My appreciation and understanding of the natural world can be attributed to one thing above all else: YouTube.
This may sound odd for a medium that is used primarily to watch sneezing pandas or X-factor clips, but YouTube is genuinely the most incredible educational tool. Think of virtually anything– from Quantum Theory to DNA splicing – and there will probably be a fascinating short video discussing it. There are videos for all levels of detail and presumed knowledge. There are discussions and debates to learn about related issues. It really never has been so easy to learn about the world we live in. I only did physics up to GCSE, but countless videos explaining the Higgs Boson and String Theory means I feel I’ve got at least a decent grasp on many rather complex issues. I promise you, the more you learn, the more you appreciate this incredible cosmos.
You don’t need to go out your way to find a book, or even be alert enough to bother reading. Just type in a word you think may be interesting and there’s likely to be an American professor explaining the issue to you from the comfort of your bed. That, if you ask me, is truly amazing, and something which the internet doesn’t receive enough credit for.
People think that reading makes you a more intelligent and interesting person. This may well be true. But it’s not reading per se that is significant: it’s the information. You can read crap books forever and still be remarkably stupid. Equally, you could watch fascinating concise clips on YouTube and listen to absorbing Podcast debates and lectures, teaching yourself masses of data whilst kicking back and letting technology do the work. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it should really be encouraged.
Never before have we been able to learn so much in such a languid manner. For inherently lazy yet curious people like me, it really is tremendous.