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November 14th, 2004


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09:06 am - thoughts on stuff
It's funny what you take for granted people know. Cattle droving, for example, is not really anything I have direct experience with, but I know about it in that vague osmotic way that comes from various branches of my relations having been ranchers.

So because of the way I learned it, and the time of my life I learned it, it seems natural that it be knowledge that everyone has, right? Well, no - and that illustrates the folly of relying on personal anecdotal evidence for the bulk of any logical process.

As does my recognition that what I think of initially when I hear the term is not the general consensus (as Google instructs me). I think of the yearly process of shifting pasture for the winter, not the long (famous) Chisolm trail-type drives.

I always find it interesting when I stumble on this class of knowledge in myself - stuff I assume unconsciously that everybody knows. Because I'm well aware that there is a lot of default-assumed-common-knowlege that I don't share, due to taste and upbringing (or maybe those should be chronologically reversed). We didn't have a television for several large swaths of time while I was growing up, so there are shows and things people refer to that just sail by me, while I'm all uncomprehending.

Not too surprisingly, the earlier I gained a piece of knowledge, the more likely I tend to assume it is part of the common pool. It's oddly physical at times, too. Doesn't everyone stand on one foot to reach things? Well, no - as a general rule they don't. Most people, not having had to tip themselves over on one foot to reach things because of learning to walk in a brace splaying their feet apart, don't have the habit to retain. So now, thirty-odd years later, I still shift my weight onto one foot when I'm reaching for something, even if I do manage to keep both feet on the ground.

I guess this is kind of related to the ask me any question meme, except for not bothering to wait to be asked. I amuse myself sometimes, since I doubt this answers much in the way of questions anyone would be interested to ask... It just got me thinking about odd quirks of behavior, and assumed knowledge.

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