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The Death of Curiosity

I don't know where ideas come from; I get them, but sometimes I feel like I don't deserve them, because I don't do any work to earn them. I'm just walking across the parking lot and BAM I have an idea for an activity in one of my classes, or for the cover contest, or in this case, for a blog entry.

So what hit me is the idea of the death of curiosity. Now, on the surface, this might seem like some sort of tragedy: Your curiosity died? Sorry about that, bro. But upon further reflection, I'm starting to think that it's not a bad thing.

In my twenties and thirties I was an insatiable traveler, an insatiable reader, basketball player, etc. I wanted tactile experiences, intellectual experiences, culinary experiences, all kinds of experiences. And then some time in my late forties I began to lose interest in things. I no longer read books at the pace I once did. I just couldn't muster the ambition to travel in the summer. Instead of heading to the gym to play basketball I would just say to myself, meh.

I attributed this to what I called abulia, which is a real word. Google's summarizers summarize it like this: "an absence of willpower or an inability to act decisively, as a symptom of mental illness." But in my mind, my abulia was something grander, more complex and nuanced. I was suffering from abulia, that's what it was.

But now in my mid fifties, I see things a little more clearly, or at least that's what it seems like. I've given up on feeling guilty about my apathy, my cynicism, my tendency to always look for the humor in every situation and to never take anything seriously. I see it now as a question of stages. When you're young, you absolutely should have a voracious curiosity: that's what you're wired for. But as you get older it's normal and healthy to let go of things.

So, the day still has 24 hours, and maybe the gift is that in your fifties you can hone in your attention and maybe achieve that X thing that's been percolating in the back of your head, whatever it may be, because it's no longer necessary to feel it all, hear it all and see it all. Now you can ruminate and make it into something.


Where Ideas Come From!

Throughout history, many of the world's greatest thinkers have helped push civilization forward with their profound insights and extraordinary abilities. But the majority of these master minds say their brilliance comes from a place they don't understand-and arrives at times they're not expecting it. In antiquity, people in nearly every culture around the world believed they did not possess genius, but that genius possessed them, like a spirit. Could it be that the forces of inspiration that the ancients attributed to the gods really did emanate from an otherworldly source, as Ancient Astronaut theorists suggest? Whether it's Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, Edison's light bulb, or Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleyev's Periodic Table of Elements, geniuses routinely say their best ideas come from dreams, visions, or hallucinated voices. Is it possible that genius is more than just the product of good genetics? Aliens!!!!!!!


Re: Where Ideas Come From!

Ha! Yeah. (I just watched a little bit)

April 2019



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