Why? Mario Livio

Epistemic curiosity is the type Einstein had in abundance

Specific curiosity - when u want to know what film that actress was in

Diversive curiosity - restless desire to explore. Seeking of novel stimulation to avoid boredom. Checking for new email. Impatient etc.

Empathic curiosity - trying to understand a person as in citizen Kane plot

Morbid curiosity - can't look away

Details about Leonardo

He started many more projects than he finished

He was not well read (thankfully! As his experiments were not this hampered by too many wrong ideas.) He started by using science to improve his art but finally used art to improve his science.

"Cyberchondria" "a diagnosis based on apparent symptoms that is induced by an internet search"

Novelty can be mapped on these axes:

Specific <---> diversive

A specific thing that once found will satisfy the seeking, or diversive: the ceaseless seeking to ward off boredom

Perceptual <---> epistemic

Perceptual is aroused by surprising novel or ambiguous

Epistemic is the genuine yearning for new knowledge

Wait - isn't there arousal toward stimulation and secondly satisfaction of the arousal - and you may need to classify it based on both ends of the curiosity arc

Four factors that lead to things being worthy of curiosity:



uncertainty and


Curiosity is a cognitive induced deprivation- an information gap

Eg in sudoku we have a clear information gap - small enough that we can fill it and we must fill it

Having filled it a new gap is thus made smaller and within reach - or we believe it is and then we must fill that - and so on.

(Could We model the size of the information gaps at each stage of a game of sudoku, and work out if or when it is maximally satisfying - when are people least likely to lose interest? - and from this develop genetic algorithms that evolve novel games with maximally enjoyable rulesets? Again modeling the human brain in some rudimentary way is an obvious need of such systems. A definition of fun. )

"Everywhere there is a source of food there's some form of life that finds it." Told to Feynman by his dad in relation to lice on birds whose excretions caused bacteria to blossom

Robert Cialdini Influence


Rejection then retreat

There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the real labor of thinking.

--Sir Joshua Reynolds

Commitments should be active public and effortful.

Jigsaw teaching techniques for racial integration of classroom or for getting groups that were formerly enemies combative to work together increase harmony. A first step. Deserves more attention. I love that it integrates social encoding advantage and student as teacher and social skill development as well. Super useful.

(But which book was this covered in??)

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