Neil deGrasse Tyson:”if people learn something that empowers their decision making or their outlook on life, you can reignite the flames of curiosity”

Q: You talk a lot about the importance of curiosity. What’s the best way to promote it, especially in adults who may have lost some of the innate curiosity they had as children?

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Neil : I think that if people learn something that empowers their decision making or their outlook on life, you can reignite the flames of curiosity. I try to do that in my Twitter stream. No one wants to be lectured to. Nobody wants to hear you dumb something down. So I toss out little biscuits of knowledge or wisdom or perspective. Just yesterday I tweeted, “The irresistible force beats the immovable object every time.” People asked why. The follow-up was, “Because a strong enough force will simply obliterate the immovable object, and you will no longer care about whether or not it moves.” That common philosophical conundrum has a physics answer. Another one is, “Which came first: the chicken or the egg?” The answer is based in biology: The egg came first, but it was laid by a bird that was not a chicken. I try to make sure that the best of my tweets have you thinking in a new way.

Source : https://hbr.org/2016/01/neil-degrasse-tyson

Richard Feynman : be curious and keep wandering

Interviewer : The most enduring legacy from his father was not just learning to question the physical world, but an enthusiasm for the inquiry, which – at 54 – Feynman shares today.

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image source : internet

Feynman: It has to do with curiosity.  It has to do with people wondering what makes something do something.  And then to discover, if you try to get answers, that they are related to each other – that things that make the wind make the waves, that the motion of water is like the motion of air is like the motion of sand.  The fact that things have common features.  It turns out more and more universal.  What we are looking for is how everything works.  What makes everything work.

What happens first in history is that we discover the things that are on the face of it obvious.  And then gradually we ask small questions, and then we dig in a little deeper into things that we need to do a little more complicated experiment to find out about.  But it is curiosity as to where we are, what we are.  It is very much more exciting to discover that we are on a ball, half of us sticking upside down and spinning around in space.  It is a mysterious force which holds us on.  It’s going around a great big glob of gas that is fed by a fire that is completely different from any fire that we can make (but now we can make that fire – nuclear fire.)

That is a much more exciting story to many people than the tales that other people used to make up about the universe – that we were living on the back of a turtle or something like that.  They were wonderful stories, but the truth is so much more remarkable.  So what’s the pleasure in physics for me is that it is revealed that the truth is so remarkable, so amazing, and I have this disease – like many other people who have studied far enough to begin to understand a little of how things work.  They are fascinated by it, and this fascination drives them on to such an extent that they have been able to convince governments and so on to keep supporting them in this investigation.

Source : http://calteches.library.caltech.edu/35/2/PointofView.htm