1. lixAxil
    Offline

    lixAxil Self-Proclaimed Senator of the RPG subforum. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2012
    Messages:
    5,504
    Likes Received:
    373
    Location:
    The sea of fragments

    What do you think of common sense?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by lixAxil, Jun 16, 2014.

    Common sense is defined as the ability to perceive, understand and judge things and act according to it in a way that is common to nearly all people.

    So my main issue here is the fact that common sense is a very vague term. What do I mean?
    Sure some things are understanable, like Don't cross the street when a car goes on it. Yet what I have trouble to understand or appreciate is the social context in which the term common sense is applied, for example:
    To expose about a topic in a formal presentation to a crowd, do it well dressed, that dictates the common sense, on that case for example I find no real logic for it, I would expose it either well dressed or not in the same way, in fact I would do it better with casual clothing, yet the common sense of most people is to wear a suit or formal dress, a necktie, high heels, etc. Yet from a logical perspective, from the viewpoint of someone who always analizes everything before acting, is just ridiculous.
    Others situations, when "something happens" and you feel you have to act with the elements you have at your disposal, yet while most of people would do a predeterminate action yet a few one have to analize the best choice, or if the supposedly reasonable action is truly the best?, are those few wrong? Is correct to act so passively?

    So what about it?, the common sense?... is it something that makes sense only in the context of society or something that truly makes sense?, and what about those who "lack it?"

    For me at least, common sense seems like one of those many things that you either have or not and that decided if you can passively belong to a standard society or will be the "weird bug" within it.

    I apologize if I expressed this in such a confusing way, I'm not really good at expressing my ideas, but I hope you get the point of what I mean.
     
  2. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,982
    Likes Received:
    5,501
    > To expose about a topic in a formal presentation to a crowd, do it
    > well dressed, that dictates the common sense, on that case for example
    > I find no real logic for it, I would expose it either well dressed or
    > not in the same way, in fact I would do it better with casual
    > clothing, yet the common sense of most people is to wear a suit or
    > formal dress, a necktie, high heels, etc. Yet from a logical
    > perspective, from the viewpoint of someone who always analizes
    > everything before acting, is just ridiculous.

    I wouldn't agree that every presentation calls for suit-and-tie formality, and I wouldn't agree that the female equivalent of suit-and-tie formality is high heels. But that's mostly a side note--your main point, I assume, is why the way you dress matters at all.

    The clothes aren't intended to improve your presentation skills. The clothes are there to signal information about you. For example, they signify that you take this presentation seriously, and that you take the audience seriously.

    People have rituals and ceremonies, and dressing in a specific way for a specific event is one of those rituals and ceremonies. There's no inherent reason, other than the customs of society, why you shouldn't get married in a swimsuit, or go to the prom (if you're the prom-going type) in a set of mechanics' overalls, or be sworn in as the President of the United States while wearing a Mickey Mouse costume.

    You could give that formal presentation in the Mickey Mouse costume or, for that matter, naked. But doing so would distract your audience to the point that they would probably fail to absorb the presentation. And you would probably be so uncomfortable that your presentation would suffer as a result.

    It sounds like you would prefer that the customary clothing while giving a presentation be something more casual and comfortable. But right now, that would run contrary to the expectations of many audiences, and if you don't want to distract the audience from your message, you don't want to distract them. If you insist on communicating a message with your clothes, that may well be the only message that you do communicate.

    > Others situations, when "something happens" and you feel you have to
    > act with the elements you have at your disposal, yet while most of
    > people would do a predeterminate action yet a few one have to analize
    > the best choice, or if the supposedly reasonable action is truly the
    > best?, are those few wrong? Is correct to act so passively?

    I think that I'd need a specific example here; I'm not sure what you're saying.
     
  3. A.M.P.
    Offline

    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    Messages:
    2,032
    Likes Received:
    1,131
    Location:
    A Place with no History
    I think common sense is cultural as every society will have their own traditions and beliefs that may clash with that of another.

    So, it's common sense to prepare your presentation beforehand as well as dress for the occasion, meaning something that makes you look good, culturally accepted, and gives the image of confidence and success (Modern society stipulates that a suit and tie does the trick).

