I've blogged about my theory that you can appear to be an expert, at least to non-experts, on any topic for which you know the twelve basic concepts. Someone suggested I write a book with lots of topics and their twelve concepts. I like that idea except you would need about a hundred topics to make it work. I could only come up with 25 topics. What other subjects would you want to know at twelve concepts about? Or to put it another way, what topics do you wish OTHER people understood better?





Business Writing



Job Interview


Social Interaction





Human Nature






Buying a car



Energy conservation

Building your own home

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Apr 2, 2009
Personal Finance
Real Estate / Buying a house
Accounting 101
Public Speaking
Apr 2, 2009
How about 12 facts to know about religion in general? Also, raising children would be a good one.
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Apr 2, 2009

Apr 2, 2009
Emergency Medicine.

It could include a couple of basic first aid tips. It needs to include an explaination of the difference between emergency and urgency with regards to health issues. How NOT to be one of the people that have been to the Emergency Department hundreds of times in one year.

(Can you tell that I'm an EMT?)
Apr 2, 2009
There's some overlap on the computer related topics, but some aspects are important.
1 computers
1 buying a computer
1 public speaking
1 economics (i'd say how prices transfer information)
the internet
how computer programs work
Apr 2, 2009
Auto insurance
Health insurance
Wills and trusts
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Apr 2, 2009
Another one you should add just because it would look good on the book cover:

Rocket Science.
Apr 2, 2009
How to spell neccesary.
Apr 2, 2009
Health Care System
Apr 2, 2009
Project Management
Climate Change caused by man
Climate Change not caused by man
Garden design
Being a good parent
Staying married
Serving and presenting a meal
Being a good employee
Being a good employer
Choosing clothes
The Israel/Palestine conflict
Taking a good photograph
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Apr 2, 2009
- guide kids to aim for a useful career in science, engineering, medicine, etc., instead of dreaming to get into things such as singing, acting, playing sports, etc.
- teach women to have a career/job and be financially independent.
Apr 2, 2009
Basic map reading
Basic map making
How to use your fancy navigation system
How to use your GPS unit
I'll also second (third?) sports & sports analysis
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Apr 2, 2009
Research :- how to find out the 12 things you need to know about a topic (without believing everything you read in wikipedia). Perhaps this one could be an appendix showing how you found out the information for the topics in which you were not already an expert.

Home maintenance :- what needs to be done to keep a house in good repair. Which things can be done yourself, and which require specialist skill or tools that it doesn't make sense to buy/rent.

Auto maintenance : - like home maintenance ... one item is how to tell when it is no longer worth putting money into fixing things up
Apr 2, 2009
Sorry if these are repeats but here are my suggestions:

Government (people know very little about how their own government is set up)
Buying a computer
Public Speaking
Driving (dispite having a license many people really don't know how to drive)
Home Maintenance
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Apr 2, 2009
A few more to add:

1. Economics (especially concepts like equity vs. efficiency, market failure, etc.)
2. Environmentalism (particularly how it relates to economics -- scarcity of resources, tragedy of the commons, public goods)
3. Defense Mechanisms (denial, projection, rationalization)
4. Critical Observation (i.e., how to tell when someone is lying or engaging in one of the above defense mechanisms)
5. Logic (including how to think logically and how to identify common logical fallacies)
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Apr 2, 2009
There are some basic skills/tools/knowledge sets that inform and contribute to many other areas:
Risk/Reward Analysis -> Decision making
System analysis/design

Apr 2, 2009
The one topic I would love to see in your book would be Classical Music, specifically what you need to know when attending a concert. A lot of people are intimidated or offended by the "elitism" of a concert setting, and I think 12 basic concepts would just about cover what you need to know to act like a pro.
Apr 2, 2009
Car Maintenance (The stuff your average dealer doesn't tell you, like how to maintain your paint job).
Apr 2, 2009
I would add:

Baking (as a subset of cooking)
Classical Music

In fact, this idea is a twist on the excellent series of little books: the bluffer's guides.
These pretend to be funny (and are usually found in the humour section of bookstores) but are actually invaluable how-to manuals...

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Apr 2, 2009
The benefits of being lazy ^_^
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