I found my new hobby.

I listen to NPR on my commute, and regularly find myself thinking, “I know what that is, but I don’t know anything about it.”  Take NATO for example.  I know what NATO is, know what it does, and have some idea of how it came about, but it’s all very nebulous and indistinct.  I want to be an informed citizen, so I need to know more than just what the acronym stands for, right?  Or at least what the acronym stands for–especially since I had it wrong.  North Atlantic Treaty Organization, not North er-um-er Treaty Organization.

Unable to find anyone willing to play with me, I abandoned an idea for further self-education decades ago, and dove headfirst into zealotry instead.  I am no longer a zealot, but am still very curious, so I am reconstructing the old idea to fit into the 21st Century.

The old idea was to take four subjects monthly (an artist, a scientist, a political figure, a religious figure), study them out and keep myself an index file.  In 1991, that would have meant a lot of time at the library.  In 2012, it means filling the celebrity void left in my internet usage with meaningful reading.

Now, I intend to take four subjects monthly, study them out, then blog a summary of what I find most relevant or interesting about them.  Instead of limiting myself to public figures, I’ll be looking at whole categories.  When considering art, it might be an artist, or it might be a movement.  It might be one specific work.  I will consider art, history, geography, science, and politics for now, and I’m starting with that mental list I’ve made from NPR reports.

For the rest of January, I will be looking at the history of NATO–I’m counting that as politics.  I’m already reading about Catherine the Great, and I’ve been nibbling at the Tudor Dynasty–counting as history.  I’m looking at Russian geography, the science behind the Small Pox vaccination, and am going to consider art depicting military feats from 1770–1800.

In other words, some of my posting will be great bloody bores!  Unless you’re into that sort of thing.

Shout out to Zendictive, whose comments always make me smile.