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Curiosity
Mar 3, 2010
Curiosity is one of the most underrated phenomena in the world. It's ironic that people aren't more curious about curiosity. It's a powerful thing.

For example, if you ever wondered if someone is attracted to you, the answer lies in curiosity. If someone asks personal questions about your past, your plans, your likes and dislikes, that is an unambiguous sign of attraction. If someone tries to steer you into the bedroom without some conspicuous data gathering, that is a sign of simple horniness.

The friend variety of attraction is milder than the lover type. You can be friends with someone for years without remembering the names of his or her siblings. But if you love someone, you automatically develop a voracious appetite for information about that person.

When someone you are not attracted to talks a lot about his or her own life, you get bored to death. When someone you are attracted to talks a lot, you might find that person to be full of life, and fascinating. Attraction and curiosity are inseparable.

Let's say you're interviewing for a job. You wonder if the interviewer is attracted to you as a potential employee or just going through the motions. Look for the curiosity trail. If his questions are all of the typical variety, he's probably just moving through the steps. If you sense some questions that veer off the normal path, such as asking where you like to golf, you almost certainly have something more.

If you're trying to sell something, it is useful to judge how much the other party really wants your product. Look for curiosity. If the potential buyer says nice generic things about a product, it's not as good an indicator as if he asks a series of questions, especially if the questions include some that don't seem important to the decision. In poker terms, questions about relatively unimportant aspects of a product are the buyer's tell.

A good book conspicuously manipulates your curiosity. The writer develops a character that you are attracted to, and then creates a series of situations in which it is not obvious how things will turn out. The Harry Potter books written by J.K. Rowling are a sensational example of that simple formula. Harry is young, and kind, and cute with his glasses and mop of hair. And he's an orphan. In our culture, Harry comes as close as you can get to the sort of person that almost anyone would like. That's the first part of the formula. Then Rowling ends each chapter with a tease of danger to come, making you wait a chapter or more to find out how things will turn out for Harry. Rowling became a billionaire by manipulating the connection between attraction and curiosity.

Movie studios know how important it is to feature likeable stars in their movies. It compensates for bad writing, bad directing, and bad everything else. If you are attracted to the lead actor, your curiosity is activated. It doesn't take a lot of movie magic to make you interested in what will happen to Sandra Bullock. As soon as she appears on screen you start getting curious about her because she's so likeable.

Curiosity is rarely faked simply because people aren't generally aware that it is such a reliable indicator of attraction. Once you learn to recognize the connection between attraction and curiosity, it's like having a mild form of ESP.

 
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Dec 13, 2010
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+19 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 6, 2010
"If someone asks personal questions about your past, your plans, your likes and dislikes, that is an unambiguous sign of attraction."

...either that, or it's an unambiguous sign that they're from the Office of Homeland Security.
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 5, 2010
Digal said, "By the way, is a trimble a thimble sized tribble?"

No, a "trimble" is a flat out, brain-dead spelling error. Like I said, I wasn't named after a dictionary. ;-)

Tribble42

PS: I guess that there is no point in telling you that my favourite singer is Joe !$%*!$% It would never make it through the gravel-voiced-singer filter. (Just kidding, Scott. I love your interface!)
 
 
Mar 5, 2010
By the way, Digal, my last post was an attempt at a Triple Lutz Pun. Sorry, I didn't land it very well.
 
 
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 5, 2010
Digal said, "Webster - Ok, my favorite character was Tribble #137 (you know, the cute one). I'm guessing you'd go with Spock, seeing that he had encyclopedic knowledge and you were apparently named after a dictionary. Was I right?"

Nope. My favorite Star Trek characters are the Trimbles. We are in perfect harmony on that. Maybe we should get married? Can you operate a manual transmission? Just curious.

I like the Spock character, but I can't really identify with his most salient characteristic. I'm an emotional wreck.

And Webster is just my "user name". I'm not sure why I chose that name. I get very anxious when I fill out online forms, so I think it was a panic reaction. My real name (my native name) is Joshiah. An apparently unusual name, but not so much if you know that my mother's first words when I exited the womb were, "God help me".

 
 
-7 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 5, 2010
bla bla bla. Mindless blather.
 
 
Mar 5, 2010
Digal,

I think you are onto to something.

Maybe all posters should be required to answer those questions before they are authorized to make further comments on the forum.

Better, maybe all posters should also be required to select a Star Trek character as their "user name" (I hate that expression, it makes me feel so ... exploited). First come, first served, of course. Late comers would have fewer and fewer choices. The last one in would be stuck with Gorn, Ruler of the Francophone Planet, Papier Mache.

