Tuesday, August 6, 2013

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. 

40 comments:

Tyler R said...

I believe that this quote is saying that people don’t fully understand the world that they live in and that people just take life for granted. When he says, “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.” I believe by this quote he means that people don’t think about how they are here or how life works but they just go on their day depending on the atoms that we never give any thought to.

Davidc said...

I think that this quote states a very realistic opinion on how the world works and how people live. nobody ever stops to think about the atoms in trees and elements in the dirt we walk on. I stopped to take in the world earlier and i did think about this. then my brain started hurting and i stopped. turns out it is a lot to think about. this is most likely why people dont think about it all the time. it is a lot.

Taylor Kelln said...

As human beings, we want to know and understand everything. Why does this do this? How did that come to be? That curiosity is just in our nature. So we come up with an explanation (myth)that makes sense to us so we can understand how these things come to be.I believe we will never stop being curious and wondering about such phenomenons like gravity.We will constantly pursue an explanation that makes more sense than the pthers. It is just how humans are.

Kgardner 04/19-1 Mr Atherton0125-1 said...

I agree with Carl Sagan’s quote about how no one ever really thinks about the gifts we are already given. Everyday we get to go outside and do anything we want. We have the choice to jump, eat, skip around, play basketball, or even dance. But as we are doing these things, we never think about how we obtained those gifts. Everyone thinks that is just how life is or that it has always been that way. Not many people think about how they even got a body or how life even started, and when you do think about it, it astounds you. The fact that in our bodies we have organs that each do different things and blood cells so tiny you can’t even see it without a microscope. Then inside those cells we have protons, neutrons, and electrons that have their own job; but what is more amazing is that scientist think all of that was made out of a huge explosion out in space. How could an explosion make every single cell in our bodies with such delicacy? How could it could it create everyone of us with all different characteristics and looks? These thoughts have always made me think and wonder, but like Carl Sagan’s quote, I don’t often think about the gifts of just living. Especially when I am upset for not getting things I really want or wanted, when I should just be thankful for living on this planet.

Donte L said...

I don’t think i have ever thought about and been thankful for the sun or gravity. I have gone all through my life not even thinking about the atoms that i am made of. The children have the imaginary minds to question it but they are not educated enough. Is there really a limit to all humans can know?

Tajalik Davis said...

Blog #1:

This quote makes me think of death. Children ask what happens after death and there are so many explanations, but no one really knows what happens next. As we get older we get used to not knowing and it doesn't cross our minds that often. When children think about death they don't understand it because childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies. When adults think about death it can scare us because most people don't want to die, the will to live is an animal instinct.

JonathanC said...

I think that we stop asking a lot of these questions because we know the answers, or at least know that other people know the answers. When we were kids, we thought we were being the first to discover these new things, but in reality other people knew these answers long before us. So now we don’t ask those questions because we know that the answers to those questions are out there. I also agree that the Greeks made up all these incredible creation stories and such, because they didn't know, but now we do know how the world works, and have less need for the myths.

JohnS2014 said...

I think that the first part of the quote is true, we dont understand anything of our world. I think its because we dont care. In ancient times, the world had meaning to people. There was reasons for nature and the way things went. In current times we dont have that. We seem to have lost touch with our meaning and now shortcut everything to make life more simple. But is simple better? No. Sometimes the complicated rout is the rout to discovery. But now discoveries are meaningless because the world has lost touch with how things started, back when everything, important or not, had a story or a meaning.

Ciera Curran said...

The quote says that we don't look for answers because we know most of them and don't want to explore farther to understand more about the Earth. I think we don't know what questions are the good ones to ask so we can't learn farther about the Earth.

Kaitlyn H said...

I agree with the comment that someone stated about humans accepting the knowledge about the Earth being the way it is. We have learned that the world is the way it is, just because someone told us. As we get older, the innocence of being a child is lost and we lose our imagination. This reminds me of being in elementary school. When I was in fourth grade, my sister was in sixth grade and I went to her middle school one time. The middle schoolers looked so big to me, but now looking back, they weren't that big at all. Things that are not that big now seemed gigantic back then. We grow up, become more mature, and don't see the world as we used to.

Winona said...

Losing childhood wonder, makes most humans feel trapped in a certain way of thinking. Children, have no idea where their life will take them, so they all ask questions, and think more out of the box.

