Her email opened with, “What do you think about exploring skepticism as the underbelly of curiosity—embracing skepticism by engaging in exploration and moving toward authentic curiosity?”
Authentic curiosity? I thought. Underbelly? Who wouldn’t want to have that conversation?
Keris Myrick, health advocate, one-time CEO, all-the-time thinker, joined me to parse terms. Is she curious, or skeptical? You be the judge.
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As I did my research, I began to think there’s a continuum between curiosity and skepticism along which critical and evaluative thinking must lie. That brought me back to the conversation with international development, peace building and advocacy evaluator Carlisle Levine.
It wasn’t until the morning of broadcast that the obvious frame for today’s conversation hit me: this is about the hats we wear and how we show up for life and its processes of learning and understanding. Do we take things at face value? Are we playfully curious? Rigorously skeptical? How do we decide which “hat” is right for what occasion? Why?
Keris uses cosplay (short for “costume play” in which adults use costumes and fashion accessories to represent a character) as a way to explore and expand her thinking and experience. The playfulness and pure joy of the hobby are deceptive: this is fun — and it provides a way for people to embody wholly different world views and personae. It requires creativity and an elasticity of self that are important elements in both critical thinking and empathy.
Some sort of thinking cap seems like an intellectual sartorial necessity. Without it, our heads get cold, we hunker into our proverbial coats and brace ourselves against the harsh winds of the unknown. Carlisle’s question, “Anything else?” becomes a warm hood we can throw on, allowing us to stay out in the elements, exploring, just a little longer…