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Want to be an original thinker? You need to read deeply

Simon Davidson


KOKOPO - Here is a mechanism for becoming an original thinker and not be an echoer of other people’s thoughts.

This mechanism is reading. But more specifically, deep reading.

Today there is a legion of surface skimmers who love superficial knowledge but never do in-depth reading.

Many have lost the ability to think for themselves. By being addicted to shining distractions, many in the Facebook generation have squandered their God-given ability to think abstractly, or from cause to effect.

They regard their peer’s opinion as absolute truth, than take the time to think more independently. As a result many people have wrecked their lives on dangerous precipices of sensual pleasure.

But to become a thinker and be a thought leader, one needs to read deeply.

By deep reading, I mean the array of sophisticated processes that propel comprehension and that include inference and deductive reasoning, analogical skills, critical analysis, reflection and insight.

In simple terms it means reading and interacting with the text, taking notes and internalising the text and forming new conclusions.

According to the Atlantic journal, deep reading is a form of deep thinking. Reading reshapes the network of the brain.

The brain’s plasticity allows it to make new connections and allows the reader to arrive at new thoughts.

Gustave Flaubert calls this the fertile miracle of communication. Constant reading fuels creative thinking and allows the reader to become an original thinker.

We must never be like the moon that reflects the rays of the sun, but be like the sun that sheds its original light throughout the cosmos.

If you want to be an original thinker, read a lot. If you want to be a deep thinker, be a deep reader.

As a result your brain will become a factory for generating an ocean of new ideas. By generating a lot of new ideas, it will change your life and you will change the world you live.

Remember! Thinkers change history.

Simon Davidson, originally from Muritaka village in the Enga Province, is a lecturer in the school of Theology at Sonoma Adventist College in Kokopo. He is a graduate of Pacific Adventist University with a BA in Theology and an MA in Theology


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Michael Dom

Equally absurd it is to assume that originality relies on achieving a PhD, as it is to assume it relies entirely on deep reading.

A PhD requires original thinking.

Thinking originally requires a mind is seeking.

How to think, that is, how do you seek the unknown for the original?

One way to seek is deep reading.

Probing the known knowledge in search of the unknown.

Other means are to sit and/or to do.

What to think is not the question it is the challenge.

Try not to think when you sit.

What does the mind not seek?

What to do is not a distraction it is a process for seeking.

The original may be done without thinking.

How to know what you do is original, that is, know when you breach the unknown, the undone.

Some think without doing, others do without thinking.

Do, sit, deep read and you will be thinking.

Do, sit, deep read long enough and you may achieve original thinking.

Take a PhD for pig feeding, old knowledge for old task with original thinking.

Bernard Corden

Try Paul Feyerabend's Against Method and Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Opressed

Philip Kai Morre

I agree with Simon that we need to read a lot to become original thinkers but at the same time we are building our knowledge on somebody else's work.

We become original thinkers and inventers if we do something different that we don't need to depend on books written by someone else.

People like Plato, Aristotle Socrates, Albert Einstein, or Sigmund Fraud, or Thomas Aquinas, Isaac Newton and the rest of the learned scientist, philosophers and inventers are creative and they are gifted with enormous energy to formulate their theories.

Whether we read books or not is not a problem but some people have intuitive knowledge and working mind to think out of the box.

Knowledge is different from passing a test to get PhD or master's degree by reading books and copying from others. Even a school leaver can invent something new and the PhD cannot do anything.

The Wright brothers invented airplanes and Michael Faraday invented light bulbs and they had no formal education.

Creative ideas and insights comes from God but we have to use them to the fullest by exploring deeper into our conscious and sub-conscious level to make known the inner power we have.

Pawa Kenny Ambiasi

I run parallel with you Philip. No wonder President Mugabe visted Papua New Guinea.

Jordan Dean

Modern knowledge is mediocre to me. There is nothing original about it. To get a PhD, you do a literature review of available information. Then, you build and expand on other peoples knowledge or connect their ideas and you're called a Doctor so and so. We either borrow, steal, copy, adopt and adapt it from someone else.

The certificates or degrees we have one verify that we learnt something from someone who also learnt from another person and so forth. If you have an Economics degrees, thank Adam Smith.

If you have a management and accounting background like myself, we're thankful Max Webber, Frank & Lillian Gilbert, Frederick Taylor, Henri Fayol, Abraham Maslow and other gurus. But these gurus leant from someone else.

My point is, the knowledge we pride ourselves of having is borrowed knowledge and thus, not original. The only thing I reckon that is original is our traditional knowledge systems which are dying out very quickly.

Philip Fitzpatrick

I can't help thinking that the reason the PNG government fails to support education adequately, does not fund libraries and does not support its writers is because it wants to keep the population unthinking and compliant.

I realise this is a long stretch and doubt whether they have the brains to carry out such a devious plan but there is also a niggling doubt.

Robert Mugabe has been quoted as saying the best way to control people is to keep them ignorant and hungry.

Is this a manifesto that O'Neill has adopted?

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