AIF Blog

Susan Orlean: Trade Curiosity for Judgement

Jan 22, 2018
CATEGORY: U.S.A., Arts, Society

Comedian Pete Dominick speaks with writer Susan Orlean at the Aspen Ideas Festival in 2017.

New York Times best-selling author Susan Orlean says ignorance about a subject is a powerful ignitor of curiosity. As someone who has written about bullfighters, orchid fanatics, and an African king who drives a taxi in New York City, she knows a thing or two about delving into far-flung topics. How can we learn to take in the world as an enthusiast and as a curious person? It’s especially important for writers, she says, but it’s more a state of mind than a professional tool. And in this heightened state of other, approaching people unlike ourselves with curiosity rather than judgement could serve us well in getting along and finding commonalities. Orlean joins radio host and “Daily Show with Jon Stewart” veteran Pete Dominick for a lively conversation.

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"Aspen Ideas to Go” is a weekly show featuring fascinating speakers who have presented at the Aspen Ideas Festival and other public programs offered by the Aspen Institute. For a curated listening experience, subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or find an archive of episodes here.


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