As a teacher, I consider ignorance to be my enemy. That is why I teach. The damage that ignorant people cause to the world is enormous, and the examples are many: religious fundamentalists blowing themselves and others up, "birthers" and "tea baggers", gay bashers, racists, Creationists....I could go on and on. And it's profitable. TV shows about celebrities, daytime talk shows, and the entire Fox News network depend upon ignorance for their profits.
Well, I finally found a small way to profit from it myself. My friend Mark runs a bowl game pool every year where you pick the winner of each of 25 bowl games, then rank them 1-25. If the team you put 25 next to wins, you get 25 points. Not being much of a college football fan (it is a sport I consider a complete fraud) I have always done horribly in this pool, usually being eliminated from any chance of winning before New Years Day.
This year, I took a different approach. Rather than using my little bit of knowledge, which we know is a dangerous thing, I went with 0 knowledge. I had my girlfriend Kip, who knows nothing about football, pick the winners, in the hope that no knowledge would be a good thing. And I just kind of sprung it on her one day so she wouldn't try to learn anything (she loves to learn stuff). Then, I did the numbering, based on the Vegas odds.
The result? Well, it looked a bit shaky there in the second half, but we watched the game last night knowing that if Alabama won, so did we. I can't wait to tell everyone in the pool how I won (they see my name on the sheet with picks), and how I was explaining to Kip during the game things like a "fair catch" and the refs penalty signals. Many of these guys are college football junkies. A few even played at CU, and I'm one of the few in the pool without CU season tickets. On second thought, maybe I should keep my mouth shut so I don't get beat up.
A few years ago, I tried this with Fiona on the NCAA basketball pool. But she actually went out and did research (she is a librarian after all) and ruined the process. So, last night as the game finished I told Kip to please avoid watching any college hoop for the next 2 months.