Common Sense Ain’t So Common By C.S.Osborne
As survival tools go Common Sense is high on my list. Each of us knows people who we suspect would make an excellent Professor in the Gilligan’s Island situation. Able to make a radio from a coconut kind of smart. The Professor in that series, seldom panic’d. He went away, came up with a plan, hacked a few bamboo pieces into a Rube Goldberg contraption of the day needed for the situation. But there’s more we can gain from this 60’s TV sitcom example. What did the Professor have before they ship wrecked? He had knowledge of a wide variety of technical specialties.
It’s this foresight which one day we will all look back and say “why didn’t I study ____?” Developing one’s common sense and intuition helps judge which items will be important. Motivation helps us follow through, take advantage of opportunities, and learn.
Others may be working to get shopping lists of things they’ll need. But when the day comes when, the medical kit, for instance is needed, do you have the confidence and knowledge to calmly fix the problem while others are frozen in panic. That’s no time to be reading the first aid manual while someone is bleeding to death.
The person with a well developed common sense will prioritize their projects, achieving a level of functionality quickly, and then steadily improving. Let’s say we’re talking about emergency power for your home. OK, you have a generator. Have you used it? Finding cables and fuel in the dark is a high risk approach that could be made much lower risk easily. Does everyone know what they can and can’t run while on the generator.. Or maybe you have a 50kw generator and can. Can you safely fill the generator with gas when it runs out? How often will that be needed?
Are you comfortable with basic electrical wiring and troubleshooting? If not, make that one of your goals . Learn Ohms law and why it’s important. Understand DC and AC systems and their efficiencies and limitations. Converting back and forth from DC to AC sometimes is unnecessary and inefficient. Solar power watts are hard fought. No sense reducing your available power and run time by 20% or more via an inefficient approach.
Many of these things are available by studying for your amateur radio license . You’ll get a good course in basic electronics and communications theory by doing this. You develop potential links to others who may be able to help when things break and unforseen circumstances intervene.
Adding to our knowledge and cultivating automatic common sense approaches to situations we might run into is the best way to stack the deck in our favor.