Monday, January 9, 2012

Metacognition?

“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. 1-12-12 at 2:30p.m.)

26 comments:

Jackie E said...

there are no stupid questions, there are only intelligent people who ask them. we as humans are all so scared to ask questions and we feel stupid for not knowing EVERYTHING, yet isn't the point of being human to learn?

Casey W said...

As people age, they often find out that the concrete ideas that they believed in become fuzzy. This is largely because the more that we learn as humans, the more we understand old concepts and ideas that we once believed were simple. The lines of concrete and complexity become intertwined to the point where what we believe we knew is no longer as important as the new information that we have obtained. When we are constantly learning and changing ideas that we thought we once understood, the human desire to ask questions about how something works or why something is lessens becomes the clarity they have satisfies their curiosity. They do not need to ask more questions but rather have the ability to be content with what they know.

LaurenTraylor said...
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LaurenT said...

I think it is very important to ask questions because if you never ask any questions you’ll never get any answers. Children not only ask why, but more importantly they ask what if? As we grow older we tend to start overlooking things. It is not naturally that we lose our wonder and excitement about the universe it’s through sitting in desks all day and learning about the world through outdated text books instead of going out in nature and being encouraged to ask questions. New discoveries are made every day and more to be made we just have to start asking questions.

Hailey J said...

I will be graduating this year and will have spent 4 years at Arapahoe having information given to me in bursts every day and will only be able to recall very few events when a teacher has turned around, put the chalk down from the chalkboard and directly asked me what I think about the material I am learning. Does it seem realistic to ME? Do I have any radical thoughts about science or nature? Of course not. In the world today, growing up does not increase the ability to creatively think outside of what elders are telling us, but rather increase the ability to nod our heads and write down what is listed on the PowerPoint in front of us. It’s written in a textbook so it must be true, right? But isn’t some part of a child’s imagination true? To some degree? You won’t find THAT in a textbook. I am not saying that reality isn’t there, and that we are living a lie, I am speaking of the idea that humans lose their insight to ask questions because they know too much and are too afraid of sounding “dumb” or “crazy” to speak of something unconventional, hindering me from thinking millions of thoughts that I would have never even imagined thinking before. Scientific proof only goes so far in a child’s imagination. We think photosynthesis in association to how a flower lives, they think colors and happiness and joy, with no thought of how it might die if the sun doesn’t shine on it for multiple hours at a time…. I wish my mind was not afraid to think outside of the norm, yet have the clear understanding of what is and not be cowardly to think of “what might be”.

Sam Vaughan said...

Children ask the complicated questions because their imagination has room to expand. Most adults or even older teenagers start shrinking their imagination because it doesn't seem to matter how something works, just that it does work. The fundamental mechanics don't matter, just the machine and a whole. Children are naturally curious and ask their questions when they think of them. We don't always ask our questions because we think others will judge us on our lack of knowledge. There are no prejudice against children, so they have no knowledge of being mentally shut down. Many adults stress out about the small things so they don't have time to grasp the big picture. Children have nothing on their plate and plenty of time to think.

Devin L said...

This entry just reminds me that children ask the best questions. They never stop wondering and they dare to ask about what they see when older people are afraid to ask a stupid question children believe there is no such thing.

Niki S said...

This shows how change takes place in everything, no matter what it is. Things change usually from something bad to something fine, and from something fine to something great. It is interesing though, how as we grow our thoughts and imagination shrink. Now that we think we know the "right answers" to things we have stopped thinking outside the box. Children have such large imaginations that spark mind blowing questions that would never cross our minds as adults.

nate roe said...

The world and the universe is very vast. therefore we must not know everything there is to know about everything. Humans are always looking for answers, this has always been the driving force to gain more knowledge about life. Yes I believe we will learn way more then we know very soon. With the restriction that not one man will ever know everything because we are simply not God (Jesus). Asking questions is a way to gain knowledge because to one knows everything about anything. so why not ask as many questions as one can? If no one knows everything then it is not a down fall of a human to ask questions because it is gaining knowledge to become smarter.

OliviaB2012 said...

As we grow older, we believe we have seen everything and have all the answers. We also just accept what we are told because it becomes too difficult to go against the grain all the time. It also seems as though the more questions one asks, the more confused one becomes. One simple question leads to a more in depth question and so on. Soon the questions are so in depth, it's hard to understand the subject at all. Not only do things become more confusing, the wonder is lost when everyone gets caught up in "more important" things. Children have no cares in the world and can spend time worrying about why the sky is blue and the grass is green while older people have to worry about how they will pay for groceries or how to plan their future. However, more time should be spent wondering about the things others may consider trivial. Imagination and wonder are needed in a rather boring world.

Rae.A said...

Frankly I dont think it really matters to most people how the universe works. So many people are so caught up in their own lives and dreams that they just know/hope that everything we know wont change and that the universe will always be here as well as the human race.

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Lauren Fisher said...

I do take for granted the intricacies of the Earth and life itself and do not fully appreciate the complex and profound workings of the universe. Part of the reason why this is is because my finite brain simply cannot fathom all of these processes. I am thankful for everyday I have, but I am not able to fully grasp an understanding of the world. I think there are ultimate limits to what humans can know, and in my opinion, there is a reason for that. I have learned that we only use a small percentage of our brains, which could be a result of our sinful nature. Ultimately, the more that people pause during their day and consider everything going on to sustain life, the more appreciative we will be.

Marcia B said...

