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.: 7.09.2008 

Don't tell me / it will be all right / You can't sell me / on your optimisim tonight

Hubby and I had a long conversation last night about why people suck so much, and I think we finally hit upon the linchpin: common sense. The problem is that there is actually no such thing as common sense. There is no instinctive guidance that we all posses. One recent example of this is a co-worker, let's call her Flora, who came to work with strep throat. Yes! Please breathe my air, cough on my stuff, and infect me! Wtf? Shouldn't common sense have told her she needed to call her boss and explain how she was going to either take a sick day or work from home?

This thing that we think of as common sense is actually one of two other things. Usually it's actually common knowledge. You think it's common sense because everyone in your generation learned it around about the same time. Some things are learned by many generations (for example: fire is hot, don't touch it), and some things are specific to a generation (for example: hole in your sock? darn it, don't toss it away), and some times folks from one generation do a good job of learning the common knowledge that a previous or subsequent generation possesses. Common knowledge, while exceedingly useful and a good thing to have, is still something that needs to be learned; it is not inborn and not everyone has the same set.

The other, more rare form is actually deductive reasoning. And while this CAN be taught, it is more often something that some people are born being better at than others. You would be amazed, simply amazed, at the complete lack of ability to extrapolate that I deal with on a daily basis at my job. And these are people who have advanced degrees, who have been "taught to think," trained to reason things out logically. A look outside the window will provide just as many instances of people (non-academics) not being able to understand causal relationships, of not being able to complete a process if even one of the variables change, of folks who pretty much refuse to look past their own noses at the world at large and realize that everything affects everything else.

Which is entirely depressing.

So I say from here on out we stop using the phrase common sense; it's misleading and often ascribes higher attributes to a person than they generally deserve. Let's call common knowledge what it is and let's call the ability to reason uncommon sense, since it seems so few actually possess it. I think it would help bring expectations of our fellow humans down to a more manageable level. In turn, people would be less disappointed when no one lived up to the expectations, and this would make us all a lot more happy across the board.

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thus proclaimeth the Zabet  11:30 AM   1 comment(s)

1 Comments:

People suck, cos we are just animals, but not the good kind of animals when it comes down to it. We are the nasty kind of omnivorous, shit all over your neighbour, NIMBYs (not-in-my-back-yarders)when it comes to stuff, and if there is nothing to be gained, then we don't help each other out...really, I believe that!

Erm....I wonder why I don't have any friends?

By Blogger Erssie, at 9:28 AM  

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