Be aware that your own thoughts and voice are unique and exercising them frequently by critically thinking and reading is an opportunity to flex your creativity, to challenge systemic bias, and to come up with novel ideas. In the long term, not practicing critical thinking, particularly on a larger human scale may have unintended consequences. You can read dozens of news articles every day about the advancements of algorithms and generative AI and the implications this will have on just about every aspect of human society.
Here are a few hopefully thought provoking examples about surprising ways humans are shaping information technologies, and technologies are shaping human systems:
You can use the following databases to find historical and cultural contextual information. These sources will help you understand basic facts, key events, and other concepts. You can browse by topic, time period, or search by a simple keyword or key phrase.
Get ready to question everything you read, but with a mind open to learning from trusted sources!
Skepticism, but not cynicism (Reading on the dangers of information cynicism)
Ask questions of the text as you are reading as if you are having a conversation with it - if you are conducting research this will give you a natural segue into what research questions you want to investigate and support with outside evidence (sources)
Evaluate and investigate the arguments, evidence given to support arguments, opinions, biases, etc. in the sources you encounter
SIFT Method - Seek verification from multiple, credible sources and trace original sources of evidence
Some historical cultural reference examples for research: