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Why should I know their names?

  1. Aug 7, 2013 #1
    This has been bugging me lately. My general knowledge has always been poor. People talk about things like - who is at what post, which actor did what movie, who is the current secretary etc.
    I never remember names of famous people, of course I know who is the President etc. but I don't know the name of the actor who acted in some xyz movie, name of the person who currently handles some abc Organisation etc.
    Is this big deal? Should I do something about it?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 7, 2013 #2


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    It's a good asset to have if you like to have general conversations with many different people , but otherwise unless your work requires you to have that knowledge it isn't that important.You can focus on what you are interested in if you prefer it that way.

    I don't think my personal life would change if I didn't know who Barack Obama was.I might look foolish in a conversation someday , but that's about it.
  4. Aug 7, 2013 #3


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    I'm pretty much clueless about most of that kind of stuff. I know the names of most of the more relevant politicians and whatnot, but as far as actors and other celebrities go, I'm pretty much completely in the dark. And I'm perfectly ok with that.
  5. Aug 7, 2013 #4
    i have the same problem in a sense,
    i hardly pay attention to names or who is who( IMO 9/10 it's irrelevant).
    some become mad at me for this.
    but as time moves on, there are some that i do learn,
    but mostly because they became part of my mental social circle by interacting with me on a somewhat consistent basis(what ever it pertains to),
    but few do.
  6. Aug 7, 2013 #5


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    I wouldn't worry too much about it. I'm interested in politics so I remember a lot of congressmen and staff positions in government. I have a poor knowledge of actors and tend to know only band names not the musicians in the band. Every other person's name I remember tends to be work related.
  7. Aug 8, 2013 #6
    It kind of irritates me that I don't know all that stuff. I don't have a good memory. I can never remember names, dates and these kind of stuff.
  8. Aug 8, 2013 #7
    I don't recognize the names of most musicians or celebrities. Even fewer "celebrities," i.e., reality show "stars." Because, you know, why?

    But. History is pretty damn important. Santayana aside, you can't understand the world we live in without some knowledge of how we got here. So, you need some organizational system to make sense of the actors.

    You might as well use their names. It's kind of the metric system of history.
  9. Aug 8, 2013 #8


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    2 minutes after you tell me your name I will forget it. Though, I will still remember your face ten years.
  10. Aug 8, 2013 #9


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    I canceled my cable about 5 years ago, and only go to the movies when a new Star Trek movie comes out. The only recent celebrity names I've devoted to memory are Honey Boo Boo, Miley Cyrus, Zach Quiznos, and.... hmmm.... I've forgotten that new Kirk's name already.

    I only know Miley Cyrus's name because the boss mentioned her one day and I thought he was talking about our Cyrus.

    It's interesting how it seems to upset people when you don't know celebrity names. I was once playing a trivia game, and a question about Angelina Jolie came up. I asked who that was, and someone, in a very rude tone shouted out; "Lora Croft, you idiot!". I'd seen that movie, so I know who she is now. :smile:
  11. Aug 8, 2013 #10
    Not just celebrity names, but politician names and other common factual knowledge also seem to upset me lately. I don't know why, but it never used to bother me earlier.
  12. Aug 8, 2013 #11
    I have forgotten my own name more than once...:eek:
  13. Aug 8, 2013 #12
    Yes, but that only makes you appear more .... ENIGMATIC.

    (See how I did that?)
  14. Aug 9, 2013 #13
    What about someone who doesn't memorize his mobile number? it's been my pleasure. :biggrin:
  15. Aug 9, 2013 #14
    Can't remember my phone no. either. But what I can remember is that c =299792458 and that a second is defined by 9192631770 vibration of cesium atom. I also can quote japanese manga characters even without knowing what they are saying...

    'I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands on it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it - there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.'
    Sherlock Holmes
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013
  16. Aug 9, 2013 #15
    This is crazy. I have always focused on the concept rather than the factual stuff. But here I am, worrying that I don't know the facts.
    When people around me talk like - Do you know who did that, do you know when did that person die, do you know who will be the next successor to the British throne (I somehow know this), I feel out of depth.
    What do I do?
  17. Aug 9, 2013 #16
    1 ) Go to a depth where you are comfortable. Change topic to something the other person has no idea about.
    2 ) Ask them a question, put them on the defensive. Who is the Queen's heir? How dare you ask me such a trivial question, you who doesn't even know her maiden name! - or something along those lines.
    3 ) Smile! Smile as long as it takes to make them other person uncomfortable.
    4 ) probably the sanest idea in the list- choose your fellow conversationist and limit the conversation to the topics you give a damn about.
    5 ) Bluff as much as you can as honestly you can- Queen's heir? Don't know if the old dame is ever gonna leave the throne; any heir will die out before her.
    6 ). Run Away! Queen's heir? Sorry, don't have time for small talk, I have a dentist's appointment...
    - Mr.E
  18. Aug 9, 2013 #17


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    1) "Hair" is spelled h-a-i-r.

    2) Ian Carmichael does the Queen's hair.

    Geez, this stuff is easy, guys! It shouldn't be so hard!
  19. Aug 9, 2013 #18
    Was that a joke I didn't get? You do know I am talking about the heir i.e. successor to the throne?
    Queen doesn't do her own hair?

    "Now that I do know it I shall do my
    best to forget it."
    -Sherlock Holmes
    (The next relevant quote is pasted in my second post)


    EDIT: P.S.- Or was that simply a bizzare way to change the topic to the old dame's hair; and showoff your knowledge?--If so...remarkably well done!
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013
  20. Aug 9, 2013 #19
    I'm the same way, I have it real bad. I forget names, dates, people, places, etc. And lets not forget..forgetting where you left your keys, where you put the bread, where the laptop is, etc!
    But I have an incredible long term memory and an extremely accurate internal clock. For example, if I put something in the microwave I will almost always get up to check it within 30 seconds of its completion. Come to think of it, I am very good at judging how "things" relate to "other things", I guess the latter is connected to some form of spacial-temporal reasoning. Im not a neurscientist/psychologist so who knows.
  21. Aug 10, 2013 #20
    I pretty sure it was a joke you didn't get, based on a homonym-style pun referencing "heir" sounding like "hair."

    Jokes are SO much funnier when they have to be explained ...
  22. Aug 10, 2013 #21


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    I dunno ... BobG seemed pretty adament ?? just sayin'
    maybe he didnt know the diff. ?

  23. Aug 10, 2013 #22
    I have the same problem with good quotes. I have read a lot of cool ones and I would love to remember them all but what should I do, repeat a quote for 5 minutes in front of a mirror?
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