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Dwelling in critique breeds negativity and leads to cynicism. Creative critique adds the vitality of creativity to the energy of critical thinking. Look at current events through categories of difference: that's critical thinking. Contextualize our contemporary world with literature and art to understand roots, effects, and impact. The bonus: potential alternatives. How do we move away from potential danger? How do we resolve a crisis? How do we move forward from this conflict? Art and literature usually has that covered. All it takes for the potential to become reality is a closer look and an open mind.

Creative critique is a methodology for thinking and living. As critical thinkers, we are urged to question, to analyze, and, ultimately, to evaluate. Taking texts and ideas apart, excavating for assumptions, and projecting implications are skills with practice. As a humanities scholar and an educator of critical thinking, I know that, once mastered, critical thinking becomes second nature, so ingrained in our view of the world, as to become automatic.

Creative critique takes critical thinking further, into identifying and generating alternatives. Yes, critical thinking leads the way to pinpointing problems, but what happens next? What do we do with those problems, once we know what they are, what causes them, where they're coming from, and whom they're affecting? So critical thinking is the first step, and creative alternatives are the culmination. 

Creativity is a buzz-word nowadays, and you can't probably turn 180 degrees without encountering at least 10 advice texts on how to foster your own creativity. Creative critique aims more modestly, by looking into existing texts, whether from literature, philosophy, visual arts, or other media to harness our collective potential. It's not about re-inventing the wheel on your own, but about reaching out to humanity's existing and ever-renewed reserves.

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