Perhaps by the time this column is printed, “Jeopardy” watchers will know who won the right to the GOAT moniker.
If we’re lucky, it’ll go on a couple of more days. At this time of post-holiday reality checks, it’s a little refreshing to sit for a bit and watch a game show that celebrates knowing stuff. At a time when knowing stuff is not always held in high esteem, I like being reminded of things I’d forgotten, getting a few answers correct, and learning a few new things.
Over the years I’ve been an off-on watcher of this long running show. A few months ago, it grabbed my fancy again. I record it so I can watch at my leisure, which may be a case of binge watching at 2 in the morning, or 4 in the afternoon.
I’m usually a few days behind, but that doesn’t really matter. Perhaps the news that long time host, Alex Trebek, is dealing with a cancer diagnosis, or the fact that last year the show had a power player that caught fire, or whatever reignited my interest, I’m glad that I started watching again. It reminded me that even though I haven’t thought about it consciously for some time, I like hearing facts and how events, circumstances, history and information fit together.
It’s also a bit of a kick figuring out what I know or don’t know. It’s simultaneously an exhilarating experience, as well as one that is most humbling. More often than not it is the latter since my mental Rolodex isn’t as agile, quick or as full as I thought it was at one time.
Alex Trebek was recently interviewed about his cancer diagnosis, as well as his long tenure on “Jeopardy.” It’s a bittersweet time for all of us who have been an aficionado, even an off-on one.
We’re again reminded that times change, people age, and we have to come to grips with the end of an era. Mr. Trebek said he hopes one of his legacies is the importance of knowledge. When I heard that, it got me thinking. By now you know that’s always a bad sign.
Regardless, we appear to be living at a time when truth is fungible, facts are ignored or lied about to make a point that is thin at best, and people who have spent a lifetime learning and becoming expert in a specialty of any kind is belittled and vilified if their knowledge and experience proves someone else inaccurate or wanting of facts and information.
Around a year ago a book was written entitled “The Death of Expertise.” We’re living at a time when knowledge and expertise is being ridiculed rather than aspired to.
Knowing which river is the longest or what is the capital of Ethiopia may not seem important, but it all works together to help us navigate and absorb information and become adept at life. Hopefully the pendulum will swing back again where education, expertise and knowledge will be admired, not disdained.
“The theoretical or practical understanding of a subject. What is knowledge?”