Common sense studio sessions

in Self Improvement.last month

I spent the entire day recording in the studio and will likely spend all of tomorrow and whatever other time I can find before Friday afternoon, doing the same. However, I can't sing or play an instrument - I am recording my voice and screen capturing for customer specific training deliveries. While I don't mind the process of doing the work, it makes me acutely aware at how bad I am at following scripts, even ones I have written. I am definitely not cut out for any job that requires me to remember specif lines - I am more of a larger concept person who is far more suited to ad lib.

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We tend to favor people who can remember stuff as it means that they can repeat all kinds of smart stuff, but I have always questioned this approach, partly because I can't. My main bone to pick with it though is that it seems that often, the people who can remember stuff well tend to be less capable of going "off script" and this means that if they came up against something that their memory doesn't have a solution for, they act like ants that have had a stick placed across their marching line.

I think that one of the problems with knowing everything at a search at our fingertips is that it doesn't encourage the practice of thinking for ourselves. Essentially, the internet is a competitive cognitive artifact that replaces our need to think and remember, so these skills degrade in us. And, because there is nearly always a suitable answer of some sort we can accept with a DIY guide to follow, we don't have to problem solve for ourselves or do much lateral thinking of any kind - just follow the steps like trained monkeys.

As a trainer with a fair amount of experience over the last two decades, I have learned that the best results aren't the bullet-pointed lists telling people what to do - unless it is a troubleshooting guide. If the goal is to actually teach something that can be applied practically to more than the narrowest example, it has to come with an investment cost, effort, energy, practice and especially personal thought.

When people actually think about what they are learning, rather than following the steps, they are effectively building a personal view of what they are focusing on, they are imagining it and fitting it into their narrative. Essentially, they are buying into the process and the more they invest, the better they learn. There is a law of diminishing returns in place as there is with all such things, but real improvement takes movement of the mind.

When I am building a customer training for end users, I am careful not to give too much information and rather, give them the bag of bones and a general idea about what limbs connect to where. This way, they start to build the skeleton and then, flesh out the details themselves, making their learning theirs - they own it.

One of the things that a lot of people don't seem to spend much time thinking about while they blame others for not knowing something is, no one can learn anything for you. However, this is what the internet does - it is a collection of learning so vast and deep, that it has become near impossible to out-think it, so there is no need to bother. Why think and test when you can search and be right the first time?

The thing is, being right doesn't mean one has learned the processes to be right, which means that if not careful, one doesn't learn process at all and becomes wholly reliant on external sources to supply the answers. Cultures that tend to adhere strongly to cultural norms also tend to suffer from a lack of "common sense".

I think a lot of people think common sense means that it is something that is commonly known by the group, but this is not the case. Common sense is being able to have the five senses work together to build a balanced universal view as an individual. It could also mean that what is known can be applied broadly to a range of scenarios, not specifically for one.

A lot of what we do naturally as humans is considered common sense, where for example, once we learn to walk we are able to apply the skill of walking to a diverse set of surfaces. Even if you had never walked up stairs as a child, if you can walk, a staircase doesn't pose much of a challenge. Whereas, getting a humanoid robot to walk stairs has been a very large challenge, as there are just so many factors in play to consider that the human body and mind does commonly.

What I question in regard to the future is how much "common sense" people will have when they have been raised in an environment where they always have the answers for all of the basics. This means that there is no need to build the thought processes to solve those basic problems, with the assumption that the energy saved can be applied to solving problems that have no solution. I strongly suspect that without the foundational process for problem solving, the unsolved problems will remain unsolved - at least by those raised to be reliant on the provision of answers from those who have already worked them out.

While I do think that for at least a time and maybe forever there will be a subset of people who will keep thinking, the majority of the global population will be effectively useless, even at dealing with the smallest issues that face them. When people can't "provide thought" for themselves, they have to rely on the thoughts of others - and I think that this is where many are already, consuming the thoughts of others, repeating the thoughts of others - believing they are learning something.

It is possible that AI and automation will put us all out of a job anyway and make anything we do redundant. But, then we have to consider what we do and consider as valuable. For me at least, I value my thought process, even if the thoughts themselves are not going to change the world - I think this is because of the investment and energy into thinking that makes them mine. One of the biggest fears is losing my mind, but what is there to fear if I never owned it in the first place?

Maybe this is where we are all headed, where the greatest loss that we will ever face as a species, is our ability to think and solve problems that we just don't know the answer to today. Maybe the economic, social and environmental issues we face are not getting worse because they must, but because we are losing common sense at a massive scale - where because we have instant access to so much information - we don't need to learn anything new ourselves.

Taraz
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Robots and automation will definitely replace many jobs there is no doubt in my mind. I shudder at the thought of losing my mind too but it will have to happen at some point. Makes me happy to be doing everything I can for my family now while I can.

