1 The Black and The White
Application of ‘black and white thinking’ for hard analysis follows this simple system;
Absolute Yes is Yes.
Absolute No is No.
Any grey area (perhaps, almost, maybe, might be, probably, later, was, sometimes, apparently, potentially, mostly) is No.
It is either On or it is Off.
There is no in-between.
“It’s only a little bit.”
In black and white thinking this does not justify that it is okay.
“It’s only a little bit of Mercury, a known biohazard associated with Alzheimer’s, used for no necessary reason at all in the vaccines we inject into children.”
“Oh that’s okay then. Carry on, it didn’t happen.”
“It’s only a little bit of sexual assault / pedophilia.”
“Oh that’s alright then. Carry on, it didn’t happen.”
See what I mean?
Hard-line thinking is often necessary to prevent manipulation and dodgy-thinking.
2 A Grid of Trees
A team is tasked with measuring the number and position of trees in a landscape. They are to create a map. The map is to be used for official statistical purposes. The map consists of a grid of 1 foot squares.
The team are instructed to use Black & White thinking for the purpose of precision clarity. Either there is a tree in the grid section or there is not.
Many of the team encounter a situation where a tree is half in one square and half in another square. Quite obviously in the real world there is a tree there.
Black and White thinking dictates that 50% of a tree is not a tree. Damn, even 95% of a tree is not a full tree and is therefore the same as no tree at all. It counts as Zero Tree in the official statistics.
Both the grid squares contain half a tree.
The official statistics based on Black and White thinking list there is no tree at all in that area.
We can make an entire forest disappear on paperwork even while it continues to exist in the real world outside of the paperwork.
3 What Is Critical Thinking?
From the example of;
1 Black & White Thinking, and
2 Gridding Trees
we recognise how by following the precise process, neither results in accuracy to the real world.
On this principle it can not sensibly nor reasonably be regarded as Critical Thinking even if it has logically been nothing else but processes of Critical Thinking at every step of the way.
The Grey Area purposefully overlooked during Black and White Thinking is how the necessity for ‘perhaps, almost, maybe, might be, probably, later, was, sometimes, apparently, potentially, mostly’ as a third category, is necessary and therefore acceptable, in many aspects of experience, to maintain truth and accuracy.