In The New York Times, “Buzzr Presents the Evolution of Game Shows and Ourselves,” reviews what we can learn about society by watching a shows and commercial on a new retro-television network.
Watch a sampling and, besides enjoying some quirky nostalgia, you’ll almost certainly conclude that we humans are much quicker to adapt and innovate than we used to be…
Watch this kind of fare and you realize just how much of the game-show universe is built on a few slender sticks, chief among them the knowledge of trivia. And you sometimes realize just how fleeting trivia can be. On the pilot for “TKO” (Tuesday night), a show that never made it to series, the questions include, “In the popular TV commercial, whose voice and image are currently seen as the newest, hottest California raisin?” The answer:Michael Jackson.
In what ways does trivia trigger nostalgia? In what ways do we discount education as trivia?
According to Wikipedia the etymology of the word trivia is actually quite different yet very similar to how we use the term today:
The ancient Romans used the word trivia to describe where one road split or forked into two roads. Trivia was formed from tri (three) and via (road) – literally meaning “three roads”, and in transferred use “a public place” and hence the meaning “commonplace”.