Good start Mr Hanselman. Oddly, I’m not sure it’s just curiosity, though curiosity and problem solving, the arena I ask myself the same question about, are somewhat intertwined. I asked myself that some 7 or 8 years ago and here is what I came up with for that.
In the problem solving space, the answer is very much the “Window of knowledge”. Imagine society’s knowledge as a sliding window which moves forward in time. Like a jet engine, we suck up new things about the shiny at one end, and lose the laborious experience it replaces out of the back. The same was true of calculators which replaced mental arithmetic, spell checkers replaced spelling, buying clothes replaced sewing or knitting them etc.
Also, we learn a lot from the fact we are emotionally attached to the experience of doing something, whether we love or hate it. Remove the emotional attachment to the thing, ultimately removes the ability to grok the thing.
It’s an interesting question. The irony is I’m curious what the answer will be.