The Legacy of Curiosity

Did you know that the family name Joshi finds its roots in the Hindi word ‘Josh’ meaning enthusiasm? Certainly explains all the jumping around I am known to do, eh?

I can already heard some of you going ‘WTF?! That cannot be right!’ Guess what, you are correct! The word Joshi has nothing to do with Josh at all.  It is (I think) a contraction of the Hindi/Sanskrit word ‘Jyotishi’ meaning astrologer – the profession of (most of) the ancestors of the family name in question.

However, a few (hundred?) years from now, assuming that most etymologies have disappeared from casual general knowledge (and judging by the current state of affairs, it seems a highly likely event) the line at the beginning of this post is likely to throw at least one person off. Were the person to be in a gullible state of mind, they would be most likely to accept the explanation without reading further or cross-referencing the little nugget for veracity.

And that, frankly, is my problem.

The world of Wikipedia has made our lives easy, no doubt. However, things are now approaching the point where Wikipedia is looked at as a source rather than a reference. You can’t tell me it doesn’t bother you? Not even the tiniest bit? Really?

Don’t get me wrong, I love me my Wikipedia! However, that doesn’t mean I take its word as holy writ, does it now? Crowd-sourced or stenographed, we all know it doesn’t take long for blind faith to turn into dogma.

No, this article isn’t about Wikipedia at all. It is, as a matter of fact, about the diminishing attitude of curiosity. Wikipedia just happened to be the simplest example I could think of. I guess what I am really trying to say is that the abundance of information has made us somewhat lethargic in our pursuit for knowledge. If link #1 satisfies what we are looking for, we won’t bother looking at links #2 to, well, whatever number your favorite search engine has decided to throw at you for the day. The days of referencing multiple sources of information for accuracy and consistency of information seem to have become as redundant as the very same sources of information in question. Research seems to now refer to merely searching again rather than investing time, effort and energy into looking for answers to questions raised by our ancients & peers.

Rather than devouring the abundant knowledge available and accessible to us these days,  we have begun to prefer it in a bits and piece-meal bytes. “Short attention spans! Blame them for all this nonsense!” will be the call that will be heard from most of those who read up to this point.

Then again, I suspect most of you who reach this point,  either:

a. skipped chunks of text in the middle.
b. skimmed through most of the ‘long-ass nonsense’.

How do I know it? Because, if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be looking for the explanation to those lyrics to “I believe” by Agnee, Parikrama & Shilpa Rao that I wrote in the middle of the blog-post and promised to explain it here, at the end.

Scroll up to check?


Don’t see it?

That’s because I never wrote anything like that in the first place. But hey, thanks for playing! :-P