Colin Tinker said...

Carl Sagan is one of the few to question everything. Refreshingly, he stops and divulges everything we believe about or universe. Rarely do we stop and think, think about what it all means and where, how and why we're all here. We seldom ponder on the magnificent aspects of our physical and spiritual world. We all see so much in our physical world yet we accept everything as fact. When in reality, anything and nothing could be sterling.

JohnS2014 said...

I think that the first part of the quote is true, we dont understand anything of our world. I think its because we dont care. In ancient times, the world had meaning to people. There was reasons for nature and the way things went. In current times we dont have that. We seem to have lost touch with our meaning and now shortcut everything to make life more simple. But is simple better? No. Sometimes the complicated rout is the rout to discovery. But now discoveries are meaningless because the world has lost touch with how things started, back when everything, important or not, had a story or a meaning.

Unknown said...

Curiosity starts at a young age but slowly goes away as you get older because of society.

Taylor said...

The reason that as we grow older we don’t wonder about the origin of things anymore is that we don’t care where things come from because we get used to seeing things everyday and we get used to just focusing on ourselves and things that are going on in our lives. We lose our innocence and lose our curiosity when we become adults. We don’t have meaning behind things like gravity and the sun because we have facts and science to show us exactly what they are. We don’t believe myths anymore.

Mai Nguyen said...

In ancient times they used to put a lot of passionate meaning behind all aspects of nature. Every reaction had a cause due to a supernatural being that created nature. today, however, we don't have meaning behind what happens because we are given fact and scientific proof behind all little things. We as humans today know why life is the way it is, so we don't actually question much any more. We don't have specific creatures or meanings behind physical materials. What we find to be most important to ask about has change drastically since the times of gods living among the humans.

Mai Nguyen said...

In ancient times they used to put a lot of passionate meaning behind all aspects of nature. Every reaction had a cause due to a supernatural being that created nature. today, however, we don't have meaning behind what happens because we are given fact and scientific proof behind all little things. We as humans today know why life is the way it is, so we don't actually question much any more. We don't have specific creatures or meanings behind physical materials. What we find to be most important to ask about has change drastically since the times of gods living among the humans.

Mai Nguyen said...

In ancient times they used to put a lot of passionate meaning behind all aspects of nature. Every reaction had a cause due to a supernatural being that created nature. today, however, we don't have meaning behind what happens because we are given fact and scientific proof behind all little things. We as humans today know why life is the way it is, so we don't actually question much any more. We don't have specific creatures or meanings behind physical materials. What we find to be most important to ask about has change drastically since the times of gods living among the humans.

Taylor said...

The reason that as we grow older we don’t wonder about the origin of things anymore is that we don’t care where things come from because we get used to seeing things everyday and we get used to just focusing on ourselves and things that are going on in our lives. We lose our innocence and lose our curiosity when we become adults. We don’t have meaning behind things like gravity and the sun because we have facts and science to show us exactly what they are. We don’t believe myths anymore. - Daly

Daria said...

I think that once we grow up we do not ask those questions anymore because we accept the explanations we have been told. We don't float into space because gravity keeps us down. We can explain everything threw our belief system. Whether that means we explain with science or religion it is easy to think that you know everything and not ask questions.

Daria said...

I think that once we grow up we do not ask those questions anymore because we accept the explanations we have been told. We don't float into space because gravity keeps us down. We can explain everything threw our belief system. Whether that means we explain with science or religion it is easy to think that you know everything and not ask questions.

JamesD said...

I think it's true. We go through life just going through the motions. Most of us as humans go through the same routine every single day. We need to take more time to be thankful for what we have and all of the good things we have in our lives.

Caleb L said...

I believe that this is true, that people don’t usually think about how things happen or why they happen. We don’t usually wonder at these things like we did as kids, or really even care. We know now that we don’t NEED to know all of these things and that they don’t even have any effect on our daily lives. For this reason I think that everyone should have the ability and curiosity to at least have an introductory study of worldly sciences, like physics. Through physics, we have the ability to get that child like curiosity back, learning about the world and how it works, both mathematically and theoretically. Why does the ball fall off the cliff the way it does? Why does paper fall at a different rate than a rock? These are simple concepts that we take for granted.

Calvin said...

