Why? (5A17)

Title of the book : Why?                   

Author : Mario Livio

Publisher : Simon & Schuster

People are always curious about different things. It is the reason they are creative and imaginative. However, how is curiosity created?

To answer this, the author Mario Livio took Leonardo Da Vinci as an example. He thinks Leonardo was a genius with a compassionate aesthetic sensibility and superhuman sharp eyes. Leonardo tried to acquire all knowledge and skills to analyze the secrets of nature. These ranged from anatomy, medicine, geometry, geography, astronomy, all the way to philosophy, languages, literary works and even religious treatises. What made him so passionate to ask ‘Why’? ‘Study the science of art; study the art of science; learn to see,’ Leonardo said. He had the will and curiosity to make new discoveries. Livio thinks having a superior talent is not the main reason people are curious but the expectancy to see more in nature and the world is the actual reason for curiosity. That is what he thinks but I have a different idea.

Of course, people like to see more. Is it really common that people with specialized skills will become a professional with high reputation and numerous achievements? Yes, we have these kinds of persons, but they are not really common. Why? That’s because people are willing to see but reluctant to learn. All of us are curious about different things, especially for tittle-tattle and gossip. Passion in learning and discovering new things isn’t the root of curiosity. The actual root is that all the people are born gossips. They like to know all things, and luckily including knowledge and skills.

However, we are primarily devoted to learning new things. Therefore, Livio’s ideas may be true. I believe Leonardo truly loved science and the arts. He is an exceptional case as some people really treat learning as a hobby, whose curiosity leads them to ask ‘why’ all the time. Thus, though curiosity may bring light to humanity, actually it is always a double-edged sword with a potential dark side.