Inventory of "Factual" Propositions
The factual propositions that make up our inventory all represent
catastrophic breakdowns of common knowledge. Each represents an
erroneous "fact" about the world that has become established in our
culture's mind; established to the degree that 80% of well-informed
Americans will confidently affirm its validity.
We think that these breakdowns, while rare and sometimes trivial, are
interesting and significant for what they represent. They demonstrate endemic weaknesses in
the ways we, as individuals and as a culture, process information and
acquire "facts." They show how conventional narratives, intuition,
stereotypes, and lazy syllogistic reasoning can corrupt our notions
about the world, and that these distortions are more pervasive than we
might suppose. Please go to the Essay page for a detailed discussion
of these epistemological issues.
Do you think you know a "fact" that should be included in our
Inventory? Please use the Contact page to let us know about it. If
your idea is new to us and we go on to include it in our Inventory, we
will pay you $50 and give you credit.
The quiz at GeneralKnowledgeCompetencyBoard.org is made up of the first 30 of the 75 or so questions currently listed below.
A note about the illustrations: We should acknowledge that many of our
question collages are designed to subtly, subliminally reinforce the
conventional, flawed narratives that misguide our thinking on these