children and consider the obvious…we don’t know everything and just because someone has an “out of the box” concept, doesn’t mean we need to ignore it. Simply put, if we were to rely solely on what we are “taught”, we would see next to nothing in the way of advancement. We need to teach “thinking” not “remembering” in order to promote a society of free thinkers that can improve and advance our civilization in to the future. Otherwise we are destined to be a bunch of beaten down pawns.

If possible…take a step back for a second and think about this. We are to believe what we are taught in school is accurate. Well have you ever considered what has to occur in order for a “theory” to be presented in our educational systems? Unless it’s philosophy you are taking the chances are slim that the teacher will listen to anything you have to say that might contradict the curriculum. The “curriculum” stretches further than the classroom and deep in to society. For example just look at how many people actually believe that on September 11, 2001, the laws of physics ceased to exist? So many chose to ignore the science in exchange for the BS the media and government were telling us. Many know that never in the history of highrise buildings has one collapsed due to fire. We also know that airplanes can not fly at over 500mph a low altitudes (below 30,000 feet). Engineers the world over tell us that the events of 9/11 could not have happened the way we were told yet we still tend to believe the dogma. Why? I thought blind faith went out when we executed Socrates for going against the invisible man theory? Apparently not.

The worst part in all of this…events like 9/11 that are clearly shrouded in lies and deceit, will sooner or later end up in the text books of our children whereas they will be “taught” this as though it’s the truth. Come to think of it, I believe this is already the case.

Don G. Halbert (Hacker & Free Thinker)

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