With time comes maturity, but with maturity we do not have to limit what we want to know. How can we call ourselves human if we stop being curious and striving to gain knowledge of things. As Sagan states, “we go about our daily lives understanding almost nothing of the world.” Are we too caught up in life that we have restricted ourselves? In our desires for knowledge, we should compare ourselves to children. They stay curious about many things, wanting to know as much as possible. We should apply their desires to the way we want to know things.

Calvin

Caleb L said...

I believe that this is true, that people don’t usually think about how things happen or why they happen. We don’t usually wonder at these things like we did as kids, or really even care. We know now that we don’t NEED to know all of these things and that they don’t even have any effect on our daily lives. For this reason I think that everyone should have the ability and curiosity to at least have an introductory study of worldly sciences, like physics. Through physics, we have the ability to get that child like curiosity back, learning about the world and how it works, both mathematically and theoretically. Why does the ball fall off the cliff the way it does? Why does paper fall at a different rate than a rock? These are simple concepts that we take for granted.

aidanw said...

I believe that people don't focus on the machinations of the universe because we need to put our attention on the outside of it all as a society. If we all wandered around thinking about the atoms that make up everything then we would not be able to progress as a species. We require social interaction and need to feel safe in our environment, and we cant do that if we always know that most of what we see and feel is actually empty space occupied at different times by electrons.

LaurenL2015 said...

Although we know it all exist, the universe, gravity, everything, not matter what, but it didn't used to be that way. When we were young, we didn't know, we were just trying to figure it out. We all looked at the world with such wonder and awe. Even if it was terrible, to us it seemed wonderful and new. It's like when you were young and you remember something, like an amusement park ride, a playground, or a house, it's seems so big, but then you go back as an adult and its just not the same. I have a family friend who works at Disneyland for Fantasmic. They have two dragons for the show, one new and shiny, the other more or less a sheet over some wire, but it was his favorite one because it made you use your imagination more. Something that, as we get older, forget how to do. You find out how much evil is in the world and how everything works and it loses its magic.

Klarissa S said...

One of the greatest things I have learned from the Greeks so far is that they were not afraid to question. I think that all too often anymore people don't question enough. We leave pondering - like the quote said - for children. However, without questioning, there is no way to analyze and learn from the world around us. So therefore, if we hope to attain the answers of life, we ought to ask the simple questions about nature and our surroundings, just as the Greeks did.

Chase said...

I agree that kids do think more about the world than someone who has created a daily routine, but I also think there is a limit to how far we can say that they do so. Their creativity and open-mindedness is incredible, but they do not have the knowledge of someone who has taken a bio or chem class. Kids do think the best in seeking answers, but they (unfortunately) don't have the advantages that people in high school or college have.

TaraP said...

​There are probably a million things we walk by everyday, not understanding any of them. The only way we end up coming to an understanding is being forced fed knowledge or simply having a curiosity. Curiosity is a wonderful thing. It’s what fuels our wanting to expand our knowledge; it helps keep an open mind to the world. The quote talks about how children are the ones who ask the important questions. I think this is because they have the wonderful gift of not knowing better. They don’t care if it’s okay or not to ask a certain question. If they think it, they say it. Not worrying about the opinions to be followed. As we grow older I think some of us, but not all, loose this curiosity. We are expected to take things seriously and be more “mature” and sometimes that means asking, what some people might think are silly, questions is not looked at positively. I also think people go through life not understanding because they just don’t want to. Ignorance is bliss is a well known phrase and maybe to some it is true.

Maddison said...

I believe that this quote is saying that people don’t fully understand what life really is, we don’t look at the big picture we are all just stuck in our own little bubble and we don’t want to leave our comfort zone. We never stop to think about the important things in life, like what is the sun stopped? What if there were no trees? What if we used all the water? Just some little things like that, that can make a huge difference but we just never stop to think about it.

TaraP said...

​There are probably a million things we walk by everyday, not understanding any of them. The only way we end up coming to an understanding is being forced fed knowledge or simply having a curiosity. Curiosity is a wonderful thing. It’s what fuels our wanting to expand our knowledge; it helps keep an open mind to the world. The quote talks about how children are the ones who ask the important questions. I think this is because they have the wonderful gift of not knowing better. They don’t care if it’s okay or not to ask a certain question. If they think it, they say it. Not worrying about the opinions to be followed. As we grow older I think some of us, but not all, loose this curiosity. We are expected to take things seriously and be more “mature” and sometimes that means asking, what some people might think are silly, questions is not looked at positively. I also think people go through life not understanding because they just don’t want to. Ignorance is bliss is a well known phrase and maybe to some it is true.

