Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Haley Reading Group: Kim Todd’s “Curious”


[Best American Science and Nature Writing]


Cynthia A. Campbell

Kim Todd’s “Curious” focuses on how complex and of what value curiosity is. Todd highlights the phenomena of the Surinam toad and the fascination/curiosity associated with it. Ultimately, this article speaks to the human condition of wanting to know “how” and “why” and how that curiosity is piqued.

Todd’s discussion of the breeding habits of the Surinam toad is especially enlightening. At one point, Todd notes that “knowledge of…toad has little practical application” (274). This point indicates that while our curiosity can reveal new and unexpected knowledge, oftentimes that knowledge is limited as it has no value to our everyday life experiences.

After reading Todd’s article, what was one point concerning curiosity that caught your attention? Why was that point or passage notable to you? Please provide a page number citation.

61 comments:

Alexandra J said...

After reading the article, the Charles Darwin's quote caught my attention regarding curiosity: " Physiological experiment on animals is justifiable for real investigation, but not for mere detestable curiosity" (274). To me, this is sort of counterintuitive. Most physiological experiment starts as simple curiosity and asking questions - most scientists and explorers don't mean to happen upon their discoveries. I think this greatly shows that the best discoveries do not happen through real investigation but occur from unlocking doors, opening the box, and giving curiosity free reign.

A. Robinson said...

An intriguing point in Kim Todd's "Curiosity" is that curiosity is a strange beast. It will lead a person or animal to do seemingly insane things only to satisfy a drive. I was very interested in the experiment with the albino rats because in order to satisfy their curiosity, they were subjected to immense pain but still chose to investigate and satisfy their curiosity. Curiosity is a great motivator and really can make a person do anything if they are desperate enough.

Alexis Robinson

Jasmin Smoot said...

You always hear, "Curiosity killed the cat." But does it always? A curious mind has led to so many innovations. Curiosity goes hand and hand with a creative mind, in my opinion. It is thinking outside of the box; not thinking like the crowd. In the passage, Daniel Berlyne said that curiosity is "based in the desire for knowledge." This may be true. It always makes you wonder why or how something happened. This encourages one to look into the deeper meaning of ideas or its origin. I believe a curious mind is a visionary mind.

Lucas Reincke said...

One point about "Curiosity" that interested me was how the author connected religion and mythical stories to the overarching theme of curiosity. One short paragraph on p. 275 and the paragraph preceding that on p. 274 discusses how moral code suggests that people need to have curiosity under control, or there can be serious consequences ("Don't open the box" reference to Pandora's box.). On the other side, we can thank curiosity for allowing the human mind to explore and to innovate the world around us with new innovations every day. It tells me that there must be a balance, or humanity will lose sight of just because we can attempt to do something, does that mean we should do that action?

Kyla T said...

One point concerning curiosity that caught my attention was on page 275: "Don't unlock the door. Don't open the box. Don't eat the apple. Fairy tales, Greek myths, and biblical stories caution against giving curiosity free rein." This made me pause as I knew that not many people were okay with exploring their curiosity back in the day, but I didn't make the connection of religion influencing such thoughts.

Kyla T

Shervonti N. said...

One point in the essay that caught my attention was on page 276, and it concerns the research study conducted by scientist Min Jeong Kang and other scientists. It is noted that the questions ranged where topics were concerned but the question that prompted the most curiosity was a question about animals. I'm sure that there is a lot of reasoning as to why curiosity is piqued as much as it is when animals are involved... but it makes me curious to find out the exact reasons.

Jordan Robinson said...

One point concerning curiosity that caught my attention was when Todd compared curiosity to animals; "...a mink maybe, rubbing up against things in the dark trying to determine their shape... Curiosity can be obsessive as a hunger or lechery, swamping the senses" (274). This is notable to me, because it enables the reader to picture how curiosity may not always be the best thing as it may lead to compulsive ways of going about things.

Aliyah Johnson said...

After a YouTube commenter commented that the toads should be killed, the text says another commenter commented that "compared to watching human birth, it wasnt that bad at all." (274) this comment caught my attention because that is true, human birth is equally bizzare. The text then asks "What is the nature of the itch we call 'curiosity'?"(274) to answer that question, i think that we are curious about processes that are slightly similiar to ours. So in reality, the Toad's birthing process is not entirely different from ours. the hatching of the tadpoles looks painful, which is what humans have to endure while birthing offspring, so it intrigues us.
--Aliyah J.

