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"Common Sense"

Discussion in 'The Breakroom' started by 0dBm, Mar 22, 2017.

  1. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    I attended a 3-hour lecture/seminar/symposium several weeks ago. While I am unable to disclose the location of the event, the subject matter covered, and the types of attendees; I will preface this discussion with stating that the attendees were typically 50+ years of age, highly educated, multilingual, of both genders, and from different nations. No, it wasn't a Toastmasters meeting.

    About 15 minutes into the lecture, the speaker began to use the term, "common sense." Forty-five minutes elapsed and the audience began to notice that phrase being used about every 5-8 sentences.

    I look around the room and noticed that my fellow attendees began to look at one another with a furrowed brow each and every time the lecturer used that phrase.

    After about an hour, I finally spoke out and asked the lecturer to define the phrase, "common sense" in the context in which he was using it. He was very succinct with all the terms and phrases he had so far used; however, that one appeared to me to be nebulous at best.

    He gave a long-winded explanation that ultimately culminated in "...what every body knows."

    After the explanation, he spoke another 15 minutes before using that phrase again. The speaker was American. So am I; however, the individual seated to my left, also American, looked at me, nudged me with his elbow and asked what the speaker meant.

    No one-NO ONE-questioned the speaker's last three sentences that preceded that phrase.

    I quickly raised my hand, politely interrupted, and asked the speaker if he meant to state common knowledge instead of "common sense." He said it was the same thing.

    I stated that it was not the "same thing." The speaker asked me to elaborate.

    Well, since I had already interrupted the lecture, AND it was already construed as a diatribe based on the tone of the speaker's voice, I promptly offered a delineation of the difference.

    "Common sense," as it is frequently used by Americans, is a misnomer such as the phrase, "near miss." "Near miss" should be NEAR hit or collision as frequently used in the context of automobiles.

    I stated that "common sense" refers to what everyone knows.

    Well, if it is known by "everyone," as the speaker alluded, then it should be termed as common knowledge. The speaker, amused by my seemingly superfluous interruption, chuckled coyly and stated, "that's what I just said."

    I asserted that if something is common knowledge, then everyone in this room should understand most of what you have spoken about the previous hour.

    I then asked a show of hands how many people have, so far, understood what the speaker has said-so far. I counted 17 attendees. With a restricted attendance of 100, that's 17%.

    I continued to offer that common knowledge has many factors such as age, culture, gender, nationality, ethnicity, religion preference, political party affiliation, method of upbringing, education just to name a few.

    Even if the sample population had ALL those aforementioned factors in common, not all will comprehend common-knowledge, care to understand them, or even care to simply know about them.

    I undermined the speaker's lecture; however, it was eminent to me that it was not headed the direction he intended based on the audience's reaction. He struggled with his notes for a few minutes and resumed speaking. He avoided that phrase for the remainder of the lecture and it was clear that his discussion never gained momentum.

    I attempted to approach him to continue the discussion after the lecture but he quickly darted away.
     
  2. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    @0dBm: Kudos!

    Moshe ben David
     
  3. Adam Ng

    Adam Ng Loaded Pockets

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    Let me guess! Time share? LOL!
     
  4. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    Yes, the time in the lecture hall was shared.;)
     
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  5. aasoverteakettle

    aasoverteakettle Loaded Pockets

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    Good on you! Common sense and common knowledge are two different things, but without understanding the context of this event, it's hard to judge whether the purpose of his speech was common sense or knowledge. Off the top of my head, common sense would be an appreciation of that which would benefit the common human (i.e. it's common sense to close the door in the winter because it's cold out and we'd rather be warm than cold). But common knowledge is so subjective. As Americans, there is a lot of culturally based common knowledge. But there is a lot of common knowledge in places like India or Japan (everywhere other than America) that I know nothing about (i.e. Japanese toilets, which are amazing). I also think about my little girl as we are teaching her to say please and thank you: common knowledge or common sense? Showing appreciation is sense, saying the words is knowledge. Either way, politeness is learned and people learn differently. I guess my point is that nothing should be assumed "common" anything.
     