So many people I see are getting worse at solving problems because of the initial anxiety and the propensity to focus upon the problem rather than the solution. Perhaps it will be nice to have the computers crunch the big numbers for us so that we can deal with a boiled down dataset of info from which to draw a solution. Until the computers learn to come up with the solution that is...

I shudder at the thought of losing my mind too but it will have to happen at some point.

One of the problems of medicine being able to lengthen the lifespan of our bodies perhaps.

So many people I see are getting worse at solving problems because of the initial anxiety and the propensity to focus upon the problem rather than the solution.

This is a very interesting point! I think that digital media encourages this too - it gets more clicks.

Perhaps it will be nice to have the computers crunch the big numbers for us so that we can deal with a boiled down dataset of info from which to draw a solution

I think it will be great - if used for betterment, not profits. What are the chances?

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I think a lot of the loss of common sense also has to do with an inability for people to look at many techniques to do the same thing. Almost all jobs have rules to follow, and when you train with only one person you end up using their way and means of doing the job, you become a clone of your instructor. When you train with two people you see two different techniques, (if they learned the job from someone else). You are then able to combine accept and reject parts of the instruction and build your own technique.

It doesn't matter what job a person is doing there is always on-going education to stay current in your field of work. People are so afraid of looking stupid in front of co-workers even when new that they will go on-line and search before asking a coworker, "Why do you do it that way"? They miss the opportunity to fine tune their own technique and maybe to make their job a little easier and less stressful.

I think a lot of the loss of common sense also has to do with an inability for people to look at many techniques to do the same thing.

Yes - absolutely. Specialized, purpose-built tools for everything.

It is common in the workplace for someone new to be indoctrinated early as those with experience "already know" how to do it, and they have been doing it the same way for years - despite new techniques, materials and processes being available that they have never heard of.

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The search engines of today don't give whole answers, they give solid clues. I think the process is incredibly valuable but what we learn needs to change.

I am appalled at what has become of arithmetic. It no longer exists. I see it every day with people struggling to count change, or even add the numbers up to produce the appropriate amount.

If you can't do simple math how do you know what your gas mileage is? How do you know how long it will actually take you to get someplace? How do you know if you are getting the correct deal?

I don't think anyone needs to know the date of the start of the American Civil War. If you need it for a report or an article Google knows and there is no reason for me to retain that information. There are compelling reasons to know why that war started but not when.

In the US approximately one third of the population never reads a book after they have graduated High School. Roughly 20% of the college graduates never read another book. NOT ONE How can they keep current with whatever it is they are doing?

AAcckk. That really puts a bad taste in my mouth. Education only gets you started.

The search engines of today don't give whole answers, they give solid clues.

"close enough" for most people. Remember that even most articles shared are not read by something like 80% of the sharers.

I am appalled at what has become of arithmetic.

One of the things that has changed in this regard is people's ability to visualize well. The imagination is being lost and with it - the ability to problem solve.

If you can't do simple math how do you know what your gas mileage is? How do you know how long it will actually take you to get someplace? How do you know if you are getting the correct deal?

Google tells you.

The move away from having information learned applicable to daily life is a scourge on us all.

You are correct. It is the visualization that is just suffering horribly. Obviously we are moving to a complete card based exchange system where the amounts are presumed to be correct in every instance.

I heard about a pharmacists mate in the Navy stationed at the Pentagon who hatched a scheme to divert on Oxycontin per each prescription filled in the Navy system to an account he controlled. He ended up turning himself in for protection. The quantity he was dealing in required very top level dealers and he was afraid for his life after he made millions.

So. What if somebody figured out how to liberate 1 cent per Visa transaction? How would anybody today catch it? What if it was Amazon that wanted to improve their bottom line?

With people that can't visualize their money as a number there is no hope.

So. What if somebody figured out how to liberate 1 cent per Visa transaction? How would anybody today catch it? What if it was Amazon that wanted to improve their bottom line?

This is interesting! I have written about it before. In Australia a bank manager did just this about 20 years back for a staggeringly large amount from one of the big banks - skimming from the paid interest. He was caught by an old female pensioner who had the habit of checking her interest earnings each month and after it being slightly off after several, she went to her bank. He was skimming Australia wide.

I work with a lot of engineers of different kinds - the young one's have no idea of what they create in CAD until they see it in real life. The old ones can visualize what they are doing as they do it.

When I went to college there was a lady that everyone knew. The cashier at the tuition/fees office. Incredibly pleasant, she was just beloved by students and co workers. About 10 years after I left she got caught embezzling in a just stupid fashion. The University confronted her and she explained that her father was ill and she was trying to help. They arranged for her to plead guilty to a minor charge and be put on probation.

