24 January 2007

Sense: Common v. Good

I've been meaning to post about this a while ago but something shiny caught my eye and I completely forgot about it. It's a 'thinker' so my apologies for those who haven't had their stimulative beverage yet...

First, there is Common Sense. A lot of people tend to use this term for describing what is (or should be) right, ethical, or commonly known to people in general. The dictionary defines it as '
sound practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge, training, or the like; normal native intelligence.'

In comparison, there is Good Sense. Basically a synonym of the aforementioned term, but not quite - as it is defined as
'sound practical judgment; "Common sense is not so common"...' To me, good sense is what would seem to be logical.

I blame N8 for this entirely, but thank him nonetheless: I now have to stop and think about which term I should use when discussing how some people are just inept. Doing something that is logical isn't necessarily common and a lot of people in society do things in common that aren't really all that good.

4 comments:

latt├ęgirl said...

Right. Before I hit the link to see what you're talking about, I will, as is my wont, shoot from the hip and leave a comment about the most trivial part of your post, that being related to shiny things.

In a recent post, I called myself a magpie, attracted to shiny objects, so now I think I shall be forced to sue you for plagiarism.

Loki said...

Actually, I believe you said "sparkly"...but the shiny thing is about as old as 1200 baud modems. Still, if you must blame someone do as I do and aim at N8ey. =)

I think I'll pay for that last comment tomorrow at work...

latt├ęgirl said...

Sparkly, shiny, tomayto.

Magpies, both.

N8ey said...

I take the blame entirely. :)

Because of cultural differences, common sense becomes whatever answer they have quickest.

So to bible-thumpers, common sense includes smiting enemies, raising the righteous hand of God.

To scientific-types common sense includes a demand to define things, all things involved.

Those are extreme examples, but I feel they show ends of a spectrum that can show the failure of the terminology "common sense."

You can make fun of that, but in a complex world of cultures that stretch across the twenty-four times zones and religio-socio-political mess of ideas that are "common" for a set geographical area but once you cross a border...

Well, the term "common sense" fails.

Your common sense doesn't fit with someone else's political/social programming.

They might not understand.

It's too easy to think they have the same playing field that you have.

Ooh, I have gin! ;)