We're hoping to make 2010 a year of implementation. What do we want to implement? The creation of new tools that you can use to get what you want.
Human progress is the story of tool creation -- the development of devices, mechanisms, and ideas that have allowed us to do more using less. Some people call this capitalism, but it would be more appropriate to call it Toolism. When we invest money to create tools, progress happens.
We want to make 2010 a year of Toolism for Downsize DC and the Downsize DC Army.
The first new tool we'll create in 2010 is nearly done. It's an educational tool based on the old proverb . . .
“Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime”
We think the public debate suffers from a consistent failure to use a particular kind of mental tool -- critical thinking.
If you can convince a person of the right answer to a particular problem, you've accomplished something positive for the moment. But if you can give him or her the mental tools to consistently arrive at the correct answer, then you've accomplished something that will last a lifetime. Examples of critical thinking would be . . .
* Big claims require big evidence
* Don't engage in special pleading -- instead, make competing claims live up to the same standards of judgement, and don't just cherry pick the evidence
Many public debates would go in an entirely different direction, if only these two principles of critical thinking were widely applied. For example . . .
* What evidence is there that latest big government proposal will work as promised?
* Let's be honest: What role did government play in creating this problem? Didn't the politicians promise to solve this with a similar expansion of government a decade ago?
There are many similar mental tools that would be equally powerful -- tools that would disarm the politicians as they prey on public fear. These are the very tools my team uses personally to analyze issues and present our positions. Imagine more people thinking like a DC Downsizer!
Most days, you hear from us about a DownsizeDC.org project. But DownsizeDC.org, Inc. has a sister organization, the Downsize DC Foundation, that we will use to promote these kinds of mental tools in the coming year.
Downsize DC Foundation is a 501(c)(3) educational foundation that can accept tax deductible contributions. https://secure.downsizedc.com/contribute/
If . . .
* You're going to be itemizing deductions on your 2009 tax return
* And you like our work in general
* And you want to help us create new tools
* And you like the idea of promoting critical thinking as a means to protect yourself against political schemes
* Please consider making a tax deductible contribution to the Downsize DC Foundation
You have only today and tomorrow to do so for the purpose of your 2009 taxes. You can make your donation using our secure online contribution form: https://secure.downsizedc.com/contribute/
Thank you for your support. We'll have a lot more to tell you about Toolism in the coming year.
Downsize DC Foundation
P.S. A $2,000 individual contribution would probably complete this Tool building project. And, of course, monthly pledges would be very helpful as well.
If you're mailing a check, the envelope must, by law, be postmarked with a 2009 date! Make the check payable to "Downsize DC Foundation." You can print out the online form. The mailing address is there. https://secure.downsizedc.com/contribute/