Wednesday, May 2, 2018

You Don't Know(ledge) Me | TOKIRL3

"Knowledge gives us a sense of who we are." To what extent is this true in the human sciences and one other area of knowledge?

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To begin this analysis, the question does not ask does knowledge give us a sense of who we are, it asks to what extent, meaning that it is implied that it does give us some sense of meaning to some extent. It isn’t asking me to prove the claim, as much as it is asking me to describe how true it is. The use of the word “gives” is an iffy term to use. In most cases, knowledge does not give us anything. We must take things from the knowledge through application and analysis. Though, there may be some occurrences where knowledge just gives us the answer to what we need. The “we” and “us” in the quote is ambiguous, in that it does not specify a certain group of people. Does it refer to us as humans? Or us as in every thing living?  No matter the group it may be referring to, each individual on this earth, must have some sense of knowledge to know who we are as a person. This knowledge question tackles the ways of knowing, memory and reason, and areas of knowledge, human sciences and history.

Image result for this is me gifThe way reason is demonstrated in this question is tied in with its connection to the area of knowledge history. History is the study of the past. Historians analyze pure facts that, for the most part, cannot be argued, and they use reason to get to the facts. They reason using historical evidence such as artifacts or documents. History gives us a sense of who we are to a great extent. Though we usually connect the topic of history to wars and battles, history just refers to anything that can be studied from the past. An example of how history gives us a sense of who we are is with ancestry. Our ancestry can give us details about where we came from, who we came from, your family’s medical history, or personal history -- which is how the topic likewise ties into memory. For adopted children, knowing your family history gives you a closer connection to their biological family and can assist them in the future with medical situations. Family history can give a sense of who you are, genetically. This would be an example of personal knowledge, as it is something that pertains to one individual. History of a group, such as a race or gender, would show who we are using shared knowledge. Shared knowledge of history is information we would learn at school or could be referred to as common knowledge. Applying personal knowledge in history will give you a greater sense of who you are because it speaks for one individual in specifics, rather than for a whole group in generalities.

The human sciences is home to subjects psychology, sociology, and political science. Those subjects are centered on the workings of people as individuals and as a group. Similar to history, they use reason and memory of past events to come to current conclusions of people's mental health. Psychology is the study of how the human mind works and focuses on behavior and psyche. This subject demonstrates who we are in our minds as individuals. Sociology is like psychology but for society as a whole. It focuses on the -isms, and why certain groups believe or act upon certain things. For example, let’s look at racism. Sociology looks into the operation of institutional racism in society. The inequality and prejudice seen today is analysed, from historical evidence, to view how certain demographics act as the perpetrator of racism and the victims of racism. Political science is an analysis on political behavior. This subject area mainly focuses on the group. Political behavior largely ties into someone’s ethical beliefs, which is a large part of how some people navigate through the day. Depending on the subject under human sciences, the topics could refer to shared or personal knowledge. For most, human sciences deals with groups. Even in psychology, they use data taken from groups of people to diagnose what your psyche is like. Human sciences works best in shared knowledge because of how the data is taken and distributed to people.

Image result for wait a minute who are you gifKnowledge lets us know who we are as individuals and as a group. Through memory and reason, we can use knowledge from the human sciences and history to know more about our minds, our family, and potentially our future. This is through an application of both shared and personal knowledge. Though, in my opinion, history provides us with a sense of who we are to a greater extent than the human sciences can. If we, as a whole population, were to apply our knowledge, we could come to new conclusions not only about ourselves, but also for groups of people or for people where certain knowledge is unavailable. Idly holding knowledge to yourself does not give you a great sense of yourself, but through applying it, you can get to know yourself.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Secondary Expectations For My Secondary Education | TOKIRL1

For the practice TOK presentation, my group talked about how expectations factor into results. We used the real life situation of an experiment made to prove one of Einstein's theories. They made each machine involved with the expectation that the result was going to prove Einstein right, and, in the end, it did. You have to think that because they were working to prove Einstein, the scientists had some pretty high expectations. But, how much did their expectations factor into their work and the results? I honestly don't remember any discussion we had in class following this, but throughout this project, I thought about how much my expectations factor into my work and the outcome.

