Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Curiosity

The trigger for yesterday’s two blogs was curiosity. Nevertheless, for one blog (5 happiest countries) my curiosity was a virtue, and for the other blog (hatred) my curiosity was a vice. An article in PsychologyToday stated: “The fundamental human capacity for curiosity is a two-edged [..] sword: It is a gift that can bite.” Between humans, curiosity often becomes a vice. In nearly any other situation, this quest for knowledge is considered a virtue.
A recent Greater Good blog mentions “6 surprising benefits of curiosity” being: survival, happiness, achievement, understanding, empathy, and healthcare. Three out of the 6 deal with human interaction and its examples do underpin a virtue rather than a vice. However, curiosity (virtue) may lead to nosiness (vice). Nosiness is defined as ‘unduly curious about the affairs of others’ or ‘too ​interested in what other ​people are doing and ​wanting to ​discover too much about them’ (source).

The adjective ‘too‘ and/or ‘unduly‘ are irrelevant within science. You can never really know too much. That’s why curiosity is a virtue within science. Amongst humans, curiosity may also become a vice because people have secrets. It’s easy to see why uncovering secrets is considered a vice. Keeping secrets is entirely a human concept. Also see my 6 October blog about Secrets.

In the romantic realm, people typically wish to know as much as possible about their beloved since this gives them a more comprehensive and profound picture of the partner, further enhancing their intimacy. However, our inability to acquire full knowledge, together with the value of positive illusions, indicates that knowledge is not paramount. PsychologyToday

Information about a partner’s past lovers is of some importance in order to understand the person’s personality, but it may cause an unpleasant interaction within the couple. For many, a detailed description of a partner’s previous sexual interactions can cast a disagreeable cloud over their own sexual interactions with that person. Ignorance may also be preferable in cases of unfaithfulness. Some people feel that “if I don’t know about it, it does not exist for me.” Others certainly prefer to know about a partner’s affairs, but may still not want to know all the specifics of positions, frequency, and locations. PsychologyToday

Lack of curiosity, or the lack of a desire to know more, is often associated with ignorance, which is the lack of knowledge. But the two are different. Ignorance expresses the state of lack of knowledge, while lack of curiosity expresses a lack of desire to overcome it. PsychologyToday

Actually, this blog has become an eye opener to me. There is a very thin line when it comes to curiosity about a new partner’s past lovers. I now understand the female questions which I faced in the past. I now also realise my hesitance in answering them. Each answer leads to a new question and soon context is missing and assumptions will fill the voids. I have never really felt the urge to ask such questions myself as I know that I may not like the answers. 

In friendship as well as love, ignorance very often contributes more to our happiness than knowledge.
Francois de La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680)

Curiosity Killed The Cat – Down To Earth (1987) – (artists, lyrics, Wiki)

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