The 3 Incredible Topics that Fuel My Insatiable Curiosity
“Curiosity is the lust of the mind,” Thomas Hobbes once said.
For me, this quote rings true. I am an insatiably curious person. That’s why I find people so incredibly fascinating. During networking sessions, I act as a detective, questioning and searching for clues about what they are passionate about.
When it comes to my curiosity, I have three specific interests: incredibly intelligent and passionate people, innovative ideas and traveling.
Intelligent and Passionate People
While I was at Google, I was fortunate to come across some brilliant people, one of whom was Vint Cerf. Although I had never heard of him prior to working at Google, I spent a few hours mucking around on the Internet, learning as much as I could about one of the “Fathers of the internet.”
During our minimal interactions, I was impressed by his incredible modesty and fascinating attire. Not only did he raise his hand before speaking during a meeting, but he also dressed like a proper English gentleman.
His peculiar mannerisms definitely piqued my interest, and I am very glad I was able to interact with him.
Normally, I have zero interest in cars. After all, I have been known to confuse black M6 cars with any old black BMWs. But at least, I don’t pretend to know anything about cars.
Even so, I am incredibly fascinated with innovative ideas such as the Tesla. I literally snap my head every time I see a Tesla whizzing by. The sleek style, advanced technology and smooth drive are all attractive. Plus, I love all of the colors. In my mind, it’s the best possible car on the market.
Nothing tops it – not even a Lamborghini.
Curiosity has led me to travel many parts of the world. I have an undying thirst for more unique experiences, whether they are in my backyard of San Francisco, or in the middle of Communist Cuba.
During my one-week stay in Cuba in 2011, I met many locals and relentlessly picked their brains. One of the most fascinating things about Cuba is its double economy. Doctors, teachers, and lawyers are all paid in the local currency, and the locals pay for items at their grocery stores with the National Peso.
However, tourists must use CUC and one CUC equals 24 National Peso. If all of the restaurants, taxi drivers and hotels are paid in CUC, which is worth 25 times that of the regular currency, then an unfair double economy exists.
I spoke at length with official and unofficial taxi drivers, who shared that they switched their careers to make more money. The upside was enormous, even with the government-imposed taxes to limit the number of taxi drivers. Because the government required expensive licenses and taxed all tourist-related things such as hotels, there was a high percentage of “unofficial” and technically illegal businesses. The underground economy was huge.
Not only did Cuba have this strange double economy, where taxi drivers were making 15 times that of teachers and doctors, but they also sold their own type of coke called Tu Kola.
For those who were fortunate enough to have an old 1995 computer, they also needed enough money to pay extremely high prices for Internet. And I assume much of it was blocked. After all, I could only watch 3 channels on decrepit TVs that were controlled by the government.
Needless to say, Cuba is an incredibly fascinating country and like no other country I have ever visited.
Insatiable curiosity, a love of learning new things and a voracious sense of challenge has led to a unique set of experiences for which I am forever grateful. I never want to lose my unquenchable love of learning new things.