Monday, July 20, 2009

What I Don't Know

By Elliott Joseph

Copyright 2009 Elliott Joseph

September 2009

They say that when you reach a certain age you realize that wisdom is knowing what you don't know. If so, I am very wise. The trouble is that there are far too many things I don't know. Here's a partial list:

- - How television works.

- - What "a 30% chance of showers" means.

- - What to say when a stranger calls during dinner to sell you something.

- - What my wife is thinking.

- - How to make money.

- - Why we see only one side of the moon.

- - Why there's never enough time.

- - Which witness in a jury trial to believe.

- - How some people get elected.

- - Why someone else wins the lottery.

- - Why after a coin can land heads up twenty times the odds on the next toss are still 50-50.

- - How to sell something.

- - How to negotiate.

- - How long it takes to get sick from something you ate.

- - The difference between hysteria, paranoia and schizophrenia.

- - Why so much music ignores the ear.

- - Why so much poetry can't be understood even by people with a good education.

- - Why laughter is so good for us.

- - Why so many people cheat, steal and lie.

- - Why so many people drive so aggressively and with such lack of courtesy.

- - Why so many people always seem to be on the phone.

- - Why so many people don't return telephone calls.

- - How to harvest alfalfa.

- - Who makes up all those metaphors for politicians.

- - Why some people talk so much.

- - Why some people never listen.

- - Why the stock market goes down when interest rates go up.

- - Why the stock market goes up when interest rates go down.

- - Why the stock market goes up or down altogether.

- - What a vitamin is.

- - What the smallest particle is.

- - Why some people grow old and others remain kids.

- - How to live with injustice.

- - Why logic has a dirty name.

- - Why following directions doesn't work.

- - Why other people don't know how to water your plants.

- - How to be one of the boys.

- - What Infinitesimal Calculus is.

- - How to speak a foreign language.

- - Why there are always at least two sides to every question.

- - Why some people have no sense of shame.

- - Why there are so many species.

- - How Mozart could possibly have composed so much, so magnificently.

- - Why it's fun just taking a walk.

- - How a ship floats.

- - How an airplane stays up.

- - How we can learn to ride a bicycle.

- - Why we like some people but not others.

- - Why some people like us and others don't.

- - When to say yes and when to say no.

- - How to build a house.

- - How to play a musical instrument.

- - How to play bridge.

- - How to fix a noisy radiator.

- - Why so many men don't flush the toilet in the rest room.

- - Why naming something makes us think we know what it is.

- - What it's all about.

If there is anyone out there who can enlighten me about any of these things, please write me without delay. If, on the other hand, you have a number of things that you don't know yourself, shoot me a copy of your list. I don't know what I will be able to do about it, but perhaps a sharing of our ignorance will have a salutary effect.

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