Do you click through to see the underlying data?
Are you aware of both the status quo and the argument against it?
Have you done the reading?
Are you comfortable asking, "why?"
Do you know how it works?
When someone knows more about something than you do, are you willing to catch up?
If the data makes it clear that you've taken the wrong position, are you eager to change your mind?
Are you interested in having a spirited conversation about the way things are, the way they were, they way they might become?
Can you set aside your worldview, at least for a few minutes, to consider an alternative way to look at the situation?
Along the way, Intellectual with a capital "I" got a bad reputation, the kind of person you want nothing to do with. But the small "i" kind, the person who cares enough to do the work… we need that, badly.
It's never been easier, but sometimes, it seems as if it's never been less popular.