I never bought the claim that curiosity killed the cat. Now, if you told me curiosity caused the cat to spend hours on end reading op-eds on how Australia’s Koalas are going extinct, watching YouTube videos on why Cuba’s cab drivers make more than doctors or discussing what Brexit really means with other curious cats so much so that the cat forgot to eat its catnip and take a long-overdue catnap – now that, I could buy.
As someone who identifies deeply with the latter cat, I’ve come to accept that curiosity knows very few boundaries. We can get lost in an article on why almost all world maps are blatantly wrong then the next moment, be reading about the real reason Boeing jets keep crashing.
I recently learned that China is constructing man-made islands in the South China Sea. They’re literally dumping massive amounts of sand and dirt into the ocean until it piles up enough to be called an island. Apart from creating a 5-star, five cubic foot resort for one unlucky Chinese solider, the idea is to manipulate international maritime law and use these islands to claim legal rights to the surrounding sea and air. Up to this point, that area has gone uncontested as public international domain. It’s extremely important for world power dynamics as about ¼ of all global trade moves through the South China Sea. By building their little islands, China can lay claim to this territory and control its trade.
While I’ll always stand by any form of knowledge acquisition as a worthwhile endeavor, I can’t say I’ve done much about politics in the South China Sea, the cab drivers in Cuba, the crazy ride of Brexit – I haven’t even boycotted flying after realizing how incredibly unregulated a company like Boeing is with their safety precautions.
At the end of the day, few of these stories land close to home. They’re a blip on the page, a lunch break throughout a busy day, a late-night conversation over a beer with a friend. The following morning, they’re all but forgotten. Little of day to day life was affected and curiosity continues to aimlessly wander about.
That’s where this site comes in.
The rise of multi-million-dollar news empires has generated some amazing things. We now all have access to world-class reporting with a reach into our pocket. But as we increasingly look down into our phones and out to a world far beyond the scope of our immediate impact, we neglect the fundamental building blocks of our homes, communities, and democracy.
The result is stories that go untold and unshared. Stories that shape the experience of living in a certain place – for better or for worse. These stories will continue to be written whether we listen to them or not. But the more we tune in to them, the more we embolden our voices to take the reigns over how we understand and grow the places we call home.
Curiocity starts in Nashville. A city frequently cited as one of the fastest growing areas in the US, Nashville is bustling with stories young and old. For many of those moving to Nashville, the city can be hard to grasp. Bustling Broadway balconies look over streets cluttered with construction cranes glowing in neon lights but when the music dies down and the sun comes up, there is far more to Nashville than first meets the eye.
Why are all of these cranes here in the first place? What does their presence mean? Why is the traffic so bad for such a small city? Why don’t I see much public transportation in Nashville? How does copyright law impact Music City? What does Amazon arriving in Nashville mean for the future of the city? How did country music become associated with Nashville? What does the city government even do here? How has the city responded to the flooding that only a decade ago brought water gushing up and down the streets along the Cumberland River? What can I do about all these things happening right in my backyard?
Curiocity will explore these questions and many more as we come to understand what makes a place tick. Diving into the stories of a city lets us ask questions about what is actually going on in our homes, who is calling the shots, and why haven’t we heard their stories before? And it might make you wonder if it was really curiosity that killed the cat after all.