nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

You actually do need to know things.....

I've long been annoyed with "You don't need to know things, you just need to know where to look them up".

It's a half truth, and I think of google as the larger part of my brain, but I also think you need to know a lot of specific stuff to know what things mean rather than just repeating the common opinion, and sometimes the specific thing you need to know is sufficiently weird that I'm not sure what you'd need to know to look it up.

It turns out that in ngrams, if you see a sudden rise around 1800 of a word containing s, it may be because the long s (which mercifully looks like an f) went out of fashion.

I need to come up with a button slogan about the world being made of details. And maybe something about chaos, because you never know when a detail will affect or be connected to something unlikely.

Only vaguely related, but I find it satisfying that it gets colder on clear nights because more heat leaks out into space-- there isn't usually such a direct and obvious connection between something which can be felt and the larger universe.

There used to be a magazine called Lingua Franca which reported on various aspects of academe, and I miss it tremendously. One of the articles was "Atlas Shrugged", about the ability to perform searches on vast amounts of geographic data combined with uncertainty about how carefully the data was collected.

See this from thnidu about just how low quality the ngram hits can be from early books.

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