Common Sense

Reason. Logic. Common sense.

The train connecting the two terminals in Mexico City Airport does not allow passengers without a boarding pass. The city's subway only reaches one of the terminals. If you don't have a boarding pass, like in the case of a father that wants to see his child off and takes the subway, a fee-based bus needs to be taken from one terminal to another instead.

There are some medical insurance policies that state that a person needs to call the insurance company to approve for ambulance transport, even if the person has been in an accident that have rendered him/her unconscious.

In Mexico, a birth certificate is required for most bureaucratic federal procedures, including obtaining an electoral id. Such an electoral id is not sufficient when it is used to identify a person for other type of procedures (school paperwork, house leasing, etc.), so both documents are required even though one is dependent of the other. To add to the stupidity of it all, if you do have an electoral id but have lost your birth certificate, you can get one if you have an electoral id.

Advertising is what pays the TV producers to put on shows, and the reason why there are public channels that are free to watch for anybody that owns a TV. Customers pay for cable TV as well as when they go to the movies, because the cinema and movie makers need to cover costs and make profit. However, there is advertising in both these scenarios, meaning that the customer is literally paying to watch commercials.

There's a reason why it's called common sense. It's a shared definition of logic, with which we all can agree on what is the right/logical thing to do. But more and more it feels as though that it is slipping, a symptom of the fact that we're more and more far apart, and that our common ground is shrinking.

The reason for this is depressingly simple: fear. The train company doesn't want the airline to think that it is being used by everybody, just by its customers, so they won't feel as a security risk. The insurance company wants to control the payment process so there aren't any unnecessary costs. Bureaucratic procedures want to have both documents, just in case of fraud. Advertising is used to lower the price of cable bills and movie tickets as less and less people are watching TV or going to the movies.

Seat-belts, water fountains, outdoor parking. You can find something that doesn't make sense in any of these that's linked to a protocol set in place to assure somebody that everything is going according to plan. And that somebody feels that there isn't a need to treat others as adults to explain why things are carried out as such.

Fear of losing customers, of high costs, or just plain uncertainty. Ironically, because of fear, the plan built to avoid it is rarely well thought out. The airline could have put the entrance to the train after the boarding pass inspection that is already carried out in the entrance to the gates's area, and just have one big security entrance near the subway station in the first terminal. The insurance company could just slightly raise the premium to include ambulance transport, and explain it to the customer. An electoral id is enough, if there is fear that the id is fake, a birth certificate can be equally falsified and the identification process can be thrown out the window. I can watch commercials at home, either take them out and raise the ticket/billing cost or keep them altogether and bring more in to the point that cable TV and the movies are completely free: anything in between is infuriatingly confusing.

The reason why this is a problem is that it bundles up, to the point in which people, myself included, learn to take it and not question it.

That's how things are done. If we speak up, we'll just lose time.

Why is my Mexican citizenship being questioned when entering Mexico while I am carrying a Mexican passport? Why am I required to provide 5 copies of paperwork to an office that has a copying machine? Why are there accessibility ramps in the entrance of my 4-floor office building but it doesn't have an elevator?

Bring the reasons out in the open, explain yourselves, your solution may not be in your best interests: they are definitely not in ours. "This is our policy," doesn't cut it. The plan brought out by your fear of losing customers, high costs, and plain uncertainty is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

If you can't see the video, go to:
Barry Schwartz: The real crisis? We stopped being wise

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