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26th May 2003

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#51 9 years ago

Monster_user;5177526These stories should be told. As Crisisuit mentioned, you remember the past, to prepare for the future.

Much of the "trivia" may be inspirational to some citizens. Examples to follow. There was a time when people had to remember these items, as they were not so easily found. Even now it is considered proper, and those that know receive respect.

Another issue is that you cannot tell what info is important until after the fact. Hindsight is 20/20, foresight is not. Thus it is best to know as much as possible. You could filter out the useless trivia, and just tell the story, but then confirming the story, or keeping stories straight becomes difficult.

The most sensible solution is to just state the facts.

Finally, in the lower grades, such trivia can be used to train you g rains to remember information. It can also be used to identify learning difficulties. For such a use, it hardly matters what info it is, but why not use historical info, rather than Dr Suess.

Given that you cannot remember everything it makes sense to select for what is most likely to be of use; names and dates, trivial statistics, do not fall under that category.

Those who go to the trouble of remembering such things do not receive respect; geek, swot; those are not terms of endearment. Indeed they are often thought of and portrayed as weak, socially stunted creatures; whose finest moment is to star in some coming of age comedy where they turn into a close analogue of everyone else.

Unless someone needs you to aid in their own school work you receive scorn and rightly so. You've remembered trivia in place of the more useful information that should have been abstracted away from that trivia.

Should people study history? Yes. Should people study the pathetic shallow mess that puts so many children off it even from primary school; How many wives Henry VII had, what date a certain invasion was, who the fifth president was, what statistic went in what study and who said it? Of course not. We've substituted simple mass of information - as per your approach of simply learning as much as possible - for mastery of a subject.

The practice of learning as an art, and the practice of teaching that art; of filtering that which is likely to be of use to you from that which is not and if possible discarding the latter forever - or at the very least of not carrying it around afterwards as an impediment to future learning; has largely died today and the intellectual helotism to which we are now condemned by the range of academia fools no-one of any real intelligence. Power politics being a rather thin veil for such practices.