Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I received this by email today. Sometimes these little dittys pour trite homilies on a complex world but sometimes I wonder??

London Times Obituary of the late Mr. Common Sense. Interesting and sadly rather true.

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

Knowing when to come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn't always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but over bearing regulations were set in place.

Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement..

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 step brothers; I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame, and I'm A Victim. Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing


Katherine said...

Depressing, yet true. Perhaps while there are still people that identify the loss, CS is not *completely* dead.

Or: As I often quote, "All the world is mad but thee and me."

VenDr said...

"Common sense is what tells us the world is flat".

VenDr said...
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Tillerman said...

Albert Einstein stated that, “Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."

This is a useful view to take if you are a scientist developing counter intuitive theories such as the special theory of relativity or trying to understand the nature and action of muons and quarks at the subatomic level.

Also ideas held in common, “common sense” did not get in the way of Copernicus and Galileo Galilei as they shaped a new way of looking at our relationship within the solar system (heliocentrism) – they used obervations and mathematics.

But Einstein used common sense by getting out of Germany during the rise of Hitler and common sense when he looked both ways before he crossed the road on his way to his job at the patent office. Copernicus and Galileo used similar common sense in relation to horses.

As to whether “common sense tells us that the earth is flat ” is an ill defined statement as it doesn’t give the historical context or the nature of the person thinking this statement.

Ill defined because to some extent “common sense” is a relative term, this is because, “common sense provides the place in which the senses come together, and which processes sense-data and makes the results available to consciousness. Thus the modern psychological term, "perception", fulfills the same function. Individuals could have different common senses depending on how their personal and social experience has taught them to categorize sensation.”

Therefore it may have been "common sense" to think that the world was flat in 300BC but it would not be "common sense" to hold that view in the 21st century.