Trivial Knowledge

“Trivia are not knowledge. Lists of facts don’t comprise knowledge. Analyzing, hypothesizing, concluding from data, sharing insights, those comprise knowledge. You can’t google for knowledge.”

― Elaine Ostrach Chaika

Au contraire, Elaine, beg your pardon. Anything one learns is knowledge. At least according to the dictionary, where knowledge is defined as an “acquaintance…awareness…of a fact…something that is…known”.  The perception of trivia as generally useless information just isn’t true. 

And you can Google knowledge. Google anything and what comes up is information you may have never known, that you now know. You now have some added knowlege in your head that may be of use to you sooner or later. Even if for nothing more than winning at parlor games, like Trivial Pursuit.

Knowledge is something known; if you know something, you have knowledge (however limited in scope.)

One may not become terribly knowledgeable about a subject just by Googling it, but you may learn (now know) something about it and, if you think about it, hypothesize how it might relate to something more (or else), share those insights with someone who may also be curious or know something about it, analyze everything, draw conclusions, what you’re doing is only becoming even more knowledgeable.

Who knows (has “knowledge”) what factoid might be the genesis of someone’s search for more in-depth knowledge? To that end I offer the following – and to me, interesting – “trivia”:

• Today, January 4th, is National Trivia Day. (Bet you didn’t know that!)

• American car horns beep in the tone of F. (Why is that, why is F better than, say, C sharp? What tone is used elsewhere?)

• There is no such thing as a naturally blue food. (Why is that, why is it most natural foods seem to be green?)

• 72% of people eavesdrop. (Are the other 28% so self-centered and think that anything said by someone else must naturally be unimportant, or are they merely hard of hearing, or just old-fashionably polite?)

• Apples, not caffeine, are more efficient at waking you up in the morning. (Having written two blog entries on coffee, this is knowledge I didn’t know, but want to know “How so?”)

• A duck’s quack doesn’t echo. (Huh? I thought all sounds echo under echo-right conditions. I gotta know why!)

• The most shoplifted food item in the U.S. is candy; in Europe, it’s cheese. (Is cheese like candy to Europeans, or are they just more health conscious?)

• There is no word that rhymes with orange. (See how many free bar drinks you can get betting on that!)

• Honey is the only food that won’t ever spoil. (Why is that?)

Now you have more knowledge than you had before reading this. 

You can call it trivia if you like, but all trivia is still knowledge in my book. And I believe the genesis of all real knowledge is knowing just a single fact that spurs one to learn more. If I’m wrong in my premise, somebody correct me, I will thank you, as I will then be more knowledgeable.

Excuse me for a moment. 

“Okay, Google. Why is…”

– Bill


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