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Think Critically, Think Malta

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Dr Mario Aquilina
Dr Mario Aquilina

Let us strengthen Malta’s democratic system by thinking critically. We need to learn how to avoid blindly accepting or rejecting ideas and opinion based on our political affiliations or unquestioned, long-held beliefs. Let us actively go against the dualistic thinking that dominates local public debate. Let us, for example, phase out media outlets financed by political parties; amend the constitution to facilitate the entry of a third political party to parliament; and put critical thinking at the centre of our educational system by strengthening subjects that enhance it (literary and rhetorical analysis, logic, philosophy and the scientific method).

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1 Comment

  1. “It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.”
    ― Benjamin Franklin

    I don’t have anything against Ying and Yang, although I do find partisan politics a bit spontaneous and sometimes comic, so it is not fair to make fun of emotions of other people either, as we deem ourselves intellectual just because we can afford to do yoga. It is the legal consequences that scare us and perhaps the fact that we have to resort to lawsuit does indicate a degree of degradation in our general level of harmony and happiness, however what do the latest polls say?

    I am not asking who is your favorite politician I am asking whether you are happy and why or why not, I am not a marketing agent for polticians but a critique, and you need to have my frame of mind when you criticize, do not conform, ask real questions starting with why, where, what, how, when, and why?… and how come? … and what if?

    Do your own research brother or sister.

    Some people cannot afford to travel at least once a year and this is an indication of poverty according to a recent TVM poll. Of course the media ask light questions, vulnerability reaches deeper roots, but I am discrete I do not intend to highlight all aspects of poverty because you can research what it is like to live in poverty and you have probably seen it between one intermission and another on TV, as the charity institution asked you to donate money for the needy, right?

    That is assuming you have a television, smartphone, or can even afford an internet connection and that is assuming you are literate. What if you do not even reach this level of civilization, can you even think about being happy, successful, education and have a good job that you consider stable and that gives you acceptable income to live by for you and your family, that is if you can afford to have a family as well, since this is not covered by the ‘in work benefit’ scheme recently advertised by the Minister of Social Solidarety. It seems like single people are being singled out, nobody cares about them, it seems like we are telling them to go away and emigrate to another civilized country, basically.

    “We do not need your vote buddy, we are good enough as long as the polls indicate that we have the majority”

    I think that riot, conflict and litigation give rise to lessons learnt just as formal education and discussion does, so I strongly oppose being indoctrinated in not standing up for my own right to start with. Therefore if you provoke a riot and you are the governor you are partially responsible for it as well because it means you lacked holistic thought in devising governance. We cannot sit back and say “this is not our problem” or “this is not our remit”, throw that excuse down the drain, will laugh at it and walk away, thinking you are not competent with all due respect.

    The main problem with democracy in my view is that like any other system it has its flaws, and, the weakest link is the human basically. Democracy is the representational vote of the majority of the people as it is interpreted by the politician, who is subject to bias, whilst in the UK they do referenda for just about any reason that affects people, there is still some way to go in the matters of understanding problems and in forming solutions that are good enough not only for the majority but also for the minorities.

    I am integrationalist, I see the world as a collection of little humans of different ethnicities each with their own biological and cultural traits that make us unique in some way, as a student of humanities.

    As a computer scientist, I see humans as an indicator of lack of efficiency, since my rule of thumb is that if you need more users to control and monitor the system then the system has not reached a level of sophistication with respect to its artificial intelligence, so again there are more than two sides to this coin.

    So how do we fix this?
    More participation
    More action less talk
    More money where your mouth is at
    Less arrogance, less snob-ism and other forms of ‘isms’ that the human is afflicted with on a daily basis.
    More management in a holistic fashion and using adequate resources.
    Agendas need to represent what people care about and what people will care about in the next 100 to 200 years, and, this has to include scientific and sociological insight, at least, not just the bare legal minimum aka ‘de minimis’.

    “It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.”
    ― Benjamin Franklin

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