Up@dawn 2.0

Friday, August 26, 2016

Quiz Aug29/30

Peripatetic philosophy (and space-faring, and belief-sharing). PW1-2; Gymnasiums of the Mind 

    1. What has introduced an invasive "sporting spirit" to the child's play of walking?
    2. What does Gros say we escape from, by walking?
    3. According to Gros, “when you are walking, there is only one sort of performance that counts.” What is it?
    4. In Hindu philosophy, what are the four stages on the journey through life?
    5. Whose students and literal followers were known as peripatetics?
    6. Who said he could only meditate when walking?
    7. Who roamed his "Sandwalk" daily with his fox terrier?
    8. How much does the average American walk?

    DQ
  • Do you agree that “modern life is moving faster than the speed of thought, or thoughtfulness?” What's the solution?
  • Walking is not a sport, but it once was. "For several decades in the later nineteenth century, the favorite spectator sport in America was watching people walk in circles inside big buildings." * Comments?
  • We do not belong to those who have ideas only among books," said Nietzsche, "it is our habit to think outdoors." Do you find your own indoor thoughts more bookish, your outdoor thoughts more natural and free? Do we need more practice during class, to notice the difference?
  • Do you find that a long walk (hike, bikeride, or some other personally-functional equivalent) makes you feel more yourself, or less like a self at all? 
  • COMMENT: "As in the 1950s, this is a time when belief is dividing the nation and the world," says Jay Allison about life today. "We are not listening well, not understanding each other -- we are simply disagreeing, or worse."
  • COMMENT: "Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves." Carl Sagan
  • Do you agree with Neil deGrasse Tyson that NASA's budget should be doubled?
  • Post your DQs too, please.
Looking ahead-
Little Histories (@LittleHistoryof)
'Snub-nosed, podgy, shabby, and a bit strange, #Socrates did not fit in' – @philosophybites ow.ly/rNIK303zo76pic.twitter.com/MxlhPLBDIa

54 comments:

  1. I do feel more free and like myself when I am outdoors, perhaps because indoors it is easier for me to concentrate. I have ADHD so the very thought of trying to think about homework, or books, or work at all while I'm outdoors is difficult for me to relate to. And while long walks and the outdoors do make me feel more like myself, It's only when I sit down in nature and take a moment to examine the things around me that I feel less like a self.

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    1. I have to agree with you on this one. I enjoy hiking and walking within nature, it can be a spiritual experience. It's when you take a moment to just be and enjoy it though that you really get a lot out of it. I will not deny the therapeutic and health benefits of walking anywhere, but i feel like you will never get as much out of walking around your neighborhood as you do out of walking up a mountain.

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    2. Going off of what Bryce said, I feel like each walking indoors and outdoors has their own benefits. Taking a break from work or school or whatever it may be that you are focusing on will always give you the benefit to relax for a minute, breathe and refocus. Walking indoors on a treadmill or indoor track, are the times I feel that I can best think about things that go on in my life personally, i.e things I have to do before bed, personal matters, work conflict, etc. Walking outdoors or hiking is more beneficial to me in a philosophical sense. You can think about the bigger questions of the world, appreciate natural beauty and be humbled by your small space in this large universe. It frees you from those daily obligations and from that sense of self that Lydia mentioned.

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    3. H3
      I am an extreme hiking and nature walking enthusiast because it gives me a chance just to think about life. Also, if I so wish, I can flush all the thoughts from my mind and just be one with nature, be at peace. That is the most enjoyable part of taking a hike for me because i see it as a kind of therapy where i can relieve all of my stress and just be one with the world.

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  2. Here's a discussion question: Gros classifies "being someone" as "a social obligation" because we have to work to stay faithful to the image we have created of ourselves. My question: How can we know how many facets to our personalities, beliefs, abilities and lack thereof, are merely a result of self inflicted habits and assumptions? How frequently do we make decisions with the subconscious thought, "This is who I tell myself and others I am, so I must act or think this way."?

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    1. Social constraints and forces are a very strong force imperceptibly molding us, Inevitably we are almost entirely the result of the different forces molding us, however, I think we are what we choose to be. Inevitably, we are not jut what we are shaped to be, we are what we decided we will be. I thin the very practice of philosophy is breaking that mold, it's looking inward as well as out for answers and discovering things about yourself and the world that you had not previously taken note of.

