The curious is not imperative
From Seth Godin’s blog –
Now that information is ubiquitous, the obligation changes. It’s no longer okay to not know.
If you don’t know what a word means, look it up.
If you’re meeting with someone, check them out in advance.
If it sounds too good to be true, Google it before you forward it.
If you don’t know what questions to ask your doctor, find them before your appointment.
If it’s important, do your homework.
I confess that I’m amazed when I meet hard-working, smart people who are completely clueless about how their
industry works, how their tools work…
It never made sense to be proud of being ignorant, but we’re in a new era now. Look it up.
From Seth’s posting above .. I confess that I’m amazed when I meet hard-working, smart people who are completely clueless about how their industry works, how their tools work…
I used to be amazed and surprised about lack of curiosity on the part of “smart” individuals but I’m not surprised anymore.
People like Seth surround themselves with smart, curious people.
Smart, curious people are driven to read Seth’s books, attend his lectures, and pay for his seminars.
Seth lives in a room of smart curious people by his own choosing and by people who are attracted to him.
Outliers & your peer group
So, when folks like Seth encounter someone who is not curious then that’s an outlier.
It’s an anomaly. It’s unexpected.
I once heard a saying, “If you are the smartest person in a room, find another room”
I suspect that Seth, and those who can’t understand the non-curious, have traversed many rooms in pursuit of this goal.
In the real world, curiosity has its limits.
The factory worker probably has no curiosity beyond his job of repetition.
The manager probably has no curiosity beyond the resources he has to manage.
The IT worker, stringing network cables, couldn’t care less about the business of the company.
The IT system administrator in a Fortune 100 company doesn’t value anything beyond the operating system.
The bus driver only knows his route. The tuck driver only his next delivery.
Some people look things up in Wikipedia. But stop reading because it’s too complicated.
I want it simple. I want it easy. I don’t want to expend that much effort.
It’s challenging, I never heard that before, It’s not what I thought or believe.
I’m not *that* curious. Stop, stop, I’m overloaded.
Why we need the not-curious
Suppose everyone was as curious as Seth wants and followed those curiosities
What would happen to the factory worker? What about the bus driver, the truck driver, the sewer worker?
Perhaps the world works as well as it does because most people are not curious? They focus on their job and do only their job – perhaps for a lifetime. Many companies have “lifers” – people who had the same job for the past 30 years doing essentially the same thing they did when the graduated high school or college. The world of business is sometimes ( most times) a giant orchestrated machine of cogs. Maybe it’s better if those cogs don’t lose their focus, are reliable, and are there when you need them in a particular expertise.
I think the key is not to be “amazed” that people are not curious.
Be amazed that people are curious. They are in the minority.
It’s a matter of peer groups and the people with which you surround yourself.
Your peer group can skew how you see the world.
In the universe of people, the non-curious are the majority.
Don’t be amazed.