I can’t really judge folks for not getting their facts straight– goodness knows I’m just as guilty of it as anyone else, and certainly have my own areas of dramatic, shameful anti-expertise. I’m sure I mix and match architectural terms inappropriately, and have no idea what a “canapé” is. Some kind of egg thing? I don’t know!
I feel like I used to have a much tighter mind for facts, but now it feels like there’s a lot more dusty outlines of them in my brain. Perhaps this is a consequence of being almost ten years out of school, and not flexing those “recall and use” neurons as often. As a result, my mental storage is filled with a lot of dissociated tidbits, and I don’t feel like I have a particularly deep expertise in much of anything. I guess the advantage of that, though, is that I know enough useful keywords to start doing some research. The disadvantage is that I start to talk about something, and then suddenly find that the fact drawer is empty. If you’ve ever had a conversation with me, then you’ve almost certainly heard me say something to the effect of “You know, I think I read once, somewhere, something about whoever it was that found Machu Picchu. Or maybe it was Chichen Itza? Anyway I remember it being interesting.” With luck I’ll realize that I just devoted two minutes of conversational time to saying literally nothing of interest, and, hopefully, I’ll clam up until I’ve got something more constructive to say.
Speaking of me expounding on subjects about which I have no expertise, did you know that I’m putting the finishing touches on a zine about sports? I’m calling it A Guide to Football, but it bears the byline and subtitle By Charlie Capp, Who Knows Almost Nothing About It. I’ve got my revisions and adjustments made, so I’ll be busting out my long-reach stapler and assembling it this week. Watch this space for more information about how to acquire this informative and entertaining new venture!