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  3. Here is a question. Almost all of this philosophy of walking stuff seems to be talking about walking in nature. SO I have to ask is it the walking, or the act of communing with the natural world that is so beneficial?

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    1. I would have to say both, at least in my experience. The walking helps the body, and therefore mind, continue to move, and not get stuck on a single thought or idea. Being in nature is helpful because it is where we belong- it is often comfortable, even if not moving.

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    2. I think that both are beneficial, however not equally. Walking anywhere puts the body in motion and therefore the mind in motion as well. Walking in nature, though, has an added benefit. Emerson once said, " It is in the woods we return to reason and faith." Nature gives humans an escape from the obligations of life to the purest form of humanity, so thoughts away from the self are able to flow freely.

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    3. H3
      Both are extremely beneficial to the mind, body, and soul. Just by walking we are putting our bodies into motion, therefore setting our minds into motion as well, helping us process our thoughts and clearing our minds with the added benefit of strengthening our body. Walking through nature though seems to have the most benefit towards the soul for me because it gives me a chance to be at peace with myself and the world, where walking in say a city does not offer this tranquilizing effect.

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    4. H1
      I think one of the benefits of walking is that it provides an opportunity to pay attention to our surroundings with no more care than making sure that we don't walk off cliffs. I have enjoyed walks in the country and in major cities. Both provide scenery, movement, and solitude in a complex environment. Walking gives a rhythm to thought, or provides a rhythm and no thinking at all. Gros said that walking was a way of escaping everyday life, even our identities. Descartes said, "I think, therefore I am." Maybe the lack of thought that perambulation can provide what helps us momentarily check out of our existence.

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  4. Here's a DQ question, a follow-up on Bryce B.'s question. Does walking in nature have the same effect as, say, on an elliptical? Why or why not?

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    1. I think that they can each have their own benefits, respectively, but they do not produce the same effect. When you are indoors, walking on an elliptical, you are in your own gym or house. So therefore, you are still in touch with your personal life. When you are walking outdoors you are open to see things much bigger than yourself, that existed before you and will continue after you. I feel like this takes you out of your own element and out of your little world and forces you to acknowledge the rest of the world and separate from your own being, in a sense. I don't think you could do that in the same way if you are indoors.

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    2. I would say they do not have the same effect because they are two very different things. There are proven benefits to being outdoors and if you are walking on an elliptical you don't experience those. Walking outside is also an escape from electronics and culture which you most likely would not get by just simply walking on an elliptical. The physical benefits may be the same but the mental benefits would not.

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  5. In response to the 4th DQ and Bryce B: both are beneficial but no wisdom is gained by sitting down and not moving. By walking with nature, we allow more uninhibited thoughts to pass through us as inspiration, while keeping our sense of self. So then by sitting in nature we, in essence, let ourselves become one with it, and therefore lose our sense of self and identity. While I do not personally like Aristotle, I like the peripatetic's Latin proverb, “It is solved by walking.”, because we do not gain anything by not moving forward, physically and mentally.

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    1. I believe the main reason it seems we grow little in the mind when we remain stationary is because the lack of a changing scenery results in the same thoughts to be produced. If you change up your senses by being in nature (smell, sight) your mind also begins to expand and focus on other topics and this can help one effectively reach new ideas and produce unique ideas.

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  6. (H3) To comment on the quote given above, "As in the 1950s, this is a time when belief is dividing the nation and the world," says Jay Allison about life today. "We are not listening well, not understanding each other -- we are simply disagreeing, or worse," I do agree with this statement. Humans have a tendency to associate with people that are like themselves, for the most part. With this happening again and again over time, we are gradually segregating ourselves into exclusive sects of people who only share very similar ideas and beliefs. This division has become very problematic to our ability to coexist with others. Many studies have shown that tolerance and understanding for people of different race, religion and culture, have grown out of being integrated together to work toward a common goal. Without having the opportunity to get to know people that are different than us, we are not able to break the ingrained stereotypes that we may have been holding unconsciously. Therefore those divisions we have created are causing us to stereotype other groups of people and not attempt to listen or try to understand their ideas about things. Without understanding their background and culture, many groups may hear ideas from others and think that they don't make sense because of the disconnection between people that we have created. Without that vital attempt to understand when listening we will never be able to have constructive discussion on the issue because we will think too much in a black and white matter to consider other opinions openly. And if we are unable to do that, we as asociety will not be able to get anywhere.

