Photo: An Inquisitive Squirrel © 2020 Andrew Clifton
THE THEME of this website, blog and newsletter, centres on the concept of "thinkbubbles" – defined, in my introductory post, as follows:
[Thinkbubbles] can be thought of as small areas of mental space which surround and protect the ideas we feel most comfortable with, sheltering them from contradictory arguments and evidence.
In my tagline for the same article I describe thinkbubbles as mental barriers to evidence, conscience and reason, which serve as life-support systems for bad ideas. Please take a look at this introductory article for a more detailed discussion of the metaphorical notion of thinkbubbles – how they work, how we acquire them, the various influences which give them such power over us – and above all, how we can resist them.
THE SUBTITLE of this website describes its content as: Liberating musings on politics, philosophy, ethics, spirituality and science. The idea is to identify misleading thinkbubbles in all of these domains – and see what we can learn, when we take a look outside them. I use the word "liberating" to suggest the idea of liberation from thinkbubbles – and "musings" in the sense captured in the Cambridge Learner Dictionary’s definition of the verb, to muse:
Muse (v.i.): to think carefully about something for a long time.
These two things – careful thought, and criticism of thinkbubbles – are the essential ingredients of Thinkbubble Therapy.
Subscriptions – free, and premium!
YOU CAN SUBSCRIBE to Thinkbubble Therapy, free of charge, by clicking on the "subscribe" button above and entering your email address. You'll be sent an email automatically – but if it doesn't arrive promptly, be sure to check your spam or junk-mail folder, just in case. If that's where you find it, move the email to your inbox – and then click the "Activate my account" button.
This will take you to a page which invites you to sign up for a monthly or yearly premium subscription. Keep in mind, you don't have to do this – so if you're not quite ready, just click on the link to the home page. You'll still every new free article by email, whenever it's posted – and you'll have access to all of the free content on the website too.
However, if you sign up for a premium subscription, you get a lot more...
The most obvious benefit is that you'll have access to all of my premium, members-only articles, both on the website, and as individual emails, as soon as they're posted. Going forward, roughly half of all the content I post will be premium. Many of the articles, essays and reviews I post here will be broken up into two or more instalments, of which only the first part will be free – so a monthly or yearly subscription will give you the whole story, every time.
The not-so-obvious advantage is that you'll be supporting this site and helping to keep it going. And that, of course, is priceless!
The cost of a monthly subscription is just £3 – which I hope you'll agree, is quite reasonable – but an annual subscription, at £24, is even better value.
I plan to introduce some additional premium benefits in due course, including special offers on highly desirable Thinkbubble Therapy merchandise, access to a premium-members' discussion forum, and so on – but in the meantime, I will be very grateful for your support.
Schedule and formats
My initial aim is to publish new articles on a weekly basis, alternating between a number of regular formats, which will include:
- ESSAYS: Topic-specific discussions of influential think bubbles, in fields like psychology, philosophy, ethics, politics, economics, science and spirituality.
- REVIEWS: Long-form reviews and commentaries on books which, I feel, make major contributions to contemporary think bubble theory – or, in some cases, exemplify various forms of misleading bubble-think. Or both.
- THINKBUBBLE THEORY: Occasional articles on the theory of "thinkbubbles" and "thinkbubble therapy", as I use these concepts on this website – identified with the topic-tag, Thinkbubbles.
- PHOTO-BUBBLES: As regular break from heavy-duty thinking, I will publish short articles featuring a selection of my own, professional landscape, wildlife and fine-art photographs. My hope is that subscribers will enjoy these artistic interludes, at least as much as I enjoy creating them!
Bonus Articles and Special Features
In addition to these standard formats, I plan to introduce occasional bonus articles which take a slightly different approach, such as:
- Bubble-breaker reviews: Short review articles, featuring and commenting on notable YouTube channels, blogs and other sources I feel I can recommend, for their potential ability to break people out of various popular think-bubbles.
- Manifestos: Polemical essays, advocating various collaborative, consensus-oriented approaches to such problem-domains as democratic decision-making, civil discourse, education and political economy.
- Counterpoints: essays in which I draw attention to the redeeming features of points of view with which I largely disagree – and/or, flaws within viewpoints I tend to share. This is, I think, a great bubble-breaking exercise!
- Promotions: Occasional, shamelessly mercenary pieces, in which I will encourage readers to consider the merits of various items of Thinkbubble Therapy merchandise, such as coffee mugs, badges, t-shirts and other such goods of inestimable value.
This is the name of yet another Thinkbubble Therapy feature which I would like to introduce if, and when, this newsletter succeeds in attracting a sufficiently large number of subscribers to make it worthwhile.
The idea is to post short introductory articles on particular topics, followed by a link to an online survey which invites readers to express initial opinions on this topic – and then, guess the most likely answers to relevant factual questions, which might weigh for or against opposing views.
A follow-up article would then reveal what the correct answers are, according to verifiable, published source – along with a breakdown of the survey results and another opportunity to for readers to express their opinion, whether or not they have changed.
This idea is, of course, highly experimental – but I think the results could be interesting and informative. In order for it to work well, it needs to be set up very carefully – and implemented only when the time is right. If you would like to see this idea put into practice, please encourage your friends, relatives and social media contacts to check out Thinkbubble Therapy – and consider subscribing!