Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Metacognition? Or Just Thinking?

“We go about our daily lives understanding almost nothing of the world. We give little thought to the machinery that generates the sunlight that makes life possible, to the gravity that glues us to an Earth that would otherwise send us spinning off into space, or to the atoms of which we are made and on whose stability we fundamentally depend. Except for children (who don’t know enough not to ask the important questions), few of us spend much time wondering why nature is the way it is; where the cosmos came from, or whether it is always here; if time will one day flow backward and effects precede causes; or whether there are ultimate limits to what humans can know.”

-Carl Sagan from an introduction to A Brief History of Time By Stephen Hawking

After hearing and reading your peer's reactions during Thursday's class about the listed quotation, what new insight can you add to this quotation analysis? Please respond. (Blog Response Due By Thurs. 1-14-10 at 2:30p.m.)

27 comments:

SJancovic said...

After thinking about it when it states " Except children few of us spend much time wondering why nature is the way it is..." In our life today no one really cares about how things are unless it involves money or a personal benefit. When people start to wonder what is what and why the world spins and why nature is the way it is. Once everyone thinks the way a three year old does then we will find answers. Then everyone will want answers , people who can pursue finding the answers.

Mara L. said...

For me, this paragraph reminds me of something one of my friends told me. He told me that people go through life never truly seeing. We are all walking around blind to everything that is out in our world. We all need to open our eyes and see everything around us. If we see, then we can understand things. I feel that children are the only people who walk around seeing everything. As we grow up we lose our interest and our true vision of the world.

kari mondragon said...

i think that the way little children think should be an inspiration to us at this age. children always as the repeating question of 'why?' and i think that we should do the same. wondering is a way to open up our minds to the world and if we let ourselves wonder we will understand more of what the universe has to offer

Sean said...

The reason I believe that nobody thinks about the things that are vital to our existence except the people paid to think about it because if everyone thought about those things they probably spend all day just doing that. And then nobody would enjoy all of these things that cannot be explained, just thinking about why.

But its probably good that we don't know why things are the way they are because it gives us something to look forward to and live for.

ryan said...

We as humans strive to try and find all the answers to all the questions that we have, but the truth is that we wont know for sure if the answers we come up with are correct or even in the realm of possibility. We as a race cannot understand everything that goes on around us and if we cannot explain it, we will come up with an explanation that may or may not fit. But because no one else can disprove it, the idea is normally accepted.

j maes said...

I love the comment on how children don't know enough not to ask the important questions. I think that if the whole world was as inquisitive and naive to the way the world works we would be far more advanced both spiritually and technologically as a civilization. Every little kids favorite question is "Why?". For some reason as we become adults we stray away from this important yet simple question. Our early ancestors answered this question with mythology, and in the last few hundred years we have taken the scientific approach and have made many advancements

If current trends continue I believe that mankind will in the near future will make major advancements and maybe even definitively answer the questions of our childhood. "Why?" and "How come" things are the way they are.

aschmachtenberger said...

I agree with Sarah Jancovic, these days no one really cares about why things came about in this world. All little kids ask about everything and most of the time we cant answer them. Maybe if we all thought like little kids than we would have more answers. Most of the time when a little kid asks me questions about something that is difficult to answer I usually just make something up and not really try to find the right answer.

Mike said...

Well i think that it is an interesting thought. You are correct that isn't something we typically think about in an average day. I also enjoyed the comment about how this was their early science how will our science be looked at in 100000 years. I believe there is something we can take from this idea that will help benefit society. I am not totaly sure if there are limits that humans have as far as knowledge goes. We still have yet to figure out the maximum capacity of the human brain. -Mriofredo

BaileyG. said...

I believe that the first line of this quote is very true. We all live our lives without questioning the smaller things, like why things happen the way they do. I also think that people try not to have these thoughts because they will want an answer, but with odd questions about gravity, the sun or just human life, you won't be able to get an accurate answer that everyone will end up believing. Which can be frustrating for a lot of people, and totally turns them away from questioning these things. Overall, I think it's important that we question, and come up with possible reasons in our minds. Mostly because it expands our thinking,and understanding of these concepts, but there also isn't anyone there to say our beliefs aren't true.

