The difference between a general knowledge of cultural facts used in writing and interviews and a knowledge of facts about the natural world is the difference in their relevance to the person's life. One sees the relevance for conversation a good liberal arts education provides. History, the arts, literature, music, politics, food, geography, other cultures, language, current events, film, sports, religion. It is well-rounded and cultured. It is socializing and open to more experience. But to accumulate information about mere physical processes just to know about them is something different. It is a penchant for specialized data that would rarely if ever have relevance in real life. Sure it'll have relevance for a degree someday, that sheepskin that certifies you as an expert in mere book learning. But all that math and chemistry and physics will never have relevance to real life situations. It is an abstract thought world unto itself, sealed off from anything that is going on in your personal life. It is a compensation for something lacking in yourself. Your inability to be emotionally engaged by topics of common human interest. A sense of exclusion from the teeming social culture that surrounds you. So you escape into a universe ruled by laws and equations and ideal situations, but not the real one of human relationships and money and entertainment and the everyday tedium of a boring job. But then maybe that's not such a bad thing. We all have to escape the rat race. To repose into some lush green oasis after treking thru our daily modern wasteland. It may even be what we live for most of all.