The mission is simple - to provoke debate, awaken critical thinking, and to help people break Free of Dumb’, in all its many forms. How? Well, through discussions and thought-pieces that stimulate thinking and debate. We'll discuss aspects of leadership, take look at purpose and branding, how we might navigate the ‘no-normal’, how to uncover facts in a post-truth world that is awash in a sea of fake news and conspiracy theories. Over time we will explore ways to practice critical thinking to form our own conclusions and aid our decision-making. We don't want to try and tell people what to think, we just want to help everyone break free of 'dumb’ in all its many forms. Lee Parkinson is a brand strategist, creative thinker and curious human. He is fascinated with human behaviour - what we actually do, even though it is often quite different from what we say, think, or feel.


January 8, 2022 10 min

Many believe that you can judge the quality of a decision by the success of the outcome…………’

But can you really?’

What if the person making the decision was reckless or had a high propensity for risk-taking, or was a gambler?

And what if the reason there was a successful outcome was mere luck?

What we need to think about is the role the decision or decisions that were made played in the outcome.

What do we know about the biases that may...

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Think of this episode as the end of the first season, and the beginning of the second season.
We took a winding journey through critical thinking for the first 10 episodes, and the last episode's interview with Carl Davidson seemed a fitting place to wrap that theme up. 
That's why the first part of this episode provides a summary and some clear steps to use when adopting critical thinking into our lives.

However, people seem ...

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I've always been clear that the Free-dumb Sessions' role is to provoke debate, awaken critical thinking, and help people ' break Free of Dumb’, in all its many forms, but what the hell is critical thinking anyway? 

How do we sort out the facts from the noise, the meaning from rumor, and the outright lies from the gossip?

At long last, this episode is a conversation with my guest and friend Carl Davidson.

Carl has spent mos...

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Most of us pride ourselves on our honesty.

Our businesses love to talk about honesty and integrity

It is important to us. But are we really that honest?  

Do we really tell ‘the truth’, and what does that even mean?

Sadly, truth is subjective and what is true for one, may be different for another. 

And if that is the case, does the truth matter, and are we all liars?

If you want to find out more about our lack of rationality and decision...

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This episode is a discussion with my guest and friend Nick Leach.

There’s so much talk about ‘Purpose’, but what is it exactly? Is it just a new-age way of window dressing, or does it have the power to transform organisations?

Nick is a passionate leader, who has been in leadership roles for the past 15 years, across, Asia and ANZ.  He wrote the book, ‘Leading On Purpose - a guide to creating a purpose-driven culture’  I first got to...

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While we seem to agree that words matter, are people really getting taken in by the media?
Are we really that dumb?
The power of 'framing'. Can the mere substitution of a single verb make a noticeable difference in meaning?
What implications does this have for police and legal cases?
What has anything covered so far in the Free-dumb Sessions got to do with critical thinking?

You can read  more about Loftus and Palmer’s Reconstr...

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"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never break me"

A discussion about young people and resilience,
 the power of words - for good and bad,
what this all means in an 'always-on' social media world,
and the power the media has -  not only constructing narratives to suit their agendas to influence the public, but also the judicial and political systems. 

If you want to read Huff and Kertzner’s pap...

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Let’s discuss ‘Charisma’.

We are all drawn to people with ‘natural charisma’, but what is it exactly?
The Oxford English Dictionary tells us that charisma is a ‘compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others’.

Is it a natural personality trait or can it be ‘taught’ like a set of skills or techniques?
 And even if it can -  should it be?
Does charisma have a dark side?

How naturally charismatic are you? Take this e...

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Some thoughts about the quest for a more empathetic society.
How it isn't always what it seems.
What empathy is, and isn't.
Empathy and manipulation.
Once you've listened to this episode, see how you do on the visual emotion recognition test here:

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You tell me your truth, and I’ll tell you mine.
What are conspiracy theories?
Are they a new 'internet age' phenomenon?
What conditions are needed to create one?
What's not a conspiracy theory?
What role does confirmation bias play in solidifying our views?
Why merely telling people they are wrong about their pet conspiracy theory,  is just wrong.
Why empathy is so important.

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January 5, 2021 11 min

A new vocabulary, new etiquette, and new rules for these COVID19 and' post-truth' times. How Trump and COVID19 are managing to change our world in ways beyond our imagination. 

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January 5, 2021 9 min

Thoughts about COVID19, existentialism, and whether we are now living in some kind of dystopian world.

 If so, are we on a path to an Orwellian, 1984 future, or are we going to be living in Huxley's take on a Brave New World?
 More importantly, does any of this even matter?

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