Underlying curiosity is this sense of not having the fear of the unfamiliar and the ability to cope with the unfamiliar. It’s this tension between curiosity being met by one or many of our avoidance instincts. It’s important to be aware of these hard-wired avoidance instincts and do the opposite of what they tell you. We have a hard-wired instinct to run from surprise and uncertainty. One theory of the brain’s global function is that it is always trying to reduce surprise. The instinct tells us it’s dangerous, but our environment is very different now. In our current culture we mostly do not have to worry about surprise from predators.

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