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The Challenge of Common Sense

 

Shadow, Light, Chair

Have you ever wondered where all the common sense went? 

What we often take for granted as easy to grasp knowledge goes unacknowledged by all too many people. What once was common has become uncommon: courtesy, flexibility, resilience, determination, perseverance...if these traits were ever common they have slipped into rare supply.

Or have they?

It depends on what you're looking for. It depends on what you are modeling. Wouldn't common sense be hardest to find by those who aren't practicing common sense?

It makes me wonder.

It also matters how we define common sense. Just because it feels right to me doesn't mean that it makes any sense to you. Our perspective does still matter.

Common sense is easily confused with common bias. We see things the way we see things because that's the way we see things. That both makes no sense at all and yet defines sense-making. Or does it?

What to do with all that? 

Be careful about what you expect, because you'll get a lot of that. Validate what seems sensible to you with real facts and data. Confirm opinions with people who don't share your opinions. 

"But that sounds like hard work!"

Oh, it is. That's why we need to sort it out. That's why the sorting out begins with what we expect, what we see, and how we define common sense.

It's not common now, and maybe it never has been.

-- doug smith


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