The artist in a cubist style (made with Dall-e 3).

What I admire most in people is their sense of curiosity. It's not just about intelligence or rationality; it's about the desire to explore and learn about the world around us. Sure, smarter people tend to be more curious because they have more knowledge to build on, but being curious isn't just about being smart.

In fact, sometimes intelligent people can be foolish or delusional because they use their intelligence to justify irrational beliefs. We humans are social creatures, and we often believe things that increase our status and well-being, even if they're not entirely true.

But there's one thing that can motivate us to pursue objective truth, and that's curiosity. Curiosity challenges perceived knowledge and helps us avoid confirmation bias and other cognitive pitfalls. When you're curious, your goal is to learn, not to prove yourself right.

The philosopher Socrates is a great example of someone with a deep curiosity about the world. He drank hemlock for his beliefs, but you don't have to go that far to be a curious person. Ian Leslie, in his book "Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends on It," offers some strategies to boost your curiosity:

Stay foolish: don't be afraid to ask "stupid" questions and admit your information gaps.

Build the database: acquire knowledge to grow further knowledge.

Forage like a 'foxhog': combine deep knowledge with a cross-disciplinary breadth.

Ask the big Why: consider big questions and challenge accepted assumptions.

Be a 'thinkerer': combine practical and theoretical approaches in a playful cycle of experiment and thought.

Question your teaspoons: examine ordinary things and challenge the way you view and use them.

Turn puzzles into mysteries: puzzles have defined answers, but mysteries are open-ended and more enduring.

As for me, I'm a curious guy who loves to explore philosophy, cognitive science, traditional timber building, art, literature, and more. My newsletter, WAIT A MOMENT, is driven by curiosity and explores some of the questions in life.

I don’t have perfect answers or answers at all, however. Here are some of the issues I am pondering with (some are more theoretical, and some are more practical):

  • How does language work?

  • How do mules and donkeys work?

  • What is truth, and is it actually valueable?

  • How to build a half-timbered house?

  • How do institutions work, and how can we make better ones?

  • What is power?

  • Do words actually mean something?

  • How to write children’s stories?

  • Why are there sacred objects?

  • How do conspiracy theories work?

  • What is art, and why do we pursue it?

  • Why is there humor, and why do we laught about it?

  • Should we prefer some worldviews more than others, and why?

  • How much of our behaviour is signaling (i.e. driven by sexual selection)?

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Musings on philosophy, grammar, and various other matters, mixed with children's stories for adults.


I am curious about people and other things.