Saturday, March 19, 2005

To coin a cliche

All I know is I know nothing. It disturbs me a lot how ignorant I am about so many things. I know so little about my own personal finances and about financial concepts generally that it's shameful and irresponsible. I am barely adequate, if that, in my own job. In any state where I've lived, my grasp of what & where all the other cities and towns are around me is been sadly weak.

I don't know whether there's a landfill crisis. I don't know different kinds of civilian and military aircraft. I don't know what we'll do for energy once oil's not an option or what we'll ultimately have to do to ensure a supply of oil.

I don't know what I'll do for a career next year.

I grew up with a forester for a father, went camping all the time, was in the Boy Scouts, and had a lot of woods right by my house as a kid, but beyond Maple generally, Hemlock, and maybe White Pine, I can't really distinuish different kinds of trees. I don't know one kind of fish from another.

Where my food comes from and how it gets to me is pretty much a mystery. I buy it at a grocery store or restaurant. What happens before that could be pretty much anything. It would seem sensible to get a clue about how unknown strangers are farming, processing, preparing, packaging, and selling what I eat.

I don't know remotely enough science to be able to critically evaluate the theory of evolution and accept it or not because of whether I agree with the science instead of someone else telling me it is or isn't so. I don't know enough theology to know if I could reconcile for myself evolution with Christianity. And I don't know where all that will lead if I ever do work through it.

Between 12 years of high school and four years of college, I took classes including algebra, geometry, trigonometry, pre-calculus, biology, physics, psychology, and philosophy, and I only have the most pitiful rudimentary grasp of any of that.

I have a B.A. in History from a perfectly good college (though not so great of a History department, frankly), and my historical knowledge is meager and contemptible. The gaps in it are shocking, and dominant. Among the many historical topics of which my knowledge is woeful are the Roman Republic/Empire, the ancient world otherwise, Britain generally, the Rennaissance, the Vietnam War, the Muslim world, India, Revolutionary & post-Revolutionary France, the 18th & 19th century unification of Germany, the recent U.N. scandals, the early Christian church, Latin America generally but in the 1970s and 80s especially, Cuba (especially the behavior of Ernesto "Che" Guevara), and much of World War II.

If I'm that ignorant of something I hold a Bachelor's degree in, imagine how much I have to learn about everything else in the world.

There's a lot of subject matter to explore here, for my own benefit. To the extent anyone else benefits, so much the better.

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