# EppsNet Archive: Common Sense

## Extensions to Logic for Common Sense

From some John McCarthy lecture slides on extensions to logic for common sense. Problem Find the height of a building using a barometer. Intended answer Multiply the difference in pressures by the ratio of densities of mercury and air. Unintended common sense answers Drop the barometer from the top of the building and measure the time before it hits the ground. Measure the height and length of the shadow of the barometer and the shadow of the building. Rappel down the building with the barometer as a yardstick. Lower the barometer on a string till it reaches the ground and measure the string. Sit on the barometer and multiply the stories by ten feet. Tell the janitor, “I’ll give you this fine barometer if you’ll tell me the height of the building.” Sell the barometer and buy a GPS. Read more →

## Thomas Jefferson on Healthcare Reform

My fellow Americans — Did you watch President Obama’s healthcare speech tonight? Neither did I. But I did learn from msnbc.com’s First Read that he hoped in his speech to explain to ordinary American voters — “call them Joe and Jane from Kansas City” — that his health-care reform will 1) cover nearly everyone and 2) cut costs in the long run. So let me get this straight — we’re going to spend money to save money! Does he think everyone in Kansas City is that stupid or just Joe and Jane? What — you don’t believe we can insure 50 million more people and cut costs at the same time? Well then, you’re an uninformed kook! You’re scared that those cost savings will come from drastically rationing access to care, particularly for people who are chronically ill and/or near the end of their lives? You’re un-American! Probably a Nazi!… Read more →