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10 topics and pieces of trivia everyone needs to know upon graduating high school.

Both of my daughters are now in college and I have this dark feeling that their education is lacking on topics and trivia which I think are important to be known. Here's a list of things I will teach them to help them be well rounded. For each, I'll write an essay of about 300 words.


    1. The introduction of linear perspective to art.

    This heralded the seismic shift from Gothic "flat art" to the art of the Renaissance and all that follows from that.

    I think this was done by Brunelleschi. They could also learned about the Baptistry doors and the Duomo when taught about Brunelleschi.

    2. Fibonacci sequence.

    Everyone should know about the Fibonacci sequence and the Golden Spiral, examples of which are found in nature.

    3. Aesop's fables.

    I'll write just a bit about Aesop and include a few of the most famous morals to his stories. This topic lends itself to a talk about the influence of Greek culture on the world.

    4. Exponential growth

    Part of the horrifically poor response to the Covid epidemic was the innate inability of people to visualize the effects of exponential (geometric growth.). Example: Can you fold a piece of paper in half 42 times? Try it. A piece of paper folded 42 times would have a thickness of the distance from the Earth to the Moon.

    5. Chushingura - The 47 Ronin

    A true tale from Japan in which 47 masterless samurai, known as ronin, spend years to avenge the dishonor and death of their lord. Spoiler alert - They vidnicate his memory and all die in the end. This episode was a huge influence on Japanese art form of woodlblock print and captures the samurai code of ethics and loyalty.

    6. Placebo effect

    Examples of the power of the placebo effect, some of which are mindblowing. This can easily dovetail into a broader examination of the power of the mind.

    7. The arc of the digital age from transitor to computer chips.

    It's amazing to think that less than 100 years ago the transistor was invented at Bell Labs. Following that the integrated circuit was developed at Texas Instruments, and we now have chips with billions of transistors!

    8. Genocide and mass murder in the modern era in Cambodia and the Chinese revolution

    Everyone knows about the holocaust and the genocide in Rwanda. It appears to me that the millions of lives takend by the Khmer Rouge and the Maoist regime are often overlooked. For the sake of history and humanity, it is important to study those events.

    9. Latin phrases you should know

    Don't tell me it's a dead language! Learn some Latin phrases.

    10. Veblen goods and elastic and inelastic supply and demand.

    Economics is an extension of human behavior and desire. Becoming aware of some economic principles can allow us to reflect upon our preferences and those of others.

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