Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Common Sense

The term "common sense" has an honored tradition in America, dating back to it's founding.  It must date to before the founding, actually, as Paine would not have appealed to it were it not already a long-accepted term.  I could look it up, I suppose.

Yet I think its meaning has changed, subtly but clearly, in my lifetime.  Driving to work today I saw a sign on a large tree in Dunbarton which read simply "Common Sense." My first thought was "I'll bet not."  I don't know these people, nor have any prejudice against this neighboring town to cause me to immediately suspect their intelligence or goodwill. (I do have prejudice against Weare, and somewhat against Bedford.) Yet I just know somehow that what is going to follow from this will be something I consider not automatic. Probably liberal, but could be libertarian or conservative, given Dunbarton's politics. Whichever, it won't be something so obvious (eye roll) that any person who has not taken many doses of the red pill or the blue one can see it instantly.

Don't say res ipsa loquitur unless the thing does, I say, or you look a fool.

Common Sense has now come to mean "something that looks obvious to me and my friends, so I don't think I should have to give any evidence for it.  What are you, stupid?"

Proceed accordingly.