Skip to main content

Common Knowledge -- Writer's Poke #249

On our flight to Zurich, I had some time to kill. Fortunately, most airlines these days come equipped with monitors attached to the back of each seat. And Swiss Air offered us a variety of time-killing options.

I was happy to see that one of the free games available was Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? I always do pretty good at the questions when I'm watching the TV show at home, but once I started playing the game on the plane, I realized just how little I really know.

Swiss Air's version of Millionaire was from the UK, and since I don't know much about soccer or cricket or UK geography or UK pop culture, I had trouble getting past even the first or second question.

In other words, anyone from the UK that happened to be watching me play would undoubtedly have thought that I was one great big dummy.

Knowledge, it seems, has a cultural context. How often we overlook that.

How has your culture informed what you know?

"The only source of knowledge is experience." -- Albert Einstein

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Summer Day Trip #1: Caledonia, Minnesota

The Wired Rooster Coffee Shoppe -- Caledonia, Minnesota


I've lived in Minnesota for over ten years, sure, but that doesn't mean I've actually seen much of the state. Like most people, I know what I know, and I go where I go. And that's the extent of it. But once I resigned myself to the fact that I wasn't going to make it to Alaska this summer, it occurred to me that I had plenty of sites to explore in the immediate region.

First stop: Caledonia, Minnesota. Where's that? It's a small town in the southeast corner of the state. Before I opened my Rand McNally Road Atlas, I had never heard of it, and before I punched the town name into Trip Advisor, I didn't know if there was anything there worth visiting.

Distance from home: About 75 miles.

Challenge #1: Leaving by 6:30 a.m.

Challenge #2: Taking my dog, Atticus.

Actually, Atticus is a good dog on a road trip, but the forecast indicated that it was going to get into the 90s. I wanted to leave early in the …

Summer Day Trip #3: Jackson, Minnesota

Some time ago in the spring, I found out that David Ellefson, bass player and co-founder of Megadeth, was rebranding the coffee shop in Jackson, Minnesota. Every so often I would tell Linda that I planned to drive over there to check it out, but the morning that I actually decided to drive over there to check it out, I think I surprised her. I’m not sure she thought I would ever do it.
“What else are you going to do over there?”
“Oh, that’s it. Just drive over there, order a cup of coffee, and drive home.”
I had checked out Jackson on Tripadvisor, and honestly, Jackson seemed like it didn’t have much going on. My mind map of southwestern Minnesota was mainly a blank. I knew that I-90 drove through, but I thought perhaps the interstate was a metaphor: Beware ye who enter here, lest ye be on your way to somewhere else.
When I told Tavi we were driving two hours to visit a coffee shop, the idea didn’t seem far-fetched to her. She only had one question, “Do they serve hot cocoa?” I promised …