Book review – The Curiosity Cycle by Jonathan Mugan











It’s a pleasure to review The Curiosity Cycle: Preparing Your Child for the Ongoing Technological Explosion by Jonathan Mugan

This is an important book because the ideas presented here span multiple domains and the author brings a unique perspective from his own experience.

Curiosity Cycle is about preparing your child for the ongoing technological explosion.

The book’s goal is to make children lifelong learners through fostering a sense of internally driven curiosity (hence the Curiosity Cycle)

The author proposes that the Curiosity Cycle is a learning process that consists of building and testing individual models – which will be an ongoing process for every child

The Curiosity Cycle builds on the idea of ‘incomplete models’ i.e. the idea that an incorrect or incomplete models is better than no model at all – as long as the process of creating,  assimilating and validating models i.e. the curiosity cycle is inculcated in a child. The curiosity cycle thus helps prepare children to live in a world of the future in which computers will have a profound effect on every aspect of society

The book is based on the author’s personal experience on how to build smart robots by enabling them to learn about the world in the same way human children do

The book develops the concepts for the Curiosity Cycle and then applies these ideas to a range of disciplines like history, science and mathematics. The objective is: curiosity leads a child to ask the right questions and to make inferences beyond knowledge already given. This helps the child to handle unexpected situations – and in the future with a world dominated by rapid technological change – there will be many such situations

Finally, the author believes that the future population will be divided between consumers and creators (of ideas/content/technology etc). Thus, the Curiosity Cycle is a powerful tool for a child growing up now.

These are powerful concepts and they also resonate with my own work at Feynlabs

I have also used the idea of incomplete models with Rumsfeld’s analogy (known –unknowns) and also the idea of gedankenexperiments (thought experiments ex Schrodinger’s cat) – for example – “What would a computer see? And Why?” i.e. how would the world look like to a computer

As a parent, I have also been deeply interested in my own son’s learning. Back in Jan 2009 – I blogged this – Arrowes and why the educational system may need to be revamped .. and this Of typewriters and murder
geekdad has a great review also HERE and like that review – I also agree that the Curiosity Cycle is a must read book!

The book link again is: The Curiosity Cycle: Preparing Your Child for the Ongoing Technological Explosion by Jonathan Mugan