Are we losing our general knowledge?


Every year at about this time The Economist publish a special magazine entitled The World in [insert next year]. I first came across it in the mid-90s, and have been buying it ever since.

I used to buy the magazine itself every week, but found that I didn’t have enough time to read it. It was the same with newspapers, and even with all of these publications available online now, there’s only so much time. So now I rely on Apps like Feedly to curate news for me, which I can read on the go.

Whilst this is great, and I am presented with news that meets my criteria, I do wonder what we miss by not reading more general news. You know what I mean – the stories that jump out at you as you read through the paper. That’s when we learn new things, and random stuff that comes in handy at the odd pub quiz!

Which brings me back to The World in 2017. It’s the one magazine that I do buy, and read cover to cover. Because it’s a look ahead, and not back at the last week’s news, I don’t feel any pressure to read it quickly. And so whilst I started reading it last week, I probably won’t finish it until the new year. I’ll take my time to read each article, even those that on the face of it don’t interest me – How Taiwan is planning to become a Tiger again for instance. Just because.

And by doing so, my general knowledge will increase a little, my brain will expand, and I’ll feel good about myself and the world. Although having flipped through it, I can see that Mr Trump features heavily, so that’s going to get my hackles up.

Do you read The World In each year? Do you read a newspaper? How do you maintain your general knowledge? (Buzzfeed doesn’t count!)

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