Knowledge isn’t a tangible thing, not really. There are bits and pieces that you know, but they form together like a puzzle that you’re never going to have all the pieces of, and even though each topic is its own picture, some of the pieces work with other sets, and everything gets jumbled and mixed together. Your mind is a mess, and you just muddle through the best you can. However, you can go some way to rectifying this mess, not by providing order as such, but at least putting in more pieces and details into the sum, if only to help you work out where is what.
And, whenever I can, I try to expand my knowledge base. You’d think that’d be a common thing, but I’m going to make a grand, sweeping generalisation based in little to no fact right here, and say that most people don’t do a lot to learn, not once they’re out of education. Of course, some people don’t learn inside education, but that’s a whole other thing. It’s part of the internet culture, in a way; you’re constantly plugged in, the wealth of human knowledge at your fingertips, so if you so desire, you can research pretty much anything you like, in at least a little depth, at the press of a few keys. Wikipedia is, as always, a stalwart friend.
So you read, and you learn, and you explore topics and subjects. Don’t worry, I’m getting to a point, somewhere in all this. The way I see it, I’m not at a position where I know a lot about the things that I’ve officially studied, like Literature and Philosophy, and I know a hell of a lot about the things I’m working in, such as games and media in general. I’m also finding that I’ve got a good deal of interest in subjects like sociology and psychology, although to say that I was anywhere approaching an authority on the matters would be completely off base. I’m interested, and I look up what I can, but my knowledge is patchy at best.
All this considered, when someone who is more than a few years my senior comes out with something that is contrary to something I’m saying, and, when challenged on it, reinforces their point with ‘I know this because I’ve lived longer than you’, I’m about ready to push my fingers into their wrinkles, grab their weak joints and shout, loud and clear, directly into their face:
‘WRINKLES ARE NOT DIPLOMAS. YOUR FRAILTY IS NOT THE PRICE OF KNOWLEDGE, NOR WISDOM. YOUR ADVANTAGE OF YEARS GIVES YOU NOTHING BUT RETROSPECT AND REMORSE.’
Which would probably be a little unfair, callous, bitter, resentful, and more than a little insane. Naturally. But I’ve lived. And life, through its mere existence, bestows great knowledge.