The cure for boredom is curiosity,” goes an old saying. “There is no cure for curiosity.” Just so: once we start to peer beneath the surface of things, become aware of the gaps in our knowledge, and treat each question as the path to a better question, we find that curiosity is habit-forming.
Sometimes we need to think like Darrell Huff; there is a place in life for the mean-minded, hard-nosed skepticism that asks, Where’s the trick? Why is this lying bastard lying to me?
But while “I don’t believe it” is sometimes the right starting point when confronted with a surprising statistical claim, it is a lazy and depressing place to finish.