I think that our world thinks that we need to know every single thing that there is to know about stuff. I think that we feel as if we want to know more. We always have questions but we are afraid of the people around us and how they will judge us. There are no stupid questions but somehow we still feel as if we can't ask them because of who is around us. We are asked in classes to ask good questions, I feel as if we can't or were scared to ask them because we think that they are stupid and we will be judged. But I think if we never do ask questions that it will lead us no where because we won't get answers. Children always ask questions and are not scared because they aren't sure of what is to come on later. As we get older we become more wise and aware of more things thats why asking questions becomes more different then when we were just little kids and didn't have a care in the world about what others or being judged.

AbbyC2014 said...

To me, the quotation is saying that today we have stopped questioning the fantastic things in everyday life because we are too focused on more complicated ideas and aspects of our lives. It's important to ask questions, no matter how "stupid" one thinks it might be because they are our genuine thoughts and our natural curiosity being put to good use. From reading my partner's analysis, she asks questions and makes observations I probably wouldn't have even thought about because of our different perspectives. It's really interesting to see how asking what might be a simple question to one person could help someone else understand the whole concept a lot better because they see it from a different view.

MattG said...

this just reminds of how little kids can think of the most random thoughts and questions that you wouldn't naturally. And that a child's mind is full of unique questions that can go further into a topic than whats on the surface.

marandaD said...

In order for humans to learn anything, we must accept the fact that we know nothing. To me, nothing in our life is a concrete substance because we can’t truly prove whether or not there is a god, where nature came from, where man came from, and like Rene Descartes said, whether "we even exist or not." Pondering questions, such as children quite often do, are useful only for the "ah-ha!" moments. I hate to be the cynic that argues this point, but unfortunately, I am. I believe that thinking about the spontaneous "what if..." questions only makes our thought process more open minded but it doesn’t necessarily impact our everyday lives. For example, Rene Descartes, a famous philosopher, argued the point that the only thing that we can prove exist is our self based on the soul fact that we can ask the question "Do I exist." He stated that just by asking that question, you proved that you, yourself existed but that there was no way that you could prove everything around you existed. The common argument to that were our senses; the fact that we can feel, see, hear, touch, and taste other things makes it exist to us. But he believed that our senses weren’t even a part of our existence either; they were things that we had grown up to notice within our society. Anyway, the message to my madness is: yes, wondering whether our best friends, family, emotions, dogs, nature, gods, etc... Truly exist, is most fascinating. But questioning all of it doesn’t change the fact that I am still here. I am still going to wake up tomorrow morning, get ready for school, go to school, go to work, hang out with friends. And at the end of the day, the question truly only had an impact on a couple thoughts, but not my life. So as a cynic would say, why waste the time wondering why the sky is blue, if there is a god, why we feel pain, and if we exist? It just is what it is, so live for what it is.

marandaD said...
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Nate H. said...

In life people tend to worry themselves to much with what other people are doing. Celebrities for example; why should any person care what someone eats for breakfast just because they were in a movie? Yes, they have a talent, but it is still reciting lines off of a sheet of paper, something most people of done in school since they started. In another situation, let’s say I overheard someone discussing their views on religion, and I disagree with them, does not mean that I should go to them and try to convince them of why my way is better. It is an opinion, and everyone has them, and no one can tell you that you are wrong because it is yours to choose. As long as what I am doing does not harm anyone, then do not bother me. And as long as you do not harm me or any other person, then you are alright with me.

Zoe Tinnes said...

When I think of a child asking me a question, it begins with "why...?". Its usually the most basic question you can ask about something. They are not concerned about what anyone thinks of the question, because they are not expected to know anything. As they grow up their imagination is filled with facts, things they've heard and learned. As they mature and become adults, they lose sight of their imagination. They begin see a very straight and narrow path. Now, the question they should be asking is "how...?". They already know "why" we have it. But how does it work, and how can we improve it. Unfortunately, our society doesn't allow that. People have become convinced that their ideas are "stupid" and their imagination is "nonsensical". We grow to tolerate the way things have worked for the past 100 years, and do nothing to change it. That is why our modern day society chooses to run on systems and administrations that were modeled to flourish during the industrial revolution, not the 21st century.

DominicP said...

When we get older from kids to teenagers to young adults we ask questions of what we don't know as we get older. Over time we stop asking a lot of questions because we look at life in a different way, we find the answers ourselves or we know the answer but we go in denial thinking there is another answer to that question. I know from my experience I ask questions and then watch people or events unfold over time to answer my questions from the other day or from years ago. As humans the desire to answer our questions is big but to get an actual answer takes a long time to get, so being inpatient people we stop asking questions.

brendand said...

I find it interesting that adults live their lives at such a fst pace that they nevers top to ponder questions like these. Kids are interesting in that way because they have no idea that what theyre asking is actually important, they just ask because they want to know. Maybe adults should learn something from their children and start pondering these things more themselves.

GriffinH said...

I don't think the Greeks were primitive or immature by asking questions trying to explain nature, man or Gods. They are just like people today. Today people know more about why the sun rises and sets, and we know that it isn't because of any sun God, however we are still trying to learn more about our world. We do this by always asking questions, just like the Greeks.

Paulh said...

Most Americans and humans in general live very passive lives. We accept what is presented to us choosing not to challenge or even begin to think about the subject, regardless of consequences. This in turn has a cyclical effect. When we stop asking questions, we stop creating material worthy to ask questions of or even think about. This is the dilemna schools face. Do they simply present information or challenge the student to really learn about their own existence?