greyscale thinking: Is it true?

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 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 |

______________________________________________________________________________________________

|  a TRUTH               •                    •                       •                      •              a LIE |

______________________________________________________________________________________________

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).

24 thoughts on “greyscale thinking: Is it true?

  1. There is great merit in asking the 6 questions about everything and anything. When anyone in authority tries to control these questions we can be sure a lie is being covered or protected. It is only when these questions can be freely asked and answers provided that we can begin to move closer to genuine freedom and truths. It is in all our interests to continue to ask the questions.
    Another observation I have to make is that each of us has a set of truths unique to our own experience and that uniqueness lends itself to the truth that we cannot experience “the” truth only our own truth as we understand it.

  2. Hi Michael,

    this is a great approach to analyze a claim.
    I still have questions to your questions:
    – How to assess the answers a person gives to this questions? Can this only be done for topics you have knowledge yourself?
    – I guess that the fact that someone is not able to answer one or more questions is a good indicator whether or not something is a truth or a lie?
    – How do you phrase the questions? Can you give an example of how you apply it and also let us see the answers?

    Thanks for sharing this!

    Florian

  3. I like this – any chance of it being automated on net ? eg widgets that flash up veracity of web claims ? Could be linked to Wikipedia/Brittanica/Google Answers etc
    related mechanisms could be The Verometer – or more coloquially The B.S Detector….
    not sure about term Grayscale – to remove colour – in some instances could be fun to find out extent of B.S….

  4. So true, so true. Data or claims are thrown out carelessly, almost without thought. We process and soon it becomes truth in our brain. I believe speed is the enemy. There is no time for contemplation, thought or analysis. Too much information, true or untrue can lead to no analysis, but rather belief without thinking.
    Great concept and article.

  5. Your article on Truth is so timely in my life specific to yesterday especially. For many years I was dubbed a “Sun Worshipper” because I had lived in Southern California. I came to realize I really was not a true Sun Worshipper until I moved to Oregon, where everyone finds themselves ecstatic and certainly praising the sun when it does come out.
    On that almost silly note, I think of so many situations that occurred just in one day with regard to my importance of “the” truth. Your article has clarified my thoughts as to why so many people in my life (the closest) do not seek “the” truth but do in fact have their own truth. I believe a truth is better than none at all, but can be so frustrating at times.
    Thank you for enlightening and I will most certainly be passing the article on.
    Most Sincerely,
    Tanya A Chadwick
    Oregon, USA

  6. this says it all as you can find out a lot through asking these 6 simple questions in any investagation you do.

  7. So if you are trying to explain a truth using this pathway ..you should be able to cover the full claim as well?
    And if so if the other person cuts you off…and doesnt want to here the claim it means they dont want to hear the truth?
    Is that how it works?

  8. 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.

    I really like this concept and it hand in hand with the six questions

  9. Just saying what I regularly spout at work when I am assessing. Who, What, Where ,When and Why and How did they come to that decision.

  10. Greyscale thinking is something I am trying to get my pupils to engage in. I start this off with loads of creative and logic thinking puzzles, always prompting them to ask why? what? who? where? how?when? to solve the puzzle.

    I imagine the fear of ‘Greyscale thinking’ is the challenge of our laziness and ignorance.

  11. A good teacher or coach never claims to be an expert, rather they have expertise. Once an expert is proven not to be so, this person’s credibility rating and the level of respect that he or she had been accorded not only are eroded but also are very difficult to regain

  12. I like the concept of using ‘a truth’ in place of ‘the truth’ as it now makes the statement a possibility rather than the absolute in my mind. This helps me understand the lesson better and changes the concept in my mind which has be subjected to conditioning all my life.

  13. A good concept. All teachers when they teach any scientific concept should say” that it is one of the possibilities, and not the only truth.” They should allow their students to think other possibilities of the truth. That is, Education should makes the people ” to go beyond” found truth to real truth. so Grey scale thinking using 6 true questions is absolutely necessary in the process of teaching and learning.

    P. Vijayachandran

  14. Weapons of Mass Indoctrination,ideas on the wire.People in pay packets have words to spread all across the Globe.Does the head not hurt just a little?Grey Scale to improve our Grey matter matters indeed.

  15. The basics of good journalism (which has, unfortunately, largely been dismissed by our news reporters)
    This is something which should be taught from the earliest moments of education. Instead, the children who instinctively ask all the questions get medicated for their inability to ‘focus’.

  16. So true, so true. Data or claims are thrown out carelessly, almost without thought. We process and soon it becomes truth in our brain. I believe speed is the enemy. There is no time for contemplation, thought or analysis. Too much information, true or untrue can lead to no analysis, but rather belief without thinking.
    Great concept and article.

  17. the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth , so help me god.
    But……….. only the truth as i know it !

  18. I agree one should accept claims/statements as facts without questioning – who, what, why, where, when, how etc. Sometimes this may be difficult.

  19. Hello Brothers

    Looks like http://www.schoolofthinking.org seems to be a excessively great forum for me
    I am content to have stumbled upon it.

    this is a laugh for you from me : to give you a you smile : Don’t worry: the answer’s at the back of the book.

    Lol!

    Anybody have an interest in Video Games

    Looking forward to a good long membership here!

    New York,Huntington Station

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