Friday, February 20, 2009

Trivialities for the Homegrown Intellectual to Be




I dreamt last night I went into the Cash Cab and flunked all the questions and was left out in the pouring rain near Grand Central Station in NYC without any money. I was somehow reprimanded for not "knowing." This is the age of trivia glorification. From the images and sounds I get on TV and Film I can easily deduct that knowing useless information is very useful in your way to become rich and prosperous. I wonder how many times I got the job or the date because I could entertain using the accumulation of useless facts I have gathered all through my life. I remember memorizing all the names of the countries of the world and their respective capitals in sixth grade. I also remembered my dad parading me through the neighborhood and daring the reluctant neighbors to ask me the name of any capital. I felt very embarrassed but I didn't want to let my dad down. So I answered diligently. The Academy Awards will be given out on Sunday and one of the favorites to win Best Picture is not other than a movie that deals with this fascination we share about trivia, Slumdog Millionaire. So, knowing trivia has become a sort of zeitgeist in our society. I'm most likely generalizing. Trivia is not always trivial. Knowing the capitals of the countries of the world is rather important if you are to follow world politics and/or history. You need to know them for reference. Your mind needs memory landmarks to navigate the endless sea of information. Because we live at a time where information is so massive and pervasive it can also be a very confusing time to sort out what is important and what is not. We need to be editors of that information in order to handle it intelligently. I think our brains are being developed in new ways. Our inner wiring is being redesigned as a reaction to this information overload. Don't take me wrong, it is fascinating to be exposed to such diversity of knowledge and to be an active participant in this instant linking of thoughts and perspectives (Blogging being one good example). So my mind is diversifying at a fast rate. Specializing in subject matters I didn't even know existed five years ago. Maybe what we call trivia today is but a mind enabler, a touchstone for future discovery and understanding. So I must keep up, I do not want to be left behind. But I must do it at my own pace. I will not succumb to the pressure that I must know everything that is happening right now. I'm not getting into that Cash Cab only to be left out in the rain for not having the perfect answer. I'm taking the Orient Express. Elegance over speed. Beauty over chaos. Delight over stress.

15 comments:

Natalie said...

I'm coming with you!

Steph said...

Trivia is beer, knowledge is champagne. Drink up!

sweetmango said...

LOL me too!! Orient Express here we come LOL!
LOVE the new banner, it is beautiful!
xxsm

Lisa said...

trivia will often lead me on to something more- an investigator i am xx

The Pink Cowboy said...

Natalie join in :-)

Steph- You are one clever connoisseur. I'll bring the bubbly!

sweetmango- I'll be delighted to join you in our little Paris-Istanbul trip.

Lisa- I do agree if you like investigating and doing reserch on imponderables then trivia is the best place to start your voyage.

Jo said...

Is there room for one more on the Orient Express? I have always wanted to take that trip.

I love trivia. A little friend of mine can name all the states in the United States where the capital city is not the largest city. (We're Canada...!)

Here's a quick quiz --- name the cities. I promise not to leave you out in the pouring rain... :-)

Cynthia said...

What an amazing mind you have, dear friend...I think I would enjoy going off in a yellow submarine! <3

The Pink Cowboy said...

Jo- I accept the challenge. Here are capitals that are not the largest city in those particular states:
1.Alaska:Juneau
2.California: Sacramento
3.Colorado Denver Denver
4.Connecticut: Hartford
5.Delaware: Dover
6.Florida: Tallahassee
7.Illinois Springfield Chicago
8.Kansas Topeka Wichita
9.Kentucky Frankfort Lexington
10.Louisiana Baton Rouge
11.Maine Augusta
12.Maryland Annapolis
13.Michigan Lansing
14.Minnesota St. Paul
15.Missouri Jefferson City
16.Montana Helena Billings
17.Nebraska Lincoln
18. Nevada Carson City
19. New Hampshire Concord
20. New Jersey Trenton
21. New Mexico Santa Fe
22. New York Albany
23. North Carolina Raleigh
24. North Dakota Bismarck
25. Oregon Salem
26. Pennsylvania Harrisburg
27. South Dakota Pierre
28. Tennessee Nashville
29. Texas Austin
30. Vermont Montpelier
31. Virginia Richmond
32. Washington Olympia
33. Wisconsin Madison

The Pink Cowboy said...

Jo- Now ask me where I left my car keys this morning. I have no idea.

willow said...

You'd be fun to play Trivial Pursuit with!

CLAY said...

Excellent point TPC--our society has become watered down by finger food like knowledge. True and passionate intellectuals are in hiding right now--I'd still play Jeopardy if I got the chance! Brilliant post.

Linda S. Socha said...

Well said and on target. Hope the move went well
Linda

Barry said...

I've just been reading a book (do people still read books?) called ibrain about how the very structures of the human brain are being rewired by our involvement (notice I avoided the "interface" word) with the internet.

One of the major changes google and wikipedia have brought about is less emphasis on memorizing. Why commit anything to memory when we can look in up in seconds--and find the information updated.

How many of those countries you memorized as a child still exist. With the same name?

Soon we won't be remembering anything. Then how will be play Trivial Pursuit?

The Pink Cowboy said...

Willow I'll be delighted to play with you. I'll need a lot of cookies and hot tea though.

Clay- I do hope thinking people do not disappear altogether.

Cynthia- A Pink Cowboy in a Yellow Submarine would be so colorful.

Barry that sounds like a fascinating book. I hope we do not loose aour memories. We shall build Trivia Universities.

Sydney said...

Can I come with too?

I ask myself why I know every single thing Cher ever wore or who was married to whom or when couples in Hollywood broke up, but I can't follow the stock market or remember my own phone number at times... (I was a wardrobe
stylist in the entertainment business so that at least is my excuse)

I love it that you dreamt you were on Cash Cab.