Discover more from Sharpen Your Axe
Sharpen Your Axe - Beta Version
A critical-thinking rabbit hole
Thanks to my eldest daughter Andrea CL for designing the cover and my youngest daughter Layra CL for posing for the photo
Sharpen Your Axe is my free book on thinking critically about the news, conspiracy theories and current affairs. I am a full-time investigative journalist; and I began the project in 2016 because I became concerned about some of my friends going down strange rabbit holes. It took me more than four years to write the beta version of the book in my spare time; and it has taken me more than four months to publish it on a chapter-by-chapter basis on the internet. I decided to make it free so that the information could spread as widely as possible without a paywall adding friction.
The structure of the project is borrowed from conspiracy theorists: It is a rabbit hole. There are several layers to it. If you are pressed for time and just want a quick overview, I have tried to summarize the main argument in a Twitter thread. You don’t need a Twitter account to access the information and it will only take a few minutes of your time.
If you want to dig a little deeper into the critical-thinking rabbit hole, I have summarized some of the key arguments in my blog on Substack. Please use the links below to access the information. It might take a day or two to digest all this information.
For those of you who want to dig even deeper into this material, the rabbit hole has a third layer. It will probably take a few weeks to read the whole book, which is available at these links: Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three, Chapter Four, Chapter Five, Chapter Six, Chapter Seven, Chapter Eight, Chapter Nine, Chapter Ten, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13, Chapter 14, Chapter 15, Chapter 16, Chapter 17 and Chapter 18.
The rabbit hole goes even deeper! The fourth layer involves cross-referencing the book with the bibliography, following the links and checking the material. This would take months instead of weeks. The fifth level is a lifetime endeavour. It involves actually building your identity around skepticism, being responsible on social media and maybe following the advice on becoming an amateur researcher in Chapter 18.
Getting to this point brings me to the end of Phase I of the project. In Phase II, I will continue to share my thoughts every week through Substack - please subscribe if you haven’t already done so. In the meantime, I will prepare the final version of the book, which I hope to publish on a website in the future. Finally, if you could take a few seconds to click the share button at the top of this page, it would be greatly appreciated. See you next week!
*Gambling can be addictive, so only bet amounts you can afford to lose
[Updated on 10 March 2022] Opinions expressed on Substack and Twitter are those of Rupert Cocke as an individual and do not reflect the opinions or views of the organization where he works or its subsidiaries.