Anonymous said...

On page 276 it is said what curiosity is inspired by. This is very interesting because I personally find myself the absolute most curios about things that are seemingly simply yet complex, such as the evolutionary advantages of certain traits. I like to think of things people seem to be certain about and figure out why it's so certain. For the most part what is listed is true but I seem to have a slightly more complex lure for curiosity.

-Querra Mason

Jaleelah Muhammad said...

A point about curiosity that I found very interesting is that Thomas Brooks, an English nonconformist preacher of the early 1600s, "Curiosity is the spiritual adultery of the soul. Curiosity is spiritual drunkenness"(275). This is not something I agree with. I think it's acceptable to be curious about something, like God's word for instance. There's a difference between curiosity and defiance. Being curious helps you to understand why things are they way they are. It doesn't necessarily mean that you will be defiant or that you disagree.

Jasmine Williams said...

Page 274 states that people need to keep their curiosity under control. I think this idea is can be seen throughout grade-school classrooms. The teacher gives students directions to follow and if a student interprets something in their own way, the student is seen as someone that can't follow instructions rather than someone with a creative imagination. At a young age, we are told to suppress our curiosity in order to fit in with the masses, instead of being encouraged to think outside the box.

Crystal Rice said...

The point in "Curious" that caught my attention was after Berlyne completed his experiment to try to figure out what types of things triggered human curiosity and Loewenstein said that "often, the closer the subject matter was to the observer's life, the more intense the need was to stare, to figure it out;" (276). This caught my attention because I don't necessarily think this is true. I feel this way because even while reading about the Suriname toads, I went and looked up a video on the toads just because I was curious to how it looked when "giving birth." The toads don't have any closeness to my life; in fact I won't like any kinds of frogs, spiders, etc. I just thought it would be interesting to see.

Jamesha M. said...

I found the studies taken by students very interesting. The questions asked on page 275-276 were intriguing enough that I found myself curious about their answers. I also found it interesting that when explained what questions and topics made humans curious I found myself agreeing with the findings even though I hadn't realized myself that these topics made me curious. Questions such as "What is the only type of animal besides human that can get a sunburn?" actually had me thinking!

Jazsmine Towner said...

One point concerning curiosity that caught my attention was the biological responses that us humans have when we are curious about something. In the reading Todd says "these intellectual questions spurred a physiological response . Curious students pupils dilated. Activity increased in the caudate nucleus, the bilateral prefrontal cortex, and the parahippocampal gyri" (276). This caught my attention because it never occurred to me that our bodies respond to curiosity in that manner, I thought that our minds just continue to seek answers to pressing questions but I never thought that our bodies do those things subconsciously.
Jazsmine Towner

JaLeah M . said...

The most notable point to me was when it read, "Curiosity can be as obsessive as hunger or lechery, swamping the senses. But it is notoriously fickle too, slinking away as soon as it is satisfied" (274). I found this really interesting because it makes sense. If you think about when you're only told "half of a story" or when someone says to you "so did you know" and then they say never mind. Not knowing a complete answer awakes this sort of urge to have to know. Or looking at how FBI agents and detectives work, finding answers are their lives and it's seen in movies and in real life how they can become really obsessives with cases because of curiosity.

JaLeah M . said...

The most notable point to me was when it read, "Curiosity can be as obsessive as hunger or lechery, swamping the senses. But it is notoriously fickle too, slinking away as soon as it is satisfied" (274). This was interesting to me because it makes sense. If you think about when you're told just "half of a story" or when someone says to you "hey you know" and then says never mind. That sense of not knowing and becoming curious awakes an urge inside that sometimes doesn't go away (i.e being obsessive).

gabriel said...

The second paragraph on page 275 stated, "Don't unlock the door. Don't open the box. Don't eat the apple. Fairy tales, Greek myths, and biblical stories caution against giving curiosity free rein. The warnings are dire But so often, like Pandora, Eve, and Bluebeard'd wife, we still extend our hand." I found this part interesting, because a number of people are fearful of the unknown and will never try to do something new. On the other hand you have people that are fearless or just curious and will explore the known. The combination of these two types of people will help further their society.

-Gabriel Msengi

Xavier J. said...

The thing that really caught my attention is how 'modern' the piece sounded due to the references to different elements of social media. In the beginning of the piece he quoted comments that I see on social media post everyday.(pg. 274 top) This taught me that things I experience everyday are not off limits in the formal writing area's of life especially college.

