Soooo….what is it exactly? It’s been defined as something that many people know, meaning that those many people simply know this because they’ve been raised with the knowledge, have shared it throughout their lives due to cultural, societal, and maybe even different norms that they happen to abide by. But what’s that mean for the many that don’t live in those particular cultures?
Good example: It’s common knowledge that it gets hot in Southern California.
Well yes, yes it is common knowledge, but anyone that’s never been there would have to go off of hearsay and the experienced words of another. What exists as common knowledge for one group of people isn’t exactly common for someone else. In many ways it’s kind of like trying to describe a vibrant and colorful work of art to a blind person that hasn’t been able to see a day in their life. What’s common to you might be completely unknown to another. There’s no negative in this, only the fact that common knowledge can be limited.
Sometimes common knowledge is universal.
For instance, most people, if not all, know and acknowledge the force of gravity upon our world. They know that if you throw something in the air, or jump up, or fall down, that at one point or another gravity will take hold. This is something we learn as children and in many different ways. Universal truths that are common knowledge are those that happen to each and every individual at some point in their lives, and are considered to be basic, as well as common, knowledge. The idea that our world is round is something you would think might be common knowledge, but of course that argument has raised its head a few times in the past, including the recent past.
Some common knowledge just doesn’t seem good enough or feasible for some folks some days.
Common knowledge is often taken for granted.
You might scoff at this and think that only the most basic knowledge in life is ever taken for granted, but you’d be wrong. Anything that’s common knowledge, such as the fact that people have to eat, that they will need certain necessities to survive, and that they will want certain luxuries in life, is a part of what drives others to provide them at any cost. Those that provide such things know the value of common knowledge and they capitalize upon it without hesitation. It’s not a bad thing or a good thing really, it’s a chance to bank on something that many people overlook and many more will gladly follow simply because they too know the truth, but were slower in grasping it. Common knowledge is as much a tool as it is a resource to draw from.
Common sense on the other hand, is an entirely different conversation….