Curious Minds Are UnstoppableSubmitted by Murphy1844 at 2007-10-11 10:17:21 EDT
Rating: 1.24 on 46 ratings (46 reviews) (Review this item) (V)
One of my roommates came in to my room today and stood there for a second. He looked at my computer screen and said, "business stuff?"
"Yeah." I'm tracking 15 different companies and their returns over the past 10 years to meet a short-term investing goal of netting a 10% return on all investments I will be making for the next year. So far I haven't invested a dollar, which breaks the most important rule of investing (from what I've heard), which is: The best time to start investing was yesterday. The second best time is today... and so on.
"I'm going to run up to Jack In The Box at Mall 205 and see if they're open. Wanna come?"
"Sure," I said.
On the way back (they weren't open so we ended up ordering the new Chili Nacho thing from Taco Bell, which is acceptable but not delicious), we were listening to the Adam Carolla show on 101.1 FM. A caller called in.
"Yeah, I have a question for you guys... I'm just about to graduate from UCLA with a 4-year degree and right now I work at a tire store. I can't find any career in my field and I'm wondering why I got a four-year degree in the first place. I'm thinking I should have gone the vocational school route."
This sparked one of Adam's rants, which I love. "I've said this before," he started, "and I say this all the time..."
He started to talk about curiosity. He compared curious people to not-so-curious people (his wife, specifically, who apparently is only curious about her kids), and opined that curious people ALWAYS FIND A WAY BECAUSE THEY'RE CURIOUS AND THEY LEARN and not-so-curious people are pretty much fucked (in a "what now, I've got a DEGREE and everything so I deserve something right now kind of way").
"College," Adam continued, "is a great place to get your fundamentals like reading and writing and some basic math. Past that, you've got to be curious and keep feeding your mind. Curious minds need a constant stream of information like a shark needs to keep water moving through it's gills. People who aren't curious are like moldy rocks collecting mold. My wife's like a moldy rock. ALL SHE CARES ABOUT ARE HER KIDS, which isn't a bad thing, but she doesn't have a curious mind."
This topic is fascinating, I thought. My other roommate was looking through the Taco Bell bag. He said, "I have a suspicion that they forgot something." A few moments later he said, "I KNEW IT. They forgot my fucking nacho chips. They got the cheese, but they forgot the chips. How FUCKING hard is it to put chips in a bag!!"
I agreed, categorically, with Adam's assessment. He even went on to say that all a curious person needs to get by is basic cable and the internet (Google). I somewhat agree, but this is a talk-radio statement: basic, opinionated, and incomplete. Right as I was thinking that college is a great place to SPARK curiosity, he brought up Dr. Drew (one of my personal heros, by the way).
Evidently they argue about the importance of college. Drew's stand is that college is obviously a place to get your basics, but also (and more importantly) a place to LEARN HOW TO BE CURIOUS. Adam, who identifies more with the work-a-day types and has never been to college, disagrees, stating that curious people are pretty much born that way and, if you're not curious now, college probably isn't going to do anything for you.
I thought back to some intro classes I've taken. Specifically an intro class on philosophy and an intro class on political ideologies. Before taking the classes, I didn't give a shit about these topics and avoided thinking or talking about them because I didn't know a damned thing about either one. After, I found both topics so interesting that I did plenty of "casual" reading by some of the greats, and learned a great deal along the way. Descartes literally ruined my fragile 19-year old mind at this time, but I now thank him for that and the ongoing humility (and frustration) that his ideas have caused. This is off-topic and a post all its own.
What I'm getting to here is that college, in my opinion, is excellent for EXPOSURE to different topics, but if you're going through the motions thinking that a 4-year degree will automatically set you up with a rewarding and high-paying salary then you're fucked. If you're curious, then college is nothing but slip of paper that proves to employers that you can stick to something for a few years and finish it. Beside that, curious people with curious minds are unstoppable.
As for the "business" stuff mentioned above. Thank you Razor for your post. I do come back to this site and read stuff from my favorite authors from time to time and that post will probably change my life. Before that I didn't have a clue about index funds vs. mutual funds, the difference between an IRA and a Roth-IRA, DIPS and DRIPS, and so on.
As for me, personally, I turned 27 in July and I haven't had a drink for almost 6 months. Instead of drinking, I played WoW, and now I have a level 67 Hunter and a 40 Mage (I'd rather be a dork then a drunk). I'll write about my medically supervised detox at another time.
See you around,