Sunday, February 25, 2007

Highly specialized knowledge

I'm noticing as I become older that my areas of expertise are shifting. I'm still familiar with science, I'm well-versed in a wide range of audio and lighting equipment, and I'm becoming a better writer as I gain more practice. On the other hand, I've forgotten almost everything I ever knew about magic tricks, and I can barely remember any German. I'm becoming proficient in Mac computers, but I can no longer remember a lot of DOS commands. Some new things filter into my head, and some old things trickle out.

I was thinking about this earlier, when I realized that I've managed to acquire another tiny sub-branch of knowledge over the past few years: Cat Excreta. In CSI-like fashion, I can tell if one of the cats is getting sick, and probably which cat, just by scooping out the litter boxes. And I can identify a hairball's kitty of origin with a quick glance. I'll be nice and share no details with you. Suffice to say that there are signs you can pick up on, if you've spent enough time picking up sign. It's definitely practical knowledge, but I can't help but wonder what important things were pushed out of my skull to make room for it....

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