Xavier J.

Asher said...

A part of "Curiosity" that really intrigued me was the religious and mythological aspects of the reading on page 275, where it talked about human being need of curiosity and how it should be put under control. The usage of the idea of Pandora's box, was fascinating to me and I think can be related to all aspects of human beings's relationship with nature. Sometimes human curiosity has bared fruit of great discoveries and remedies, and sometimes these curiosities have brought extinction. It almost seems to have a ying and yang type idea to it. I really liked this aspect of this week's reading.

-Asher Denkyirah

Jeremiah T said...

The sentence in the first paragraph on page 279 said, "One of the things that makes us most curious is the suggestion that the world isn't how we think it is, that our categories are the wrong ones, and the promise is that the answer to our questions will give us a different, fuller, better view." That stood out to me because there are so many unknown things in the world and we all seek answers to fill in the blanks.

Jade H. said...

On page 274 Todd wrote, "Curiosity can be as obsessive as hunger or lechery, swamping the senses. But it is notoriously fickle too, slinking away as soon as it is satisfied." This really caught my attention because this is so true. People can be curious about something and be searching for the answer for who knows how long, but after we find the answer we don't have the need or want that we did before.
One thought starts it all; I think of some of the silliest things and instantly google it to find an answer. And the crazy part is, I never thought of how quickly those weird questions escape my thoughts because I got my answer. It's just interesting to know how badly curiosity toys with our minds and leaves us begging for answers, but once we have the answer that unsettling feeling goes away.
-Jade H.

Brianna R. said...

There is a statement on pages 279-280 which reads "For curiosity to have value, perhaps we have to allow it to be the beginning of something larger, to pursue it past to initial itch, the spark of hunger,the quick answer, the dopamine burst, to the 'real investigation' Darwin asked for". This stuck with me because it made me reflect on the times when I have been really anxious to find something out in the moment and then once I found the answer, my interest in it dissipated. There was not necessarily an urge to delve deeper, for many things I got a surface level explanation and then never gave another thought to it.

Often times, I think that that type of curiosity (short term) is what occurs within people. This is funny because I feel greatness and innovation seem to only really come from the type of curiosity that is productive, the kind that persists on through years and years and continuously evolves rather than being immediately satisfied.

Deborrah Blackburn said...

One passage that was notable to me was at the end of the second paragraph on page 275 which stated, "Don't unlock the door. Don't open the box. Don't eat the apple....The warnings are dire. But so often, like Pandora, Eve, and Bluebeard's wife, we still extend our hand." This was notable to me because it shows how our curiosity could lead us to disaster, like the saying, "curiosity killed the cat." We often let our curiosity drive our actions because of our desire to figure out something. I took this statement as a warning to be careful about the things you find interesting.
Deborrah B.

Ashia Kent said...

A part of the story that caught my attention was a sentence from page 276 and it stated, "Often, the closer the subject matter was to the observer's life, the more intense the need was to stare, to figure it out." And why this caught my attention was because it makes sense and it's a great reasoning that explains curiosity. And when you have a strong desire for something you're committed to achieving whatever it is that you want to get out of that desire. So that point and the accuracy stood out to me.

Nia Piggott said...

After reading Curiosity the point that stood out and was notable to me was on page 279 Where the author discusses the evolution curiosity. The author states" curiosity is the mark of discontent" and "curiosity is seeing your way out of your place." This was notable to me because it brought up a valid point. When I think of curiosity I think of someone questioning what they currently know and are trying to see what else there is to be discovered.

Mike Dade said...

While reading this piece, I was intrigued by line on page 274, where Todd described what curiosity is like. He says "Curiosity can be as obsessive as hunger or lechery, swamping the senses. But it is notoriously fickle too, slicking away as soon as it's satisfied." I was so drawn to this line because it was the perfect description of my mindset. I find myself being so concerned with trying to figure out something when I'm curious about it, but as soon as I find out, I don't care anymore. It really pertained to me.

Erica K. said...

The statement that interested me was on page 275 when it said "curiosity is a strange beast. It will lead a person or animal to do seemingly insane things only to satisfy a drive". I think this is so true because being curious means there is something that you is very interested in and may cause you to do crazy thing for.

Nia Oke-Famakinde said...

