Q&A with Josh (1)

By: Joshua Glenn
December 4, 2013

Image from John Hilgart's 4CP archive
Image from John Hilgart’s 4CP archive

Someone asked me to answer the following two questions, yesterday. Thought I’d share my answers with HiLobrow readers…

Q. What does curiosity mean to you?

A. In a utopian society of perfect leisure — or if we were stranded on a desert island, which is the next best thing — we’d curiose (a verb I’ve just coined, thanks to your question) all day, every day.

Q. How do you stay curious?

A. Here are some random strategies. Hope they’re helpful — they might only work for me.

  1. Avoid 9-to-5 wage slavery! Unless it’s writing a newspaper column, in which case you’re getting paid to be curious.
  2. Assign yourself research/writing projects with deadlines. This is the #1 reason, in my experience, to start a zine or blog.
  3. Poke around — including parts of the supermarket, bookstore, and Internet where you usually don’t go.
  4. Lose interest in yourself; gain interest in everyone else.
  5. Keep making new friends. Stay in touch with old friends.
  6. Never say “No” when someone wants to meet for coffee, lunch, or a drink. It’s OK to say “No” to dinner.
  7. Don’t watch TV in the evenings. Unless it’s So You Think You Can Dance.
  8. If you’re a freelancer, share an office with someone who’s in a different line of work.
  9. When you’re driving the carpool to school, keep your mouth shut and your ears open.
  10. Visit your friends where they work. Not for lunch — just for a visit.
  11. Ask people you meet to show you their favorite smartphone apps.
  12. Completely rearrange your bookshelves every so often. Don’t alphabetize.
  13. Avoid NPR.

What do you think?

  1. Occasional NPR use, like occasional TV or drug use, is fine. I just think that for many people TV and NPR — and newspapers and news sites — is more of a security blanket than a mind-engager. “People don’t actually read newspapers,” Marshall McLuhan writes somewhere,”they get into them every morning like a hot bath.” I didn’t understand that quip when I was a teenager; now I do!

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