Mind you, I may only be saying these things because I know the answer to your very good questions. I can be shamefully opportunistic sometimes.

Webster/Trimble

 
 
Mar 5, 2010
@Darren,

How do I sign up for these interviews?
 
 
Mar 5, 2010
CURIOSITY

"Curiosity ... It's a powerful thing" Scott Adams

"Curiosity" is a somewhat idiosyncratic, science-y way of describing it." Macuga

"I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious." Albert Einstein

"You like Sandra Bullock ?!?!" CurlyFatAngry

There is a significant diversity of opinion on this blog topic!
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 5, 2010
I don't believe curiosity is underrated at all. However, it's often known by other names, such as "interest." "Curiosity" is a somewhat idiosyncratic, science-y way of describing it.

People feign interest in others all the time. They ask each other how they're doing, how their children are doing, how their weekend went, etc. The origin of the ritual is, as you say, the interest-attraction link. However, this sort of interest is faked so often that it's commonly understood to be mere politeness.

Guys trying to pick up women in bars will display a level of interest that goes beyond that. Again, everyone knows exactly why that is.

Fiction writers (and audiences) are well aware of the importance of cliffhangers. This is another form of curiosity-awareness.

Tabloid writers are likewise aware.

In short, I think curiosity is a pretty well-understood phenomenon.
 
 
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 5, 2010
Darren said, "When an interviewer starts asking personal questions about you out of curiousity, it's not really a good thing. You might get laid, but not the job, I've found."

Darren, I don't know about the rest of the folks, but I want hear a LOT more about this problem you have experienced. ;-)
 
 
+5 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 4, 2010
When an interviewer starts asking personal questions about you out of curiousity, it's not really a good thing. You might get laid, but not the job, I've found.
 
 
Mar 4, 2010
Interesting new ways to think about the paltry few interviews I have been getting in my job search. Apparently no one is interested...and apparently, neither am I. Details at:
http://daysoflivingaimlessly.blogspot.com/2010/02/day-15-thursday-first-interview.html
 
 
Mar 4, 2010
Consciousness may have started as the result of mind altering fungi or plants. Hence the ever popular religious analogy with Adam and Eve, the apple (fruit of consciousness) and the garden (animal ignorance, ignorance is bliss). Where do you think the talking snake came from lol.

Nothing scientific about this just fulfilling curiosity with a bit of comical mental master-bation ;)
 
 
Mar 4, 2010
Of course we're curious about much more than people. And curiosity often preceeds liking. E.g., about the time the 3rd Harry Potter book was published, I saw some stories about the unusual popularity of the series and bought the first book. After a chapter or two, then I was enthusiastic. Similarly, learning something interesting about someone may spark curiosity and learning more and, ultimately, liking.

So, why are we curious about some things and not others? Why are some of us more broadly curious than others?
 
 
Mar 4, 2010
I'm honestly curious about many of the different topics that I see you bringing up, but I don't want to have any stalking charges brought on me or anything. Does this curiousity that I'm feeling have any hidden meanings that need to be explored, or should I simply appologize for my insultting and unsolicitated curiousity and send my bribe ... I mean fine to the usual PO Box?
 
 
Mar 4, 2010
Related question: what makes someone likeable?
- like ourselves?
- vulnerable?
- attractive?
- ... ?

In other words - what do Sandra Bullock and Harry Potter have in common?
 
 
Mar 4, 2010
@ Webster, whats the difference between us and animals really?

Bog standard curiosity when encountering something new = can i eat this or shag it? (or both)

..........................

Beyond being followed by a very funny line, that's a good question!

I think the difference is that we are likely the only animal that has a "conscious mind", therefore creative and curious.

Sometimes an non-human animal appears to exhibit curious behaviour -- such as examining something to determine the answer to a hard wired question like "Can I eat this?" "Can I have sex with this?"

But I don't think that is the sort of "curiosity" we are talking about here. We are talking about much more complex behaviour, and more complex questioning. "Hmm. This appears to be, technically speaking, something I could eat. But I wonder if I could convince it to have a bit of sex with me before dinner --- because I'm feeling quite !$%*!$%*!$%*!$%*! note that I am not saying that human beings are not animals. All I'm saying is that we are animals with a difference -- and that difference may be what we call the "conscious mind".
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 4, 2010
@ Webster, whats the difference between us and animals really?

Bog standard curiosity when encountering something new = can i eat this or shag it? (or both)
 
 
Mar 4, 2010
That should read ... "insatiably h o r n y"
 
 
 
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