In our exploding world of cybermedia with peer2peer messaging at the speed of light, I believe that the global epidemic spread of lies may be one of the most serious challenges facing long-term human survival.

I believe this challenge needs to be taken very seriously and could be considered to be of a threat level similar to that of Avian or Bird Flu. Many scientists share this view.

As an antidote, I am now putting forward a new thinking methodology to help meet this challenge.

To follow on from the previous SOT thinking tools, thinking hats and brain software, this new tool for thinking is called: greyscale thinking: how to sort a truth from a lie.

What Makes A Great Teacher?

I was recently contacted by a young man in London who is a teacher/coach and personal trainer/consultant. He is in the early stages of his career and he sought my advice. He asked me this question: What makes a great teacher? That is a very good question. It’s exactly the question he should be asking as he embarks on this vocation.

My response to him was this: While there are many things that can make a teacher a much better one there is one non-negotiable, one litmus test, which defines a great teacher. This test is about how the teacher’s performance stacks up to the BIG question: IS IT TRUE?

Is It True?

Is what the teacher is teaching a TRUTH or a LIE? The answer to this question is what sorts out the frauds from the professors. If this test is passed then the teacher can be a great teacher if not then the teacher will always be a failure … in my view.

Making Claims

Anyone can make a claim. All sorts of claims are made in business, in science, in religion, in families, in governments, in education, in politics, in the media. But is it a true claim? Or, is the claim a lie? How do we know? Does it even matter?

Yes. It does matter whether a claim is a truth or a lie. For example, many people believe things which are dangerous lies. These lies may have been protected from thinking for hundreds of years. These lies all have consequences which may range from deception to dementia to death.

Like a brainvirus, these lies can infect the brains of very young children. This is happening right now to millions of children as you read this article. I do believe that the global epidemic spread of lies may one of the most serious challenges facing long-term human survival.

ANTIDOTE: If you feel this is important (please don’t spam lists of people) but send this article on to selected friends, colleagues and family who may find it useful.

Greyscale Thinking

To help meet this challenge I am introducing the idea of greyscale thinking (US grayscale). Greyscale thinking is simple, fast and scientific. Anyone, anywhere and anytime can use greyscale thinking to help sort out a truth from a lie.

Any child can learn to use it. Greyscale thinking can be taught to kids by parents and by teachers. Any employee can learn to use it. Greyscale thinking can be taught to employees by managers and business leaders.

The idea of greyscale thinking is: claim divided by questions equals truth or lie. This idea can be expressed as the formula c÷q=t>l.

This means that once a ‘claim’ is made it can then be subjected to ‘questioning’. Questioning reveals whether the claim is closer to being either a ‘truth’ or a ‘lie’.

Six True Questions

SIX TRUE QUESTIONS: The methodology of greyscale thinking is the cognitive skill or habit of putting a CLAIM to the SIX TRUE QUESTIONS: What and Where and When and Why and How and Who – (Click here for more on the questions).

The answers to each of the 6 questions moves the CLAIM to and fro along the greyscale continuum: | a TRUTH – w? w? w? w? h? w? – a LIE |

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The answers to each of the 6 questions indicate, on the balance of the evidence, whether the CLAIM is more likely to be a TRUTH or more likely to be a LIE.

MAIN POINT: You will have noticed we are saying “a truth” rather than “The Truth”. Searching for truth is a journey and not a destination. We are more concerned with being right than being righteous. No individual brain can ever contain perfect knowledge of all possible facts. No brain can ever know the contents of the other people’s brains who are also involved in the situation. No brain can ever be have ownership of The Truth. And, that’s the point.

The rule of science is that you can have a good idea today, a better idea tomorrow, and the best idea … never! Why? Because there are always more facts to uncover–more opinions, more priorities, more options, more consequences, more positives, more negatives, more objectives, more measurements, and more experiments that can be tested. History has shown this to be a truth.

It is the deliberate effort one makes to move closer to a truth and to move further away from a lie that produces all the benefits of greyscale thinking.

No claim should ever be protected from questioning

Any claim that has ever been made in all of history and any claim that ever will be made can be illuminated, examined, investigated and accepted or rejected using the 6 true questions of greyscale thinking: What and Where and When and Why and How and Who – (Click here for more on the questions).

7 thoughts on “greyscale thinking: Is it true?

  1. hahahahah. i love it. I guess it is also important to notice if IT is true as well as if the teacher THINKS what he/she is saying is true. What a hoot. Window of humor hit me via my brainwaves. It was an AHA moment. Thank you.

  2. It is amazing to see how we can develop our intellect by using these tools to question but our limited knowledge in various situations deter us making a decision which can be near to the truth and our ability to use our faculties in a limited way lead to various confusions that could be termed as lies but need regular analysis to change them and evolve the truth underneath.

  3. The brain strain. Gaining the best from your brain. I like the six questions. As a teacher these 6 focus components are used all the time. Developing rich sentences. Phrase components. However, in determining a truth from a lie is the challenge we as educators face. Develop thinking about thinking, thinking to think, thinking about the how, when, why, what, who and where factors help students make better, safer, productive decisions. The world of youth in today’s world is not stupid. They can still think, plan and apply themselves in situations they choose. They can make decisions that they believe to be the truth and demonstrate an accurate outcome from their thinking, decision making and learning. As adults we shouldn’t panic or disregard the youth. There are serious problems on earth. We need to trust the future leaders of our earth.

  4. I teach 7/8 year olds and the access to mobile, instant information is incredibel. To help them manage this I go back to Kipling…

    I keep six honest serving-men
    (They taught me all I knew);
    Their names are What and Why and When
    And How and Where and Who.
    I send them over land and sea,
    I send them east and west;
    But after they have worked for me,
    I give them all a rest.

    I let them rest from nine till five,
    For I am busy then,
    As well as breakfast, lunch, and tea,
    For they are hungry men.
    But different folk have different views;
    I know a person small
    She keeps ten million serving-men,
    Who get no rest at all!
    She sends em abroad on her own affairs,
    From the second she opens her eyes
    One million Hows, Two million Wheres,
    And seven million Whys!

  5. I agree that the escalation of commonplace lying is quite astounding. I have wondered if technology desensitizes the conscience, or whether there is simply a critical mass “everyone else is lying, why shouldn’t I” (to get what I want, etc). Where are the truthseekers…

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