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  7. A discussion question: A philosophical benefit of walking is the loss of "self". The worries of self-interest and obligation dwindle and thoughts of selflessness replace them while walking. Is the end result of this process of "loss of self" the eventual gaining of true self, the person at their truest and purest form?

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    1. Gros defines self as who you constructed yourself to be in society. You could say that the process of loss of self allows you to gain true self in terms of the awareness of self- your ideas, terms of your coexistence within the universe. And you are able to reach that self-awareness because of thought independent of societal influences. Or if you believe you construct yourself from your true values, you may think the loss of self is a regressive process. From civilization back to a primitive sense. But we have no idea of knowing if we constructed ourselves by our will or the influence of society.

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    2. I believe walking allows us to lose the "self" that our culture has built for us and allows us to not focus on who others want us to be. Walking allows for a person to realize who they are apart from culture and to discover more about themselves. So as cliche as it sounds, it is almost as if you have to "lose yourself" in order to find yourself.

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  8. Honestly, I don't personally find walking in nature to be that calming. Perhaps because I grew up in a large city, I just find walking alone in nature to be unsettling rather than peaceful and thought provoking. Discussion Question: Is walking the only way to achieve this loss of self? Does everyone lose themselves the same way or does it differ depending on the person and the experiences?

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    1. H3
      Personally, I find walking in nature to be the best way to achieve a loss of self for me and a way to become one with nature and our Earth. However, there are other ways to achieve this loss of self. Many people can lose themselves in repetative tasks that may or may not have any meaning at all. In viewing this perspective, I believe that walking in nature is the best way to achieve a loss of self but there are many more ways and that we should explore those ways whenever we can.

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    2. H1
      I think that walking is a very powerful way of aiding our thought (and our physiques), but I don't think that every person is of the same mental build. I'm sure there are many people that think better while sitting. I also don't think that walking must be restricted to nature. @Maddie, maybe a city is the place for you to walk. I don't think one scenery fits all. Walking is underrated and many people would benefit from it, but it may not be for everyone.

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    3. Kaite Berry H018:10 PM CDT

      I agree with you wholeheartedly. Walking does not clear my mind further, but it does the same as with Charles Orlet. I begin to think about how I could use that time to complete homework, clean house, or be at work. I believe that it would have to differ from person to person because due to our experiences, each person is so vastly different from the next. We are so different, each of us in some way, that we could each be members to a totally different species.

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  9. Being outdoors gives you time away from the electronic world we live in and truly gives you time to yourself. When I'm outdoors it gives me time to breathe and be alone with my thoughts. I feel more like myself and more aware of myself when outdoors.

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  10. H3
    As an enthusiast of walking, mostly in nature, I believe that modern life is moving faster than the speed of thought. We don't take as much time as we need to think through our ideas and process everything around us. We just move through our lives, speeding from one activity to another, trying to accomplish, outwardly, as much as we possibly can. The solution to this speeding through life, I believe, would be to just take an about an hour a day to just slow down, think about what is going on in your life, and to most importantly find yourself and try to achieve some sort of self-enlightenment.

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  11. Christian Brooks (H3)11:43 AM CDT

    'Should NASA's budget be doubled?'
    I love outer space, the other planets, and the oddities we are only beginning to discover; however, I believe the exploration of space should be farther down humanity's to-do list. We have a menagerie of problems to fix here on Earth, and expanding any superfluous organization's budget would only hold back our progress towards making our planet a better place. I believe this is the most logical course of action, so pursuing it would be in our somewhat-immediate best interest, though I would be selfishly disappointed if cutting NASA's budget were to actually happen.

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  12. (H3) Isabella, Sean, and I enacted peripatetic philosophy when discussing the first DQ. We all believe that our society emphasizes productivity and efficiency, leaving no time to contemplate. As Isabella put it, we go from point a to point b without taking advantage of the time in between to think. We also noted there is a difference between high school and college. Our schedules in high school forced to anticipate the next class in the 5 minutes allotted. Now making our own schedules, we each have the opportunity to think and reflect while leaving the classroom.

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  13. Kaite Berry H018:23 PM CDT

    A DQ for everyone:
    Walking is praised in each of these readings to be calming and good for body and mind. Do you guys disagree and if you do, what do you believe works for you? or for society?

