There’s no excuse for a lack of knowledge

By Hayley Devitt

We should know things.

As my mother once said, “ignorance is not a valid excuse.” At the time, she was lecturing me about checking the oil in my car, but the idea holds truth anywhere.

I feel that with today’s technology, there is even less of an excuse to be in the know of basic facts in regard to government, current events, laws of physics–you name it. In this day and age, when you have questions, you are expected to Google them.

It is like when we were in grade school and teachers would always instruct us to consult a dictionary or encyclopedia to find the answers to our questions, only the knowledge we seek is now more accessible than ever. These days, the solution is almost always to turn to the Internet.

As we all know, websites like Google and Wikipedia are among the most trusted for the average American citizens’ day-to-day curiosities. It is so easy for us to run a search that I don’t know why we are not all walking around with “super brains.”

You don’t know how to spell a word? Have the Internet correct you. Don’t know the meaning of a word or need a list of words with the same meaning? has your back with an online dictionary and thesaurus. Spelling and grammar will be very important in writing resumes and cover letters.

For the sake of health and safety, has compiled a list of “50 Simple Science Facts Everyone Should Know (But Doesn’t).”

Even if you are not any kind of science major, I think this list is a good place to start if you want to better understand the universe. The list includes household substances that should never be mixed and how to avoid burst plumbing.

It worries me when I see people contently oblivious to what goes on in the world. Some of you may recall the “Lunch Scholars” video in which American high school students were asked very basic questions about the United States; the results were quite sad. One of the questions was, “In what war did the U.S. gain its independence?” and many of the students shown could not answer it. (It’s the Revolutionary War, by the way.)

Another question asked was which countries border the United States? This was answered by one girl with “Canada? That’s a state; never mind.”

At college, at least I have come to find more people are more politically conscious. All five of the students I surveyed were able to name America’s vice president.

We need to keep up to date with the issues that affect all of us. Perhaps the “know-nothings” of our society just don’t care to look up information that should be theirs. You don’t want to be dummies, do you? Abraham Lincoln grew up in a log cabin and would walk for miles to borrow a book to read. What’s your excuse?