What's on your mind?
Facebook asks me “What’s on your mind?” I’m not usually one to answer this question in public for fear of persecution but it all comes down to this widespread notion of “universal truth”, which can manifest itself as a form of assumption, miscommunication and laziness = mother of all disasters. Many individuals have their own moral compass, their own ideas of right and wrong. Accepting it is one thing. Embracing it is another. I can’t justify or assume a "one size fits all" approach without objectifying/qualifying it. How can one “just know” without learning it first? Osmosis? We’re all born different. We’re all conditioned differently. We all think differently. The issue is a lack of understanding and collaboration.
OK, let's break this down...
1. Universal Truth
...this widespread notion of “universal truth”, which can manifest itself as a form of assumption, miscommunication and laziness = mother of all disasters.
Common sense is a form of assumption, miscommunication and ultimately, laziness.
2. Challenging A Status Quo
Accepting it is one thing. Embracing it is another. I can’t justify or assume a "one size fits all" approach without objectifying/qualifying it.
Yes, social "conventions" come into play. Yes, these apply whenever the social "rules" aren't broken. However, when there is an exception to the rule, this must be taken as a challenge to the "status quo"; not discarded outright. When one denies the other person's rationale by trying to impose "common sense" rule, they are actively putting up a wall that blocks them from being open to understanding the other person's viewpoint. It's a form of ignorance. It's a gross breakdown of communication.
How can one “just know” without learning it first? Osmosis?
eveRelying on unwritten truths and assuming a "this is the way things are done around here" approach is a terrible, apathetic attitude and is precisely the root cause of widespread disappointment and frustration. It makes the music industry look like a secret brotherhood where only the most enlightened brothers and sisters become admitted through the rites of initiation! The music business isn't all "smoke and mirrors"...
How can one enforce a set of rules that haven't been written down? How can one prove a set of rules ever even existed? Or was it merely an invisible set of values mediated by the actions of a loud, unwieldy set of spokespersons in a social hub?
If you work on the assumption that the person is just going to 'know' then you're about to get some very bad news! The fact that this person doesn't know e.g., that holding the microphone near to the speakers is going to create distortion, means that they are inevitably going to have to learn this at some point through experience. And, once they have learned this then that knowledge stays with them.
You will allow that it is common sense not to put your hand on a hot stove? No. Because if you didn't see that the light was on, or you were too young to understand that fire burns then there is no way to validate this other than through experience (either primary or secondary). We are not born with this knowledge and this knowledge is not innate.
Nurture vs. Nature
We’re all born different. We’re all conditioned differently. We all think differently. The issue is a lack of understanding and collaboration.
We as individuals are brought up in different ways, and this reason alone weakens the notion of "common sense".
Imagine that the humans in the world are made from stacks of stones, each stone individually eroded and shaped to size through their position, climate, environmental and adverse weather conditions. Each stack of stones will grow to a different height, length, width, density, volume, weight and lean at a different angle.
Now imagine that "truth" is an avian, clawed creature that has to circumvent these piles of stones in order to reach from one side of the gorge to the other. If this creature assumed a gait as they would on a flat surface, then the uneven surface would create a tension in their movements leading to strain and injury. If this creature were to instead use their suppleness to flex themselves across, then they will become more agile and more able to reach all stacks regardless of height, length, width, density, volume, weight and angle.
This is why we reject the notion "a common ground of understanding", because there is no such thing (unless it is written down and transmitted to all parties via a transparent medium, such as email).
This is why we believe in individual responsibility; the individual and their responsibility to take control of their own lives, their ability to change the world through quiet transformation and the upholding of standards not via group assumptions but via personal actions.
5. Communication vs. Accountability
Reaching out to understand contrasting ideas of "sense" is what enables us to communicate and collaborate more effectively. This is where our value of communication - as a contrasting foil to our other value of accountability - balances the two-way dynamic:
Now, let's look at a few quick examples. None of these examples were captured on email, which makes them challenging to substantiate, but they should at least illustrate the principles.
Check through this blog for posts tagged as "Common Sense" to see some lengthier email excerpts evidencing where valid view points have been falsified under the assertion of "Common Sense".
Rory goes to a jam session. During the jam session, an established trio gets up to play and takes centre stage. However, Rory doesn't realise that this is an established trio because it was neither announced nor advertised in the publicity materials. Rory listens to the trio, feels inspired by what they're playing, and asks a fellow saxophonist "I'd like to get up to play on this one." The saxophonist responds: "I wouldn't."
Singer rehearses in a band.
"Hi, I'm a singer-songwriter from London. I'm looking for a band on [date] at [location]. Please let me know. Thanks!"
The problem here is simply that the respondent critiqued the post but failed to justify his critique by advising the singer. How on earth would the singer know otherwise?
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