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  • Writer's pictureMatt Symes

How Critical Thinking Holds the Key to the 21st Century

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Man walking in nature during the early morning hours

1. It’s Time to Double Down on “The Value of Being Uniquely Human”

The places where we, as humans, can truly put our guard down and just be are decreasing every day. The places we can trust are disappearing. We already spend more than 33% of our time online and that is, to put it mildly, a minefield of drama, hyperbole, and manufactured triggers designed mostly to capture your precious attention for commercial purposes. (yes, I recognize the irony of this message coming in a newsletter to a curated audience of leaders.)

In our businesses, we’re doubling down on what Joe Procopio has called his "contrarian bet against generative AI":

AI was not born yesterday. And the big players are lightyears ahead of us. Joe says:

“So you and I probably don’t have a seat in that game of musical chairs. But what you CAN predict, if you keep your eyes open, is that secondary effect. Which in this case, is the scarcity and value of human experience.”

Where can you double down on the human experience in your business?

2. And Yet We Still Have to Pay Attention

I want to make sure that we can be fast followers of what is available in our business. There is an exceptional amount of opportunity to eliminate the mundane. To free people up to spend more time on the creative. Just because a large organization has launched AI, doesn’t mean it’s any good. Google is struggling mightily with BARD.

That’s why I love what iLib has done: The top 3000 AI sites listed in order of traffic. Click here to benefit from the wisdom of the crowds. 3. The Value of Critical Thinking

If physical prowess was the engine of the 19th Century and Statistical mastery drove the 20th Century, critical thinking will drive the 21st Century.

AI may be able to help you with basic-level understanding. AI may well speed up the research process. And it can find links that humans would surely never find. But it cannot do deep thinking for you. It is a tool and it can be used as effectively by bad actors as it can by those looking to make the world a better place. It is as dangerous to humanity as the nuclear threat.

Are you helping those you work with and those in your family increase their ability to reflect and think critically about the world they are living in and engaging with? Are you helping them come to grips with the bias’ that we all succumb to?

As an intelligent person, yourself, are you aware of the Dunning-Kruger effect? Don’t get caught at the peak of Mount Stupid.

AI is not just another step change in innovation. Bill Gates has laid out a succinct summary of the way AI will alter the world. It is already dramatically altering the way we’re experiencing the world. For now, the human brain is still firing on more cylinders than Chat GPT-4 but probably not for that long.

And to live in this world, requires you to master critical thought.


PS - If you want to dive further into important insights and strategies for pushing through growth challenges and scaling up your organization, check out the latest Racki & Symes podcast.


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