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  14. Kaite Berry H018:27 PM CDT

    In response to the DQ, I somewhat agree with Tyson, yet I don't. I believe that NASA should be granted more money, but I don't believe it should be doubled. To double it, is to devote a lot of useful money to things that may or may not have useful outcomes. I think that society is in need for a lot of things other than exploration and investigation of space.

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  15. Arieanne (Arie) Yates10:46 PM CDT

    I feel like this would not work so well if walking was still a sport because now-a-days life is so exciting and up beat that if we were to sit down and watch a bunch of men/women walk around in a circle we would all die of boredom. I’m surprised we still have a men’s 20km speed walking in the Olympics, I personally feel this will be the next sport to go. I don’t think watching men and women walk is exciting in any way.

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  16. Arieanne (Arie) Yates H110:47 PM CDT

    I don’t really feel my indoor thoughts are more bookish and my outdoor thoughts are more natural and free, but I do find that my thoughts begin to feel almost claustrophobic when I’m inside for too long. This is normally the time when, if I’m in class, I start to tap my foot and fidget, or if I’m home, I go outside and walk around in my backyard. I don’t really see much of a difference; I would like to practice this in class though.

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  17. Arieanne (Arie) Yates H110:48 PM CDT

    I’m not sure that a long walk makes me feel more like myself, but it does make me feel more sane. Walking long distances usually helps me keep my emotions and stress under control. It may make me feel more like myself, but I suppose you could say it helps makes me more stable.

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  18. Pemo (H2)10:50 PM CDT

    In response to, "Do you find that a long walk makes you feel more yourself, or less like a self at all?":
    I feel it does. I think that when I walk it makes me feel like the true me, like the person I see myself as but am never able to achieve. For example, when Im on my daily routine/life I fell I dont have the knowledge I should, the knowledge I have sought and have found. But when I walk/bike/drive, all that knowledge and "smartness" comes out. It is very calming.

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  19. Pemo (H2)11:20 PM CDT

    DQ Question:

    Socrates, Plato and Aristotle are among the most popular (known), if not THE three most popular, philosophers to date.
    Plato was taught by Socrates who then taught Aristotle. In a way you could say Socrates created Plato AND Aristotle.
    My question is: what do you think Socrates had, or didn't have, that would go on to create two of the most "powerful" philosopher of all time? What skill or virtue did he embody that would make such ground-breaking philosophers (Plato/Aristotle).

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    1. Arieanne (Arie) Yates H19:28 AM CDT

      I feel as though the fact that he was so humble and didn’t think more of himself than others, is what made him so special. He simply went on with life and just questioned everything. I feel like being humble, having a strong mindset, and questioning things are some of the keys to success.

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  20. H1
    A discussion question: is walking profitable and unique in its ability to help us focus or lose our identity, or is it merely that it's an activity that doesn't require any mental attention, and allows our body to fidget freely? How is it different from other activities, such as doing the dishes, where the mind is free while the body is occupied?

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    1. Arieanne (Arie) Yates H19:24 AM CDT

      I think that it is a little different because it is a form of exercise that releases chemicals into your brain to fight stress and emotional pain. This is why it is so easy to think clearly and become relaxed, the higher the heart rate the more the body releases the chemical. I don’t think that washing the dishes can equate to walking because, one you’re stuck inside and two of your hands are the only thing really working and the rest of your body is still tense in way.

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    2. That makes sense to me. While doing something like dishes, we're also still stuck inside and stuck with the responsibilities of life. Getting outside helps to get outside our immediate life.

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  21. H1
    Quiz question:
    Why did Gros think that having limited choices and luxuries on the trail could be beneficial?

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  22. Arieanne (Arie) Yates H19:30 AM CDT

    I feel like there is a lot of stuff NASA is not telling us. I can’t understand why we haven’t gone back to the moon. Why there aren’t more people going into space? Why we could get into space with less technology than we have in our phones today, but can’t figure out a way to get into space now…. I don’t agree with Neil deGrasse Tyson.

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  23. Arieanne (Arie) Yates H19:31 AM CDT

    "Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves" Carl Sagan. I feel like this is one of the most discouraging quotes I’ve ever read. It’s almost depressing that we’re so alone and there is no sign of help or hope out there. I really hope that this quote isn’t true and that something or someone out there will save us from ourselves because the destruction of humanity has just begun.

