Thursday, June 3, 2010

The ABC's of Style: K Stands for Knowledge

Style isn't just about what you wear and how you look. It's the totality of how you present yourself. Part of this is what you know and, often more importantly, what you don't. Those folks on the televisions (or Sir Francis Bacon, if you're picky) weren't kidding: knowledge is power. If you're one of those people that has never kept up with the news because the thought of leafing through a newspaper appals you (for whatever reason), there's no better time to get your know on. It's called the internet, and it's got everything you need to know, and everything you don't. Don't know where to get started? Here are a few tips, along with some prime selections.

1) Know what's happening in the world.

If you don't want to read the newspaper, make a news site your homepage (or if you're like me, one of your 5 homepages). Don't worry, you don't have to read every article word for word. For the headline articles, click and read a paragraph or two. If it piques your interest, proceed as you please. Scan the front page for anything else that might be intriguing or important. Look at the different sections and read the lead article for each. As an alternative or additive, read the ticker on any of the news networks until it starts repeating itself. Anything that you don't understand, Google.

I'd further recommend knowing, at all times, what is happening in Japan, China, and Britain.

New York Times
BBC World News

2) Learn something new everyday.

Build on your presumably expansive knowledge base with things that may not necessarily interest you, but could be critical in conversation, or just a fun fact. Wikipedia has a random article function that will hook you up with something inane and/or interesting. For instance, today I learned about Eligible Bachelors, the third album from The Monochrome Set (Released in 1982, it was the band's first album without original drummer John Haney).

Just don't let time slip away from you in the Wikipedia Vortex (the unending string of links that takes you from one article to the next; I went from the "Eligible Bachelors" article to the "Prime minister" article in 10 clicks).

Wikipedia Random

3) Know as much as you possibly can about one thing.

This is what many people call a passion. My closest each have distinct passions (sports, film, politics, music, etc). And they know them better than I have ever known anything. Anything. My friend who is into sports can cite statistics I didn't even know existed. My film friend may be finicky with his tastes, but he's overwhelming with his knowledge. Be one of these people. It doesn't mean you have to throw it into every conversation,b ut it will make you an authority that people know they can rely on in a pinch. And that's something you can't put a price on (unless you make a living from it). Don't jsut go choosing something. Make it something you really care about. It can be style, sports, music...whatever. Don't learn it for the sake of learning, learn it because you love it.

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