Thursday, June 17, 2021

Common Sense Dot Connection

For Common Sense, each individual has cognitive difference, a different set of information, and a hierarchy of knowledge that makes the base of thinking turn into action.

Common sense implies that the group of people has shared common beliefs to guide, organize, regulate and judge human conduct. Every social group perhaps needs to ponder: what’s your set of common sense to make judgment? Where did you learn common sense? Does common sense often lift you or fail you?

 A common sense in a local group is perhaps totally odd in a global environment. Always remember that common sense is not so “common,” if circumstances have changed, especially nowadays, heterogeneity becomes the new characteristic of the digital era upon us. Here are a few dot connections of common sense.

Common sense vs. conventional wisdom: Common sense is a system of knowledge, that is, in which individuals who belong to a sector of society give it a reality, a truth, and invest a certain portion of the trust. Common sense is a sort of Conventional Wisdom which often refers to “in-the box” thinking within a specific social group. Common sense will in most cases be determined by what defines you as an individual at a certain point, your experience, accumulated knowledge, or the information at hand. While conventional wisdom is more general, implying a certain abstract insight of the society in a specific period of time. But keep in mind, the world keeps changing at an increasing pace, conventional wisdom has a negative connotation about sticking to outdated concepts, traditions, cultures, etc. In a traditional society with a silo mentality and scarcity of knowledge, common sense often makes sense; it is usually considered conventional to be wise, and unconventional to be unwise.

However, we are at the inflection point of the transformative change and mass innovation, common sense of one social group is perhaps not making so much sense in the others. Conventional wisdom could become a glue that gets you stuck. Your knowledge is outdated much faster than what you thought, and other’s knowledge is not always transferable. Keep preaching with age-old wisdom sometimes no longer works effectively. Thus, it’s a strategic imperative to cultivate an open culture, be learning agile, don’t take common sense for granted, develop cognitive abilities to balance conventional wisdom and unconventional wisdom; common sense and logic. It’s an arduous undertaking to pursue true wisdom for making sound judgment, searching for flaws in decisions, and widening the possibility of coming up with alternative solutions.

Common sense vs. experience: People can develop common sense with experience. Common sense in many situations is found to have been based on some usefulness - experience, or lesson learned, but it is often deficient on why or how. To put it more precisely, “common sense” is about interpreting experience, as it is perceived without much consideration for underlying factors or relationships. Experience is not always so positive, and common sense might give people an excuse not to try something harder because common sense tells them it simply doesn’t work out. When experience saturates your mind, you are not open to understanding beyond what you’ve already known, such an experience trap will keep your knowledge stale and make your version of “common sense” pessimistic.

So keep in mind, common sense perhaps provides you some quick logic to deal with certain issues. But we live in such a diverse world with high velocity and unprecedented uncertainty and ambiguity, many problems are complex and interdependent. When the problems arise, reasonable people disagree about the causes and solutions. So, it seems that common sense is not a sufficient tool for determining the logic (or potential effectiveness) or Logic Models. Not to mention that possibly there are many versions of “common sense.” Thus, the right attitude is to scrutinize the potential confusion, dig through the root cause of problems, don’t let your experience become a hindrance to future progress when “common sense” (from your, others, or last generation’ experiences) resists you to intake knowledge, or de-learn and relearn when necessary.

Common sense vs. intuition (deeper sense): All the implicit knowledge of a particular social and cultural environment belongs to common sense. Common sense is a collective sense; intuition is a deeper sense. “Common sense” is about interpreting experience to “think fast,” intuition is about gaining perception to “think fast.” Have the common sense to make fast decisions as there’s collective insight in it; have intuition to make fast decisions as we put some gut feeling in it. If common sense is based on experience, then intuition is a result of self-training and observation. But always remember, common sense does not always make sense, and too many gut-feelings perhaps implies some ‘bias' that stops you from making sound judgment.

The validity of common sense will depend on the degree of familiarity you have with the issue at hand and the personal involvement. Be cautious of pitfalls: Common sense sometimes uses false assumptions and intuition instead of thinking thoroughly. So have the courage to challenge common sense if it turns out to be out of date conventional wisdom. Intuition could be wrong in decision making if there is a lack of strong quick logic to make connections between events for understanding a chaotic world. Intuition is a deeper sense which gets activated only if we are aligned with nature and the present. Intuition should be taken as a new insight, a new idea, a new angle, but must be backed with sound reasoning in the end before putting it into action.

With common sense, we avoid complexity with the intention to think fast. However, for Common Sense, each individual has cognitive difference, a different set of information, and a hierarchy of knowledge that makes the base of thinking turn into action. So what sounds logical or balanced to one will not to another individual or group. Also, what seems to make sense in one circumstance might not work so well in another situation. Only strong discerning and learning agility can make common sense really effective to improve decision maturity and accelerate societal progress.


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