Saturday, August 11, 2018

Common Sense is Not that Common

Common Sense, people refer to Common Sense when describing someone who does not understand something. To say someone has no Common Sense is the same as saying they are dumb. The question becomes, Is Common Sense, Common.  Consider the following example.

    Two men, both 21 years old are given a cell phone.  One man uses it to make a phone call, the other uses it as a paperweight.  We can say that the first man has common sense, but what about the second man?  It is what we do not know about the second man that makes a difference.

    If the second man in our scenario was born and lived his entire life in the jungles of Borneo and has had no contact with technology is it fair to say he has no Common Sense?  If we took the first man and dropped him into the jungle, how long would he survive? 

    When we talk about Common Sense, we must consider Common Experience.  This extends to many of the tasks we expect people to understand. A 21 year old who was raised and lives in the jungle of Borneo may not understand how to use a cellphone as the phone was intended.  Likewise, a city dweller may not understand the importance of keeping your kindling dry.  For that matter they may not know what kindling is.

    Using that logic I argue that there is no such thing as Common Sense unless you consider Common Experience first. 

Just a Saturday morning thought.


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