If you could have 10 knowledge modules installed in your head right now, what would they be?
Monica really had some ideas that I'm inclined to copy. In her order:
1. "Update to current CS technologies -- design patterns (catalogue), concurrency, N-tier/peer-to-peer/client-server/other architectures, performance without sacrificing design, and much much more."
2. "Handyman 101, including carpentry, plumbing, and electricity." I'd like more than just '101'-level, and I'd like auto maintenance and repair as part of that. Basically, I'd like to be as handy as my father or Lori's father.
3. "Literary and historic classics, indexed for retrieval by quote, obscure character name, plot point, miscellaneous factoid, and so on." I don't even quite need that level of detail, but I wish I had a comprehensive knowledge of the classics.
Monica has three others on her list that are relevant to me, but not quite what I want: "That combination of psychology, sociology, political science, and whatnot that would allow me to determine what someone means and what he's trying to do, rather than what he says."; "Names, faces, and key facts about everyone likely to ever be relevant to me, indexed for quick and reliable access."; and "Cooking technique, particularly meat, particularly red."
Cooking is not something I would spend one of my knowledge modules on, because I'm arrogant enough to feel that I basically have the ability to cook whatever I want already (though I certainly have lots of room to improve).
My version of the social one:
4. Knowledge of correct behavior, including tact, politeness, how to be outgoing when it's called for, and how to handle difficult people when necessary.
Other knowledge modules I want:
5. The right set of analytical tools and bases to let me understand and appreciate food, wine, and scents. I sometimes feel that I have a very coarse and unsubtle palate and nose; I feel I can't effectively comprehend subtle scents or flavors.
6. The same thing for music. One simple task I can't do that I'd like to be able to: I'd like to be able to listen to the symphony and identify when one movement changes to another.
7. Fashion and style. This too is a set of tools as much as a set of facts.
8. I'd like to have the skills to be an even better GM, but that seems more like a set of skills than a body of knowledge. A complete knowledge of RPG rules would not be any sort of substitute.
Perhaps I'm too stingy with my desires, or too encompassing with my earlier topics, but I'm having trouble thinking of two more bodies of knowledge to covet.
9. Pop culture. I'd like to be familiar with the TV shows, musical groups, Broadway musicals and such that my peers are familiar with--but I'm often too limited or stingy in time and money to earn that knowledge.
10. Jazz. I have a better-than-average knowledge, but it would be nifty to have a really deep knowledge of that heritage.