Silas Getz said...

Children question the workings of the world because they do not have any previous knowledge. Adults stop asking these important questions not that because they know the answer, but that they have accepted that they do not know. Nature can never fully be understood, there are people who may become apart of it and accept it. But the vast unity and flowing sense to it is insurmountable. No one may grasp how something so huge can work flawlessly together. It is not that Adults do not question it is just that they know that they cannot question.

Greg T said...

I think that no one really thinks about the ways of life, about space and what it can tell us or bring. Or even the flowers that people walk by everyday. No one want to know the ways of the world because not everything can be explained. I think that not the time we live in people want to know how evy thing is done and if they cant know they brush it off they don't want to know about it unless we can explain it.

Nicole O

SarahE2010 said...

I think the last statement is the most interesting in this quote. I can't even imagine what time flowing backward would be like; I do believe that one day the universe will start to break apart, or fold in on itself because that is what science tells us. And the day that happens, I wonder if humans will act more primitive to try to survive, therefore resorting back our old ways? In response to the statement at the very end, I do believe there are limits to what humans can know. I think that our brains can only hold so much information; so in order for us to learn a vast amount of new information, man would most likely have to forget a lot of things from our past. I also believe that there are just somethings that humans are never meant to figure out.

Kyle S 2010 said...

"I surrendered my beliefs and found myself at the tree of life injecting my story into the veins of leaves only to find that stories like forests are subject to seasons." -Saul Williams

I think that once we finally do know we won't be living, and that is the wisdom to know while we are breathing. I spent nearly all of my time writing poetry with a sense of lyrical mysticism. I believe in the oneness of everything. It is sad to see a world hell bent on destruction rather than intimate connections between people, searching through darkness hunting for light we peel our perspectives into a melting pot of poetry.

Barry Tischler said...

Its not so much the what questions, or even the how that currently plague us, but the questions of why that we do not understand.

Kenzie B. said...

I somewhat agree with what Carl Sagan is saying in this passage. I agree that we, as people, never have really cared about origin or things like gravity. Very few adults ask the question, "why?" I know I used to think, when I was younger, that my parents knew everything and that they would always have the right answers. But do we ever know the right answers to things? Or could what we think we see as the truth really be a lie? I like the part about ultimate limit of the knowledge of humans. It made me think about our true potential to learn, but also that there may be some things we will never know about the universe.

relliott said...

I agree with this paragraph, that we often don't think about the whys and hows of life and the world. I think that it's important to ask questions. I think as the general human population we should want to know. We should want to know where our food comes from and how cars work. There have been great advances in science so it's not to say that no one has thought of the different things. We have a much greater understanding of things now than we did say 100 years ago, but I know that I personally don't think about the deeper meaning and whys of many things that I see everyday and I think that would be what the general public may do as well. I think that we, as the human race, should look at the deeper meanings and want to know instead of sometimes taking things for granted or being blissfully ignorant to different things. I think people often don't look for answers to different things because they may be uncomfortable or upsetting but personally I think that it's important to open our eyes to those problems everyone wants to ignore.

Cherry M. said...

A lot of people in class said that most of us don't think about things enough. We just go along each day, never wondering why the sun comes up or why gravity works. Another person said that everyone is "clueless" about the earth's existence but that their own ideas can be true for them. I disagree with this statement. The earth was created/came to be ONE way. That means there can only be one truth about its creation. Therefore we can't ALL be clueless--only 99% of us are. Obviously I cannot convince everyone that I know the truth, so that is why not everyone agrees on this issue. I know why the sun comes up, but I still think about it sometimes because it's intriguing. I think that it's healthy for people to ponder these questions every once in a while, because if they don't, they won't ever understand the simple things in life.

jlebel said...

After reading this passage it really made me notice how much I don't think about the way things work or how nature formed. I remember when I was little and I used to ask my parents so many different questions and they would get annoyed by how many I asked and they did not have the answer to some of them. Today in society at this age I think a lot of us are embarrassed to ask the questions that are in our heads because we are so afraid of being judged. If we didn't care so much about what other people thought then the world would be a lot different because people would ask questions like "how do you know the sun will rise every morning?" and this would lead to more intelligent thinking and could lead to more advances in science.