    Basically, it's a general understanding of the world around you (Not Africa or Australia) but your direct world.
    So, if in your world it's normal to know to not stuff food inside someone in seizure, you should have the "common sense" to know that's probably not a good idea whether you learned about it specifically or not
    If you're going on a date with a potential partner to be extra nice and make yourself sound awesomer than you are.
    If there is a car crash right next to you, to stop driving and call 911 though no one ever taught you to do so.

    It basically means to not act like a complete moron and use some basic brainpower to deal with a culture you're supposed to be a part of and therefore have an understanding of how you actions and choices affect it.
     
  4. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,901
    Likes Received:
    10,089
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Let me ask you this as an example because I can see you are posting from South America. Is it customary where you are from to ask "bendición" from your elders? If the answer is, then the next question is do you do it? So you say bendición to your elders? And if the answer to that is yes, then the question is: are you a religious person?
     
  5. live2write
    Offline

    live2write Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    53
    Common sense is indeed a vague term. However, it only really works based upon morals and up bringing.

    Basic common sense would be, as an example that you stated (and I have adjusted). "Do not cross the street. Cross at designated cross walks and look both ways before crossing. Cars drive on streets, j walking is dangerous." Common sense states that if you cross the street, you can get hit by a car.

    Some other common sense that is based upon upbringing would be. "When going to an interview, dress professional. Dress like you want the job and dress like you want to be taken seriously." Now common sense says, yes if you want a better chance to get the job, dress appropriately. I cannot tell you how many times I have interviewed people, dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, unprepared and expecting that they deserve the job. This is not really common sense when the person doesn't know any better from upbringing. But it is a general form of common sense when the person learns that this is what they need to do.
     
  6. lixAxil
    Offline

    lixAxil Self-Proclaimed Senator of the RPG subforum. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2012
    Messages:
    5,504
    Likes Received:
    373
    Location:
    The sea of fragments
    Ok guys, the formal dressing was just an example as others I had I couldn't explain.

    The main point is.

    Don't you feel weird to act so passively, and is it wrong to overanalyze situations sometimes?

    If I can use an everyday example. One day a familiar made fries, after doing it her kinda left the oil used in a pot. So the idea was to save it for later use. However I'm not to "versed" in cooking tricks, lifehacks, home chores, etc. So when I saw the pot, sure I thought it was weird to have a lot of oil in a pot and considered the idea of it being saved for later, however also considered it as just that a pot with oil, I ended washing it, and my familiar kinda complained as I dropped the oil. So the common sense here was to save the oil, but that only applies for those who knows or understand why, instead of me that analyzed the situation and took what was apparently the worst choice.

    @Wreybies Well there is this blessing concept for marriage so is customary, no I'm not religious.
     
  7. Ben414
    Offline

    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    Messages:
    974
    Likes Received:
    785
    I don't know. Paine made some very legitimate points espousing liberal thought, but he also overplayed the differences between the British and the Americans. (Hopefully someone gets this.)
     
  8. Andrae Smith
    Offline

    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    Messages:
    2,506
    Likes Received:
    1,404
    Location:
    Wandering
    Hmmm... In this scenario, the my "common sense" would tell me to ask about it first. I guess that goes to show that common sense is not so common after all. I believe that what is considered common sense is related to cultural, societal, and generational norms and mores as well as. That is, for example, in California, it was common sense to slow down at a yellow light. Here in Colorado (at least in this city), it is common sense to keep going. Similarly, what's common sense for my sister and mom as women may not be so for me. :/
     
  9. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,901
    Likes Received:
    10,089
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    So, where you live, there is no habit of people saying things like:

    Tú - "Hola, abuela. Bendición."

    Abuela - "Que dios te bendiga, papito. ¿Cómo estás?"

    This doesn't happen where you live?
     
  10. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,892
    Location:
    Boston
    For me, dressing up for presentations and knowing what to do with oil aren't examples of common sense. Common sense would be something like not spending more than you earn.
     
  11. lixAxil
    Offline

    lixAxil Self-Proclaimed Senator of the RPG subforum. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2012
    Messages:
    5,504
    Likes Received:
    373
    Location:
    The sea of fragments
    Oh.... that... naa it's more random.
     
