We could all use some work.
Think about it. How many things do we know how to do, compared to all of the things we don't know how to do? Can we tie a half hitch? Can we calculate new digits of pi? Can we bake a cherry pie, Billy boy, Billy boy?* The world is very large, and we are, comparatively, very small. The world is very old, and we, despite what our various aches and chronic distempers imply, are comparatively young. We are, comparatively, downy hatchlings in the nest of human knowledge, waving our stubby arm-nubs and crying for a mouthful of mental crop-milk.
Yikes. We apologize; we were not prepared for the connotations of that metaphor, and we are now experiencing regret. See what we mean? We have so much to learn, even about which metaphors can be safely extended. Fortunately, we have access to a store of knowledge beyond our own downy experience. We have how-to books.
Ah, these old chestnuts. Classics of nautical know-how, must-haves of sea-faring savoir-faire, these books include, at minimum, the following information:
- The management consequences of beard style.
- Correct uses for salt.
- What kinds of sticks you should have, and why.
- A comprehensive guide to sea cucumbers, including how to distinguish them from regular cucumbers.
- Who Ching Shih was, and why she was just the absolute best.
These books will plug holes in your knowledge of boatcraft, and, if you know anything about boatcraft, you know that plugging holes is vital. But boatcraft is no longer the only field of knowledge whose holes we can plug. How to Flock is the first how-to book from our newest location, the Woodland Creature Outfitters Ltd.†
Unless you were in marching band, you probably don't know much about flocking. You can change that. Inside you will find:
- Flocking maneuvers for the beginner and for the advanced.
- The characteristics of different flocks, and their wet, fluffy, sideways, or pointy counterparts.
- Temperaments of common clouds.
- Tips for writing a great cover letter.
There is so much to learn. Even now, new things are happening that we don't know about; new things are probably going to keep on happening, and not being known about by us, for the foreseeable future. In a way, it's nice. We'll never run out of new things to explore. Still, that pile of explorable things isn't getting any smaller.