- Blest are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they shall have their fill. [The Bible, Matthew 5:6.]
Wondering is the first step toward inquisitiveness; it is the beginning of the religious quest before it springs into action. Curiosity is a middle stage, moving toward the pursuit of knowledge. Inquisitiveness, or the seeking of knowledge, is the third step, like launching the boat that represents the religious quest – the search for knowledge and meaning.
Technical and Analytical Readings
- Stuart Firestein, Ignorance: How It Drives Science (Oxford University Press, 2012): a new look at how ignorance drives scientific inquiry.
- Edward Dolnick, The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World (Harper/HarperCollins Publishers, 2011): “Newton was a finicky, neurotic, off-scale brilliant character who seemed able to hold a problem in his mind, neither sleeping nor eating, ‘thinking on it continually,’ he said, until he’d solved it.”
- Daisy Dunn, The Shadow of Vesuvius: A Life of Pliny (Liveright, 2019): “It was his insatiable curiosity that got him killed. When Mount Vesuviuserupted in A.D. 79, he and his 17-year-old nephew were at Misenum, about 30 miles away, where the elder Pliny was in charge of the imperial fleet. Fascinated by a strange cloud that had suddenly appeared on the horizon, he decided to sail closer and investigate, but what began as a scientific expedition quickly turned into a rescue mission.”
- Reamde: A Novel (HarperCollins Publishers, 2011): "a book-shaped IV bag from which plot flows."
- Anathem: A Novel (William Morrow, 2008).
- Odalisque (Harper Torch, 2006).
- Interface: A Novel (Spectra, 2005) [co-authored by J. Frederick George]
- The System of the World (The Baroque Cycle, Volume III) (William Morrow, 2005).
- The Confusion (The Baroque Cycle, Volume II) (William Morrow, 2005).
- Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle, Volume I) (William Morrow, 2004).
- Cryptonomicon (Avon, 2002).
- Snow Crash (Turtleback 2000).
- The Diamond Age, or A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer (Spectra, 1995).
Works by other authors:
- Elizabeth Gilbert, The Signature of All Things: A Novel (Viking, 2013): a novel about a 19th-century botanist “whose hunger for explanations carries her through the better part of Darwin’s century . . . a story of the Enlightenment, when people first thought to look to the natural world for life’s explanations . . .”
- Gustave Courbet, The White Sail (1877)
Music: Composers, artists, and major works
- Górecki, Symphony No. 2, Op. 31 (“Copernican”)
- Schubert, String Quartet No. 9 in G minor, D 173
- James Willey, String Quartet No. 7: In the opening movement, the cello explores variations on a theme as the higher voices hover over him. The remainder of the work consists of a “Slow” second movement and a “Fast” third movement. The entire work can be seen as an extended intellectual and spiritual journey.
- Raga Shahana Kanada (Shahana Kannada – Shahana Kanara – Shahana Kannara) is a Hindustani raag performed in late evening (performances by Vilayat Khan & Shujaat Khan, Shujaat Khan & Ananda Gopal Bandopadhyay, and Venkatesh Kumar)