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  24. I agree that modern life is moving faster than our speed of thought and thoughtfulness and it is our fault to be frank. We have plunged ourselves into such a technological age that every time we need to do or think, we invent something to take care of it for us. We don't have to think anymore because our smartphones, cars and televisions and computers practically do it for us. Don't get me wrong, my iPhone might as well be my right foot as important and useful as it is to my everyday life. However, I wholeheartedly believe that technology has made our brains lazy thus contributing to the lethargy of our minds compared to the time we are living in.

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  25. Arieanne Yates H0112:17 PM CDT

    I do agree that “modern life is moving faster than the speed of thought, or thoughtfulness", I feel like we no longer take the time to think things through we now simply act and think later. I feel like we as people have lost how to think. I think we should teach our future generation to take time to think things through.

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  26. Today, as we walked, my group discussed how size is relative, how movement enables healthy minds, and the differences of the amount of sidewalks in various countries.

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  27. H02 Peripatetic Project
    When discussing the question of whether a cosmic entity would save us from ourselves, we cultivated towards the concept that it's possible that this entity may have an interface with the world around it that is on a higher or otherwise different plane than our own. It's possible that regardless of our race's mortality or likelihood of liberation from a planetary foreign entity, it may be unlikely that we can sufficiently communicate due to the improbability of the essence of our own existence.

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  28. (H3) I do believe that "modern life is moving faster than the speed of thought, or thoughtfulness". People continue to make all these advances without considering the ramifications. I'm a science major, so this brings to mind efficacy issues. Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you always should. For example genetic engineering within fetuses. Where does it end? Curing diseases is one thing, but engineering designer babies is a whole other ballpark. The solution could be as simple as thinking before acting, crazy idea I know. In response to thought, in general, slowing down and putting meaning and worth into the process of thinking would be a valuable use of time. However, people have to want to expand their minds more than expanding their wallets, a hard sell in the capitalistic world in which we live.

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  29. (H3) In response to the second DQ question, the idea of "watching people walk in circles inside big buildings" sounds incredibly boring to me. I'd rather be out there walking with them, at least I'd be getting the benefits of exercise. In this aspect, walking is made into just another race to the finish line, much like Gros states. It is no longer about the appreciation of the scenery, but a competition to see who can prefom the best.

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  30. (H3) To answer question 3 in my own words, I do find my thoughts drastically different indoors than outdoors. I find my thoughts outdoors more pure, free from social norms and others' perspectives. Outside I am free to make my own assumptions without other stimuli bombarding my senses. In the outdoors, the scenery is more relaxed, predictable. While it might provoke a question about motion and our existence, it does not force an opinion on me. My thoughts are more intellectual, for lack of a better word, more philosophical. When I am indoors they are more a matter of fact, less open-minded, I guess. They are stifiled by tv and materialistic goods and ideas. The scenery is more complicated and drives thoughts away from broader, more universal topics. I think it is hard to discern the exact difference but there definitely is one.

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  31. (H3) In response to Neil deGrasse Tyson's statement that NASA's budget should be doubled, I agree wholeheartedly. I do believe that his budget should be expanded, just as the field and research expands. The next frontier is space. There's only so much expansion to be had on Earth. At a certain point, our resources will run out and our planet will begin to break down. Whether it be in our lifetime or in many generations to come, it is our responsibility to plan for a future. Even if you are among those who argues that our planet is doing well and there is no need to look for refuge elsewhere, why wouldn't you want to see what else is out there. It is our human nature to question what is around us, to be curious. There are so many possibilities and unanswered questions, how could you not want to find answers.

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  32. Christian Brooks (H3)11:03 AM CDT

    Our group focused our discussion on our role in the universe and the peoples we may or may not share it with. Many references were made to television shows and movies as we circled the Student Union under the hot sun. Ultimately we agreed that if any interaction were to occur at the places we walk or the people who walk to our pale blue dot, the endgame will most likely not be pretty.

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  33. "We are not listening well, not understanding each other -- we are simply disagreeing, or worse."

    - This especially true nowadays with politics getting out of hand and veering away from discussing policies and potential ways of fixing them. We have gone far past disagreeing, we have come to mocking and ridiculing. It's sad that an entire debate can ensue without a single policy mentioned. We have arrived at the "worse" and passed disagreement.

    "Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves." Carl Sagan

    - There cannot be really any disagreement with this statement. The vastness of space has given us no clues as to if someone is watching or at the least caring for our speck. We must all come to this conclusion and work towards the betterment of ourselves. If not for our species, then for the betterment of our minds individually.

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