Archive for the ‘Rules and Exceptions’ Category

Common sense – simple? It’s an illusion of simplicity …

September 22, 2007

Common sense is not a simple thing.  Instead, it is an immense society of hard-earned practical ideas – of multitudes of life-learned rules and exceptions, dispositions and tendencies, balances and checks.

If common sense is so diverse and intricate, what makes it seem so obvious and natural?  This illusion of simplicity comes from losing touch with what happened during infancy, when we formed our first abilities.  As each new group of skills matures, we build more layers on top of them.  As time goes on, the layers below become increasingly remote until, when we try to speak of them later in life, we find ourselves with little more to say than “I don’t know.”

The Society of Mind by Marvin Minsky