  6. Karmakanic

    Karmakanic Loaded Pockets

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    Based on the folk I encounter most days, I'd question the veracity of that statement.
     
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  7. Mumbojumboo
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner

    Mumbojumboo EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Never cross the positive and negative. Unless you are a welder. You are gangster! In the positive way. ;)
     
  8. Djs105

    Djs105 Loaded Pockets

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    Both genders? It's now "common knowledge" that there are over 45 genders.:rofl:
     
  9. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    Yes, quite TRUE; and precisely my point. You see, your "most days" may not be someone else's most days. Certainly not mine; nor others' on this forum, other fora, OR, or for that matter, others simply on the internet. Or...shall I continue?

    Your statement underscores this portion of mine in my opening post:
     
  10. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    Hmmm, I only saw two at that lecture. Your statement further confirms mine about "common knowledge."
     
  11. Russ Prechtl

    Russ Prechtl EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I've decided there is no such thing as "common sense". If there was, you wouldn't have to tell your little kid not to put his hand on the hot stove. He does...twice no less....to see if it still burns the second time! What people call "common sense" in my mind is learned behavior.
     
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  12. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    Learned behavior further supports my statement in my initial post.
     
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  13. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    Reminds me of when our son was just starting to stand and reach for things. I had a special whistle and 'trained' him a la Pavlovian responses so I could stop him from across the room. My wife accused me of cruelty... until the time he was reaching for the stove and I saved him from himself!

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
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  14. jemhouston

    jemhouston Loaded Pockets

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    Another problem, is the way the current school systems are setup, what was common knowledge last generation is considered bad since it was made by old white men.
     
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  15. DCBman

    DCBman Loaded Pockets

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    So, with all due respect, did you have a point...or were you being contrary just for the sake of being contrary?

    Perhaps some context of the discussion might impart some better impact, but without that context it just appears to be discussion in semantics. And for what purpose?

    I personally would posit "common sense" is woefully lacking in modern society today, and further that this lack of common sense is a direct and material result of overwhelming "common knowledge" owing to misguided mainstream media driven group-think.

    Sorry, but I probably would have politely asked you to sit down (and put a sock in it) unless, of course, you had some point relevant to the discussion at hand. Again, all due respect, but I have little tolerance for someone grandstanding in a public venue at someone else's expense solely for the sake of making themselves look intellectually superior over others.

    Again, no harm meant; just an honest observation...from a dumb 'redneck' cowboy (with a whole lot of 'common sense', but little politically correct 'common knowledge')
     
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  16. jemhouston

    jemhouston Loaded Pockets

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    I was pointing out what was common knowledge in the past is no longer such.
     
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  17. Maave

    Maave Loaded Pockets

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    Intro to psych class taught us that common sense is neither common nor sense
     
  18. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    a) yes
    b) yes, it would
    c) yes, you're correct
    d) I was the host and and I was asked to "sit down"
    e) I can understand how you would see it that way
    f) It is apparently easy to construe it as such with the perfunctory information that It provided
    g) this is what was apparent to me as well
     
    #18 0dBm, Apr 4, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
  19. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    THAT is itself an example of an absence of common knowledge and common sense. Try not to confuse reason with spouting off current politically correct crap. No, I am not suggesting that 'all' common knowledge and/or common sense is eternal and immutable for the ages. But what you've written is a mark of ignorance and stupidity. All common knowledge in even past generations was not formalized in schools nor by race nor by ethnicity. Nor for that matter was all common knowledge SHARED by all races, all genders, all ethnicities, etc.

    Wake up.

    Moshe ben David
     
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  20. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    This is s good example of what I stated earlier:
    The term "cowboy" refers to male a American with values engendered by a culture indigenous to the western US.