On curiosity

I have been frequenting a gas station a couple blocks from my house to get the occasional decaf coffee in the evenings when I've cut my caffeine stream off. They've snared me, the valued customer, with their rewards program. I've been chasing that “FREE” sixth coffee for a while now.

While waiting on the machine to dispense my tepid brown water, I like to examine my surroundings. I noticed that the machines they used were labeled Schaerer CoffeeArt C. I wanted to know more about how the machines operated so I searched for their user manual. If you're also curious, they have other documents here: https://www.schaerer.com/us/coffee-machines/schaerer-coffee-art-c-schaerer-usa

I mentioned this to an acquaintance as if it were the most regular thing in the world to do and they found it odd that I would be digging into how something so mundane worked. I don't know where I got this streak but I believe the curiosity for most things mechanical or electrical has been with me for as far back as I can remember.

It started with a rotary telephone and a mantle clock. The matriarch of the family would let me mess with the phone calling anyone and everyone, letting me roam wherever the numbers would take me at an age when I barely had any vocabulary to use. This was all much to the chagrin of the rest of the family.

Not too long after that I managed to disassemble a mantle clock (that I couldn't reassemble). I remember marveling at all the little parts and I arranged them into small cardboard boxes I had made from other boxes. I wanted to know what made it run.

I'll spare the stories but this seems to be the stereotypical “kid takes apart the toaster” or whatever story that so many of us have. Where does that curiosity come from and why does it cause us to break social norms in its pursuit? I can't say I know but I'm glad it's there.