Enjoying the Randomness of Miscellanea

Jan 2, 2014

The joy of miscellanea!
Credit Evelyn Giggles on Flickr Creative Commons

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.

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