In "Curious", the most facianating passage was about rats' curiosity. On page 275, the author says that rats would delay eating or mating solely to fill their curiosity. That interested me because it made me realize how curiosity can be a rather strong feeling amongst even animals. I also found it interesting how the author tried to explain curiosity by comparing animals and humans. The comparison was actually effective because it explained some of the feelings of curiosity in simplier terms, making the reader more able to understand.
Nia O.

Tiera Williams said...

A comment about curiosity that caught my attention was on page 279. It says, "Curiosity is the mark of discontent and "curiosity" is seeing your way out of your place. One of the things that makes us most curious is the suggestion that the world isn't how we think it is, that our categories are the wrong ones, and the promise is that the answer to our questions will give us a different, fuller, better view." This was notable to me because I think it's interesting how they broke down curiosity. Curiosity is based on the unknown. Not knowing makes us feel like we're missing out which just leads to more curiosity.
- Tiera Williams

Sierra Taylor said...

The line which caught my attention was on page 274. The text says,"Curiosity can be as obsessive as hunger or lechery, swamping the senses. But it is notoriously fickle too, slinking away as soon as it is satisfied." People are easily distracted from significant issues because of their everyday, mundane lives. We're all guilty of it. We lose our curiosity once we feel we have had enough information. Humans are very curious about the popular celebrities and forms of entertainment rather than advancements in science and world news.
- Sierra Taylor

kenneth Tolliver said...

Curiosity as a whole is something that isn't particularly studied, but the interest of it and the connections made are very interesting. One of my favorite connections made is how we as humans are so tempted by curiosity. On page 274, they talk about how even though the birth of the toad is a gross process, but we still cannot look away. This was interesting because in my head I actually wanted to know what exactly it looked like.

Brandon Nichols said...

Just the simple transition of the Youtube comments to curiosity. As a person who spends a considerable amount of time on Youtube, I can relate to this curiosity that the author describes. It's just the unknown that gets to us. The disgusting things, whether it be this toad giving birth, or real life executions. No matter how disgusting they are, we can't look away. This is an incredibly relatable story.

-Brandon Nichols

Andrea R. said...

The part on pg.247 that was talking about YouTube videos concerning the Surinam toads is what caught my attention the most. It's something I feel a lot of people can relate to as I know from personal experience that there are times where I click on videos because I was curious about them. Also it's very commonplace to see comments such as those saying "KILL IT WITH FIRE" on videos that are considered freaky. I never really considered those comments as well as the willingness to continue watching to be signs of curiosity, so it puts a different perspective on them as well.

Roland Wooters said...

One of the most notable aspects of this passage comes from an analogy used on page 274. River Teeth compares curiosity to a strange beast. I have never thought of curiosity in this manner but I agree. Once our minds wonder, we create patterns that are unavoidable and hard to break. This is an aspect of the passage that was definitely note-worthy.

Victoria W. said...

One point concerning curiosity that caught my attention while reading this article was when Kim Todd compared curiosity to "a sleek little mammal...Or perhaps a spider..."(Todd 274) This analogy caught my eye because because it helped me to understand what Kim's view of our curiosity is, and also enabled me to visualize a different view of curiosity for myself, instead of the view I had before, which was that curiosity is just the want to know something.

- Victoria Wright

Joey N. said...

The most interesting entity within the "Curiosity" reading was the fact that according to research curiosity has no extrinsic benefit. This definition on page 275 was interesting because even though there is an expansion of knowledge involved, the knowledge gained is rarely used.

Anonymous said...

One point concerning curiosity that caught my attention was on page 279 when Todd says "One of the things that makes us curious is the suggestion that the world isn't how we think it is...and the promise is that the answer to our questions will give us a different, fuller, better view." I thought this quote was interesting because it shows how we are always trying to find new ideas and prove or disprove those ideas with new information.

Sydnee T.

Barry F. said...

While reading "Curious", a very interesting quote on pg. 274 I came across was "Curiosity can be as obsessive as hunger or lechery, swamping the senses. But it is notoriously fickle too, slinking away as soon as it is satisfied". I can relate to this because I constantly Google things that I come across that I am unfamiliar with, such as animals, diseases, and locations. People like me need closure on the unknown to move on.

Cody Osborne said...

On page 274 Kim uses a Mink and Spider to personify curiosity. And this totally made sense because we really do just feel around in the darkness when we encounter something new and interesting.

Rodrick Robins said...

On page 276, Todd spoke about how our bodies neurologically respond to new and interesting infromation, especially information that we want to know more about. As a psychology major, I often read about the topic of psychological motivation, and it was very interesting to learn about what nerologically motivates us to seek out more inmformation, for sport.

