Teach children critical thinking skills

I was embarrassed reading this article in thenewpaper on 6 May by a Lia Testa Teismann, head of secondary courses at the British Council. What she talked about, teaching our young critical thinking to know what is fake news and misinformation is all common sense. When our daft Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act(POFMA), oops, I mean draft, was read in Parliament, it was such a disappointment that no one dare to tell the minister how nonsensical is this bill. It was equally disappointing that none of our thinkers, scholars, academics, educationists spoke up in the same vein to debunk the myth concocted by the authority about fake news.

Maybe they all agree that we should bring up our children in a cocoon or bubble, screened and protected from all the fake news, no need to tell them the truth, no need to teach them to tell the difference from fake news, misinformation and the truth, just keep them away from each other. This is how irresponsible our thinking community or academics are on this matter. Life is not simply black and white and Singaporeans, including children and adults need to face them squarely in their lives.

If we don’t teach out young to think, how could they fend for themselves when they are brought up in an environment without fake news and misinformation? The hard truth is that the authority everywhere is the biggest manufacturer of fake news and misinformation. Look at how our history books were written by the West, the colonialists. Till today, practically every adult is still spouting the nonsense, the misinformation that Singapore was founded by Stamford Raffles. What kind of bull is this? When are we going to rewrite our history correctly to remove this fake information, that Raffles did not found Singapore? Singapore and the people of Singapore existed way before even Raffles was born.

The fault of educating our young lies in our adults, and sad to say many of our adults could not think, could not differentiate between truth and fake news or misinformation or propaganda of the state. When questioned about the threat of China, Mahathir told the journalists off pointedly. Where is the threat from China? Malaya/Malaysia was having good relations with China for thousands of years before the Europeans came, and the Chinese did not conquer or colonise them. But when the Europeans came, within two days, they conquered and colonized Malaya and ruled for nearly 200 years. Same as all the Asian and SE Asian countries, all suffered the same fate, conquered and ruled by the Europeans, not by China.

But if you ask any silly Asian, especially the bananas, they would respond like robots, to tell you how they fear China, an expansionist and aggressive country, wanting to conquer and rule the world. Who have done that and who is ruling the world? These unthinking adults did not know that they have been planted with misinformation by the West for their entire life, reading western propaganda and white lies as the truth, as history.

Did our govt and leaders know the difference? Who needs critical thinking skills, the adults or children or the people supposedly wise enough to implement the new ‘akan datang’ law to be obeyed without thinking?
To teach critical thinking, we need to rewrite our history books and learn a new history of our little island and the whole of Asia and the world from our own perspectives as victims of the marauding West. Do the adults understand the meaning of American Exceptionalism, Doctrine of Christian Discovery, or things like lobbying when lobbying is actually corruption and bribery at the highest level in American politics said differently? The West used different words to disguise their evilness and wickedness but used crude words to smear the rest of the world, regime change is invasion of a country. Period. Rule of law is law that you must obey, not the Americans or the West, their law for you to live by.

If we gag a nation of people, what kind of people will they become? Sanitized like kindergarten children, reading only fairy tales and believing in fairy tales?


Anonymous said...

"draft, was read in Parliament, it was such a disappointment that no one dare to tell the minister how nonsensical is this bill." - because rubber-stamp Parliament , just like what the ST like to describe North Korean's Parliament! Finger point at others should be pointing at oneself.

Anonymous said...

Did Sylvia lim or Pritam Singh say something?

Anonymous said...

No! No! No!

No need to teach children critical thinking skills!

No use lah! Waste time!

Just teach them how to vote correctly!

That is your ultimate duty!


Anonymous said...


You think PAPies & elites don't know this? There's a big difference in how they teach & raise their own kids versus how they treat the rest of sinkies. The POFMA has nothing to do with protecting sinkies. If you don't know this then you're the daft one.

Virgo49 said...

So Alyouis Pang was at fault. All gave evidence but can they churned out their false or fake or Real News??

His parents already in agony but now said your son's own faults.

Have their instructors or COs taught them the SOPs or SOCs. The Tank Commander and Regular NCOs cannot command him? Just like the Korean and Japs who knocked heads of juniors to obey?

Any evidences can be cooked into Fake News. True or not?

They have so many chiak pai boh sai pang IBs or scholars to keng their "True" News.

So they want the POP just to listen and believe their Only Trur News.

Others are false. IMDB, Sinkieland giving back millions to Matland on the IMDB fiasco. So is Sinkieland involved or not involved?

