I remember visiting magic shows as a lil kid, maybe 4-5, too young to understand that illusions are just smoke and mirrors. I dint have to know enough of the laws of nature to know that something here was defying them. The wide eyed, wide mouthed wonder while watching a carpet fly, a sawed up lady spring back to life and a rabbit popping out of a hat, the gasp, the silent movement of the lips shaping a barely audible how, all markers of an unending thirst to know more and a willingness to go to great lenghts to find out the answer.
Let us now imagine a scenario where instead of a magician in vivid colors pushing the limits of reality, an old grim looking man in a dusty room , equiped with a black board and a chalk teaches a child exaclty how each of these tricks work. The only difference here, is that the child has never really seen these tricks being performed.
While there's a high probability of the first child learning the technique behind the illusions by taking great pains teacher or not, It would take a miracle to even faintly interest the second one. The poor thing is wondering why in the world he should know how to make a furry animal quite similar to a rat jump out of apparel used to cover the head of balding men.
Let us now take the case of men in the years bygone undertaking long and perilous journeys to discover the secrets of life, to measure the world and the skies. Their constant urge to know constantly drawing the best out of them, with scant regard to their own lives, let alone luxury and comfort. Juxtapose this with our unwillingness to walk till a lecture theater a few hundred meters away to learn sometimes these very facts to the unearthing of which lifetimes were dedicated. Centuries of knowledge maybe packed into 50 minutes. How many times do we feel its worth the effort ?
Curiosity and wonder is inherent in every child. It would take a lot to kill it. Maybe 12 + 4 is exaclty what it takes.
5 weeks ago