One week after that the University received a registered letter from her detailing how she stole 2 million dollars. They couldn't touch her because she had already been tried in the case. And the letter came from Rio. Brazil does not have an extradition treaty with the US. Turns out her father had died two years before...

That's interesting. CAD is purely visual to me.

greatest loss that we will ever face as a species, is our ability to think and solve problems that we just don't know the answer to today.

Don’t outsource thinking

It is a rule of business - Never outsource your core competence.

Considering it's called common sense.... it isn't so common these days! hahaha There is an art and intelligence to making and following a script as well as thinking off the cuff and ad-libbing. It takes a wit to do both. Then there are the b.s.ers. They sound like they remember or know what the script is... or that they know what they are saying when they go off script. Discerning can be difficult in this age of feigned intellects we find ourselves in. Everybody is an expert because Google tells them that they are!

I think one of the main problems is that not many seek the credibility of a source. Just because it's accessible and on the internet doesn't give it value or worth. Confirmation bias filled google searches is the bane of critical thinking.

It takes a wit to do both.

Something that used to be encouraged by culture. These days, people mistake cruelty for wit.

Confirmation bias filled google searches is the bane of critical thinking.

We can always find a support for any crazy thought.

Damn that last sentence cough paragraph cough 😇 😅 I read hmm many times
I seldom disagree with you coz you always raise points I believe in. I agree with what you are saying. I do believe that scripting is limiting. I never prepared bullet points for my presentations and I like to have my own words that follow my thought process at that point in time. That way,I can make changes based on my audience and how they are reacting to what I am saying. It always feels natural that way - less boring.

When I first moved here, I had to apply for survival jobs. I joined a call center where they gave me a 4 pages script to sell mobile phone plans to potential customers. And, they were pretty strict about the script (a third party contractor hiring the desperate job seekers). I survived for a week. I was fired in the second week coz I was way off script with the client and asked him to stick with his current plan as it would be expensive to subscribe a new one. It took them 5 minutes to fire me 😇

When it comes to presentations - I think the best are those that are very limited on wording, where the person speaking is able to deliver interesting, not every detail. Minute details are generally for later.

When I first moved here, I had to apply for survival jobs.

I know the type.

Thankfully, I have never been forced into a completely scripted role - I would be fired very fast. ;D

That was the last one I had to succumbed to. I am happy with what I did after that stint. Yes, as someone who likes to talk (and argue) I don't want to be confined by scripts and limitations while presenting.😀

It is also far easier not to have to plan much :)

There will always be people that like thinking and problem solving or just straight up doing things because they like doing it regardless of what problems machines solve and what society has tantrums about what people "should" be or like doing XD

I agree, but I wonder if the level of their ability will regress closer to the average, as the average itself becomes a higher volume peak. Would Usain Bolt run as fast if he had to only compete against runners from 100 years ago? I don't know, but I suspect that if there isn't some pressure, people by nature will take it easy on average.

There will always be pressure from somewhere. The amount of pressure I constantly put on myself is way more than anyone else will ever be able to put on me XD and statistically I can't be the only one.

Yes, I know this. But what if the amount of pressure you put on yourself is also influenced by some kind of group normal. If the normal changed, would you still apply the same pressure? Now, you might now, but what about a generation of people who were raised in the changed normal?

Would have to find a character who does that and jump into their head to find out. I only somewhat care about what other people do 😅

@tarazkp who will tell must youtubers this information.
I won't blame anyone about this because this is not even taught in schools.
Let's look at it like this

Someone comes and tells me 2+2 = 4
But doesn't teach me how to number from 1-10 so I can see and understand for myself.

I almost fell victim when I was learning a 3D software earlier before the pandemic.
I would watch a lot of videos and repeat the same actions as my online tutors and when the tutorials was done, i would assume I knew already.

After then I would forget the whole process. So I decided to stop
I started by understanding the glossary and terms used
Trying outs things on my time and changing my pattern of learning.

I started by understanding the glossary and terms used

This gives hooks to hang lessons on - something many forget. Most of the training I deliver focuses on the vocabulary, the logic and the mindset - after that, the features are easy.

AI will put everybody "out of the picture" lol

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yep - so better find something we love to do regardless of getting paid for it.

The biggest danger for somebody and everyone else around that person is when they think there is no more learning needed to be done. When they plateau. It is a dangerous place because of the repercussions.

Some people learn for goals, other out of curiosity - the curious tend to keep growing, even though they might change field of study. If they focus, they tend to be highly skilled.

Exactly! Focus is the key and specialists and experts in one field will always be sought after

Cuando en alguna oportunidad nos convertimos en portador de conocimiento, estamos aprendiendo enseñando, de crecer por dentro. Esos conocimientos, serán plenamente suyo y al mismo tiempo, algún día, sea capaz en su oportunidad librarse de ellos o de transformarlos, serias multiplicador de conocimiento. Feliz noche.
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