Critical Thinking in the Time of Confusion

Critical thinking in the time of confusion

A Series of Articles for the Committed Critical Thinker

by Captain Kevin Smith, host of “Throttle UP!” airing on Red State Talk Radio on the weekends at 6pm EST.

part one

Q & A Session with Captain Kevin M. Smith, Host of Throttle-Up.

  1. As we begin this interview, tell us about yourself and Throttle-Up?
  2. Certainly. I began dealing professionally with critical thinking in environments that were overwhelming due to complexity and uncertainty as a young naval aviator selected for the supersonic pipeline. Such situations were new and unusual and after much trial and error, it became obvious that conventional thinking was never going to work. Enter critical thinking, and it proved to be the answer, especially in dealing with complex problem-solving under increased time compression.

So, if critical thinking works for military “air combat” pilots, (as well as other combat specialty groups), can it prove useful within the general population?   We think it can, absolutely, and Throttle-Up is one in a series of initiatives that presents the value of critical thinking to a broader audience.

  1. What else are you doing?
  2. Along with Throttle-Up we have published four books, so far, as well as two instructional videos, all of which are available nationally. The flagship book: Critical Thinking Essentials is going through a major revision and should be available late in 2017. Also, our web site: has much good stuff.
  3. How does Throttle-Up Radio and critical thinking fit into the political discourse?
  4. Critical thinking among our citizens today is more important than ever. This is not only because we are being saturated with propaganda masquerading as legitimate news, but we are being asked to accept without question what I call intellectual nonsense.

Intellectual nonsense contains its own set of attributes: breathless headline, sensational first paragraph, prerogative language, followed by either scant evidence to support its claims or no evidence at all.

The way to break through this intellectual nonsense quagmire is with skillfully applied critical thinking.

  1. You have mentioned that critical thinking needs to be our bedrock skill from which all other skill sets emerge. Could you elaborate?
  2. Of course. Critical thinking allows us to “clarify the actual”. That we must all do this as American citizens is no longer an option. Our institutions have almost entirely reached a critical stage-one in which impending failure becomes inevitable. Our political system, controlled by the established order, is now in free fall. Our institutions of higher learning are no longer promoting wisdom, but indoctrination into the “joys” of collectivism. Our businesses are simultaneously mired in the quagmire of complexity and unable to find workers who can solve problems. Critical thinking is now the skill set of choice among most American executives, yet colleges and universities keep teaching irrelevant “feel good” subjects. Our military keeps buying weapons systems that are at once enormously expensive, never delivered on time, and once deployed work poorly. Can I use the word “scandalous” ….??? I could go on….

We must become a nation of “critical thinkers”, because we now have no choice.

  1. So Throttle-Up can help?
  2. Yes. Throttle-Up is designed to begin the conversation in this enormously important area that we call critical thinking, delivered in an engaging way, and supporting the view that we can all take charge of our power of reason, relinquishing it to no one.
  3. But what about conservative principles?
  4. Good Question. For us to “make America great again” we must place conservative principles—which I prefer to call the founding principles of America—alongside strong moral and ethical values and the uncommon ability to think critically. Since America celebrates the individual, as opposed to most other forms of government that celebrate the collective, Americans need to develop their individual abilities to think critically. This is not an option, because otherwise the government will decide what is best, and this will lead eventually to tyranny.

The goal for all of us—our mission statement—is to think critically and optimize our power of reason. This is not an attribute of the collective.

  1. Final thoughts?
  2. This is planned to be a series of articles, so stay tuned.

The goal for all of us—our personnel mission statement—is to think critically, solve problems, and win.