KaylaL said...

We need to be curious in our everyday lives, we can't just sit by relying on what other people think or say. Things have changed so much from the past and things are still changing; just because we figured something out 50 years ago doesn't mean it hasn't changed since. Sometimes I have wondered why there is gravity or how we are made of atoms; no matter how many scientific explanations there are, it will never satisfy the simple curiosity I have.

Greg T said...

The lazy people that exist today rely to much on what thinkers think. Living in the luxuries created by other people, not caring how or why it works they just go with it. Then there's the thinkers, throwing life a way creating things to make life better, make life worth living. Well what makes life not worth living now? why can't we just sit back and watch the sunset, enjoy it for WHAT it is not WHY it is. Sure some people will grow curious about things like this, explore sciences and create algorithms and formulas for everything and it's dog. But why shove it down peoples throats? can't we all just live how we want to live? so what if someone doesn't know the formula for centrifugal force, how is that a requirement for someone who strives to be a musician? If people would just lay off of each other, let us do what we want to do and not just what society thinks we should do we would have peace to ourselves. But it's too late for that. Because somewhere along the lines a thinker shoved his thoughts down someone else's throat, and now we live in fear of not knowing, instead of in bliss from not knowing.
Nicholas Murray, period 2 Greek Mythology

aaronb said...

Even though I beleive that the author of this quote makes a valid point when he says that we dont no enough about the earth, doesnt mean that you are an ignorant person. Some people enjoy learning about things like how gravity works or how the sun gives us energy. However, that doesnt mean that if you dont do your research about sceintific aspects of life such as these that you dont respect it or acknowledge it. If you are a high school history teach for example, and you dont have time to study and research some of the thingss that were listed, you are still helping people everyday of your life. I beleive that everyone has there own place in life.

Robert Bloom said...

we never stop thinking our perpective, questions and answers may have change but we still find new questions new answers todays science maybe tomarow mythology who knows what we call logical today maybe fiction in 2 thousands years

Andrew R said...

I think it is very important to think about these sorts of things, such as why the world is the way we see it everyday. On the other hand, I believe obsession in these impossible questions can be unhealthy. In pondering these questions, I think it is more important not to loose sight of the fact that we are here, and for brief blips in the galactic scale of time.

Maddy French said...

Thinking about the passage I believe that most people are grateful for the useful technological advances, but we usually don't understand why we have such technology. In our society people have dared to think outside the box, and ask why. Also I want to add on to the whole children thing, at first life is full of such questions, and through out hopefully we get a better answer when we experience life. But not only have we asked why we are here, but ancient societies have asked the same thing. Its just a question why we are has been asked for centuries, and probably will be asked for many more.

Greg T said...

I think this is a very interesting quotation. It is very important that no matter how old we get, we continue to ask about the little things and wonder about our world. This is so crucial to our lives, because if we stop questioning and stop wondering about our world, then we will stop learning. If we stop learning then we will never be able to improve our own lives and our world. When we do continue to question and think about our world then we will be able to improve our world and help others to do the same. If everyone continues learning throughout life and continue questioning their world, then society as a whole will continue to develop and improve.

Beckyg

Ben Levy said...

"We go about our lives understanding almost nothing of the world." Society today is relatively ignorant of its surroundings, as opposed to primitive times when they rationalized about what they were ignorant of to satisfy what was then unknown. Creativity, the soul purpose of our success as a species, has been regressing over the centuries. "The invisible must be understood by the visible", a quote taken from the book MYTHOLOGY, and quoted from Saint Paul, leads me to believe that if society today had the inquisitiveness of a first grader, we would have a firmer grasp on what we currently can't conceive and that will inevitably be a future reality.

Danny C said...

I don't really agree that most people do not try to figure out life's hard questions. We all experience different things and emotions but every night we all go to sleep and dream which in a way is the closest we get to death. I agree that we never truly see things for what they are, but I believe the goal of life is to do the best you can