True or Not? Hope Matland Court in time to come in further hearings will have the Truths out of the Defendant's Mouth.

Virgo49 said...

That's be costly to their Standing in the coming GE.

And Leong may be exonerated from further persecution.


Anonymous said...

The best defence against fake r falsehood news is a person critical thinking skill…said Khush Chopra in Hong Lim Park a week ago. The Garmen r very scared cos if everyone starts to learn & practise critical thinking there wud be no white men pary in Sinkieland & they r very happy in that no need critical thinking so no critics or criticism & these pigs lived happily ever after. In reality r very different, Sinkieland will juz regress & see its neighbor progress & it will juz sink & no need war to fight against this tiny rock & it will juz sink down to abyss.

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

@ Controlling Sheeple

Once people have a grasp on critical thinking skills’ they become harder to control and manipulate. But “harder” doesn’t mean “impossible”. Everyone---even and especially smart people---can be fooled and manipulated, if one possesses the knowledge and training.

This is why teaching kids to think critically (which they already receive, to certain degrees, in STEM education) will not make their minds “bulletproof to bullshit”. Anyway, the human brain doesn’t cease development until around age 25. Having a higher IQ or EQ is no iron-clad guarantee either.

Humans are not rational beings. They are a big-brained emotionally-driven, post-hoc rationalizing species of bipedal African ape’ and to a great extent, we exhibit “ape behaviour”, especially when in groups. Primates are social species, and in all societies there exists hierarchies which---to a large extent---define us.

Because of the biological architecture of our “wet ware” (brains), coupled with our social nature, we have “built in” cognitive biases, and a propensity for status seeking. Status seeking is rooted in evolutionary psychology, because the higher one’s status, the greater the likelihood that one will find a mate and pass one’s DNA to the next generation. (ie. get laid’ make babies).

Even those who are aware and trained to deal with our baked-in cognitive biases are not totally immune to them. It is something we just cannot get rid of. The next best thing to self awareness of such biases is someone else (observer) telling us we might be prone to their effects at that particular instance. and even that is not 100% fool proof. Our cognitive biases have an evolutionary benefit and were well suited to humans living in the wild. In modern society, our cognitive biases trip us up all the time. The Big 4 cognitive biases as identified by Kahneman and Tversky are:

1 Representation
2 Anchoring
3 Availability
4 Attribution-substitution

Generally they are all subsets of confirmation bias, the undisputed “king” at the heart of most human error. The “quick and dirty” scientific explanation is the extremely poor way our human brains apply statistics (which is done unconsciously) when evaluating the world and deciding how to act/ respond to stimulus or to achieve plans, goals and objectives. These biases helped early humans living in nature survive long enough to pass on their genes to the next generation. However in our modern time, these biases make us very lousy risk takers (for example) and extremely bad at analysing huge amount of data which bombard us---something our Savannah-wandering ancestors never had to worry about.

Savvy manipulators will have the training and techniques on how to use the quirkiness of human cognition to manipulate individuals and populations. Algorithms which “hijack” our brains are used everyday on Facebook, Amazon, Spotify etc. websites. So in that respect, I can understand why the govt is worried.

So yeah, on the one hand I can defend the need for legislation like POFMA. On the other hand I think we should not have anything like POFMA, and let freedom and the “free market of ideas” (good and bad) work unimpeded allowing humans to bear the costs of their errors and bum luck, and reap the benefits of their good decisions and good luck.

You cannot legislate away human nature. Falsehoods and manipulation are common human activities which occur in the real world all the time. Everyone does it. Sometimes it breaks the law, most of the time it is just “human communication” at work. By making such basic human behaviour ILLEGAL just because it is ONLINE falsehood and manipulation is a boneheaded idea, and one totally unsuited toa supposedly “tech savvy” government---the world’s MOST EXPENSIVE, no less.

Anonymous said...


Back in Jan 2019 when Aloysius kena squashed, a connected PAPpy already telling me the elites already know 80% what happened, and laughing at all the crybabies & KPKB on social media. He said they will wait 3-4 months before giving official statement. By then most of the emo & irrational KPKB will die down liao. He was right. Aloysius is forgotten news already. People are more concerned with 3Ms & jobs.

b said...

The sg pollies are like that. They like to cut away the people wings (using debts), legs (using coe) and brains (using fake news law) so that they can subject to their manipulations and work for them like slaves for generations to come. Wait for karma to come.

b said...

What they need is not a fake news law but to teach people to take everything as bullshit first before believing, including and especially news from the pollies.

Anonymous said...

