It’s all the same — a case for curiosity


It’s all the same — a case for curiosity

Typically the first thing I do in the morning is review a bunch of sites with articles of interest. Mostly political commentary, some news. It occurred to me today that I’m not reading them any more. I just skip over and go to my email.  It turns out they are all the same. Same topics, same complaints, same comments, over and over and over.

I’m certain this isn’t valid only for those articles that agree with my point of view, but the other guys are writing the same stuff too.

What has happened to creativity? Where are the columnists that come up with new ideas and concepts. Everything is a comment on ‘the other guy.’ I know its easier to write about something that is going on, than to write about a new idea. I tell my staff that when they come in with complaints, to also bring solutions. These writers and commentators have so few solutions. Everything is a cutsie comment on some misstep from the other guys, but no real new idea to solve a problem.

The writers hide behind the “observation” balloon. They are making “observations” about the passing scene. They see something that catches their eye and then present their sage “observations”. The problem is that those “observations” are the same ones, over and over and over. (Yikes, now I’m using the same phrase, over and over and…)

They have reached the point where they quote other columnists who are saying the same thing. They have become the story.

The problem as I see it is that the pablum they are foisting on us is surrounded by self-effacement and their own prejudices. There is never a question asked that would provoke thought in the reader. And when they do ask questions, they hurry up with the answers.

Einstein was a bright guy, perhaps the brightest ever. His most famous quotes deal with curiosity. Asking questions. Asking the right questions.

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day.”

These writers seem to try to educate, rather than to get you to think for yourself.

A colleague noted that she prefers fiction over nonfiction. Non fiction tells you what’s on the mind of the author, fiction requires you use your imagination and curiosity to fill in the blanks.

Is it possible that there is a good (or even great) idea in each of us, and it only takes the right question to bring it out?

What if, just for a moment, you considered that everything you read or heard in the media was wrong. Not only wrong, but that the exact polar opposite was true. Not just things you disagreed with but things you agreed with. How would that change your outlook on the world?

No, its not scary, its curiosity, and its fun. You may not like it at first because it will require you to rethink virtually every belief you have. You may keep some, but you will throw out others. But in the end, they will be yours, not some airhead who barely made it through J school.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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