Monday, June 05, 2006

Welcome To Thought Provocateur

Welcome to Thought Provocateur – a blog devoted to provoking independence of thought in matters both profound and trivial, home of the Tired Butt Society. While we intend to provoke thought and lively discussion, we do not dwell entirely in the realm of the Serious With A Capital “S”.

The world is a complex place, getting more complex all the time. Experts, however, tend to add layers of complication to things that, while complex, are not beyond a well-informed layperson’s ability to understand. When experts seek to mystify rather than make clear, they become part of the problem rather than part of the solution. At the other end of the spectrum, when pundits oversimplify, they ask you to accept their version of reality, to passively agree with their point of view, because they do not trust that you can deal with complexity and think for yourself.

In her book Writing To Change The World, author Mary Pipher notes that totalitarian governments achieve their ends by preventing honest public discussion of important matters. “Good writing enlarges readers’ knowledge of the world,” she says. “Writers help readers construct larger, more expansive frames of reference so that more of the world can be more accurately perceived.” The goal is not to persuade readers to adopt a particular set of ideas, but to foster the ability to examine their world and come to their own conclusions.

So, what is the invisible thread that links ugly lamp contests, window fans, urban renewal, and thrift store art? It’s the conviction that originality and independence of thought are parent and child, chicken and egg. Only by disconnecting from the mind-numbing uniformity and conformity of mall and big-box chain store can we discover what we really value. Only by training ourselves to think independently in the thousand little choices we make everyday can we take back a measure of the control over our lives that we have given to experts and pundits simply because it all seems too complicated to think about.

So this eclectic mix of the odd and the practical, the whimsical and the useful is designed not only to arm you with tools to sort things out for yourself, but to connect you with a community of likeminded folks who have developed their own unique take on the world around them.

6 Comments:

Blogger Ray Walden said...

Yes, we must think for ourselves. Tell us more!

I am hoping to be well provoked by reading you. Any more, people just read and hear what they want to hear, so they don't have to think for themselves. Then there are those of us who crave a variety of viewpoints so we can refine our own.

Welcome to the site--though maybe you ought to welcome me, as I joined after you did.

2:53 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Can't wait to read more, I find myself resorting to the big box stores and pundits as a matter of time and energy more than a desire to conform... but at the same time I desire food for thought.

7:07 AM  
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12:30 AM  
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11:02 PM  
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2:59 AM  
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9:53 AM  

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