A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
—Robert A. Heinlein
Seth Godin once wrote a post titled The top 1,000 things to know. “So what are they?” he begins, and lists 20 to get us started. I wouldn’t say I’d agree with everything on the list (For starters, how do we define a thing? And understanding the biographies of 500 historical figures is of much larger scope than knowing how to type.) but every bullet certainly piqued my interest more and more. Really, what are the things everyone should know, I wondered. Do I know them? And so I’ve set out to learn more about what I don’t know. This will be an ongoing account of that learning. Care to join me and follow along?
The real criteria for this list are:
- “Is this something everyone must know?”, or
- “Will knowing this bring enjoyment or utility to my life or another’s?”