If you don't know by now, I have very low expectations. If my expectations were ranked on a scale from 1 to 10, I'd be at a negative infinity. And my expectations have only worsened as this year has continued, as well as my grades. My grades aren't in the trash bad (they are gettin there though), but they are not what I'm used to. Are my lowering expectations a causation for grades or do they just correlate? Or is it the other way around? Are my low grades a causation for my low expectations? I can't just up the ante and shoot for the stars when I can barely reach the top of a tree. In my head, I make the clear connection that if you don't start out with high hopes, you won't end with high hopes, but I am not completely sure if that's just one of those faux-positivity things that has been ingrained in my head or just my poor attempt of not being a pessimist. I, and many other people in this spiraling program of Purgatory, have gone into several assignments with high expectations for the outcome, only to be met with severe misery and sorrow. (I understand that expectations aren't the only preparation you should do for big tests and such, but most kids with high expectations aren't just moping around doing absolutely nothing, so let's just quietly assume that we were all good kids who studied.) As I write this, my mind goes straight to thinking that expectations can be both a correlation and causation, depending on how it effects you.

In an article titled, "How the Power of Expectations Can Allow You to Bend Reality," talks about placebo effects and positive thinking. Basically it says positive thinking can't fix a broken bone, but it can make you think that it's less broken than it actually is. In the article, they talk about an experiment where some the first group of track racers were told that "pre-race jitters" improved performance, while the second group were told it was detrimental. The first group performed better than the second group. The added pressure may have been responsible for their poor performance.

Performance quality correlates with expectations, obviously, but I don't know why our expectations usually erase facts in our mind. At least that's how I see it. The expectations cloud over the facts and statistics, but it can also be due to ignorance of not knowing what the facts are. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Grades Schmades

For many of us, grades have been the pure motivation in passing our classes and I feel that if we were to get rid of them, I feel that it could have many advantages including us being more focused on the content rather than just m
memorizing for assessments. I think it could possibly spark more conversation, because I feel that people wouldn't be more afraid of being "wrong," because being wrong won't affect them in a grade - it would just spark further discussion.

Unintended consequences may cause the fall of this whole idea. With essentially no grades, we may start to slack because there isn't really a progress bar. If I see that I didn't submit a blog because you put a zero in the grade book, I'll think "oh shoot gotta go do that blog." If there isn't a grade to be put in, knowing me I'll just think,

"Oh well, I'll write it one day."
*narrator voice* "She never did write that blog."

The only way I can think of avoiding this drawback is to create sort of a warning system. Most people have like vague memories of the green, yellow, and red card system from elementary school. Green is like everything's going smooth, yellow is you're about to crash, and red is you're on thin ice. Basically, just make a fun little system that'll tell people not to slack off.

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Cave Essay Reflection (i couldn't think of a good title and im upset)

For this essay, we were tasked with answering these questions: How does the allegory augment our understanding of the strengths and limitations to knowledge presented by the Ways of Knowing and for what real-world context(s) could the allegory provide a useful lens and how might such a lens augment our understanding of the world in which we live? We were asked to discuss how each element of the story correlated with a real life event and the ways of knowing going into detail.

Initially when I had started this assignment, I had absolutely zero idea what the story was about, what our assignment was even asking and how to even start and I can definitely see that reflected in my writing. Normally, I never do outlines for writing cause they take extra time that I don't care to spend, but it's really something I should get into the habit of doing. There were a lot of open ended statements, with no proof to hold them up (I have gotten this comment NEVER been good at in writing is conclusions. I never know how to sum up all of what I just said without just making a carbon copy of the intro, which I don't like doing, so my conclusions are usually just 2-3 sentences that add nothing (which you commented). Another thing I notice is a bunch of general grammar mistakes because I never proof read, which is something else I should start doing.
on nearly every single one of my essays I've written this year for all of my classes). As pointed out in my essay comments, I do give a lot of vague, unclear statements. Because I wrote the essay so long ago, I can only assume that they're vague because A) I didn't understand what I was saying or B) I was trying to reach the word count. Rereading the essay now, I couldn't tell you what I was trying to say. One thing I have

Though clearly not my strongest essay, there are a few strengths of which were commented on.When I do actually know what I'm talking about, I tend to give thorough, and lengthy explanations. Yet, within those lengthy explanations, I left vague statements. It's like a never-ending loop of mediocre writing.

