- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Basic Books; Reprint edition (December 1, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0465097626
- ISBN-13: 978-0465097623
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends On It Paperback – December 1, 2015
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
If you weren't the curious sort, you'd likely never even crack this book. But then you'd be missing out on a world of interesting science exploring just why humans find the urge to learn and know so utterly irresistible.”
The Christian Century
Leslie evokes wonder at the world around us.”
Inside Higher Ed
Ian Leslie's fine new book Curious constitutes an excellent bridge between the two sides of the facts vs. experiences learning debate.”
With heavy implications for the future of education, the author makes a strong case for a more inquiry-based approach. Highly recommended for educators of all kinds. Leslie reaches to the true heart of educationturning students into 21st-century learners by bringing back that curiosity.”
A searching examination of information technology's impact on the innovative potential of our culture.”
Steven Johnson, author of Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age
With this enthralling manifesto on the power of curiosity, Ian Leslie has written a book that displays all the key characteristics of its subject matter: an inquisitive, open-minded, and ultimately deeply rewarding exploration of the human mind's appetite for new ideas.”
Leslie delineates the various types of curiosity and what might be lost as we lean on search engines and offload our memories to cloud storage. He's at his best when considering how socioeconomic conditions impede curiosity.”
Scientific American Mind
Leslie's book is engaging, moving fluidly from one idea to the next. He provides a refreshingly commonsensical voice in the ongoing argument over how to best mold human minds.”
San Francisco Book Review
Rich with insight and answers. Leslie writes with conviction and authority, illuminating issues in psychology, social trends, and politics.... A delightful read.”
Yohuru Williams, Huffington Post
Captivating.... Leslie explores the troubling prospects of a world where curiosity has taken a back seat to standardization and vision-less acceptance.”
Stephen L. Carter, Bloomberg View
Enjoyable.... Leslie presents considerable evidence for the proposition that the society as a whole is growing less curious.”
Wall Street Journal
Leslie...writes convincingly about the human need and desire to learn deeply and develop expertise.”
Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy Group
David Ogilvy believed that the best advertising writers were marked out by an insatiable curiosity about every subject under the sun.' Nowadays, as Ian has spotted, the same high level of curiosity is a requirement for progress in more and more jobs in business and government. In this excellent book Ian Leslie explains why: the obvious ideas have mostly been done; what progress there is left now happens obliquely.”
Oliver Burkeman, author of The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking
In this important and hugely enjoyable book, Ian Leslie shows why it's more important than ever that we find new ways to cultivate curiositybecause our careers, our happiness, and our children's flourishing all depend upon it. Curious is, appropriately enough, a deeply fascinating exploration of the human capacity for being deeply fascinated, as well as a practical guide for becoming more curious yourself.”
David Dobbs, feature writer for National Geographic, Atlantic, Slate, and other major publications
I would never have guessed that so slim a volume could so richly pique my curiosity about curiosity. Stuffed with facts, ideas, questions, quotes, musings, findings, puzzles, mysteries, and stories, this is a bookas Montaigne said of travelwith which to rub and polish' one's brain. It's the most delightful thing I've read about the mind in quite some time.”
Tyler Cowen, professor of economics at George Mason University
Ian Leslie argues that true curiosity is in decline. This book is a beautiful and fascinating tribute to one of mankind's most important virtues."
Maria Konnikova, author of the New York Times bestseller Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes
A beautiful and important exploration of the need to nurture, develop, and explore our curiosity even when we've long left our childhood behind. Ian Leslie reminds us of those essential life lessons that we tend to forget in our quest to be busy and productive: that sometimes, it's ok to waste time; and often, the most productive mind ends up being the mind most open to indulging its most childish impulses.” --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Ian Leslie writes on psychology, social trends, and politics for publications in the UK and US, including Slate, "The Economist," NPR, Bloomberg.com, "The Guardian," "Daily Mail," "The Times," "Daily Telegraph," and "Granta."
