The Demise of Trivia

The Internet is the source of all evil. Or at least that’s one claim.

Of course, before the Interweb, it was TV and before that radio that caused all of our problems.

Movies and comic books also ruined everything.

Or at least that’s what the gloom and doom folks would have us believe.

On a more sunny note, there’s no better time to be alive than today. And that’s thanks to the World Wide Whatdoyacallit.

It’s Dickensonian. The best of times, the worst of times.

The debate will not be resolved any time soon.

Awful stuff, wonderful things – all due to It. The prophet, the doomsayer; God, or the Devil.

One thing is for sure: the dawn of the Internet was the sunset for Trivia.

What’s the point of retaining the random array of factoids, the tid-bits of information completely disconnected from everything else or otherwise perfectly useless information?

Today, especially, all the fun’s gone out of Trivia. There seems little point I knowing that which is not worth knowing.

I suspect my mind’s needle gauge reads “Full,” thanks to all the junk information I’ve managed to cram in there over the years.

Google will answer the question, any question – correctly, or not, but good enough – in a flash.

The September 8/15 double issue of TIME offers 112 pages of trivia under the cover headline: ”The Answers Issue: Everything You Never Knew You Needed to Know.”

Truer words have rarely been printed.

Which is not to say that reading the magazine wasn’t fun. It was. And it was also probably disposable. (In fact, I recycled it.)

As is the board game, “Trivial Pursuits.”

There’s no point to Trivia. If there was, we’d have a different name for it. Like “School”.

But does the End of Trivia signal the Beginning of Significance?

Maybe now, with all that has accompanied WWW, we ask more questions. Some of them might even be better questions.

Of course frustration sets in if one thinks all human knowledge is stored on the Web. Or fails to recognize that one must ask the right question in order to learn an answer worth knowing.