(Some time ago, I received a wonderful ask concerning this post. I replied and asked whether I should answer privately or publicly, but since I haven’t got an answer, I will answer it here and withhold the name until the person wishes to be named. Now the question was that loving learning is all fine and dandy, but..)
Just how do you learn to love learning? Is there a rulebook? Do you train with monks? Do you just wake up one morning and all your worries and fears are gone?
(Although I guess the monks could work)
Now, the following is not scientifically proven and is built solely on my personal experience, but what works best for me, is being inspired. I see something amazing and I want to know more, I get to know a person and I want to know how they view the world … the whole thing is a certain worldview on its own, really. It’s a point of view, a point of curiosity.
I sure as hell haven’t perfected it, but it can be acquired piece by piece, slowly, gradually and day by day (just like any field). So here is a list, filled with inspiring, curious and fascinating little thingamajigs and equally interesting fictional and real people. As far as I can tell, all of them can help you on your way to this philosophy of curiosity. (This is mostly “just” about intellectual growth and curiosity, though. I deliberatly didn’t include personal growth and personality building, because I didn’t want them to get mixed up)
YouTube - Channels:
- melodysheep (Symphony of Science) - Inspiring Science Songs
- numberphile - ALL OF THE MATHS
- pbsideachannel - Pop Culture like whoa
- destinws2 (Smarter Every Day) - All sorts of science, with a focus on biology and beautiful slow motion recordings
- ThePianoGuys - Heartfelt music that makes you look at the world in a different way
If that’s not love, I don’t know what is. (by x)
- Vihart - Maths like you’ve never seen it before (like in petals or in symphonies)
- Vsauce - Our World is Amazing
- zefrank1 - Life Advice and animal facts you never knew you needed
- wisecrack (THUG NOTES) - SWEET LITERATURE, YO
- CGPGrey - Trivia and Explanations
- CrashCourse - History, Psychology, Chemistry, Literature? Got you covered
- KickThePj - Story Telling and Adventures
Let him teach you the ways of the weird. (by x)
Other Internet Stuff:
- You all know Wikipedia, but wikiwalking is definitely amongst the most inspirational things I know. All that knowledge, publicly available, for free, connected so ingeniously … I love it.
- 8tracks - many of you also know 8tracks, but for those who don’t: it’s a website that lets you find and create music mixes for certain moods (e.g. calm), situations (e.g. studying) and characters (e.g. Hermione). A personal favourite are the Contemplate the Universe inside your Mind - Mixes.
- A THOUSAND TIMES FLOW. I’m not exaggerating when I’m saying that this changed my life. This is the concept, this is the author giving a TED talk.
- All life is Problem Solving (Karl Popper). This, too, had a huge impact on how I view life and science.
- Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman: Adventures of a Curious Character. The brilliant scientist Richard Feynman takes you on a journey through his life, which was often exciting, sometimes sad and always peppered with curiosity.
- Crime Stories. Every crime story. All crime stories. Every single one. No other genre (except, maybe, sci-fi) will show you just how important knowledge and a quick mind can be - one clever thought can change the whole game. Classics and my personal favourites include Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple.
- How to Make a Tornado - when science goes bonkers. Like, really, really bonkers. Like, musical bra and zombie dog bonkers.
- The Book of General Ignorance - everything you thought you knew is wrong. (There is also the brilliant and highly entertaining series)
It’s …very intellectual.
- Ender’s Game - a brilliant book on its own, which, at its best, makes you admire Ender and makes you want to learn from him (even though he is a little kid learning to fight for a space war) and, at its worst, makes you so freaking happy that you aren’t Ender.
- The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate - the story of a young girl who learns to channel her curiosity into scientific observation as she and her grandfather explore the flora and fauna surrounding their Texan family farm in the late 19th century.
- C.M.B and Q.E.D. - two, very loosely related, manga by the same mangaka who likes to think that readers are geniuses (btw, tvtropes totally belongs on this list. Just type in your favourite book. …and you just spent a day on there. You’re welcome). C.M.B. is more on the natural science + history side, while Q.E.D. is more on the hard science side, but both are brilliant and they fight crime.
- Mushishi is …hard to describe. If you like this
…you’ll like it.
- Detective Conan. The origin of my avatar and therefore obligatorily included. A fantastic (and super long and still unfinished) story about a master detective who turns back into a child.
- Death Note - dark, complex and filled with mental acrobatics. The story of a brilliant high schooler who finds a notebook that allows him to kill people just by writing their name and picturing their face. He goes dark side (?) in about 0.3 seconds flat and is soon hunted by a genius detective.
Light sparkles (x)
- Kino’s Journey - a deeply philosophical and allegorical journey of a traveller and Hermes, the trusty side-kick (who happens to be a motorbike). It asks big questions and leaves the answering to you.
- Corset ni Tsubasa - the story of a clever young girl forced into a horrible boarding school, where, despite all odds, she finds that knowledge always finds a way.
- Miss Potter - a film I picked up randomly and ended up liking quite a lot. It’s about author/artist Beatrix Potter who works against the tides of her time and conquers it gloriously. (There’s a huge spoiler towards the end, so don’t read the description before you watch the film)
- Measuring the World - the film to the book. It follows the journey of Alexander von Humboldt and Carl Friedrich Gauss and is one big celebration of the achievements and dark sides of the age of Enlightenment.
- Wonders of Life - a sleek and beautiful TV series with Brian Cox, in which he explores … well, the wonders of life. Jelly fish, sharks, plants, there’s plenty to go around. Odds are, you’ve seen gifs of it.
- The Blue Planet - a magnificent history of our oceans by the BBC.
- Planet Earth - a series by the same team as above. The first episode alone offers polar bear babies!
- Homeless to Harvard - I’ve written about this before. It’s the incredible story of a young girl who has nothing and gives it her all.
- How to train your dragon - Finally a film in which the main character wins because of research, ingenuity and wits! (Spoiler: It also has dragons)
- 12 Angry Men - one of the best films I have ever seen. Let intelligence and understanding lead the way to truth!
- Wolf Children - a profoundly inspiring, allegorical story of a young woman who struggles to raise her rather… different children and is willing to do everything to allow them to live a good life. It shows just how vital studying is to a person thrown into new circumstances.
- Studio Ghibli and everything about Studio Ghibli. Particulary inspiring for this category are Kiki’s Delivery Service, Whisper of the Heart and The Wind Rises. (From Up on Poppy Hill gets an honourable mention just for that immensely cool club house)
(Bonus round: Isn’t our world freaking weird and amazing-videos
- A piano-violin hybrid instrument designed by Leonardo daVinci
- Fred Astaire dancing on the ceiling & the modern version
- A teensy (as big as your fingernail), fluffy, colourful, adorable spider that twerks to attract mates
- This is what people’s vocal cords look like while singing
- A message of humanity we have sent into space in case aliens find it
- Let it Go backwards
- Your eyes betray your ears
- The most adorable tradtional dance (flowers and all)
- Look at what this dude can do with his HANDS