What's Something You're Really Into, But Know Nothing About?

edited December 2006 in The Best of Story Games
I was skimming over the new posts to the Who Are You? thread (hi everybody!) and thought it would be cool to have more of that kind of thing (cool, Andy?)

So, what's something that you are interested in or would like to be into, but you don't really have the background or time to learn more about it? One of my big things is linguistics. I find how people use language to be a fascinating thing! Words are such a simultaneously strong and weak interface for communication, and I wish I knew more about how this works across multiple languages and cultures. I've never done any reading or taken any classes in the field, or anything, but I would really like to, some day.

Some other things: bonsai tree training and 2D painting.



  • edited December 2006
    People are fascinating creatures...terrifying but fascinating.
    I know lots of history though, so I guess maybe that doesn't count. :(

    But...we never know enough about history...or people! So I'm going to say it does count :)

    And I'm going to put Game Developing here...along with computer programming.
    I feel so completely out of my league listening to everyone discuss dynamics and mechanics and all this technical talk. I know what roleplaying is, and I know about improv theater, and storytelling...but all the tech talk goes over my head and I keep trying to keep my head above the water :)
  • I'm tempted to say History, especially political history. As in, which political systems were in place where and when. Especially in the last 200 years. Especially in Europe and Central America.

    And Military history. Like, who won what battle, how and why.
  • Gah! Crosspost!
  • edited December 2006
    You mean aside from game design of course...(rimshot)

    The funny thing is that I have persued many of the things I would put in this space in spite of showing no aptitude.

    Running a business
  • Fluid Dynamics. I find the concept fascinating, but the math is so far beyond my capabilities (or discipline) that I've never even tried to learn about it.

    Similarly, I know a little bit about playing guitar, (thus it may not qualify), but I have no aptitude for it, so I wish I was better at that.
  • - Cultural Anthropology
    - Communication Studies, specifically small group communications and conversational narrative
    - Structural Narratology, the field founded by Vladimir Propp's Morphology of a Folktale
    - Cosmology and Macro-Level Astronomical Theory, like the eventual heat-death of the universe
    - Angelology, the study of angels, which I find to be a really fascinating part of Abrahamic theology
    - Aesthetics, where I still feel like a babe in the woods
    - the History and Development of Chinese Rock Music
    - Lianhuanhua, the indigenous comic book form of China
  • edited December 2006
    I'd like to know more about ants. They're fun to watch, and they're pretty ubiquitous, so if I knew more, I'd be able to get all amateur-biologist-y wherever I go.

    It's been a continuing regret of mine, that I dropped out of the Physics Department before taking Quantum Mechanics. I also dig what little I know of Transfinite Set Theory, but it's not enough.

    Also - I'm a mid-belt in Aikido, and it looks like it will be a long, long time before I resume practice. It would be cool to be a black-belt though.
  • Neuroscience is my big one.
  • Languages. I also have a mandolin I'd love to be able to play more than seven chords on.
  • Somebody wants to learn Fluid Dynamics who doesn't have to? Gah... I was an Engineering Major for 3 years and even I don't understand *wanting* to learn Fluid Dynamics. :-)
  • Colin, I'll swop you my knowing neuroscience for your cool dinosaur icon. It's really cool!

    Put me in with the history masses, although, when i say history, I guess I mean "everthing cool that ever happened in the world ever". For example, I was reading about Demosthenes on Wikipedia the other day, and now I want to know all about the Attic orators and how Atticism differed from other rhetorical approaches. So not just history, but everything cool.

    Although now I think of it, rhetorics itself is something I'm crazily interested in but only hazily knowledgable about. Give me rhetoric, or give me death!
  • edited December 2006
    •My greatest regret in life is not learning to play piano when i was younger.
    •I would love to know more about clothing design and fabrication, i love fashion something fierce.
    •I wish i could point out constellations from sight
  • Ancient Greek.