The idea is they want our young to stay in the box. Only thing is, if they only think while inside the box, how are they expected to think out of the box which they have never been to?

While Donald Trump already lied more than ten thousand times, albeit all fake news coming out of his mouth, no one bat an eyelid save to make a mockery of him. And he is the President of the USA!

And we want common folks to tell the truth, all the truth and nothing but the truth? Please leave the kids alone!

Laughable or not you decide!

UG said...

Yippie. Clap clap clap. Aloysius Pang die. Let you all have a taste. PAP PAP PAP. Sometimes I wake up. I hope more elites children suffer. Else you all brain are stuck up. How often in the 50 years elites like Aloysius Pang die? More and more people now everyday wake up, cursing someone? Shiok. Good for country. Hope the connected pappy keep on laughing. No need go army also can die in car accident. Keep on laughing. As if one year go back once in army can remember everything. The throw smoke bomb one is it every time also got throw smoke bomb also will count wrongly? You all are funny. KAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKA. Say Amos Yee lah. Say. Which television people say Amos Yee, than report back at television place, bring back bad Feng Shui? KAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKA. Or bi good. You all never read the Pharaoh story meh? The curse strong a not? KAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKA. I am still waiting people to solve my issue leh. There is e2i, wda, meet the people session but my issue not solve. Bear false witness already Sunday still go church ah? Bring bad feng shui to the church? KAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKA.

UG said...

Oh ya. Bear false witness already, Sunday just go confession box. Every week repeat the same thing until 5 years later, election come. Oh ya, forgotten and forgiven. Woo hoo. PAP PAP PAP.

You are not my brother. Anyone know where is Aaron? Aaron dont appear, PAP how to lose. Must apply Feng Shui leh.


Hong Tou Jing got insulted again is it?

Anonymous said...

If you have leaders, even ministers, whose whole life has been sheltered and grown up in an incubator, what do you expect they would also do to you, the followers or citizens? Ensured by their Human God to "succeed" in every darn project that they had been given - then: Hey Presto! Magically they scored a first again!

Such sheltered leaders, with guaranteed progression to even hold the highest position in the land, how not they also want to ensure that all of you to be incubated so that they can easily enslave you to do their biddings?

The serious lack of talents, especially leadership talents, in Singapore is the result of a string of actions deliberately planned and executed to ensure nobody can rise up to challenge, compete and outshine the One (and Only One) selected by the Human God to rule and Lord over you! That is a fact, not fake news.

Prove me wrong, if you can. And I will accept defeat willingly, with my head bow down in full respect.

UG said...


Wah seh. One comment say what YouTube what. Really man. NTU NUS so many batch do what one ah? What is PISA score? High PISA IN NOSE very good? Not itchy meh?

Lee Kuan Yew, LKY, My lau peh initial is YKL. I am waiting for Aaron. Anyone know where is Aaron? Amos is out but not my brother leh. KAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKA.

UG said...

Danny Ng also come out already leh. Got Simon Lim, Sylvia Lim. Woo hoo. Aaron. Where are you? Is Chen Show Mao christian name Aaron? Howard Shaw. Kong Hee. Serina Wee. So many name appear. Aloysius Pang. Amos Yee. Dom Lee. Monica Baey. Woo hoo. Aaron. Where are you?

Anonymous said...

If you want to improve your critical thinking skills;
Watch these types of youtube debate (or talk show) videos:

1. Atheist vs Christian debates
2. Christian vs Muslim debates
3. Orthodox Jews vs Christian debates
4. Comedians making fun of religions videos

You will see many everyday logical fallacies that most humans are not even aware of.

1. George Carlin --- Religion is Bullshit (10 minute comedy routine)


2. Matt's Brilliant Response - The Atheist Experience 696 (9 minute video)


Give it a try.
I promise you will never see the world in quite the same way again.

Anonymous said...

@ May 07, 2019 8:58 pm

Religion - the belief and trust in authority without evidence

Government - isn't it the same?

Anonymous said...

Rabbi Tovia Singer Debates Dr. William Lane Craig!
- Is the Trinity Supported by Scripture? (10 minute video)


If you had watch the first 2 videos above @ May 07, 2019 8:58 pm
- you will very easily see all the logical fallacies here

"Assertions made without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence"

"The Bible (or any other holy book) is the CLAIM. Not the evidence."

"Hard truths is the claim. Not the evidence."

Anonymous said...

UG here u go again, berserk and senseless kakakakakakakakakakakaka comment. U really need to be fucked and sodomized to cure your madness? U agreed or not? 😀