If I were given the chance to rewrite this essay today, I would definitely start with an outline and drop my weak arguments. It would be light years better than what's currently written. Though, my conclusion, as usual, would still be a pile of garbage.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Achievement Unlocked: I Finally Did This Map Assignment

After days of long and hard thinking of what to make my map over, I found my idea in my obsession: my computer. I decided to model my personal geography over the achievement map, from Minecraft, a game I play every once in a while, but one of my favorites nonetheless! 

I mapped my achievements similar to the way the game has it set up. In the game, in order to unlock one achievement, you must unlock one before it. For example, you can't get the achievement "Acquire Hardware" (make a pickax) if you haven't gotten the achievement "Hot Topic." With my map, I tried to map it as similar as possible, but their were some achievements that didn't have certain requirements. Like, I don't need to turn 13 in order to get a phone. I just happened to be 13, when I got my first phone. There is also just a section at the bottom not connected to the top, due to the fact that I couldn't find anything to connect it with and make sense. But aside from that, everything that is connected in my map, correlates in one way in or another. Nothing is connected just for funsies.

At the top left of my map is the only achievement required in order to reach the other achievements - be born. Each purple arrow points to something that I have achieved and the red arrows point to something I have not achieved yet. For example, I have purple arrow pointing to me turning 16, but a red arrow pointing to me getting a car/being able to drive (because I've put off getting my permit for so long at this point is it even really worth it). Lines without an arrow are things that happen and have correlation, but it's not the causation. I have a line going from me learning to speak to me "performing" in front of a crowd, because those things correlated in my life but were not the causation.

I felt my map was similar to Rebekah's in the way that she mapped a part of her life that she hasn't gotten to yet. She declared it her map as the "Unknown Territory" and I mapped them with the red arrows leading to things I haven't achieved yet. For Rebekah, she mapped more of the ups and downs of her life, and I just mapped the ups part. We both know what our up parts in life and we both know that their is an unknown part of our life that we won't know what happens until we get there or until we achieve that moment. It's an unknown, un-achieved moment in our lives that we have mapped because it all connects with the events that have already happened.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Baby's First Presentation!: A Reflection

This past week (or 2 weeks ago, I don't remember), I had to give a group 90 minute presentation on Language! There were many things about this presentation that I enjoyed and think went great, yet there were many things I wish we could have talked about or at least researched.

Initially, when I had gotten the topic, I wasn't too excited. I didn't know where or how to start. Usually, teachers give me a specific outline of what should be talked about, but we were literally just given a topic and were told to talk about "how we know with it." Once we got the project out and rolling, it wasn't as hard as I had thought it would be. 

I really enjoyed the short activity we had at the beginning where people were asked to try and say a sentence without words (essentially charades). I feel as though it was much better than the original activity plan we had, which was to try and communicate to someone using a different language. As much as that would have been fun, we didn't go into the aspect of different languages on our presentation, so I don't think it would have matched up.

Something else is that I did not to expect there to be much discussion in the class. From past experiences in my classes, anytime there is a discussion, it's always the same two or three people, plus the teacher talking. In this situation, a majority of the class had some input to add along. The discussions was never bland either. There wasn't a point where we were just repeating the same ideas over and over; we were always expanding. 

If I could have changed one thing on the project, it would be the fact that I feel as if we could've done research on why there are so many different languages. I didn't see a purpose in the final part of our presentation, which was the how emotions tie in with language. I feel like it was kind of a "throw in at the last minute" type of deal. It didn't really provide any information that wasn't self explanatory, in my opinion. I also feel like we could have talked more about language in relation to culture, which ties in on how we didn't talk about different languages and dialect. 

