My name is Ruben von Higgenbotham. Welcome to the Bubbler.

We’re experiencing a societal crisis. Analytical thinking is dying, and digital communication is tearing us apart. Emotion is beating logic, and it’s powered by our growing fear to say what we’re thinking.

Analytical Thinking

Too often, people believe what they hear without taking any efforts to look into things and determine the truth. We’ve forgotten that there’s always more to the story. There are always multiple perspectives… two sides to every story. But too many are prone to resist anything that conflicts with our thinking.

Or we tune out information because of the source. If someone we decided we don’t like says something, we automatically decide it must be wrong, or a lie (if we even hear what they said). As a result, our listening skills have diminished. And as our listening skills deteriorate, so goes our ability to think critically about what we’ve heard to determine if it makes any sense.

Digital Communication

When email and social media first hit, “the world has gotten smaller,” or “we’re all connected,” were common refrains. And while this is technically correct (it’s far easier than ever before to meet someone in a different country), I’m afraid our in-person communication skills have diminished.

We text instead of call. We IM to the person sitting across the desk from us instead of making eye contact and speaking. Memes replace our ability to articulate a thought. We put important life events on social media and expect our good friends to find it. We play video games or binge watch shows when we should be outside, hanging out with friends (or meeting new ones).

The Bubbler

I say it’s not too late. Analytical thinking is not dead. It’s just been taking a nap in the guest room.

I created the bubbler to encourage people to engage again. Every day, I’m sharing a perspective or idea… something I’ve noticed… that will hopefully get you thinking. I’m not trying to tell you what to think. I’m just trying to get you to think.

Sometimes, you’ll be uncomfortable with what I wrote. You’ll strongly disagree. That’s great. As long as you’re really considering what I’ve written and thinking about where it fits in to your worldview. But equally important, get up out of your chair, head to the water fountain, and discuss it with friends or colleagues.

It’s time to relearn to engage other people. Even more importantly, time to relearn how to disagree with others. Have discussions, debates, or even heated arguments.  And when you’re done, head out and grab a beer. Because when it’s all said and done, most of us want the same things. It’s just how to get there.

Thank you for reading the Bubbler. You may not always like it, but I hope you’ll always feel challenged, and maybe even uncomfortable from time to time. And like Martha Stewart, I think that’s a good thing.