Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Our greatest weapon and it's extinction

With so many things, the answer is usually obvious but we complicate matters and make it nearly impossible to see the path forward. Humanity has devised technological answers to most of its problems. Clever gadgets, impressive detection phenomenology, and futuristic designs based on the evolutionary path clutter the field of a basic truth.

The greatest weapon on most fronts is common sense. Think about it - the use of instinctual preventative motivation in the medical, battle and governance fields of life is usually the most basic truth and protective component of our society.

Something smells bad, tastes bad, looks off - don't eat it, touch it, or give it to someone else.
Someone gives you a bad feeling, acts weird, or says something that raises a red flag - don't be around them, let them be around people you love, and warn others.
The current way of doing things isn't working or is causing harm to the masses, don't do that anymore, change the rules on how it's done or discover if it's the people doing it causing the problem.

Seems pretty simple, right? But it isn't. We insist on painting gray areas and applying them across the board. Every situation is unique, yes, but generally we react to every situation differently.

Unfortunately, Common Sense seems to be what we are intent on killing. Don't trust your judgement, trust this meter or gadget or famous person's thinking. Don't raise your kids with methods that have worked for thousands of years, we've improved it with these gadgets, pills, and techniques that introduce new side effects into your life that we have no way of curing, predicting, or stopping from growing into a new problem.

Cause and effect are thown out of the window on the basis of "well it must be good, it's new and therefore better." Which Common Sense would say is a false motto, but we ignore that for the shiny and "Ooooh Ahhh" effect.

Don't misunderstand, I like my modern conveniences and appreciate what modern medicine and enlightened governing have brought into the world. But allowing those things to override the natural instinct we're born with seems like a poor decision.

In the United States, we used to believe that everyone had the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. What happened to that and where did the caveat "everyone who looks normal, makes enough money, and says what we want to hear" get applied?

Where are the parents, grandparents, and wise council of experience in the world? Why aren't they speaking up when they see the next generation repeating their mistakes? This isn't the first recession? That's not the first disease? Those behaviors lead to the same result EVERY time, and just because the consequences are colored in modern tones doesn't change the result.

It annoys me to look around and see so many people obliviously going through their life based on a book, a celebrity or a computer's blogs advice and not thinking for themselves. I fear it's too late for so many of us and that's the ultimate defeat.