Unknown said...

hello

EmilyM said...

I think that what the quote means is that as humans we never question much in life, we just accept it. We never think about why or how things happen. I have a few questions though, why are we (as humans) like this? Why don’t we question things more often? Is it because we are afraid to or because we aren’t sure that the person or thing that is answering will have an answer or not? This quote reminds me of 6th grade gifted and talented at Powell when our teacher asked us to do lots of research about something we don’t know but have always wondered about and then we had to present it to the class. That was such a lengthy project that took lots of time because I had to find a computer, now all my questions’ answers are at the tip of my fingers. Do you think that nowadays we are able to answer more of our questions because of technology?

Brandon W. said...

Sagen says “We go about our daily lives understanding almost nothing of the world…. Except for children (who dont know enough not to ask the important questions)....” What I get from this is that the children are too simple to understand the universe and all of the answers to the wonderful questions that they ask, While the older and more educated do have the ability to understand them but we won’t ask these questions out of fear of sounding too simple. And I find this incredibly ironic. If only those who are more educated could ask those questions as often as the children. I think we were asked to respond to this because it can relate to mythology. Because mythology could have been an answer to these questions.

Brandon W. said...

Sagen says “We go about our daily lives understanding almost nothing of the world…. Except for children (who dont know enough not to ask the important questions)....” What I get from this is that the children are too simple to understand the universe and all of the answers to the wonderful questions that they ask, While the older and more educated do have the ability to understand them but we won’t ask these questions out of fear of sounding too simple. And I find this incredibly ironic. If only those who are more educated could ask those questions as often as the children. I think we were asked to respond to this because it can relate to mythology. Because mythology could have been an answer to these questions.

Nikita W. said...

This quote is a perfect example of how most people just accept the answers they are presented with, opposed to looking into the question themselves. We acknowledge our surroundings and just accept the facts that we know about them, but we don't often pay any mind to the roots and origins of them. As Carl Sagan states, "...few of us spend much time wondering why nature is the way it is." In my opinion, people have gotten way too lazy when it comes to asking and exploring questions. In today's world most of the obvious mysteries have been solved, which has made people oblivious to the intimate details that make this world what it is and allow us to go about our daily lives. Our world is still a massive enigma, and if people continue to pay no mind to it, how will it ever be revealed in the slightest?

triggs7 said...

I agree with this quote in the thought that we rarely take the time to be happy with the things that really keep us around. I think that when we age, we don't forget about these things, but we become so routine with the things we do every day, most of us don't even start think about things like gravity, the sun, grass. Were so caught up in consequences and negatives like, "Will I get to school on time?" or "Will I get grounded if I do this?" to think about the good things like, "Hey, I'm happy the sun still works!"

Emily Merlin said...

Carl Sagan had a lot of thought-provoking questions. There were several in this quote that really made me think about how fascinating it is that humans are the only species on the planet that have developed from primitive beings to a technologically-advanced civilization. Often, we are so caught up in our advanced technology that we don’t stop and ask ourselves, “how did we get here?” Sometimes I will find myself absorbed by my thoughts, and I pause and observe my surroundings, and suddenly become overtaken by how incredible it is that we have progressed so much. There are still unanswered questions. Everyday, scientist are trying to discover more and more about the complex creation of space. Isn’t the idea of it astounding? What’s else is out there? Exactly how big is it? We are striving for answers to all of these questions. This relates to Greek Mythology because the Greeks were just like us; striving for answers. They just didn’t have scientists back then, so they used mythical gods to answer their questions.

Olivia N said...

The world is full of the unknown, I think most of the worlds population is scared of the unknown so we don't ask. We assume everything happens for a reason and that's it. But it's true there are so many thing in this world that people are oblivious to we are so used to seeing the sun, and other people that it seems normal no one ever ask how did all of this get her how does the sun shine so bright or how does this machine operate. We just live our lives ignoring all of this.People are scared to test the limits of the human body and brain we don't care to know what will happen to Earth 200 years from now how it will change or look. Thinking about it it's crazy that people dont think more about these thing and Sagan has a good point. We are so used to the lives we live that we dont question anything.