Curiosity is probably the most valuable boon that man is blessed with, for without curiosity we stand still and stagnated. Curiosity is that what took the hunter-gatherer Homo Sapiens of more than 90000 years old to the present-day Artificial-Intelligence-producing man. All the inventions and discoveries that mankind had seen were the results of the effort put in by the people to find answers to satisfy their curiosity. Aeroplanes that enable you to cross distant frontiers in time shorter than ever imagined; medicines that save us from illness and diseases, fridge that keeps food away from spoilage; and name anything before your eyes, all are the results of satisfying the curiosity by asking questions that were never asked or answered before.
Curiosity is the inner urge to know. In order to satisfy your curiosity, you need answers which demand you to ask questions, and to ask questions, you need to have a fearless mind. And a fearless mind is the product of socio-politico-cultural freedom that an individual enjoys in a society. This translates into freedom to think and express the thoughts without the fear of retribution or victimization by the social, political and cultural institutions in a society.
Any system that stops people from asking questions is inherently designed to stagnate. A nation where individuals are afraid of the political and cultural systems and that such fears kill their curiosity will not be able to innovate anything for the progress of humanity. Have you ever wondered why inventions and discoveries are happening in USA, Europe and in similarly socially and politically progressive nations and not in authoritarian counties like China or Russia? Why new ideas that resulted in the inventions of aeroplanes, computer, Internet, Uber, Amazon, google, facebook, came from U.S.A., not from China or Russia?
Shale oil is there beneath the seabed of most of the oceans, but no country had the technology to take it out on a cost-effective basis. Then, the Americans invented the fracking technology which changed the entire crude oil dynamics, including the Middle-Eastern geopolitical impact on crude oil price. Today, USA is the largest producer of crude oil, with more than 12 millions barrels per day, or bpd — a giant leap from 4-million bpd during the pre-shale time — being pumped out. And that keeps crude oil price very much in check. So, why the Americans, not the Chinese or the Russians, invented the fracking technology? Well, the Chinese then followed the Americans and are now using the same fracking technology to pump out shale oil.
All these and similar inventions — all are the results of satisfying of the curious minds — came from these progressive nations because the peoples there were not afraid of anything while asking questions to satisfy their curiosity. China and Russia are not innovators — except in the military and military-related sectors like space where these governments allow asking questions unreservedly, for it benefits their regimes — but mostly followers of ideas that were already invented and in practice. This is not because the Chinese or the Russians are less intellectual than the Americans and the Europeans, but the political systems in these countries did not give them the freedom to think without fear.
It is important for the peoples of the world to remain vigilant against the attempts to stifle our freedom to think without fear. Otherwise, humanity will be artificially-destined to stagnate, not to progress.