Admit it. What stuff are you ignorant about?

I’m not talking about advanced things like PhD level physics and so forth. I’m talking about the things a lot of people know at least some things about and you know very little.

And maybe you are even a little embarassed about it.

Hey, our mission is to fight ignorance, so we should be able to admit our weak areas.
I’ll go first:
Cars** - I know nothing about car repair, how they really work, or about makes and models. I live and grew up in the Detroit area, so I know the major car companies, but I know little to nothing about the mechanics of how cars work.

Home repair. I’ve owned a house for 15 years; anything more complicated than changing light bulbs or replacing the pneumatic arm on the storm door, I need either (a) a handyman, or (b) a more-skilled friend.

That’s OK. That’s why there are mechanics, and AAA. I can put gas in the car, fill up the windshield washer fluid, and put air in the tires. And that concludes my knowledge of cars.

  • Buying a car. If I had to buy a car on my own, I would look at a bunch, thinking, oooh, shiny! - point at one - “that one!” …and that concludes my knowledge of car buying.

Popular culture. I’m embarrassed at times when people make reference to that chick with the meat suit, and I have no idea who she is. Or judges on Dancing with the Stars (or is is American Idol?). Or who such and such an actor is and with whom he’s sleeping.

Now that’s not to say that I don’t watch movies and have my favorite performers, or listen to old music, but beyond that, I really just don’t give one cojidita about the people.

Cars/home repair/buying a car/finances in general (like stock options, etc), plus ignorant of almost any knowledge about any sport.

My family always went with the Orange category when I was in the final stage of Trivial Pursuit.

I know very little about skiing, pop music after about 2001, sports, and the stock market.

I do know about cars though so at least I’m not totally helpless.

cooking. good god, i’m a mess in the kitchen.

Woodworking, and first-person shooters.

I feel like I watch enough football that I should know what the penalties mean. And what the penalty signals mean. Sadly, the only one I know for sure is traveling.
(I’m kidding. I know that traveling is baseball.)

My ignorance in regards to nutrition is absurd. I’m also quite ignorant in the fields of anatomy and general medicine. Pretty much any health related stuff is foreign to me. I just never cared enough to learn about it I guess.

I’m not embarrassed about it, but I don’t know a thing about, nor have any interest in sports, any sport, and don’t understand the passion people express for it. I’ve gone to a baseball game once that I can recall, it may have been twice, and that was because of work obligations. I’ve never watched any sport on TV.

But only if you don’t dribble the ball on your way to first base!

For me it’s politics. I have a general idea of the ideologies of the major parties, however I don’t follow the day to day goings - on. If it hasn’t been lampooned on the Daily Show there’s a good chance I haven’t heard about it.

Pop culture for me too. I think it is a little better than it was a few years ago because I try to pay attention but it is still laughably bad. I go through life oblivious to almost all sports, current TV shows, and movies let alone the people that are playing in them. The people and things that I have never heard of in this realm are almost inconceivable to most but it just doesn’t cross my path in daily life. I also don’t vote in most Massachusetts elections because I consider myself a foreigner even after living her 14 years. I have no idea who those people are and don’t care. You might as well send a pigeon in to place my vote.

I am not really clear on exactly what a blog is, or how Facebook works, or actually up on most of the details of any of the various new social media (Twitter, Skype).

I guess I could probably eventually figure it out if I was so motivated, but when it comes to most modern electronic communication, I am both a little bit too apathetic (I don’t have much incentive to learn) and truthfully, somewhat intimidated.

For what it’s worth, I am 40, university educated and fairly well traveled.

(I have also had the same cell phone for almost 3 years, and have never once used it to take a picture or access the internet, but I received a new smart phone as a gift a couple of weeks ago, and am just about ready to plug it in and try to figure it out, which I will most surely need the help of friendly Dopers to make happen)

Electrical/electronics/computers. I can find my way around the internet, jump a car, hook up a stereo, wire a light socket or outlet but that’s about it.

Cooking. I’m not terrible but it would behoove me to learn way more.

Cars. I know how they work roughly, but I’m hopeless if I ever had to do some minor repair.

House-fixer-uppery. I can do menial tasks but…yeah.

But at least I’m not ignorant about what I’m ignorant about! Good thread.

Politics. I know next to nothing about it. Every time I try to even read up on it, I get so overwhelmed I give up. It all seems so complicated, though I think that has a lot to do with the fact that I tend to overthink everything and don’t settle for a simple explanation. For example, last week, I wanted to learn what the big deal was about socialism. I headed over to wiki and started reading about it, didn’t seem like such a bad thing (to me anyways)…But that led me to Marxism which led me to at least 4 different kinds of Communism and at that point I felt like I knew less then I did when I started.
Oddly, later that day I ran across the question “Do you know the difference between Communism and Socialism?” My answer was “Yes—Wait, It’s…” and then I tore all my hair out and said No.

Same goes for elections. I’ve technically only voted once and that was only because a whole group of people were going (in college) and I just tagged along. I never feel like I understand all the issues I feel like I have such a hard time sorting out all the crap. I don’t vote because I’ve never once felt that I could make an informed decision. I’m pretty sure I’m a democrat, but I’d feel irresponsible blindly voting democrat just because that’s what I am.

I wish some third party would just make a spreadsheet that shows what each candidate is promising to do (not just what’s in the commercials), what they’ve done in the past etc… Ugh, I hate all this stuff, I get confused just explaining why it confuses me.

I sometimes wonder how many other people are like that. I wonder how many other people are like that and don’t realize it. During the protests against Walker in Madison, I remember talking to my mom and telling her that I bet quite a few of those people don’t even fully understand what they’re protesting for or against. Sure, they know they’re marching for the teachers to keep collective bargaining rights and dirt cheap insurance, but I wonder how many of them remember the other part of that, 1500 (3500?) teachers would lose their jobs right then and there. On top of that, I’m sure there were quite a number of other little things that would be consequences to this bill not going though (the protesters winning). If the protesters fully understood all that stuff and still wanted to march, great. But I’m willing to bet very very very few of them fully grasped all the ramifications of what happens if they won. I’m not saying Walker was right or wrong, I’m just using this as an example of how much of this kind of thing I don’t understand…does that make sense?

OTOH, sometimes I wonder if this is actually me understanding it better then other people because I’m actually paying attention. When Walker shut down high speed rail (and when it was getting started up before him) I kept hearing people saying “We should take the money and use if for X or Y project instead” I can’t tell you how many times I had to say “Don’t you listen to the news…it’s only for HSR…if HSR get’s shut down we don’t get to use it for anything else, it goes back to the fed” and an hour later I’d hear the same person saying we should use the money for roads or parks etc…

Alright I’m done. That’s my thing that I’m ignorant about…politics. Just don’t get it.

video/computer/online games

Don’t interest me at all. I will maybe catch on to certain refs from time to time.


(Married 23 years)

Taxes - Every time I roll into HR Block I’m always missing something that apparently everyone else has.

Wine - I don’t even bother to pretend I know anything about it and I could truly care less. I just pass it over for a pint.

Team Sports - I’m an athletic guy (skiing, mtb, trekking, weights) but I know nothing about hockey, basketball, golf, football, soccer, cricket, baseball etc.