Can You Actually Fix Stupid?
I never ever want to call another person stupid. I am a patient and loving person. Still, there are times when I interact with someone that is so self-loathing, that they are willing to bring everyone to destruction with them. I would rather be in a foxhole in a warzone with Super Mario than with these folks. They seem to have no common sense. So what is my problem?
One of the greatest expressions of self-love is common sense.
It is through the act of wise self-love, that we seek to be more efficient, effective, precise, productive, and more self-aware.
The axiom that communities can be usefully modeled as a collection of self-interested individuals is an important and central assumption in much of my work in applied game theory, as well as in decision science, and game-based thinking. Mathematical economics, especially when described as “Game Theory” has now come to be an influential tool for political decision making. It has also been useful in using group dynamics to keep truly dysfunctional leadership types from destroying everything around them.
While the term “common sense” had already become less commonly used as a term for empathetic moral sentiments by the time of Adam Smith, debates still continue about methodological individualism This is something supposedly justified philosophically for methodological reasons (as argued for example by Milton Friedman and more recently by Gary S. Becker; both Nobel Prize winners.
As in the Enlightenment, this debate continues to combine arguments about not only what the individual motivations of people are, what can be known about scientifically, and what should be usefully assumed for methodological reasons, even if the truth of the assumptions are strongly doubted. Economics and social science generally have been criticized as a refuge of Cartesian methodology and skepticism. This is a point of view that essentially states, “That one needs to be systematically skeptical about or doubt the truth of one’s beliefs. Furthermore, knowledge claims need to be placed under scrutiny with the goal of sorting out true from false claims.”
There are many critics of this Cartesian methodological argument — that there is a specific method to define common sense based on self-centeredness in economics.
Most humans, both individually and in groups seek to maximize their potential at the lowest cost. That is what this book hopes to show the reader. It is unlikely that one can achieve maximum efficiency, productivity, and effectiveness in decision making by trying to force economics to follow artificial methodological laws. Things change and humans change with them. Is there some deep, intuitive law of common sense; some tacit knowing buried deep in the unconscious? Likely there is but who wants to take on the role of engineering the world to reflect one person’s or one group's perspective on just what that is?
The takeaway here is that clearly, many people lack common sense which is a mystery to those who have convinced themselves that they have an abundance of it. The challenge is that if we study history we soon learn that the very definition of common sense has shifted and changed since the ancient Greeks first began writing and discussing the subject. This is something we all need to think about.
To explore more of these ideas and some of my longer pieces on common sense and applied game theory please visit my website and sign up for my free newsletter at:
I’m the author: I am a game theorist and a teacher on peak performance. I am also a results-oriented self-improvement coach offering advice for innovators of all levels.
I am always exploring trends, innovations, areas of interest, and solutions to build new stories upon. Again, if you have any ideas you would like me to write about just email me at LewisCoaches@gmail.com