Please watch the two minute youtube and then try the test below:
1. For half a point: The two kingdoms of Bernicia and Deira together made up which 7th century kingdom within the British Isles? For the other half: What new kingdom was the southern part subsequently lost to?
2. For half a point: Who made the “we shall fight them on the beaches” speech? For the other half: In which year?
3. For half a point: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.” Name the play. For the other half: Name the author.
4. For half a point: Name the British dependency on the southern coast of Spain. For the other half: It was ceded to Great Britain in the 1713 Treaty of U——?
5. For half a point: In what year was Magna Carta signed? For the other half: In a meadow in which part of Surrey did this supposedly happen?
6. For half a point: Which was the last American state to join the Union? For the other half: In which year?
7. For half a point: What does the 2nd Amendment entail? For the other half: In which year were the first ten amendments appended?
8. For half a point: Which is the 2nd largest Great Lake by water volume? For the other half: By surface area?
9. For half a point: What river is Washington DC on the north bank of? For the other half: At which Washington DC memorial did Martin Luther King make his “I had a dream” speech?
10. For half a point: Three of the Presidents’ faces carved in rock are Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln. Who is the fourth? For the other half: What was the name of this 4th President’s bunch he used to ride with and of which he was so proud?
Don’t forget to write your name in the top right corner of the paper, in the space provided and the examiner will collect your paper when you raise your hand.
Northumbria, Danelaw; Churchill, 1940; As You Like It, Shakespeare; Gibraltar, Utrecht; 1215, Runnymede; Hawaii, 1959; the right to bear arms, 1791; Michigan, Huron; Potomac, Lincoln Memorial; Teddy Roosevelt, Rough Riders.
When you ask a young person, “Budapest is the capital of what country?” the answer is often a blank stare and then you make it broader and ask, “Well, roughly where is it? Is it near Africa, say or near China?’ She might answer: “India.”
“Yep,” you say, “it’s not all that far away.”
Traditionalists will jump on to that and speak of our education system failing to impart even basic knowledge to kids but a modernist [i.e. essentially uneducated] would put the Pink Floyd line: “We don’t need no ejukashun.”
Another will point out that there is only so much one can know and just because you don’t know where Budapest is, doesn’t mean you’re stupid. You might know that the oldest character in East Enders is Dot and lots of things about X Factor and Coronation Street. You might know everything about MySpace, Second Life and gothic games. You might be an anorexic expert or a feminist who can quote you de Beauvoir or Dworkin.
Does this mean you’re as thick as pig s— in general terms? It’s a good question because we’re talking about different kinds of knowledge or just different knowledge. In a way, it comes back to politics and philosophy; there are those who believe in some absolutes – thou shalt not kill etc. and those who feel everything is relative.
There are those who feel there is a base knowledge, especially about one’s country, a minimum you could reasonably expect people in the country to know and then you have the leftists who say no, no, there should be no knowledge standard whatsoever. They ensure this by asking how it can be determined. As it’s difficult, best not to try it.
Then we come down to Tiberius Gracchus, on whom I tried an experiment. I quoted him some history which comprised dates and deeds, including what people had said at the time but I knew it was outside his version of history.
He wrote then, in answer to me about me being a theorist. What he wrote was history but what I wrote was theory. Yet I quoted dates and deeds. So where is the theory there?
History is the story told by those we accept as authoritative and those we don’t don’t get a look in. Therefore, there is history Tiberius would never have read because it is not taught because only history of a certain type is taught in institutes of higher learning and that of a different point of view is either left off the list or mentioned in passing, in the interests of fairness.
When one’s world view has already been confirmed by the first wave of reading one has done, then anything in the second wave gets filtered out or in according to point of view. Thus, if the Marxist professors in university had already got me reading sympathetic sources, then I can be exposed to, say, the Austrian School and be relatively immune, inured against this school’s views.
This is the nature of bias in education and cuts both ways. Captain Cook discovered Australia, not Dirk Hartog because that is what the texts said and all the educators and educators of the educators before them. So though we read of Hartog, even though a person knows, chronologically, that he came first, still we maintain the fiction that it was Cook.
I’d love to see the Spanish version of Drake and the 1588 Armada.