The Cost of Curiosity, with Seeta Sistla

“The more you understand a system, or a set of interlocking systems, the more curious you are about how they respond and behave to change.” ~ Seeta Sistla

When I read Seeta Sistla’s confrontation to the environmental costs of curiosity – a list that is as thought-provoking as it is long – I sent myself on a journey through challenged assumptions and weighted values.

This was, I imagine, exactly the effect she was hoping for.

What I Learned: A new word! Or, perhaps more likely, a word that finally penetrated and embedded itself in a profound way: anthropogenic: of, relating to, or resulting from the influence of human beings on nature  /ˌanTHrəpōˈjenik/ A word that is at the heart of Seeta’s thinking — and ought to be for the rest of us.

What I Loved: She rattled my cage, shook up my complacent self, and got me questioning my own “experiments” and their unintended costs and consequences.

Listen to Choose to be Curious #87: The Cost of Curiosity, with Seeta Sistla. 

Seeta is the third in my series of interviews with the contributing authors to the forthcoming anthology Curiosity Studies: A New Ecology of Knowledge (University of Minnesota Press, 2020).  Stay tuned for future episodes!

Photo by Chris Linder, used with permission

More about Seeta Sistla’s fascinating work here.

Check out the Oyster-Adams Bilingual School in Washington DC.

Theme music by Sean Balick.  Check out Sean’s new album “From the Pines” .

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“My own curiosity to understand the mechanisms that drive the natural world has been inevitably shaped by the anthropogenic forces that ripple through every aspect of the Earth system.”

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