That human life is but a first installment of the serial soul and that one's individual secret is not lost in the process of earthly dissolution, becomes something more than an optimistic conjecture, and even more than a matter of religious faith, when we remember that only commonsense rules immortality out.
Was I insane? Maybe. But then, there were many different kinds of insanity. Aunt Rose had always taken for granted that the whole world was in a state of constantly fluctuating madness, and that a neurosis was not an illness, but a fact of life, like pimples. Some have more, some have less, but only truly abnormal people have none at all. This commonsense philosophy had consoled me many times before, and it did now, too.
Together we are stronger, our voices louder, and the synergy of our actions more powerful. Together we can prevail on the Navy to put commonsense safeguards in place, like requiring its ships to avoid the most sensitive marine mammal habitats and to stop their training exercises during peak migrations.
We need commonsense measures, gun control measures, that save lives. I think that it is important that we keep the firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill and criminals and terrorists. And I also think, by strengthening our background check system and expanding mental health treatment, we can do that as well.
History is filled with examples of men and women who rendered highly effective performance without the conventional badges of accomplishment in terms of certificates, diplomas, or degrees. Diplomas and tests are useful servants, but Congress has mandated the commonsense proposition that they are not to become masters of reality.
Warren E. Burger
The New Capitalism (arising from the global economic downturn)...those running our biggest commercial businesses will have to be more visible. They'll have to manifest a genuine understanding not only of the anxieties of their employees but of all taxpayers. Those chief executives who succeed will be those who imbue in their businesses very simple, commonsense standards of decency
Let the watchwords of all our people be the old familiar watchwords of honesty, decency, fair-dealing, and commonsense."... "We must treat each man on his worth and merits as a man. We must see that each is given a square deal, because he is entitled to no more and should receive no less.""The welfare of each of us is dependent fundamentally upon the welfare of all of us.
To maintain their power, dominant groups create and maintain a popular system of 'commonsense' ideas that support their right to rule. In the United States, hegemonic ideologies concerning race, class, gender, sexuality, and nation are often so pervasive that it is difficult to conceptualize alternatives to them, let alone ways of resisting the social practices that they justify.
Patricia Hill Collins
Securities based on risky mortgages are what toppled financial institutions but it was the government that made the mortgages risky in the first place, by making home-ownership statistics the holy grail, for which everything else was to be sacrificed, including commonsense standards for making home loans.
Certainly, a clear line must be preserved by strict discipline, and on the other hand the men must know that everything is done for them that hard times permit. On the top of that it follows that, among real men, what counts is deeds, not words; and then it comes of itself, when such are the relations between men and their leaders, that instead of opposition there is harmony between them. The leader is merely a clearer expression of the common will and an example of life and death. And there is no science in all this. It is a practical quality, the simple manly commonsense that is native to a sound and vigorous race.
I know that my work in this case is magnified by the fact that the streets of heaven are too crowded with angels. We know their names. They number a thousand for each one of the red ribbons that we wear here tonight. They finally rest in the warm embrace of the gracious creator of us all, a healing embrace that cools their fevers, that clears their skin, and allows their eyes to see the simple, self-evident commonsense truth that is made manifest by the benevolent creator of us all.
Religion should be subject to commonsense appraisal and rational review, as openly discussible as, say, politics, art and the weather. The First Amendment, we should recall, forbids Congress both from establishing laws designating a state religion and from abridging freedom of speech. There is no reason why we should shy away from speaking freely about religion, no reason why it should be thought impolite to debate it, especially when, as so often happens, religious folk bring it up on their own and try to impose it on others.
As the data from the past decade clarify, there is no evidence that poverty causes crime but a great deal of evidence that crime causes poverty. By aligning themselves against the police, against commonsense tactics like stop and frisk, against metal detectors in public housing, against swift and certain punishment, and for a broad array of legal protections for accused criminals, liberals helped to aggrieve the lives of the poor and society as a whole.
Sometimes you can't figure out the truth because you're asking people that are emotionally or socially invested in you to be brutally honest. Often family or friends will tell you what you want to hear, or what they want to believe because of their emotional investment in the situation. Instead of circling the drain with biased speculation, go out and get twenty unbiased people that have nothing to lose if they speak their mind and then ask them what they think. After you do that, stop asking for people's perspectives. Accept their answer because you're not going to ever know the real truth when the person you love lies to you. Sometimes, you only have the truth of commonsense when the unbiased majority has offered you their opinion. When we care about people, we will believe the most far-fetched fantasies to help us deal with our actions, their actions and the conversations we missed out on. Our intuition then becomes compromised. You should never put your life on hold, in order to decide what the truth is. The memory of truth no longer remains pure in the mind of a liar.
Shannon L. Alder
Now, it may be objected that Orwell was no Borges, that Nineteen Eighty-Four is no postmodern literary experiment, and that I am considering the Appendix too curiously. Perhaps the Newspeak essay should be seen simply as a parody 'presented in the form of a mock-survey, scientific and historical, of the language of Oceania, ' whose purpose is to illustrate 'how a totalitarian oligarchy uses the rational tools of science as the instrument of power.' Or perhaps the problem I have identified could be explained as one more manifestation of 'the generic contradiction between naturalism and satire that is the basic formal determinant of the book.' Furthermore, it is pointless to second-guess an author; there are commonsense explanations for Orwell's decision to place the Newspeak essay in an Appendix, and for his failure to identify precisely the essay's author; the incongruities between the Appendix and the novel proper do not reduce the political urgency of the total work; it is a mistake to come to Nineteen Eighty-Four with expectations derived from more conventional novels; paradoxes are the stuff of futuristic stories; readers have a duty to suspend their disbelief; even Homer nods. But, if it was unlike Orwell to lure us deliberately into a hall of mirrors, he certainly did not lack ingenuity. And, even if he encountered difficulties he was unable to solve, his imperfect solutions were consonant with the plan to convey a world deprived of 'objective truth.' Even though his handling of the Appendix may have had unforeseen consequences for the book as a whole, the confusion raised by the document nevertheless 'works.' The footnote's implied promise of verification is hollow, and the reader's attempts to determine the 'objective truth' about Oceania-its social and political structure, its language, its fate-are frustrated. By trying to reconcile the novel and the Appendix, we experience for ourselves-'outside' the novel, as it were-what it might be like to inhabit a world in which the authenticity (never mind the accuracy or objectivity) of all documents is in doubt, in which documents are almost dreamlike, unfixed in time, infused with self-contradiction, at once recognisable and cryptic. Those who keep a checklist of Orwell's 'prophecies' may credit him with anticipating and dramatising the age of 'disinformation.
Richard K. Sanderson