  12. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,901
    Likes Received:
    10,089
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Ok, then it doesn't serve as the example of social norm I wanted to use. I asked this because it is a typical part of latin society (por lo menos es donde vivo yo) and a social norm many people follow even when they are not religious. The first example you gave has much more to do with social norms than with common sense. Social norms do not always answer to common sense or intuitive sense.
     
  13. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    It's uncommon.
     
  14. Lewdog
    Offline

    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Messages:
    7,530
    Likes Received:
    2,826
    Location:
    Williamsburg, KY
    I'm kind of confused by what is being asked in this thread. Quite honestly I think common sense is over rated, that it's more about how someone is nurtured when it comes to their behavior. I was raised to be polite to people and say thank you, sir, miss, etc. I don't think that it takes common sense to do that.
     
  15. shadowwalker
    Offline

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,299
    Likes Received:
    851
    JMO, but I always considered common sense to mean doing the things that will make whatever you're trying to do not unsuccessful (subtle difference between that and being successful). So, you want to cross the street - you cross where it's safe to do so. Crossing where it's not safe increases the odds of being unsuccessful - so DUH. You want people to take you and what you're saying seriously, so you dress to impress. Dressing down means a greater chance they won't take you seriously - so DUH. I don't consider adhering to the manners/politeness of your culture to be common sense - merely observing good manners. With the oil, the fact you even considered someone was saving it meant, via common sense, you wouldn't toss it without finding out. Tossing it without asking increased the chance of being unsuccessful with your friend (making them unhappy with you) and that is, indeed, what happened.
     
  16. Andrae Smith
    Offline

    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    Messages:
    2,506
    Likes Received:
    1,404
    Location:
    Wandering
    That's a pretty decent way of looking at it, I think.
     
  17. lixAxil
    Offline

    lixAxil Self-Proclaimed Senator of the RPG subforum. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2012
    Messages:
    5,504
    Likes Received:
    373
    Location:
    The sea of fragments
    Is a very vague and subjective concept, yet people uses it so casually.
     
  18. Snoopingaround
    Offline

    Snoopingaround Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    16
    Common sense is flawed and can sometimes lead you down the wrong road. I would advise avoiding thinking too "commonly" all the time, and instead seek a greater understanding of the situation, a deeper penetration into other people's motivations as well as the ability to predict their responses to your actions. Common sense is too limiting. You should strive for superior judgment, an insight and ability analyze a situation and take action to produce your desired outcome. That is a talent, a skill in itself. You might call it something like "life manipulation sense". I would say you want to take action from a position of wisdom, cunning, and your own personal strengths, not from the position of what would be the "common", or "normal", or "acceptable" thing to do. You have to do better than just okay, in terms of your tactics. You need to be clever, excellent, when you make your moves.
     
  19. Lemex
    Offline

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,507
    Likes Received:
    3,151
    Location:
    Northeast England
    It can be good on the rare times people use it.
     
  20. jazzabel
    Offline

    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    4,273
    Likes Received:
    1,666
    I see common sense as something that's logical. For example, if you were hoping to get a job in a certain firm, where you knew everybody dresses formally, say you are applying to work as the officer of court or something, then common sense dictates that if you want to have a chance of getting that job, you shouldn't go for an interview in full punk outfit that involves piercings, a mohawk and Dead Kennedy's T-shirt. Donning a formal outfit just because everyone at the reception will be dressed formally, on the other hand, is a social norm that aims to 'normalise' appearance, behaviour etc, and it isn't always beneficial.

    For example, about fifteen years ago, it became extremely unfashionable amongst doctors to wear a white coat. If you chose to wear it, you'd get funny looks from colleagues. But obviously, it is so much kinder on your clothes to have a layer of protection from bodily fluids and all. Or, convention dictated that all male doctors had to wear ties, and if someone rebelled or complained, a few years ago, they could get criticised by their bosses for not 'looking professional'. However, ties have a habit of flapping about and touching all kinds of unclean surfaces, so they actually pose an infection risk. Social norm doesn't necessarily follow common sense or vice versa. But common sense always makes sense, if you see what I mean.

    Using oven gloves to take something out of the hot oven, not wearing sandals when it snows (unless you want to get sick) etc are all examples of common sense because they have direct benefit to us and our survival, and lack thereof can put us in danger. Social norm is a more abstract concept, that varies from place to place. Obviously there's an overlap as well.
     

Share This Page