As an art dealer I am often asked for my expertise in determining the value of a work of art or antique passed on to them by Aunt Minnie or Grandpa Frank; the interrogator of the moment appears to hope that by meeting me that they have stumbled into their own Road Show host who is about to make them rich for a month or two.
Of course a competent appraiser is competent not because of on-the-spot knowledge but by competency as a researcher. To carry that much stuff around in ones’s head, even as a specialist in one small area would drive most people mad. Add to that the fact that such knowledge is amended every second of every hour and we have light-years of information to edit.
And that’s how it is with life in general for all of us. In our professional lives we learn how to research and maybe we pick up a few tidbits of stable factoids which help to enhance our aura of concern in our supposed area of expertise. And in our personal lives we solve the most difficult research problems by adopting the views of whatever groups seem to influence us the most.
And so it goes.
If I return for another crack at life I want it to be as a quail.