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Arts & Culture

Enjoying the Randomness of Miscellanea

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Evelyn Giggles on Flickr Creative Commons
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Wandering the vast labyrinth of useless information, you might encounter some people having a debate about the last person who knew everything. This is a great, and also pretty hopeless debate, because it requires a judgment about what all the useful information in the world might have been and who was capable of knowing it. 

It's also a pretty Western-centric debate. None of the people who supposedly knew everything knew much of anything about what people knew in Asia or Africa.

Factoring for that, take your pick: Erasmus, Sir Francis Bacon, Roger Bacon, Thomas Young. I always say it was John Stuart Mill, and I'm pretty sure I say it because somebody else said it to me when I was at an impressionable age.

John Stuart Mill certainly had a lot of useful information. Useless information would be knowing that he was Bertrand Russell's godfather, which is something I know.

Leave your comments below, email us at colin@wnpr.org, or tweet us @wnprcolin.

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Colin McEnroe is a radio host, newspaper columnist, magazine writer, author, playwright, lecturer, moderator, college instructor and occasional singer.
Chion Wolf is the host of the radio show and podcast 'Audacious' on Connecticut Public.
Betsy started as an intern at WNPR in 2011 after earning a Master's Degree in American and Museum Studies from Trinity College. She served as the Senior Producer for 'The Colin McEnroe Show' for several years before stepping down in 2021 and returning to her previous career as a registered nurse. She still produces shows with Colin and the team when her schedule allows.

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