This segment originally aired February 18, 2017.
Ken Jennings says knowing a lot of random facts can really come in handy when it comes to bringing people together — connecting with total strangers. He says having random knowledge about someone’s job or alma mater is a little bit like knowing about a person before you even get to meet them.
Jennings says that the trick to being able to consume and retain so much knowledge is largely due to a wide interest in everything, because people are more likely to retain things that they are interested in.
But he says that sometimes too much information in general can lead to too much complexity and a lack of understanding of an issue.
“And I think that’s our country now”, says Jennings. “People whose passion for an issue is inversely proportional to their knowledge about it, just because there’s too much complexity for any lay person to understand in many of these issues.”