# Basic knowledge I don’t understand – and probably never will

Last week in one of my lectures we were talking about the old Left Brain/Right Brain debate. I’m such a classic example of a dominant right brain person that it’s a little bit embarrassing… (I curse the day math was invented). I started thinking about how terrible I am at things that require a basic understanding of math, economics, physics, chemistry – that kind of thing.

This quickly spiraled into me realizing that if I’m being honest with myself, there are some serious holes in my General Knowledge for Adults. I drop hints to my family and friends that I’m really not good with this stuff, but I don’t think anyone actually realizes the extent of the problem.

I shall now make myself completely un-employable and present you with this list of things I honestly don’t know:

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## How boats can float

Obviously I understand how boats float.

Because the weight of the water is greater than… the weight of the boat…or something. And something about a Greek in a bathtub… and oxygen?….but then there are really tiny things that sink to the bottom, like my iPhone when dropped in the sink, and then there are cruise ships the size of Texas that can float. Air pockets? Dolphins carrying the ship underwater? David Copperfield involved somehow?

It’s just one of those things that if I really try to explain it to myself, it becomes clear that I don’t actually understand how it works.

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## How electricity works

No idea.

Dad tried to explain how electrons move (electrons, schmelectrons) earlier this summer over a nice meal at his house, and his little speech is still going around in my head like a broken record that I’m trying to decipher.

I look at my TV or my computer sometimes and I genuinely wonder how the power gets transmitted (from where??? from what???) through a plastic chord and into my electronic device. And while we’re at it, where do these pictures and symbols I’m seeing come from? How is it possible that I can watch something, as it’s happening 5000 miles away, on my TV?

We’ve all heard the story of Lumiére Brothers’ Arrival at the train station in 1895, right? How when they first showed this movie the audience rushed out of the theater thinking that the train would come out of the screen and kill them all. I can totally relate to those people, even in 2013. That’s kind of what it’s like to be me sometimes.

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## Currencies

Clueless.
Not about currencies in general, but what makes currencies go up and down. And how they relate to one another. When someone says “the Euro’s gone down”, I get that it means the economy is bad over there. But how come you can tell that by the Euro going up and down…? Why can’t the currency stay the same, but because the economy is down people just don’t get enough of it? Or something?

{I am making absolutely no sense here, but can you see how this whole concept is just beyond my comprehension?}

Another thing: who decides the relationship between two currencies? For example, 1 US dollar is generally around 6 Norwegian Kroners. But that doesn’t mean that the US is richer than Norway…. In fact, Norway is about one million times richer than the US (actual figure. not.)

It makes no sense…! Who makes the rules?

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## Where babies come from

No, I’m not gonna get all technical on you. That’s what Youtube is for.

Dad is a chemist, but somehow I got all of his Right Brain genes and none of his Left Brain. I really don’t get how you take X (an egg) and Y (the other thing) and BAM! you have a living cell.  I also don’t understand what constitutes a living thing, scientifically. As in the whole concept of how both me and plants are living things (or how something like the greenhouse effect works, for that matter).

The funny things is that I can totally go off on the longest rant explaining all of this in a philosophical sense. I can go on and on (don’t tempt me) about how all living things on Earth are connected and how it all works together with the universal laws of nature. How we really are no different than a straw of grass or a turtle except for our ego, our consciousness, our ability to separate our two minds.  How we are born into this world by choice, from an eternal Source of Energy and yadda yadda yadda – you get the picture. I’m one of those people.

What I don’t get is how a living cell or organism works from a scientific point of view.

A little help?

But for the love of god – do not bring atoms and ions into the discussion…!! Do I seem like the kind of person who knows what those are? I think I just had a stress-induced stroke.

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To me these are interconnected and equally intimidating, because they seem to circle back to one thing:

I haven’t got a clue what radio waves are.

In fact, if you asked me how any ol’ radio works, I’d just distract you with some weird dance moves and then run away.

There, I said it.

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## WiFi

Don’t get me started on WiFi….

I do not understand how the internet works. Let’s just put that in bold letters and get that clear right off the bat.

I do not understand how the internet works + I do not understand how electricity works + I do not understand how the concept of ‘signals’ works.

Anytime I think I come close to grasping the general works of it, they do things like put WiFi on planes and buses. I give up.

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Now, come on people!

I know I’m not the only one who pretends she understands things that actually make no sense to me. What are some of life’s basic things that you just do not comprehend?