Common sense doesn’t work

There is an excellent guest article by Duncan Watts on Freakonomics called The Myth of Common Sense: Why The Social World Is Less Obvious Than It Seems.  Common sense is, of course, subjective.  Watts presents research that shows it’s social shorthand effective only for small homogeneous groups in narrow situations.  Great for that 2500 BC cave in the south of France … not today’s world with its diversity, complexity, and nuance.

Sorry, Christies, teabaggers, and Republicans.  You can’ wave your hands, wait for fantasy superfriends, revel in the mythology of the past, or rely on “common sense.”  You really do have to look at facts.  Not that I expect logic, reflection, or cerebration to change your mind.

There is one bright light here – the latest generation of kids, Gen Y or Millennials.  While it is alleged that many do not have the motivation, ambition, and persistence of earlier generations, they do have a better ability to adapt, cope, and reason in our technotimes sans superstitions and folklore.  An evolutionary adaptation perhaps?

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1 Response to “Common sense doesn’t work”


  1. 1 Michael Boyer October 4, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    I’ll agree that the modern man doesn’t need to explore, expand and conquer, rather be able to filter the needle of truth out of the haystack of chaff that is being fired out daily. Luckily, most are happy with just sending out pictures of their present foolishness, rather than devising incisive prose.


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