March 21, 2014

Do you know all the things?

The knowledge. All the things! There are too many things to know.

They say that the more you know, the more you know you don't know. Well, let me tell you, I've known how much I don't know for a long time now. And it pains me, because I want to know everything. Or at least a good part of it. A percentage. More than I do.

I read the news every day and try to remember everything I've read. But it's hard. For one thing, there are so many stories, so much going on around Australia and the world. For another thing, there is so much internet to distract me, and Twitter and Facebook are so tantalizingly there. For another thing, I have three kids to look after, and a house to run, and work of my own to do.

For another thing, the cat is usually sitting on the newspaper. And that makes it really hard for me to read.

I can retain an enormous amount of what interests me. Great TED talks, for example, stay with me indefinitely. Brilliant books, articles and blog posts make a lasting impact. I can remember theories and ideas, because they appeal to the creative side of my brain. But hard facts seem to disappear within seconds of processing. Names, dates and places can vanish into thin air, perhaps via an escape valve directly from my brain.

I have forgotten the majority of what I learned at school. Granted, you need to use your knowledge  to retain it, and I haven't had much call for calculus over the years. I have, on the other hand, remembered much of John Donne's poetry, because I love it and have re-read it a billion times. Sadly it doesn't help me to recall the names of world leaders or where Estonia is on the map, but I do comfort myself by reciting The Apparition when SBS World News begins to get blurry of a night.

And then there is the myriad of other useless information in my brain. Song lyrics. Chunks of my favourite books. Why Jodie left the Young Talent Team. What Bill Murray supposedly whispered to Scarlett Johansson in the final moments of "Lost In Translation". And the entire script of Grease, together with musical interludes. Perhaps if my mind wasn't filled with such trivial nonsense, I'd remember that the President of Greece is Karolos Papoulias, that the capital of Kazakhstan is Astana, and that the Battle of Hastings took place in 1066.

So what can I do? How can I learn all the things? And do you want me to recite The Apparition now?


  1. I'm the same … as soon as someone starts talking about something useful … my eyes glaze over!
    But I will happily sing you every song from The Sound of Music … badly.

  2. For god's sake, hold your tongue and let me love!

  3. When Red has finished singing you Sound of Music, I'll hit you with a full production of Les Miserables. Starring me in all the roles. It's as brilliant as it sounds. (Run. Run now.)

  4. Haha I feel the same. I have to make a real effort to seek out half decent journalism so I can remember the facts and the serious world stuff I know I should know. Seriously, there is so much junk in my brain. Every episode of Sex and the City, the lyrics to Gangsta's Paradise, the names of all the Kardashians and the entire script of Billy Madison...

  5. What DID Bill Murray whisper to Scarlett at the end of the movie?

  6. So here's another tip about memory and 'knowing all the things'.

    Whilst cycling up a 7.9km 5% incline last week (as you do), I was nobby-no-mates: the main contingent was WAAAAAY ahead, the back of the pack (two others only) about 1km behind me.
    How to keep myself going?

    Two options.
    1) sing 'Happy' loudly and out of key, in time with pedal cadence (basically meant a very sloooow version, akin to when tape decks used to go wonky, not good) and attempt to recall correct words; or:
    2) try to remember what the name of the purple bulbous flower is that your (far better) cycling girlfriend could not recall during a conversation earlier in the morning (convoluted chat, no idea why it came up, but anyway...) and go through the entire alphabet to trigger memory.

    Result: get to summit, broad smile on face, and yell, with great satisfaction, "AGAPANTHUS!" at everyone.

    I got a number of strange looks. But at least my girlfriend knew what the hell I was on about.

    LCM x

  7. I am a fount of useless information. When it comes to trivial information, my kids say I am full of it! (That's a good thing, right?)

  8. You have to Google it. There are many theories but in one vid they slowed it right down....

  9. That. Is. HILARIOUS. I do that kind of thing ALL THE TIME. In fact just shouted out 'Surry Hills!' when I finally remembered where a friend lived. I was alone in my bedroom at the time x

  10. "Been spending most our lives, livin in the Gangsta's Paradise...
    Look at the situation they got me facin, I can't live a normal life, I was raised by the street...."
    Should I continue? DAMN we're good....

  11. Kathy www.yinyangmother.comMarch 22, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    I seem, for the most part, to have maintained my journalism training, minus a few brain cells sacrificed along the way to a few too many wines. A journalist 'knows a little about a lot of things, but not a lot about anything'.

  12. Kerrie, I think of my mind as letters on a scrabble holder (the little tray each player uses). If I push an extra letter on from the right, one is bound to slip off from the other end. This means it's almost impossible for me to remember everything...I can't fit it all in!

  13. But I need to know too and you are more relaible than Google!!


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