Do not read!

I told you not to read, but you simply had to know, right? Ok, read on.

“The 5Ws1H provide an immediate form for any news report.”

The previous sentence makes perfect sense, right? No, it probably doesn’t. Though a small number of you may be familiar with the 5Ws1H, most of us have no idea what that is (or they are?). We can’t understand much from the sentence, without knowing what the subject of the sentence is!


The 5Ws1H : who, what, where, when, why and how.

Suddenly, the first sentence makes a lot of sense. We (probably) feel satisfied, knowing what ‘5Ws1H’ stands for. There is now a fitting subject to the sentence. In fact, knowing the complete meaning of the sentence even allows us to guess where that sentence might have been taken from; I would guess that it was taken from some beginner’s guide on writing news reports.

Why did I write the three paragraphs above?

In Kim Todd’s essay in BASNW, Kim starts off by describing the features Surinam Toad and its hunting methods. Kim goes on, and talks about the toad’s “disturbing” mating process. [Your thoughts at this moment: “Hey! Wait a second! Answer the underlined question first! Don’t leave me hanging!”].

This blog post is on curiosity. Kim Todd’s essay in BASNW is titled ‘Curious’. The purpose of my underlined question was to get you, the reader, curious. My first three paragraphs had two purposes: to make you wonder what ‘5Ws1H’ meant, and to give me an opportunity to present the underlined question.

As I wrote this post, at the library, fireworks were going off next to the Coca-Cola building. I wondered why; October 13th wasn’t a special day to my knowledge.

In Kim’s essay, Kim mentions George Loewenstein’s comments on curiosity: “The theoretical puzzle posed by curiosity is why people are so strongly attracted to information that, by the definition of curiosity, confers no extrinsic benefit.” I agree 100 %. I would benefit in no major way by knowing why the fireworks were going off. Yet I wanted to know.

In the past, curiosity was frowned upon. As Kim says, there are plenty of stories in which curiosity plays the villain. There are even sayings, that warn us of the dangers of curiosity (“Curiosity killed the cat”). However, today, we hail curiosity to be the foundation of research, innovation and progress. How did this shift happen? It makes me wonder.




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