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How to Question Things Like a Genius

Updated on January 12, 2012

The Seven Interrogation Tactics of the Art of Self-interrogation

I rebel, therefore we exist!” –Albert Camus

The Questioning to the Nth Degree Tactic: It’s not about finding answers, it’s about questioning answers. In so far as answers are found they are founded in order to be questioned to the absolute roots of their conception, then analyzed for biases, incongruities, and unnaturalness, so as to make obsolete, or to attempt to make obsolete, any preconceived notions derived from opinionated conceptions found not to be congruent with natural order. One must question in this way so as to achieve the higher-state of awareness that is required for a self-interrogating mindset. This method of questioning shaves the superfluity of irrationality and dogmatic rigidness, and opens one up to the creative, fluid vicissitudes of evolutionary revolution. Questioning to the nth degree is a tactic that a Self-interrogator uses to get a grip on reality. It allows freedom from the bureaucracy of the inert self. It allows one to be self-astonished, where instead of trying to possess beauty one is possessed by it.

The Icon of Iconoclasm Tactic: This tactic is all about poking holes in the sacred and deliberately shattering images. It points out that the true “spiritual” man is one who does not belong to any creed, nation, or state, but is free to create and destroy the many symbols and ideas that float around him in any given instance. He becomes symbolism itself, and because of this becoming he is free to don or discard any fleeting opinions of what life might mean, rebellious and insouciant, and playing with “important” symbols in an attempt to inject a little humility into any given situation. He is the free philosopher, anti-dogmatic, anti-extremist, and only bound by the natural order that binds him.

The Perception Overhaul Tactic: A thorough repair, renovation, or revision of a perceptual outlook. This type of interrogation tactic focuses on perception, both phenomenal and psychological. The question, “Is the glass half-full or half-empty?” serves to demonstrate, not only the way an object can be perceived in different ways, but the way concepts and emotional states can be perceived in different ways, even by the same person in different places and/or at different times. The ideal state achieved by the Perception Overhaul Tactic is one of plasticity and fluidity through the overall awareness of perceptual fluctuations, both personal and public.

Counter-Weltanschauung Dynamics: Is simply a challenging of worldviews and the bringing into question of the framework of ideas and beliefs that individuals use to interpret and interact with their world. Weltanschauung is German for a wide-world view, a view imprinted socially, culturally, and perhaps even genetically. Counter-Weltanschauung Dynamics is a way of questioning one’s worldview by describing its polar opposite, so as to arrive at a more open-minded understanding of one’s interpretation of the world as a whole. The ideal state achieved by the Counter-Weltanschauung Dynamics tactic is one of cross-cultural open-mindedness and anti-dogmatic empathy for other-than-self worldviews.

The Cognitive Dissonance Counter-intuitive: This tactic emphasizes the fact that humans are always rationalizing but are not always rational beings. By understanding and analyzing the cognitive dissonance in oneself and within others, a self-interrogator discovers, otherwise hidden biases, prejudices, and beliefs. A self-interrogator also realizes how reality can be counter-intuitive, for example: most everyday experience suggests that the Earth is flat: when actually the Earth is a sphere, and, prior to the Copernican Revolution, helio-centrism, was considered to be contrary to common sense. A self-interrogator discovers the first signs of his own hypocrisy in this questioning tactic, and so it becomes a kind of jumping-off-point for the art of hypocrisy

The Occam’s Razor Tactic: Shedding the superfluous. This tactic focuses on making sense of human senselessness by carving away at ideas, hypothesis, and theories to make them more sound and applicable to natural order. The Occam’s Razor tactic is used to discern the more elegant idea from those of less elegance. But it also takes into consideration the opposite of Occam’s Razor: Crabtree’s Bludgeon: “No set of mutually inconsistent observations can exist for which some human intellect cannot conceive a coherent explanation, however complicated.” The ideal state achieved by the Occam’s razor Tactic is one of elegance in the face of superfluity (elegance is the soul of acumen) and a personification of Shakespeare’s quote, “Brevity is the soul of wit.

McGee’s Guillotine: This is Occam’s Razor on crack! This is a tactic of outright decapitation; a pruning, scalping, and beheading of the human “head” (mind) and its tainting of natural order. This tactic strips away the ignorance of human opinion and replaces it with natural dictation. It goes beyond shedding superfluity and cuts the human head out of the equation so that a “new head” can grow: open-minded, non-dogmatic, fluid, and plastic in its self-actualization of the original equation. The ideal state achieved with McGee’s Guillotine is an actualization of self, product, and reality, and the balance of each.


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    • -Z- profile imageAUTHOR

      Gary Z McGee 

      7 years ago from Everywhere, USA

      Thanks for reading, Vicente. Yeah, I apologize for some of the highfalutin language. My original plan was to expand on each subject more thoroughly in other hubs. I just recently did so with the Art of Self-interrogation in my latest piece How to Prepare Yourself for the Call to Adventure.

    • Vicente Zeldana profile image

      Vicente Zeldana 

      7 years ago from USA

      Really nice set of ways to question things. Some were a bit hard to really understand because it is hard to know without some real life examples sometimes. I think it is a really good topic because to most people knowing how a genius might think would be completely foreign, but you help us get a grasp.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Is the glass half full or half empty ? Objectively, did the glass begin full or empty? When a glass is made, is it not an empty vessel ? So if you find a glass filled exactly half way isn't it natural to conclude that the glass is half full considering that the half whether it being a result of half being spilled or half being filled would not be there in the first place had it not been filled?

    • Spymongoose profile image


      9 years ago

      Its a very nice hub, the context being picking up on the annoying traits typical of "genious behavior" and taking them a step further. Bravo!

    • Pest profile image


      9 years ago from A Couch, Lake Odessa, MI

      Huh? ** picks dirt from toenails sniffs finger ** this was even over my head, and I are genus.

    • Elena. profile image


      9 years ago from Madrid

      You do, too, GT. I had a hard time with this one but you end up getting it, too! Fancy that! Serious philosophy in hubpges -- a shock, a total shock! :-)

      Don't mind me Mr -Z-! I've read your hubs, haven't commented before because you say it all, the one think for an observer to say is "yes, sir", and somehow I don't think you'd be keen on that!

    • goldentoad profile image


      9 years ago from Free and running....

      I don't get this one.

    • AEvans profile image


      9 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      mmmmm.....The perception overhaul tactic , you should revise the article and ask others which tactic they utilize as everyone fits on of these. I am "The perception overhaul tactic, I always seem to question if the glass is half full or half empty. This hub is quite in depth and very interesting.:)

    • Teresa McGurk profile image


      9 years ago from The Other Bangor

      Great hub. I was wondering, though, which figures we could use as examples of each approach, and it's fun mulling that over. . . where does the term "McGee's Guillotine" come from? I love it.


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