Monday, May 13, 2013

Common Knowledge or How Quickly Society is Changing

Wikipedi defines – “Common knowledge is knowledge that is known by everyone or nearly everyone”.  Maybe it is a sign of getting older but at times people over 40 are a little shocked at what the younger generation does not know.  I read on the Internet the other day about a physics class that was looking for balsa wood in their city for a model wind turbine project.  After calling four different stores, no one knew what balsa wood was.  This does not shock me too much as even in the model airplane hobby balsa wood is being used less as model planes come pre-built from foam and plastic.

Sheet of Balsa Wood

In mentioning this on an Internet list devoted to building model airplanes primarily from balsa wood I received stories of other items that store clerks had no clue what the item was. One person was trying to purchase a compass for drawing circles which brought complete confusion for the person trying to help them at the store, the only compass they had heard of was one to point to a direction. With GPS, that type of compass will probably become obsolete too.

Compass to Draw Circles

More shocking and I think inexcusable was the story of someone trying to pay at a store using a $2 bill and the clerk thought sure it was counterfeit. No doubt people will blame the educational system, the parents, or too many videos games.   I know in the past I have been accused of being too focused on one thing, at that time it was computers.  If everyone would take a little time to expose themselves to new and different ideas I think it might just help.
Two Dollar Bill

Bill Kuhl


  1. I wouldn't be too shocked. When was the last time you SAW a $2 bill? It's almost as rare as the $3 bill. BTW, I have a stock of those if you would like some. For you, I can provide at nominal value. Plus shipping and handling, of course. ;-p


  2. I have kept some because I thought they might become rare but it probably has been a few years since I received one. What I can't figure out why they made dollar coins that are close to a quarter in size.