The presentation, in general, was not that bad. The group I was given was pretty good, and the way we arranged things was helpful as well. I was pretty nervous in the upcoming days up to the project, since we knew we would be the first group to present. I had never been given a project where I had to speak in front of a class for so long, and to be honest, it didn't feel as long as it was. The 90 minutes flew by! I didn't think I'd talk as much as I did. 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Take Chances, Make Mistakes, Get Messy!

I believe in taking chances, making mistakes, and getting messy. All throughout elementary school, science teachers loved showing us episodes of The Magic School Bus. It was intended to help us learn lessons and stay interested, but let's be honest, they would show us it because it was the only thing to keep us quiet for an extended amount of time. While that may have been the case, I did take a lesson from the show that the science teachers may not have been expecting. "Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy," is the legendary quote from the legendary Ms. Frizzle. She taught me that the only way to learn was to take chances, make mistakes, and perhaps get messy. This is the lesson that stuck with me.

After 8th grade, I was planning on quitting band. It had lost it's interest to me. The only reason I stayed in 8th grade was so I could go on the trip to Carowinds- after that, I was 100% sure that I was quitting. But I took a chance and I decided to stay in band. My whole reasoning behind it was "Well, I need something to do in high school besides work!" That was true. I didn't do much else in my freshman year besides band. So, I stayed in band. That year, my freshman year, band had begun to gain some of its appeal back, but it wasn't enough to keep me away from possibility of quitting. Marching band was fun, as was concert band but I just wanted something else to do. I wanted to quit, but yet again I stayed.

Sophomore year of band was much better than freshman year. I knew what I was doing and I liked band. The appeal was back. I made mistakes, but I knew how to pick myself back up from them. I found out what made band so irritating my freshman year, and I distanced myself from them. Long story short, I am in my junior year, 3rd year of marching band, and I am now the section leader. I never thought I'd get to this point. I often think about how I was going to quit and now I have a leadership position. If I hadn't taken the chance, if I hadn't made the mistake, if I hadn't gotten messy, I would have never gotten to this point. 

So to my science teachers who showed me The Magic School Bus and Ms. Frizzle who said the iconic quote, I thank you. And I will always "take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!"

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

What Does It Mean To Say We Know Something?

When I say I know something, I mean that something has told me a claim and that I am aware of its possible or definite existence in this world. Knowing, to me, is not whether something is a fact, it is just whether or not one is aware of a substance. Knowing and believing are one and the same. To say that believing something is not the same as knowing something, would be absurd. You could even go as far as to say that knowing something is rare and most things that we are aware of are just beliefs. To many people, you cannot truly know something, until you can prove it. There are people on the other side of the world; that is something that I know, because I could go to the other side of the world and see the people and recognize that they are existing. We believe that certain history has happened. We have no 100% proof that anything we have ever learned in the past, hasn’t been fabricated. We simply believe in what we have been told by authoritative figures. Now, no one is going around and saying that The War of 1812 didn’t happen because we cannot prove it, but we do not possess technology that gives us the ability to travel back in time to witness every single event. We both know and believe that past events happened.
Another point, is that much of what we know is only because others have told us about it. As a child, many of our parents told us that a big man named Santa climbs through our chimneys (whether or not we had one) every year on December 24 and gives us presents based on how good we act throughout the year. As children, we were certain that he was real. We had no way of proving that he was real, but we simply believed. If your parent had never told you about that magical gift-giving man, you would not have known of him,up to a certain point in your life. Much of what we know is because we have faith in certain people. When people with authority, such as your parents, teachers, grandparents, government, etc., make statements, we will usually believe them. What we know is dictated by what they choose to make us aware of. If your parent wanted to tell you that instead of Santa, it was a giant magical helicopter that dropped gifts under your tree every Christmas Eve, you would believe it, therefore you would know it. A good percentage of what you know is based on your faith in knowledge of authoritative figures.What we know, is what we are aware of and what we are aware of is what we have been told.