Thursday, October 29, 2009

What's The Use Of Trivial Knowledge Or Any For That Matter?

Trivial knowledge seems, well, trivial. The issue I have with trivial knowledge is that there is little or no practicality to the knowledge itself. For instance, the fact that Venus is the only planet in our solar system that rotates clock-wise with respect to its axis is useless trivia to me unless, that is, one knows why it does so?

Another example, to know the author of a particular book but know nothing of the book itself.....meaningless I say! On the other hand, one could legitimately question why it is any more practical to know why Venus rotates clock-wise or what an author's book is all about? Perhaps trivial knowledge could be more practical than the more detailed sort?

It seems to depend on how practicality is defined. If practicality is defined as that which aids one's living, for instance, then perhaps trivial knowledge can actually be practical if one earns a generous living by being a repository of what I deem "useless knowledge". In this case, what I previously implied as being "useful knowledge" could easily be seen as having no practicality if it fails to provide something practical like "income". But I would then argue that the practical benefit of what I deem "useful knowledge" could easily be predicated on the notion that knowledge is practical in itself. In which case it would seem that knowing Venus rotates clock-wise but not WHY would be practical in itself just the same. As would knowing the author of a book but nothing of its premise.

So much for my argument that trivial knowledge is meaningless. I seem to have defeated my own proposition! In the end, one need not earn income off his knowledge in order for it to be practical because knowledge can be practical in and of itself.

On the other hand, if one fails to find practicality in knowledge itself, then perhaps he can find practicality in knowledge as a means to help him earn a living? This obfuscates any absolute claim as to what is or is not useful knowledge. It depends on one's point of view!

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