WorldWide Drilling Resource

26 JULY 2021 WorldWide Drilling Resource ® The Un-Comfort Zone II by Robert Evans Wilson, Jr. It’s the Information Age; You have NO Excuse for NOT Thinking Critically! Scrutinizing skullduggery, artifice, and malarkey is easier than ever. I noticed a small growth on my eyelid. Over time it continued to grow and developed an odd shape that was dark in color and looked something like a cross between a mole and a wart. I was concerned it might be skin cancer, so I went to see my dermatologist. After examining it, she told me it was not cancer. That was a relief, but then she added that while it was benign, it was in a location she could not treat. She said it would continue to grow, and at some point I would need to have an eye surgeon remove it. Ugh! After a several months of watching it grow, I decided to do an online search for natural methods to remove skin growths. I found a woman who said she was able to remove skin tags and moles from her face by soaking cotton balls in apple cider vinegar, then taping them over the growths, and leaving them in place for several hours. I decided to try something similar. I dipped a Q-tip cotton swab in apple cider vinegar and then used it to carefully paint the vinegar over the growth on my eyelid. I couldn’t get the swab too wet or the vinegar would get in my eye and burn. I did this twice a day for about a month, then decided nothing was happening, and I was wasting my time. So I quit. Then about two weeks later I noticed the growth had gotten even darker and was now hard and crusty to the touch. My first thought was it was getting worse, but a few days later, to my surprise, the whole thing fell off; there was nothing but fresh clean skin where the growth had been. Lesson Learned - There may be alternative solutions to your problem than the one you know. Useful Knowledge is at Your Fingertips: One summer, I went to pressure wash my patio, but my washer wasn’t work- ing. I called a repair shop, and the owner quoted me a price to fix it that was nearly the same as the cost of a new one. I then went onto YouTube and looked up small engine repairs. After a few minutes, I found one that resolved my problem, and I was able to fix my pressure washer for $7. The world is at our fingertips if we only look. On the Internet, I’ve learned how to tune my bicycle, diagnose problems with my car, and much more. You can even learn how to play the piano! Pretty much anything you want to know, you can begin learning from information online, including finding out whether or not someone is giving you the truth. Bad Players Take Advantage of Your Ignorance: We’ve all gotten an e-mail from a Nigerian prince who wants to give us millions of dollars; or gotten a scam phone call from someone claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service, Social Security, or Microsoft. It seems we are being lied to all the time - even from sources we used to trust! These days, you need to question a purveyor of information’s motivation to discover their bias or agenda. We’ve all heard about Fake News, but how do you know if what you’ve heard is false? One way is to evaluate the story for rhetorical fallacies an d propaganda techniques (see my previous articles: Protect Yourself from Verbal Sleight of Hand [ WWDR June 2018] and Propaganda ‘til You Puke [ WWDR November 2020].) Watch Out for these Red Flags: The easiest way to suspect the veracity of a story is if it triggers you emotionally. Does the story make you feel angry, afraid, anxious, depressed, ecstatic, or excited? If so, then you should consider your inflamed emotion to be a red flag for potential fake news. What is the motivation behind the person or organization pressuring you? Is there a money trail? Are you only hearing one side of a story? Is there another side? Do the research and find out. For exam- ple: In war, the victors get to write the history books, or at least spin the facts in their favor. I have a friend who, in the days before the Internet, used a shortwave radio receiver to listen to news from other countries to get more balanced information. Today, you can get news from all over the world easily on your computer. Consider it a red flag, if you feel you are not allowed to question something, or that you will be ostracized or penalized for questioning it. Be wary of topics you are not allowed to question. I had an employer who told me I wasn’t allowed to discuss my salary with other employees. Of course not, I might have found out I was being paid less and ask for a raise. When sub- jects are not allowed to be discussed, the truth cannot be discovered . . . and perhaps that is the point. Choices and Alternatives Constitute Freedom: Is someone making you believe you do not have a choice? You always have a choice - there are always alternatives - just like I discovered with the treatment for the growth on my eyelid. Fake News Begets Fake Fact-Checkers: Sadly, because of their political leaning, you can’t trust online fact-checkers to do your critical thinking for you. Fact-checkers don’t operate for free, which means most of them are financially supported by members of partisan factions. Those factions have agendas which influence the fact-checker’s objectivity and destroy their credibility. Research the financial backers of the various fact-checkers, some will be nonprofit organizations, which means you’ll have to dig and hunt for who is financing those as well. Most of us don’t have time to probe that deep; it’s easier just to assume all of them are biased. Seek Alternative Sources for Information Online: Don’t use just one search engine. Some of the largest search engines have been caught suppressing information in an effort to shape public opinion. Use several search engines to do your investigations. If you are getting your news from social media, you need to know social media sites also suppress stories. Subscribe to several social media sites to get a variety of news and opinion. Ignorance is NOT Bliss: Today, there is no reason to be uninformed. Become a critical thinking investigator today, and liberate yourself from fake news, propaganda, indoctrination, and scams. You’ll be happy you did. Robert Robert is an innovation/change speaker, author, and consultant. He works with companies that want to be more competitive through innovation and with people who want to think more creatively. Contact him via e-mail to