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
But the book offers much more. Leslie explores the history of curiosity, noting that it was disparaged in Christian tradition for a long period. He also weighs in on the continuing controversy between progressive educators and advocates of what the progressives call "rote learning." Progressives claim it stunts students' interest in learning. In truth, facts are the essential bricks on which students will build their lives — whatever life path they choose.
Leslie provides support for the view that teaching fact is important. He writes on page 113, "Teachers aren't there only to provide direct instruction on what and how to learn, of course, but this is the core of what they should do. Researcher John Hattie synthesized more than eight hundred meta-analyses (he ran a meta meta-analysis) of the success of different teaching approaches. The three most powerful teacher factors—those most likely to lead to student success—were feedback, quality of instruction, and direct instruction. In other words, traditional teaching—the transmission of information from adults to children—is highly effective when skillfully executed. This ought to be obvious. But Hattie says that when he shows teacher trainees the results of his research, they are stunned, because they have usually been told that direct instruction is a bad thing."
All this adds up to a book that is essential reading. It is also easy to read. I recommend it.
Ian Leslie's book does a good job of addressing not only the importance of curiosity but also why it declines and how to preserve it. As he points out "curiosity is vulnerable to benign neglect." It needs to be cultivated and supported. It is a habit that needs to be fostered by continued practice. Often we don't get that practice.
Leslie relates several compelling stories related to the need for curiosity. The first one comes from business professor Robert Mittelstaedt in his book Will Your Next Mistake be Fatal? "Titanic received many incoming messages warning of ice, but there is no mention of her inquiring of others for updates or more information. What if someone was curious enough to ask for more information from the ships in the area?" As Leslie then points out, "afterward, several planners and shipbuilders involved admitted to having had questions about the ship's safety that they didn't raise in front of colleagues, for fear of appearing foolish."
Ahh, the fear of appearing foolish. Perhaps one of the biggest curiosity killers among students and even well-experience professionals. It is no wonder that Leslie discusses this as the first point of seven ways to preserve curiosity: stay foolish. Consider Socrates. He was told that he was the wisest of all men in Athens because he was aware of what he didn't know. He was not afraid to ask foolish questions. Very often these "foolish" questions revealed profound insights.
Speaking of knowing what he didn't know this relates to a second story Lesie tells about curiosity: the often ridiculed statement of Donald Rumsfeld where he said "There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns-the ones we don't know we don't know." While initially ridiculed the statement was later reevaluated and was recognized by linguist Geoffrey Pullum as "impeccable, syntactically, semantically, logically, and rhetorically."
One reason this is such a useful insight is that, as Leslie points out, "in order to feel curious, you have to be aware of a gap in your knowledge in the first place. The trouble is, most of us, most of the time, go around thinking we know everything."
One of Leslie's last pieces of advice for preserving curiosity is to turn puzzles into mysteries. This is based on a distinction between the two that is discussed earlier in the book. "Puzzles have definite answers." On the other hand, "mysteries are murkier, less neat." The contain an uncertainty that puzzles do not. Puzzles focus on tactical questions such as "How many?" or "Where?" Mysteries force us to contemplate bigger "How?" or "Why?" questions.
So, ask more questions. Don't be afraid to seem foolish. Cultivate on enjoyment of learning and an appreciation of the mundane. Anything can be a source of curiosity. But, you have to be willing to open yourself to the opportunity when it presents itself. As Pasteur once said, "chance favors the prepared observer." Part of being prepared is to be curious.
It also talked about the misunderstanding of a lot of concepts.
Google can answer your question even before you type in all the keywords... but is it really good for us?
There are tons of answers in the internet but do you know your questions? Before you know your questions, you need to know what you don't know...
Finding something you know you don't know is just first the first step... find something you don't know you don't know is the next step.
Most recent customer reviews
Curiosity is a very important aspect of life and a well functioning society.
The first couple of chapters are fantastic and worth the price right there!