- Rodrick Robins

Anonymous said...

The part that caught my attention was when the author explains how items serve a different purpose when they reach a museum. For example, "A bow and arrow...they have to become not a way to feed yourself or talk with gods but an artifact. To own one means you have the status to possess a bow and arrow for decorative purposes."
-Christopher Ukachukwu

Sydney Oats said...

On pg. 274 "Curiosity can be as obsessive as hunger or lechery, swamping the senses. But it is notoriously fickle too, slinking away as soon as it is satisfied". That is a quote I feel relates to everybody. Curiosity is what has gotten us to where we are today.

Sydney Oats

Maya Searcy said...

on page 275 it says "dont unlock the door, dont open the box, dont eat the apple...we still extend our hand." this was most notable to me because I have always heard how curiosity leads to great things and because we have curiosity we are better able to understand our world and make new inventions. we always think of how it is good to be curious. This passage on 275 made me realize that curiosity has also been warned against for thousands of years. That passage stood out to me the most because it was a way that i had never thought about curiosity before.
-Maya Searcy

Natalie Thompson said...

One point that caught my attention came from p.276. "...curiosity triggers the production and release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associate with heightened arousal and motivation...". This is notable to me because when I am curious aboout something I do get a level of excietment, but I never knew where this came from. Reading this part of the writing was interesting to know. I wasn't albe to even get through the first page without looking up what a Surinam Toad was. When I get curious about something, there is this feeling I get that I can't really understand, but once that curiosity is satisfied I feel a releif.

Naomi Olsson said...

After reading the passage I was most intrigued by the excerpt " One of the things that makes us most curious is the suggestion that the world isn't how we think it is, that our categories are the wrong ones, and the promise is that the answer to our questions will give us a different, fuller view." (279)this really got me thinking because I realized how true it was. In my experience when my curiosity gets the best of me, it is usually when I find something that I never knew or understood. Many scientific discoveries came about exactly for this explanation. I have always been a curious person, but i never looked at the basis of why I was curious.

Kelsey W said...

It was notable to me when Todd noted that Benedict said, "curiosity is seeing your way out of your place." I think that is true in a lot of regards. Why are humans curious? We want to know more! Even if it doesn't come back to our lives specifically, it is still more information. Maybe we think we can do something with it. I thought it was interesting pigs sunburn but what am I ever going to do with that information? Rub sunscreen all over random pigs? Probably not. Curiosity is a pretty interesting subject.

J'kolbe Kelly said...

The point that caught my attention occurs on page 277 it says, "She was curious about metamorphosis- of insects, frogs-and she visited the best dutch cabinets of curiosity..but she was dissatisfied with what she found there... So she went to Surinam to investigate, spending two years gathering plants and moths and lizards." This section stood out to me because I find it fascinating that people can be driven all across the world for years at a time to satissfy their curiosity.

Sierra E said...

On page 176, the author states, "Sifting through his results, Berlyne concluded that curiosity is spurred by the novel, the complex, the ambiguous, the uncertain, and the surprising." Making the claim that curiosity occurs out of the juxtaposition of two previously separate topics merging together makes one's curiosity stronger forces me to evaluate situation that I have been curious about certain things. What interests me beyond that is how one's level of cultural competence limits or expands one's courage to embrace curiosity and challenge their misunderstandings. Great read.

Andriana C. said...

I appreciate how this reading ties the taboos from folk tales in and names curiosity as an inherent temptation. On page 275, the folk tale ties interested me because I was aware of the folk tales we were told as kids having religious roots that were meant to deter certain behaviors. However, humans are curious beings and we wants to know about the unknown. This drive can be both helpful and harmful.

Mikaela S said...

One point concerning curiosity that caught my attention can be found on page 274. Todd describes curiosity and says, "Like the toad, curiosity is a strange beast. The investigating mind moves like a sleek little mammal, a mink maybe, rubbing up against things in the dark, trying to determine their shape, occasionally ripping with sharp teeth and pawing through the opening" (Todd 274). This point was notable to me because I can imagine a young child going through things trying to figure out how it works and the purpose of different things out of curiosity. Even today, I find myself getting into things all out of curiosity.

Kytela Medearis said...