  • I second languages; I've dabbled in several, but never become truly fluent in any of them. And over time they slip away.

    I'm fascinated by science - astronomy, theoretical physics, biology, neuroscience, you name it. I love reading Scientific American, even though things go over my head at times, but that's my only real exposure to science. If I could do things over, I'd try to be some kind of scientist.
  • i'm not sure.
  • Languages is one that's gotta be high on my list. I mean I know all about languages, and I know a good bit of linguistics. I even speak a handful of phrases in like a dozen languages. But know enough of a language to carry on even a basic conversation? Yea, only two. Enough to carry on a real conversation? Only one.


    I'd also say illustration. I'm vastly interested in visual art in the way that most of us probably were in 3rd grade. For me that's never faded, but to this day not only can I not draw, I don't know a lot about modern illustration or technique or form.

    Finally I'll say African ritual worship.
  • Game Theory. Not RPG Theory, but the field of math called Game Theory. I know just enough about it to be dangerous. I find it fascinating that game designers know little to nothing about it, when it's so applicable to what they're doing.

  • I wish I spoke more Esperanto than I'm actually capable of.
    Music, too. I am profoundly unmusical, and I recognize that it's interesting and powerful, but I... just don't have time to pay attention to yet another artistic medium.
  • i'm gonna get "big" here and say the big unknowns.
    but i'm sort of having a problem with the question. i want to know "more" or have a deeper knowledge of alot of things. i guess the harder ones require hands on experience and repetition.
    i equate bonsai to foot binding.
  • ah ha! i got your answer.
    to one day build a time machine.

    hmmm...or rocketship?

    yes, i'm thirty-one, with the mind of an eight year old.
  • Ballroom dance. And I'd like to be able to play the guitar.
  • I'll teach you guitar at Origins, Brennan. :-)

  • And I'll teach you to dance!
  • Musical theory. I compose songs and (used to) play drums, but it's all very... trial and error.

    Dancing. I like to do it. I just don't know any dances.

    Everything else I'm interested in, I at least know a few things about, because I get on those runs of intense interest where I read up on it before the interest wanes again. There are several things I'd love to study *more* if I had the time, such as Egyptian mythology, classic literature, programming, graphics and art, etc.
  • Posted By: Brennan TaylorBallroom dance.

    And jazz dance, and tap, for me.
  • Posted By: Brennan TaylorBallroom dance. And I'd like to be able to play the guitar.
    My wife is a dance instructor. I'll try to get her to come to GenCon and give you a lesson or two. :-)
  • Amusingly, consider how well-attended a "Learn to Ballroom Dance" seminar would be at GenCon. That's almost worth setting that up.
  • Um...mythology? Linguistics? Art technique?

    Other, wiser people than I have said it before, but seriously...anything I care to learn about in any detail constantly brings to my attention how clueless I am. (And, with the web and the library system, it's hard to be interested in something and know literally nothing about it...)

    Also, metalworking. Carving. The history of performative dance. The meanings of Kabuki and Kathakali stage makeup. Culinary history - the arise of the fusion cuisines of southeast Asia (particularly Thailand and Vietnam) is an amazing thing.

  • Posted By: Joshua BishopRobyAmusingly, consider how well-attended a "Learn to Ballroom Dance" seminar would be at GenCon. That's almost worth setting that up.
    Heh. I can see the schoolgirl anime chick doing the waltz with the guy in stormtrooper armor. 1-2-3... 1-2-3... 1-2-3...
  • I'll throw in for game design as well.

    I also really wish I knew how to sing or play... anything. I really, really want to, but I don't seem to have an aptitude for it.

    I know shit about politics, but I really like to argue.
  • Posted By: jake richmondI know shit about politics, but I really like to argue.
    So Jake is exactly like 99% of the free world....
  • As soon as you go from knowledges to skills this list becomes impossibly long. (Who doesn't want to dance and play the guitar and be a skilled acrobat and know kung fu and cook?)

