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  1. #1
    Senior Member animenagai's Avatar
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    Default Improving your knowledge base

    Soooooo... I didn't know where to post this so I figured this is the safest place.

    Basically, my knowledge base is much lower than I would want it to be, especially as a masters student. When I go to quiz night every week, I'm usually the one who contributes the least to my team. Granted, these are all geeks I'm hanging with, but yeah, not so good.

    I have an extremely limited knowledge on the economy for example, same with politics and history. Life would be much easier if I just weren't interested in those topics at all, but that's not true, as far as conversations go, I think these are some of the most interesting topics you can talk about. I just don't have the wealth of knowledge to draw on and really get into the it. It usually just ends with me BSing my way through, pretending that I understood half the stuff that was going on.

    My question for you is this: how should I fix this problem? Reading on wiki seems pretty direction-less. I think it can get boring for an ENFP like me too. I could try some forums, but I think most of them just talk about the contemporary topics and it'll be pretty hard for me to learn the basics in a place like that (unless someone has some good links!). Any ideas?
    Chimera of Filth

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  2. #2
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Yeah, I tried going to trivia night with friends a couple times but it was a lot of stuff I didn't know about either, like obscure (to me) albums and sports teams.

    However, I'm not sure I understand, because you find things like economics to be interesting but do not want to learn about them?
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  3. #3
    Seriously Delirious Udog's Avatar
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    I've been watching a lot of documentaries on Netflix. They have a wonderful variety of stuff on history, economics, and even some psychology stuff. The PBS stuff is often very good. Plus, many of the documentaries are available through online streaming and can be played on a Wii, Xbox, PS3, or a netflix streaming device you can get for cheap.

    If you just want to accumulate facts, learning how to factually skim a book is another good trick. Trips to the library would be great for this.

    And if you wish to develop a mastery understanding, read a wide variety of books on the same topic, write stuff down to help solidify it into your memory, and talk about it with as many people as possible.

  4. #4
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Reading biographies of people from the past informs you on politics, history, world events, religion, philosophy, sometimes even in one fell swoop. Most libraries have an extensive section on this and then you aren't stuck with a bunch of books that you may or may not want to own.

    I second the motion for documentaries.

    I've also found a place like here useful because it encompasses a wide variety of people. Take advantage of the opportunity to ask a lot of people questions about their country, professions, politics, background etc and also look up any terminology or ideas that you have never encountered before. That should help round out your knowledge base.

    I'm also big on well-written historical fiction (although it has to be quality stuff, not that romance set in another time kind of thing) because it does educate you further about life during those times and what some of the issues were. I think that is one of the reasons I love Jane Austen, Victor Hugo, etc.

    Reading magazines and newspapers will also inform you of a lot of things. There are often sections for new books that have come out. A lot of bookstores also have a weekly book signing that is free and allows you to hear new authors speak on a variety of different topics. There are a lot of free events in the community which would allow you to become more informed. Knowing about current events is a huge help, as it also gives you some framework to hang knowledge about geography, politics, religion, and history on.
    Last edited by fidelia; 09-18-2010 at 02:20 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member animenagai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    Y
    However, I'm not sure I understand, because you find things like economics to be interesting but do not want to learn about them?
    It's more that I want things to be put in a context that I can really engage with as an ENFP. For example, if I had to learn history by reading a book filled with facts and dates, that would bore the hell out of me. I don't think my knowledge base would get any bigger like that lol. However, if it was presented to me in terms of struggles between ideologies with key events to illustrate this, I would be super excited. I just want to learn things in ways that can keep me interested.

    Documentaries sounds like a good idea! Any suggestions?
    Chimera of Filth

    A gruesome beast with dripping flesh
    Clings to me as a sick fixture
    My throbbing heart it gnawed apart
    It stalks and hunts me through mirrors

  6. #6
    meinmeinmein! mmhmm's Avatar
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    i like knowing and trying to understand interesting facts.
    bringing new perspectives / arguments to the table.
    it helps when you're able to share and have it challenged.
    every normal man must be tempted, at times,
    to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag,
    and begin slitting throats.
    h.l. mencken

  7. #7
    Senior Member Chloe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by animenagai View Post
    Soooooo... I didn't know where to post this so I figured this is the safest place.

    Basically, my knowledge base is much lower than I would want it to be, especially as a masters student. When I go to quiz night every week, I'm usually the one who contributes the least to my team. Granted, these are all geeks I'm hanging with, but yeah, not so good.

    I have an extremely limited knowledge on the economy for example, same with politics and history. Life would be much easier if I just weren't interested in those topics at all, but that's not true, as far as conversations go, I think these are some of the most interesting topics you can talk about. I just don't have the wealth of knowledge to draw on and really get into the it. It usually just ends with me BSing my way through, pretending that I understood half the stuff that was going on.

    My question for you is this: how should I fix this problem? Reading on wiki seems pretty direction-less. I think it can get boring for an ENFP like me too. I could try some forums, but I think most of them just talk about the contemporary topics and it'll be pretty hard for me to learn the basics in a place like that (unless someone has some good links!). Any ideas?

    Similar here, and i saw it as problem before, but i figured i am not bookish or knowledgeable type at all, there's fuckin reason why i dont know something about some stuff. i understand this opinion will probably not be encouraged here.
    it's different though when you like topics but find yourself not knowing much info about them. actually, many topics are interesting to me too even if i dont know info about them, and thats what i was saying; it'll probably stay the same. i will never know so many stuff as many INTs.

    anyway, i'd start with figuring out why you dont know many stuff, if you in your enviorment spend much time with your friends, it's weird to know less than they do (except if they are super nerdy and you are not?! ) so it must be.. maybe that you prefer not knowing info.
    like: i can bullshit i want to know many informations but truth is i really dont ya know, i like to just get general idea about that and then bullshit about it. it's how i approach it. no worse then more academic approach.
    but many times i like subject but cant attribute to discussion simply cos i dont know any facts and you cant bullshit always.
    just saying, there's a reason if you dont know many stuff, be realistic about what you wanna become.
    reading much would prevent you from going on adventures often, for example. follow your nature.
    p.s. yeah i am completely subjective in this answer. just wanna suggest ONE perspective to this, not main one


    p.s.2. when it comes to topics such as politics i usually ask a friend who is very into it to give me some general informations. it's not hard to follow if you just skim it up, what's harder for me is to participate if i didnt think much about that topic, than i am far behind all others who thought about it much... but as i said if i didnt spend 100 hours thinking about something in politics, i guess there's a reason... despite that i'll hate it in that moment bc i'll be incompetent

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