Which is First?

Yes. There’s tons of logic puzzles and riddles on youtube. Like these:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCp_eN6JSac[/youtube]

These can be fun–my daughter and I went through a few of them like this the other day–but they’re hardly important–technically, they’re a waste of time. I mean, yes, they’re important for exercising one’s thinking skills, but that’s my point. It isn’t important for any other reason.

Strauss seems to be talking about the fundamental here–that which all other things rest on–which is another way of talking about “first” and subsequent principles. You’re right that thinking philosophically probably comes before thinking about thinking (chronologically), but what’s important is that we hone our thinking skills before drawing conclusions about anything of great importance. Of course, it can all be done at the same time–trying to be conscientious about thinking properly (rational) while thinking of deeply moral issues–but here you would have to put in a concerted effort to distinguish between which conclusions are truly rational and which are just preferable.