I have always taken the expression "common sense" to mean things that are obvious to anyone except a fool. That is quite different from the expression referencing "conventional wisdom", or it's equvalent, "common thinking", which refelects the unverified assumptions that are usually based on sources less reliable than gossip.
Common sense dictates that one would not stick a hand into the cutting area of a lawnmower, or stand on the very top of a folding ladder. Common sense is that wisdom that lawyers seem to dictate that it is not reasonable to expect their client to posess.
To Gramsci, "common sense" meant the ruling ideology of a society: the ideas that are generally accepted without much critical thought. As such, "common sense" is not universal, but may be radically different in different times and places (according to Gramsci, mainly depending on who's in charge).
"Good sense," on the other hand, requires critical thought.
"Common sense" might contain some elements of "good sense," but they are very different things.
Dave's comment about "intuitively obvious" makes me think of how many times I've been told that a certain practice is "common sense." My response is always "common to which group?" The term implies shared values and meanings, and shared assumptions about how the world does and should work. But these are not so common In a modern complex society.
Another great article from Professor Craig. The only part I take issue with is the claim that "the grey-box modelling approach is intuitive and obvious." First of all, our intuitions can often mislead us. Read The Invisible Gorilla, by psychologists Chris Chabris and Dan Simons, for many instructive examples of everyday illusions. Second, if these things were obvious, there would be no need for engineers... let along engineering professors!
On the subject of modelling the real world, take a look at Dan Meyer's blog. Dan is a high school math teacher who gave a though-provoking TED Talk called Math Class Needs a Makeover. Dan puts modelling at the center of his teaching. It's an approach that can help prepare students to engage in engineering problem-solving.
Earlier this year paralyzed IndyCar drive Sam Schmidt did the seemingly impossible -- opening the qualifying rounds at Indy by driving a modified Corvette C7 Stingray around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Wearables are changing the way we see ourselves. With onboard sensors that have access to our bodies, we are starting to know our physical selves like never before, quantifying our activity, our heart rate, breathing, and even our muscle effort.
Last week, the bill for reforming chemical regulation, the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015, passed the House. If it or a similar bill becomes law, the effects on cost and availability of adhesives and plastics incorporating these substances are not yet clear.
This year, Design News is getting a head start on the Fourth of July celebration. In honor of our country and its legacy of engineering innovation -- in all of its forms -- we are taking you on an alphabetical tour through all 50 states to showcase interesting engineering breakthroughs and historically significant events.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.