Case in point.
There is a theorem in Geometry: If a line intersects a circle at one point, (tangent) then a line drawn from that point to the center point of the circle will be perpendicular. (90 degrees). This makes sense. If you think about it, it makes more sense. Common sense will say, “It seems to be impossible to be any other way.” (Still, common sense says, “Still, it must be proved.”)
One reason this must be proved is that theorems that are more complex are not easily deduced by looking at them. Therefore, you must learn proofs.
Still, common sense is a great way to avoid pitfalls. In addition, what I said above, contravenes what I believe. (About management, not about geometry.)
I believe common sense is still the better way to go most times. However, I also know that it is necessary to have some analytical support.
[Remember, I make only two claims. I have an analytical mind and the ability to speak in metaphors.]
The reason why people choose common sense, however, is that people become bogged down in analysis. This is due, in part, to a lack of common sense. In addition, there is an attempt to use analysis to delay implementing strategy by those who lack sufficient analytical skills to arrive at a conclusion. The conclusion part is what causes people to become flummoxed.
Now, what gives us the courage to formulate and implement strategy?
That courage is the result of experience, intelligence, education, and skill. From these arise the courage necessary to form a strategy you have faith in and to execute without the hesitation—hesitation that is rewarded with failure. You cannot jump halfway across a stream without falling in. (And you cannot turn back in mid-air.)
Another problem is the impediment of plausibility.
With computers, certainly, and with calculators at the very minimum, it would seem unnecessary to memorise the times tables. The argument could be made that the results of the calculator are valueless unless you know enough math to recognise the answers as the correct ones. However, that falls apart when you get into numbers larger than you might handle in the fourth grade.
Then, why memorise the times tables?
Well, there are other (ancillary) skills that you will acquire by memorising the times tables.
It helps to develop memory skills
It helps to develop concentration.
It helps to increase attention span.
It helps to develop the ability to sit in one place for a longer time.
It helps students to learn math more easily with fewer frustrations and distractions.
These are benefits acquired by memorising the times tables.
The other skills gained by memorising the times tables are quantifiable. Now, compare and contrast that with the statement:
“Memorisation stifles creativity.”
This statement may or may not be true. It may or may not depend on our definitions of creativity.
People will become bogged down with a discussion that pretends to analyse the facts. This, “becoming bogged down with analysis”, becomes the impetus for using common sense at the expense of substantive facts.
Common sense will tell us much when we are confronted with analysis offered up by those who lack common sense, embrace an ideology (or a product to sell), who lack analytical skills, and in general seek validation by attention seeking.
Common sense will tell you when the analysis is bad only when you lack the capacity to analyse.
Copyright © 2011 Slim Fairview