Wednesday, June 15, 2011

10 Things I just don't get.

I've never claimed to be the smartest guy on the planet.  While this is not news, this is also a constant realization.  Every day there is a new thing that exposes me as not that bright.  One reason for this is there are too many things that are being invented and developed that I really don't care about NOW, but might later.  This is a cop out though because I could take new tech out of the mix and I'm still finding that there is so many things I know very little about.

Don't get me wrong, there are things I do know.  But it's pretty staggering to think that any person you meet will know something non-trivial that you don't know.  How do I know this?  I'm making assumptions.  I assume that everyone's life experience is varied enough that there is probably vital knowledge inside everyone.

That all being said.  There are some things that simply baffle me.

10.  Smoking - To begin, I know a lot of people that smoke and I live in a place where not a lot of people smoke.  I've heard it said that it's harder to quit smoking than nearly all hard drugs.  I feel sorry for my friends that smoke because they don't really like it and they wish they didn't do it, but that horse has left the barn a long time ago.  Ok, Turn the clock back.  WAAAAAAY back.  back to around say 1940.  Back when goofy scientists were saying smoking might be good for weight loss or some such nonsense.  Maybe we didn't have the information then that Smoking was slow death.  So maybe it looked cool and that's why people did it.  Now?!?  2011?  We have so much information that says that smoking really might be one of the dumbest most expensive mistakes you will ever make.  But people still pick it up.  WHAT?!?  This proves again that young people are idiots.  Because you would really have to be an idiot to start this weird habit. 

9. Just how big Avagadro's number really is - This is the number Avagadro built.  it's 6.0221415x10^23 If you are in Chemistry, you know what a mole is.  if you don't.  I'm not going to spend this blog trying to explain what you couldn't learn in a semester of Chemistry.  To put it in the most simple terms.  it's a number of molecules in one gram of oxygen and yet so much more, anyway,  that number is kind of big.  I read that it's the same amount of elements as the amount of popcorn KERNELS covering the United States...9 miles deep.  We don't have mountains 9 miles tall.  Popcorn kernels.  wow.  that's a lot of Jiffypop (Unpopped of course).

8. Common Sense - I used to think that I was possessed of a brain that was similar to that of the average human being.  The older I get, the more I realize that I'm only average among Americans and even then, not so much.  I have to assume that everyone else feels this way.  There are groups you fit in well with and groups you don't.  So Common sense would dictate that it's information that everyone knows.  One trip to the DMV and you would be hard pressed to think of what you have in common with the rest of the people in that line other than gas.  So maybe It's not common at all, and maybe I don't have it.

7. Why do I believe in Luck? - I consider myself a fairly analytical thinker, I'm not really given to the flights of fancy that many people indulge in.   I don't believe in luck, and yet if I'm playing a game that involves a random element, I find myself reaching for my 4 leaf clover.  When I lose I blame bad luck.  When I win, I think it is good luck.  I don't believe in luck.  I believe in statistics and standard deviations, not luck.  But if I had a lucky charm I thought gave me luck.  I would keep it. Until it wasn't lucky anymore, then it's bad luck.  I like to win.

6. The Motion Picture Rating System - Jack Valenti is the founder of this venerated tradition.  The semi-objective rating system for movies.  It's gone through several changes through the years.  I think it needs to go through one more change.  Elimination.  I have no idea why people look at this rating system like it is some kind of celluloid absolute.  It isn't.  This rating system seems to be as bought and sold as anything else in Hollywood.   I think I would trust it more if I had an idea of the people judging any given movie.  I know studios are given more leeway toward what they want and indie houses are not.  It just bugs me I guess.

5.  Reality TV - We already have the internet.  The ultimate reality TV show.  You can watch You-tube forever and see people making fools of themselves in front of a camera.  Of course I would rather watch that than the 'Reality' shows on TV.  The biggest reason is that on TV the shows are set up.  They edit the good guys and bad guys on those shows so they are not at all who they are in REAL life.  I like my TV written by writers and acted by actors.  If I want real people, I'll go to work and listen to any number of the people that work there.  They are pretty real AND I'm usually interested in their lives.  Unlike TV-real people that don't interest me in the slightest.

4. The Soul - This is my philosophical meandering along the lines of Descartes.  So we exist due to the fact that we recognize our own existence.  That's kind of circular, but it kind of gets us closer.  I would just like to know how is it that I can see through my eyes and see what I see and not any other eyes in the world?   I can't really imagine not being able to be aware of my surroundings the way I currently am.  When you die, do you maintain that same sense of self?  I guess if you don't you won't care either. I'm not the first to be baffled by our own sense of self-awareness.  I'm sure I won't be the last.  It's one thing to know how the brain works.  But how does the sense of self work?  Baffling indeed.

3. The guy that drives super slow on the road - No, I'm not talking about the guy that drives the speed limit.  I'm talking about Mr. 50 miles per hour in the 65 zone.  Usually hanging out in the right lane, but sometimes he hangs around in the left as well.  I don't know what kind of person this is that watches everyone roll by him and give him the evil eye.  Is he that guy that just likes to piss people off? (I don't really understand them either).  Or is he just super old and should be taken off the street.  Or better yet, is he texting someone and he doesn't understand that you shouldn't do that while driving.  so many possibilities.

2. Why do I get scared when I don't believe in ghosts?  -  This isn't like Luck.  I really don't believe in ghosts.  My most popular blog 10 reasons ghosts don't exist outline it pretty well.  But if I'm home alone and watching some quasi-documentary on real ghost stories long enough and it's dark, I get spooked.  I don't really expect anything to be in the dark when I look there, but still.  It's creepy.  Then I wake up the next morning and feel kind of silly.

1. Why does misery love company? - I only think some misery loves company.  For the most part when I'm feeling miserable, I would just as soon talk to nobody.  There is a certain level of misery that seems to appreciate company, but what if the company makes you even more miserable?  It seems that we have more miserable people than ever.  You only need to see all of the anti-depression medication adds on the TV.  It's apparent that there are more of us than ever and yet more of us are miserable.  I actually am not usually miserable.  To the contrary I feel that I'm a fairly happy person.

So there it is.  It's my Birthday some where during the month.  I will mark the position of the earth relative to the sun when I was born.  I'm not sure why it's important.  I was pretty disappointed when I realized that a lot of other people probably shared my birthday.  Now I'm ok with it.

No this is nowhere near the list, but it's the printable list and it's probably a changing list.


Michael said...

Not meaning to correct you (but with that caveat ... ) a mole of oxygen **atoms** weighs 15.9994 grams. A mole of oxygen molecules would weigh 32.9988 grams, if the regular breathable stuff, or 47.9982 if you're talking about ozone. The atom that is closest to the 1:1 ratio you're talking about is hydrogen, which is 1.0079 grams per mole. The scary part is I was able to pull these numbers off the top of my head.

Macotar said...

The funny thing is. I don't feel corrected because I'm not sure where I was right. Did I mention this was about things that baffle me?