On page 274, I found the most notable thing about curiosity. ""Curiosity can be as obsessive as hunger or lechery, swamping the senses. But it is notoriously fickle too, slinking away as soon as it is satisfied" (274). I found this interesting because it is true. We all put in so much effort to know things even if it is an answer to an irrelevant question, that when we are finally satisfied..that desire and gumption is gone. To be curious is to want to gain knowledge but often times people shy away from what they don't know and don't dwelve any deeper than the surface level meaning of things.

Curtis Tallie said...

when I read the point of Curiosity, what stood out to me was on page 279 the author discusses the evolution curiosity. The author says that " curiosity is the mark of discontent", "curiosity is seeing your way out of your place." I like this quote because it was very noticeable to me. When Curiosity comes to mind people as questions about something they know but want to know more about it.- Curtis Tallie

Tashawna Nash said...

In this section the part that I found intriguing comes from page 275 where it says, "Don't unlock the door. Don't open the box. Don't eat the apple. ... The warnings are dire but so often, like Pandora, Eve, and Bluebeard'd wife, we still extend our hand." I think that this part is interesting because even though we often hear warnings we do not always take them into consideration, or think about the consequence that may take place because of a failure to listen. As a people we are naturally inquisitive and are curious to things that we do not know and/or understand.

~Tashawna N.

Trion T. said...

One point regarding curiosity that stood out to me was on page 275, where it talked about curiosity being spiritual drunkenness and adultery of the soul. I found it interesting that curiosity could be hyped up to be this big bad thing when curiosity is the reason for many of the things that people enjoy today and why people can lead such comfortable lives. Curiosity in my opinion is essentially the driving force of every new invention or idea that makes it into this world. I couldn't imagine how bland things would be without the curiosity.

Anitra B. said...

The point that caught my attention in the reading was on page 276 when the author wrote "...curiosity triggers the production and release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with heightened arousal and motivation...". I am found this interesting because I'm interested in science and was not aware of the mechanism of action behind the felt excitement.

Belainesh Nigeda said...

Of course, me being a pre-health major found it interesting when the author wrote, "...curiosity triggers the production and release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associate with heightened arousal and motivation..."(276). Curiosity is innate. When you are born, you eat new things, you touch new things (even if you aren't supposed to), and you try new things, etc. It was not surprising to me that the release of dopamine is associated with the action mechanism of curiosity. Dopamine creates feelings of happiness and pleasure. It is often associated with drug addictions which is why I could also understand why the author mentioned curiosity as "obsessive" elsewhere in the passage.

-B. Nigeda

cassidy oliver said...

The fact that curiosity has "no extrinsic benefit" is very compelling (274). The thirst for knowledge is what fuels curiosity. Being curious often paves the way for frivolous information. If that was the idea for all information learned while curious, what would be an incentive to be curious?

Isaiah Blackburn said...

Daniel Berlyne's study on what make's human curiosity unique really stood out. When discussing Berlyne's results, Loewenstein concludes that "the closer the subject matter was to the observer's life, the more intense the need was to stare, to figure it out." (276) This holds true to all us students as we pursue our respective careers, motivated to continue searching for more information that will inevitably shape our future.

Dakarai P. said...

I found the recreation of Berlyne's study with MRI machines to be the most interesting (276).The effects on the students'brains from peaking curiosity is similar to the brain's response to sex, drugs, and other pleasurable experiences (such as their pupils dilating and dopamine levels increasing. This really stood out to me because I started to wonder if there is some link between the addiction side of things like drugs, sex, etc.,and curiosity.

Persephone C. said...

The part of Todd's article that stood out the me the most was on page 274, where he compared curiosity as a spider. He said curiosity is "a spider, creeping precisely, attaching silk here, and here, and here to impose a pattern where before was just air." He described curiosity in a strangely interesting, but also great way.
When we are curious we want to figure out or inspect what we do not know, so that is comparable to the spider making webs in places where webs did not originally exist. Curiosity can bring light to things that did not stand out, or were nonexistent.

Xavier Morrison-Wallace said...

On page 274, I agree that curiosity is very strange. When looking at the example with the spider, we do tend to make connections where there are none. On page 275, the experiment that Henry Nissen did was interesting. I believe that many animals explore their surroundings. This could possibly be an evolutionary behavior because animals other than humans always have a purpose for their actions. Exploring surroundings could be a way to make sure their are no dangers lurking. Base off of this assumption, I don't think it is the strength of the rat's curiosity that causes it to keep exploring even with pain, it could be that better to experience pain than to die. With humans we explore in hopes to expand or some other reason, not for survival but because we can.