Monthly Archives: December 2013

TOK Listicle (Midterm)

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Chap 3 Course Companion Study/Action Guide

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A. Take a book you’ve read recently: The Great Gatsby

WARNING: If you have not read The Great Gatsby, there might be some spoilers 🙂  

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a. Out of all the possible topics or ideas regarding knowledge, what have the authors selected to give you?

One could argue that the author F. Scott Fitzgerald selected the concept of the “American Dream” and the idea of wealth, power and love in the 1920’s to focus on in his novel.

b. Out of those topics and ideas treated, what have they emphasized, and how?

I believe Fitzgerald emphasizes the American Dream and how corrupt this concept can make people such as Jay Gatsby. The author gives insight to the rise and fall of those who make it in the big city and how this glamorous concept can lead to a lonely life. This is done by following the love life of Jay Gatsby and Daisy and how it is all but a dream because when reality hits, Gatsby cannot accept the truth that you cannot relive the past.

c. What kind of language have they used, and what emotions or values do you identify in the word choice? What images accompany the text, and how are they selected and used?

Fitzgerald wrote this novel for the masses and therefore the diction is simplistic yet still effective in imagery and metaphors. For example, ” They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clan up the mess they had made”. This quote not only compares the characters Daisy and Tom to inhumane animals but also creates the image of destruction in the readers head in order to feel anger and resentment toward them.

d. What is the context in which the book was written – by whom, for what purpose…?

The Great Gatsby was written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1925 for the purpose of showing society how they have become and criticize the upper class. The text itself was looked down upon during the roaring 20’s because they felt Fitzgerald was mocking them although later on the novel became a hit, especially when studying the time period.

B. Read the green box from Yeshey of Bhutan . Then read about and watch Thomas Pettit, a Danish philosopher, discuss the Gutenberg Parenthesis and his view of books.

a. What are your thoughts about the sanctity of books and how did you arrive to your decision?

Although I believe books are important to read for skill and material, I do not believe that books are sacred. Perhaps their age is what makes them appear so superior (especially the Bible or archaic text) but in reality while everything around us is evolving, the permanent print of the text cannot change therefore educating people with irrelevant and outdated material.

b. Do books really “hold learning”?

It depends on the context of the book. Of course if the book is an easy read and for pure entertainment I don’t believe it holds much learning except the “trick of play on emotions”. The only type of book I believe holds learning is those that address issues or topics. Then again, books have a tendency to be lenient so to be ‘educated’ one must be able detect these books and educated themselves by reading all types of views. Ultimately, I agree with Yeshey Lhaden when she discusses knowledge gained from experience. This form can neither be changed nor taken away and I value the most useful knowledge.

c. How would you rate where you get knowledge?

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D. Check out Mohammed Youssef’s explanation of the 5 Stages of Knowledge / Wisdom in Arabic. Provide a real life example of each, as it applies to your life.

a. Introduction of knowledge is the EE. Learning knowledge is geometric and arithmetic series. First developing knowledge is requirements needed in order to get into college. More developed knowledge is how to drive a car . Completely absorbed knowledge is how to write print and cursive.

E. List of Knowledge

a. experiential knowledge (“knowing through direct experience”)

I know how to fly on my own from experience of traveling by myself.

b. procedural knowledge (skills; “knowing how”)

I know how to factor quadratic formula.

c. knowledge claim (“knowing that”- tied to language)

I know when my siblings birthdays are.

d. What type is the easiest to learn? What type tends to stick the longest?

I think the easiest knowledge to obtain is procedural knowledge because you can apply it and practice it over and over again. However knowledge claim and experiential knowledge sticks the longest because it is personal to you and who you are.

F. READ THIS ARTICLE outlining the different theories of learning and how Twitter could be used for each. 

a. Which theory do you think best applies to our IB program? Which theory do you find most helpful as a style of learning?

I think the IB program is a combination of cognitivism (“learning as information processing; the mind and thought process is put at the centre of the learning process “) and constructivism (“learning means developing a unique world view based on all experiences acquired”)  because not only are we trying to be worldly, we are also try to how to process information. Now for the purpose of most efficient for learning, I think pragmatism (“learning by doing”) and social constructivism (“learning through collaboration”) because they are what is most helpful in the work force these days and what will ultimately give us the experience and qualifications for the future.

H. The 3 kinds of knowledge are stored differently in the brain.

a. Procedural memory: type of long-term memory of how to perform different actions and skills.

b. Working memory: provides temporary storage and manipulation of the information necessary for such complex cognitive tasks as language comprehension, learning, and reasoning.

c. Long-term memory: anything you remember that happened more than a few minutes ago.

d. declarative memory: memory of facts and events, and refers to those memories that can be consciously recalled

e. episodic memory: category of long-term memory that involves the recollection of specific events, situations and experiences

Check out this video of Idriz Zogaj at TEDx talking about how to become a memory master.

K.What is the difference between being sincere and being right? What is the difference between making a false statement and lying?

The difference between being sincere and being right is that just because someone is sincere (having genuine feelings) doesn’t mean they are right. Some people may come off as sincere when truthfully they tell you what they think you want to hear. Although being right may not come with any genuine feelings. Just because someone makes a false statement doesn’t mean that they intentionally meant to be wrong as where lying is done consciously.

a. Describe what role these might play in the Areas of Knowledge

I think that emotions and intuition affect many profession. For example, although an artist creates art with a certain emotion in mind, another person’s interpretation could think it as insincere or completely opposite. For scientists its very tricky because results could be made to make the public hear what they want to hear rather than the harsh truth.

b. Draw or diagram something that represents the relationship between belief, truth, knowledge, and justification.

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O. After reading about the 3 “s’s”: SOURCE, STATEMENTS, and SELF, choose something you’ve learned recently and evaluate it based on these, using specific examples.

Recently I  learned about Nelson Mandela’s death. I first found out this information by the source of my friend, then I checked online for official statements and so I read a BBC article. I recognized this information  as valid because my critical thinking told me it made sense because he had been sick and in the hospital recently so theoretically it was inevitable.