From time to time, someone will characterize their superior knowledge of a given subject by saying to an opponent, “I’ve forgotten more about that than you’ll ever know.”
Pretty scathing indictment, wouldn’t you say? I would have, until I thought about it driving home this morning. While it is supposed to mean “I’m smarter than you!”, it really just conveys the idea, “I’m experiencing noticeable memory loss in this area!” And the greater your knowledge, the more severe my amnesia is.
Not only that, if I started out knowing everything about a subject, and you only knew 50% of the subject, my having forgotten more than you know (say, 51%) means that I now know only 49% of the subject, and therefore your mastery of the data currently exceeds mine.
Don’t you just hate it when a perfectly good insult is ruined by math? I might, but I’m just not sure any more…