The masses listen to scraps of news with eagerness as it pours out of the radio, as it is illustrated by the television, or as it is printed in the journals published every day. In this way their curiosity is momentarily satisfied, but only momentarily. It arises afresh day after day until it becomes a thirst.
There are two points of interest here which may not be generally noticed. The first is that curiosity is not all bad--it is a kind of caricature of the desire to know and to understand. It is related, if rather remotely, to that wonder which Plato said is a beginning of philosophy. The second point is that the satisfaction of continuing this curiosity scatters attention until the scattered condition becomes a permanent part of the mental character. Philosophy departs from this state through sustained interest in its study, concentrated practised attention in its meditation, and independent thought for its application in living. All these run counter to the scattered mental condition of the mass of mankind.
-- Notebooks Category 13: Human Experience > Chapter 2: Living in The World > # 131