036: The Stakes are High

Uncommon Sense: the This is True Podcast show

Summary: In This Episode: In This is True, I rail about obliviocy, using real people and their stories as examples. Uncommon Sense talks about the opposite: the cure for obliviocy …using real people and their stories as examples. The two sides are actually at war, so let’s define our terms — and think about what the stakes are. It really is worth 6-1/2 minutes to talk about it.<br> <br> <a class="twitter-share-button" href="https://twitter.com/share?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">Tweet</a><br> <a href="#transcript">Jump to Transcript</a><br> <a href="https://thisistrue.com/category/podcasts/">How to Subscribe and List of All Episodes</a><br> Show Notes<br> <br> * I’m speaking at the Mensa Annual Gathering (aka national convention) at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, July 5: <a href="https://s23.a2zinc.net/clients/mensa/ag19/public/SessionDetails.aspx?FromPage=Sessions.aspx&amp;SessionID=3741&amp;SessionDateID=1029">How I Learned to Think — by Observing the Biggest Obliviots Around</a>.<br> * Kit is also speaking, at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, July 7: <a href="https://s23.a2zinc.net/clients/mensa/ag19/public/SessionDetails.aspx?FromPage=Sessions.aspx&amp;SessionID=3652&amp;SessionDateID=1031">Why Would Anyone Walk the Camino de Santiago, Anyway?!</a><br> <br> <a name="transcript"></a><br> Transcript<br> Welcome to Uncommon Sense. I’m Randy Cassingham.<br> I’m giving a talk to a large group next month, so I’ve been spending a lot of my time thinking about and writing that talk.<br> Once finished with the writing, I read it to my wife: that’s how I make sure the result is smooth and understandable: it gives Kit an opportunity to say, “Wait a minute, you skipped over how you got from here to there” or whatever. Since I can type faster than I talk, I actually adjust things while reading the text aloud, and it’s generally nicely fine-tuned by the time we’re done. It’s a fun process that I do with This is True stories, too.<br> The bottom line is, she liked it, and she went to bed while I finished up. When I got in bed she was already asleep, but that’s OK: I like to read awhile before I go to sleep — I think of that reading time as feeding my brain so it can think better. But I had to put the book down because something popped into my head: in my talk, shouldn’t I specifically identify “the enemy” to thinking? Because the people coming to hear the talk aren’t necessarily This is True readers — and come to think of it, Uncommon Sense listeners aren’t necessarily either!<br> And if “thinking” is the way to win the war, what, specifically, is the fight about?<br> Well, I didn’t want to wake Kit up to talk about it, or go back to my office and write it up, so I picked up my phone and sent an email to myself: the whole concept had popped into my head all at once, so clearly my subconscious had been working on this all along. I swiped it all out on the phone’s keyboard, hit send, and went to sleep.<br> When I got to the office in the morning, there it was in my inbox, so I opened up the speech document, slipped the new part into place, and told Kit that when she had a moment, I wanted to read her the new addition.<br> As I was reading it, I saw I had her complete attention. Before I could even finish, she had exclaimed “YES!” a couple of times. It summarizes the problem so succinctly that I thought I’d read you that section from my talk: it briefly lays out what “the stakes” are — why we need more thinking in the world, and what happens if we don’t fight for it. Here it is:<br> Let’s make something clear: obliviocy is the enemy, and it has declared war on intelligence, learning, science, and common sense. We didn’t want this war,