I first learned the word metacognition when I was about six or seven years old, in a Moscow school. It means thinking about thinking. In this post, I will be making up a few words.

So recently, I started thinking about metacognition, or thinking about thinking about thinking; I’d call it metametacognition. Is it really useful to think about thinking? I decided that it was.

Then came thinking about thinking about thinking about thinking, or metametametacognition.  Should you really think about metacognition? I decided that sometimes you could.

Next I started metametametametacognition. Then I stopped because I realised where this was going to go.

It’s interesting to think about thinking, and sometimes to think about thinking about thinking, but you shouldn’t get too lost in the many repetitive levels of thinking about thinking and so on, because there are much more interesting things to think about than thinking.

Finally I thought, ” Is it possible to have a level lower than cognition, or thinking? Is it possible to have, maybe, atemcognition?”

I think that the only way that atemcognition is possible is if your cognition, or thinking, is about doing something, e.g. kicking a ball, moving a vase. Atemcognition would then be actually doing the activity that you were thinking about. It would be interesting if you were thinking about doing metacognition; then you could have atematematemcognition. Of course, thinking about doing metacognition is just metametacognition! So atematematemcognition would be back to doing something, like accidentally deflating a ball or dropping a vase. Either way, you should still not get too lost in all those layers of thinking. There are more important things to think about, like paying to fix the ball and sweeping up the pieces of the vase.

Thanks for reading!


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