중앙데일리

Logic Is Lost, Let it be Found

Dec 23,2000
There was a girl who had her bag snatched on the road. She called to her mobile phone in the bag, hoping that someone would answer. The thief answered the phone, and she asked him out for a date in very friendly voice. Surprisingly, he accepted.

A police detective, who received the robbery report from the victim became puzzled. Would the thief really show up? The detective was shocked when the thief appeared at a coffee shop where the "date" took place and he was, of course, arrested.

The detective brought the criminal to psychiatric clinic for a check up, suspecting that he must be either mentally unfit or certifiably insane. It turned out he was neither - just plain stupid, perhaps.

How do we interpret this incident? If the thief thought of what would possibly happen carefully and logically, then he would have never agreed to meet the woman.

This is just one interesting example showing the thinking pattern of current members of our society. The pattern is extremely fragmentary and impromptu. People lack the ability to put pieces of information together in a systemic process.

They are not trained to do so. They have never received basic training to think about the future or the consequences of their actions. That is why universities adopted writing test to enhance creative and broader thinking.

Newspapers are flooded with feature articles on college admission writing tests. Private tutoring, which is extremely expensive, boomed among the students. However, the substance of those articles and tutoring is deploring. The level of tutoring that university applicants receive would probably be suitable for training primary school students to write diaries. Because our society has been occupied with piecemeal thoughts, there is no other way. We certainly lack the insights.

Everything is temporary and disposable these days. Politicians can lie with no reserve, because no one tries to argue, because they forget what it is they objected to in the first place. Everyone forgets so easily. Mind-numbing politics becomes popular because people have lost their ability to evaluate and criticize malfunctioning politics as a whole. People are deceived so easily. Frauds and pseudo-religions run rampant in our society.

If people consider the larger picture of a situation and think logically and systematically, they could avoid such deceptions. People keep being victimized in financial fraud cases for the same reason - because they pay full attention to high interest rates and never think of the risk involved.

People do not see the contradiction while they experience totally opposite conditions at the same time. When people see a singer on a TV program, singing a song with lyrics describing a girl who just broke up with her boyfriend, they all smile. The singer sings that it is lonely to walk on the street alone in cheerful voice while chorus also dances enjoying the rhythm. Everyone seems so happy. When I apply the standard used in psychoanalysis, everyone would be diagnosed as schizophrenic.

How can a lonely girl - although she is an imaginary figure in a song - be so happy and cheerful after breaking up from her lover?

Moreover, words used by the Internet users are even more problematic. They use broken words, reminding one of the codes used by spies. Characteristics of the digital generation, admiring omissions, abbreviations, fast speed and convenience, accelerate the fragmentization of our thinking.

Extraordinarily peculiar ideas are deemed cute and impressive. However, it may not be the best resolution. Without comprehensive thinking and deep contemplation, creative power can never be formed, and has the potential to damage national development. Young people in our society must see the larger picture of the forest rather than seeing one tree. They must achieve the foresight to see the entire universe.



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