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See Inside Scientific American Volume 311, Issue 2

Book Review: Curious

Books and recommendations from Scientific American



Credit: Basic Books, 2014

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Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends on It
by Ian Leslie
Basic Books, 2014

The world is suffering a dearth in curiosity, as well as a lack of the innovation and progress it spawns, contends journalist Leslie. He places much of the blame on the Internet. “Digital technologies are severing the link between effort and mental exploration,” he says. “By making it easier for us to find answers, the Web threatens habits of deeper inquiry.” Instant access to Wikipedia and Google provides a quick burst of satisfaction that actually quells our inner hunger for understanding rather than seeding it. But this trend is not inevitable or irreversible, Leslie believes: “We can arrange our lives to stoke our curiosity or quash it.”

This article was originally published with the title "Recommended: Curious."

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