Conventional Wisdom
Blindly accepting conventional wisdom and common sense are two of the three pillars of lazy thinking. Both attempt to compare the 'real' world with some imagined grand utopian scheme. They force a nostalgic disposition and position that requires faultily recall. "Remember when our government balanced the budget and everything was great" requires a bout of selective amnesia that doesn't recall the bridges that weren't repaired, the health care system that was in shambles and the suffering of single mothers, seniors, and children. The common sense idea that we are better off with lower taxes may be true under a very specific set of conditions but holding the value above all other without evidence, compassion and curiousity is negligence at its worst.

Once you succumb to unquestioning allegiance to conventional wisdom, you should place your order for a tin foil hat. The slide to eccentricity isn't necessarily a bad thing. I am seen as quirky by some and crazy by others. But when the logic of common sense takes over, you may hear yourself saying something like " I heard about a mom who had her daughter vaccinated and then she was diagnosed with autism so I am not going to let them give my kid a shot". If you hear something like that being spouted as traditional logic, either by yourself or someone across the room from you, ask yourself if a statement like " I know someone who put on a wool sweater one morning and then he was hit by a car. I am never wearing sweaters again."makes you nod in agreement or shake your head in amusement. If the fallacy has drilled a hole in your brain, you won't know what is wrong with the logic. 

We are experts at finding sense by seeing patterns , that may or may not exist and/or may or may not have anything to do with the point we are attempting to make. Back to politics where cw and cs are often held up as sacred. If the price of oil is falling (or rising or any other indicator) and then a new president is elected and the price of tea in China rises, cw says that the new president's powers were the reason. With that thinking, we should ban ice cream because there are many more drownings in the same months when ice cream sales are highest so ice cream must cause drowning.

Jim Taylor, PhD writes in Psychology Today " In fact, I think that so-called common sense is a fallacy that has been foisted on us by our culture of ideology (any ideology that wants to tell us what we should think and do) that prefers us to be stupid, ill informed, and poor decision makers. Sorry to get a bit political here, but common sense is even used as an ideological cudgel by conservatives in which so-called coastal elites lack common sense and, as a result, are out of touch with "real Americans" who apparently have an abundance of common sense. But, if we use our elected representatives as examples (though I can't vouch for how representative they actually are), I think it's safe to say that unsound judgment, that is, the absence of common sense, doesn't discriminate based on political ideology."

Common sense, like certainty, ideology, theology, and science, voodoo, and astrology help us to make sense of the world. They all are unidimensional and lack imagination to deal with the shifting sand. " The world is flat. WE are a superior race. I am a Libra" once explained away other possibilities. Now, most people recognize the hoax and are accepting a different synthesis of data and arriving at a single conclusion. This is okay, temporarily because it allows us to breathe but it is dishonest and lazy to stay in a position and/or disposition without exploring the edges and taking new intellectual adventures into unconventional and uncommon territory.

Make Today Unorthodox and Idiosyncratic,


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