I considered myself someone with an encyclopedic knowledge of a narrow range of mid-1960s TV and certain strains of pop music as well.
I was stunned, then, to hear the song Zilch for the first time recently.
Mr. Dobalina, Mr. Bob Dobalina. It’s unforgettable. And it’s from the Monkees. Go figure.
We’ve long passed the point where anyone can have an encyclopedic knowledge of anything. Even the encyclopedia doesn’t.
The method, then, is simply to expose ourselves to a stream of provocations and interesting problems, and have a hunch on where to look up what we don’t already know.