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Geek

Dummies for Dummies

The world is full of stupid people; the results of elections and the popularity of certain TV shows are evidence on this. One publisher has spotted a niche in the market and has guides on everything dummies may want. Look in any bookstore and most sections you will see books with yellow spines declaring a quick and easy guide to that subject.
This weekend I was looking around for a book on Excel dashboards (and have found one – Excel Dashboards for Dummies) but then ended up on Amazon stumbling around the ‘For Dummies’ section. There are loads of them; a quick check says there are over 1,600 different titles.

This piqued my curiosity, what else could I learn about through the medium of Richard Tennant cartoons (is it just me or does anyone else first scan through to find the 5th Wave captions) and lists of ten things? What areas of my knowledge they could enhance from dummy status?

Well, Mrs G loves the Narnia series, no panic… C.S. Lewis & Narnia for Dummies can provide a friendly introduction to the master storyteller and Christian apologist, revealing the meanings behind The Chronicles of Narnia and The Screwtape Letters and his other works. You’ll also discover why Lewis went from being a confirmed atheist to a committed Christian and how he addressed his beliefs in his writings. Different from how to do a VLOOKUP.

No topic is too obscure. Acne, Dungeon Mastery, Clarinet, Finches, Marathon Training, Sustainable Australian Travel, Urban Planning or Parenting. This got me thinking… if I could read a different For Dummies book every week then in a year’s time I would be 52 different areas cleverer (perhaps I should tackle grammar first).

It won’t be as random as I will look for topics that I might have some interest in, and books that I can easily read (at £20 a pop I will rely on those I can read previews of online or at the bookstore).

How dangerous can a bit of extra knowledge be? A whole generation of Leaders appear to understand the world and science based upon a cursory glance on an overview of Climate Change or social policy.