    But oh well. Cooking is on my list. I can cook some very tasty things, and I can follow a recipe, but my repertoire is pretty limited and I'd love to have greater confidence when it comes to experimenting in the kitchen, trying new ingredients, etc.

    I'd like to know more about architecture. And art, though I already know a lot more about art than most other things.

    I'd like to know more about Ancient Rome & Greece, but not history so much as all the little quirky bits and quotes and odd remarks. I want to be able to make puns in Latin, and translate obscure Greek texts that were found on the backs of crocodiles. I guess what I mean here is that I want to be Anne Carson.
  • African history. (Ancient north Africa doesn't count.) In high school, the appropriate teacher actually skipped over the entire chapters devoted to Africa. Argh! Horrible. I feel ripped off. Stupid public education. I've really been remiss on self-education in this area.

    The entire field of economics. I'm always astounded by how elegantly the whole of human history and behavior is explained through an economic lens. I know about the history of economics, but don't have the foggiest how to do economics.

    The larger mathematical structures in classical music. I'm hoping one day after sufficient listening this will just gel.

    The opposite sex. The more I learn, the less I seem to know. Also, women's lit.
  • Posted By: Mike HolmesI'll teach you guitar at Origins, Brennan. :-)

  • modern architecture, expecially sustainable design & construction
    soccer & tennis (haven't played either in a long time)
  • What it's like to run for and hold office in the US.
    Power politics.

    I'd really like to write a novel with some politician characters, but I don't have confidence that I understand what it's like.

    Anyone have some books or documentaries to suggest?
  • oh my god, everything I don't do regularly.

    but especially skiing, sailing, and playing music. All stuff requiring specialized equipment that I have never purchased because of a lack of confidence in my long-term dedication level. :)
  • Computer Programming.... and I do it for a living. :-) Every time I think I've got all this shit down, something new or something I didn't know about pops up.
  • Music, especially the music I really like to listen to but know nothing about: blues, jazz and country.
    Playing in a rock band.
    Drawing and painting.
    Too many things.
  • My problem isn't the things I don't know...it's the things I know that ain't so.
  • Swing Dancing (taking lessons now).

    Kendo (would like to take classes 'soon'.)
  • If anything really interests me I read up on it obsessively until I either lose interest (usually) or start putting it into practice (occasionally). So there's really nothing that exactly fits the bill, but neuroscience is something I'd like to know a lot more about than I currently do.

    Wait - manga and anime. I've only just started getting into these and know very little about them.
  • Non-European, non-North American history. Medieval literature. Biblical history (I know a lot, but I want to know more).
  • I don't know a damn thing about playing the harmonica, and I think it'd be cool.

    Also, I do the cooking equivalent of playing by ear.

    I hardly know anything about Brand Robins aside from the fact that he's like 99.5 percent politically compatible with me.

    Usually, though, if I'm at all into something I at least learn a little bit. That's why there's hardly anything where I know a whole lot or actually have a marketable skill.
  • I'd like to know ancient Greek. I'd like to know more Lao than I do now.

    I'd definately like to know what goes through certian people's heads.

    I'd like to actually grok compatibleisim (i.e. between foreknowledge and free will.) I know the words, I just can't "get it."

    Skills: I'd like to be able to swing dance and solder a decent joint. I'd like to draw worth half a damn.
  • Posted By: Matt WilsonI hardly know anything about Brand Robins aside from the fact that he's like 99.5 percent politically compatible with me.
    Nobody knows anything about me. I'm totally mysterious, like a ninja.
  • MoMo
    edited December 2006
    Don't believe him. He's so not a ninja.

    More like a pirate.
  • Funny, I always thought Brand was more like a monkey...
  • I just wish I knew when Brand had new published works coming out. Ninja-monkey-pirate needs a release schedule in his blog.
  • Chad could organize it.

    I hear Chad's like a machine that way.

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