I had some great ideas for questions to ask in the General Questions section except: the questions weren’t that great after all because they had first been answered about a decade ago and subsequently been answered again many times since then.
Which leads me to a fear: there will come a point in time when every conceivable trivia question has already been answered. All that’s left to do is to stare at the wall.
When I was a kid in the 1970s, there was a radio show in which somebody sent in five trivia questions (which were, by any standard, really hard). These questions were to be answered by a team of smart and learned people (usually teachers) from a small town who assembled in the local library. The allotted time for answering the questions was about half an hour if I recall correctly. The smart people plowed through encyclopedia, reference books, dictionaries, almanacs, manuals, old newspapers etc. to find the answer.
Some time ago, they started reruns of this radio show. But unfortunately, the programme has lost all it’s charm. As soon as the five questions are read, I simply can’t hesitate, type in the questions into Google and usually come up with the correct answer within seconds.
I doubt it. Your focus on “trivia” pertains only to the General Questions forum (plus some Cafe Society threads) – admittedly, the part of the SDMB closest to the original “mission” of the Cecil Adams weekly column.
And even with such “factual questions”, people tend to interact here because they can hope for some interesting, sometimes witty dialogue that does answer the question, but in a way which only someone with their experiences and enthusiasms could answer it. This often leads to what some call “tangents”, but others might enjoy as “getting a fuller picture”.
You are right in that, when the board started about fifteen years ago, few of the participants could have anticipated how much “Google is your friend” could become the appropriate stock answer it is for so many questions today.
But that works both ways. Here, we help you separate the chaff from the wheat in the vast internet wasteland.