Nurturing Curiosity

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I think one the most horrifying things a mother can tell their child is “When you have kids I hope they turn exactly like you!” That should send chills down the spines of every person reading this. I don’t think any child was a model citizen or remotely good child. Even the proclaimed angels were bastards that dipped in shitbag sauce with creamy fuckface center. And that’s all in the genetics. I know my mother has said that to me because at some point in her youth she was the same as me.

I was a skeptic since I was 5. I was the kid that kept ask why to everything. My mum’s only response would, “So I don’t kill you, that’s why!? You wanna die!?” That’ll shut that kid right up. I wish that stopped me, but it hasn’t. I suppose even when I was Death was an interesting concept to me. I’m still that kid but big philosophical quandaries now, so I’m a hit at all the parties and the ladies. People love when you question the nature of existence over game of Beer Pong, sending them into a self reflective quandry. That’s how I win at games of Beer Pong. 

In high school I didn’t study for the test. I studied for me. Whatever I wanted to learn or was curious about. So I used to get in trouble a lot because I would just look up things that teacher didn’t know, because fuck them I wanted to know. I almost got kicked out of my Physics class once because of my curiosity. We learning about Centrifugal Force. Which is the force you feel when you go around a circle and you pulled to the outside but the force is acting towards the inside. Well I said why? The answer is friction and Newton’s Third Law of motion. But he didn’t say that. He said, that’s what’s in the book. So I called him a liar. “You’re lying to these kids sir!” I should mention that I was youngest person in my class.

At this point the kids in class didn’t want to have anything to do with me. They all pretended that they didn’t seem or the teacher’s face light up like a stoplight. He began to start yelling when the bell rang and I walked out. Victory was mine! But the bigger point to all this is how little we as a society nurture curiosity. The initial reaction to the question was the teacher’s version of “So I don’t I kill you!” Which in this context makes way less sense than when my mother said it.

Our society has a fear of being curious and really digging deeper and asking questions. There’s rampant anti-intellectualism throughout this country. Curious people are seen as nosy little bastards trying to step into your business. But really all we’re doing is gathering information to figure out a solution the problems at hand.

But these questions are faced with distrust and anger. And I get it, it can very annoying when answers only lead to more questions. It would be like if Indiana Jones never really found the Holy Grail, but a guy that asked him “Why do you think the grail will win you your father’s love?

Part of it also the fact that knowledge is power. And intellectuals and the Curious aren’t physically strong for the most part. There’s about 3% of us that can about 50 chin-ups. So if we have knowledge about science, math, philosophy or the Human Condition perhaps we can avoid getting punched in the face or to a lesser extent the gut.

Really this gathering of knowledge helps us be more diverse in understanding perspectives. Over the course of the last decade or so, we’ve started construct a bubble around ourselves. Liberals, Conservatives, Progressives, everyone has a bubble to live under. I’ve done it. Instead of trying to talk to someone with a different point of view or mindset than me, I decided to block them out of my life. And I’m sure there a tons of people that have done that to me. But that means any information that comes from the opposition is dripping with bias that missing key portions of information.

This bubble gave rise to the ‘Fake News’ movement that wrecked havoc on the internet. Over the last few years I’ve seen over 100 celebrities “die”, stories about how marijuana is an alien plant and my own mother might be super villain. She’s not. She doesn’t have time to plot against the world or make someone rue any day. Except for me and my sister. We’ve rued many days.

The biggest of these ‘Fake News’ stories is #Pizzagate. A story that came out about a child sex ring at Pizza and Ping Pong place in Washington D.C. that went viral. The story involved Hilary Clinton, Podesta, Joe Biden and some higher ups in the Democratic Party. A story that got the owners of Comet Ping Pong death threats and an attempted shooting.

For a moment lets entertain the notion that this is true. This would mean that hundreds of Democratic Senators and Politicians were stealing kids at a Mom & Pop pizza joint in the heart of DC to sell them for cash and sex. That notion is beyond any level of evil we’ve ever seen on this planet. A level of evil so that we the public were that blind to it. Doesn’t that mean that the public is to blame for part of this? That we didn’t notice a shit ton of kids disappearing in a vibrant bussling neighborhood in DC? We were just that ignorant to this? And these symbols that represent molestation that go from butterflies, hearts, triangles, merging circles, how many other businesses use those? What about Pizza Hut? Cici’s Pizza? How deep does the dish go?

Thats the only pizza conspiracy pun I got.

The apple logo is like an abstracted merging circle so do they have something to do this with sex ring?

Now this has been proven to be false. The building has no basement. Turns out that the DNC orders pizza just like everyone else. Sometimes they even put pineapple on it. Which is fine by me but is downright satanic to others. But this thing spread like wildfire because no one was curious enough to see whether this could be real or not. No one went down to Comet and looked around and asked questioned. We once again literally went to “So I don’t kill you!” mode.

We took our divisive feelings and used this story to justify it and strengthen that bubble! Driven by hate, fear and ignorance, we arrived at anger and rage.    

This speaks to how little intelligence is regarded in this country. How blind emotion guides all the decisions we make. Instead of being angry a little and trying to sort out the available information we just push the overdrive button on the feeling of rage. But if we can nurture curiosity maybe we can start understanding where people are coming from a little more and gain a little more control over these emotions. Asking questions is not a bad thing. So honestly, if I have a kid (or steal one from a Pizza shop saving them from an evil fate or use that story to make me sound like a cool dad) I do hope they turn out exactly like me…or better. 

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