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TOKIRL 3 - Human Sciences Mock Essay

"Without the assumption of the existence of uniformities there can be no knowledge." Discuss this claim with reference to two other areas of knowledge.

Uniformities in knowledge do exist and can be seen, for example, in Mathematics and the Natural Sciences. Math itself is a universal language, and so all knowledge about math could be considered uniform across the board. The lines between disciplines within the Natural Sciences can get blurry, so it is important that each branch can communicate their findings in an understandable way. Hence the use of conventions like scientific notation and the periodic table. We have to assume that some pieces of knowledge act as uniform for the purpose of allowing more research to be done.

Uniformity, however, gets a little complicated. Uniform could mean accepted globally, across geographical, linguistic, and/or cultural boarders, or it could mean always true, regardless of where it is accepted. Uniform could be something that is very spe…
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TOKIRL 2 - The Great Reversal

The title of this post is a biblical reference to something Jesus said because this TOKIRL moment came to me in church this morning, and because it feels a little backwards. I'll explain.

So, this feels more like a question I thought of about TOK that was inspired by something that happened in real life, rather than a question about life inspired by something TOK-esque. It feels like the reverse order of how it normally goes. What happened in church to get me thinking about TOK doesn't really qualify as a real life situation, but rather was just food for thought.

Something the pastor said while preaching in the book of Esther caught my attention. Without being too specific, he basically gave us a revisionist account of the final two chapters of the book, and analyzed how being a new testament christian makes it alright to interpret the bible in a different way. The message of the scripture according to him was different than what a lot of Christians believe, why exactly that i…

TOKIRL 1 - Authority

The March for our Lives last week across the country got me thinking about authority. I saw one news article in particular that stuck out to me: some former senator claiming that students should be learning CPR instead of marching in the streets, and criticizing these children for looking to other people to fix their problems for them. One of the questions that came to my mind immediately was "well, isn't that one of the burdens of authority?", and I think this is a good question that deserves some more exploration.

So, what are the responsibilities of authority? The kind of authority I am talking about is just any authority in general; I am not talking about the responsibilities of a government figure or of a parent etc. not in this paragraph I mean. I want to know more about what authority means and how it should / does play a part in everyday life. It clearly is a bigger factor in some peoples lives than in others, for example small children have comparatively less au…

No More Grades

So my only school related anxiety over Christmas break was my grade in TOK, an 89. I knew that grades weren’t final yet, and that I would have to wait until school started to know my semester one grade for TOK. So far, I have managed to make all A’s,  and while i’ve had some close calls, I never expected TOK would be the only IB class that I wouldn’t make an A in. It ended up fine, my 4.0 was safe for another semester.

It’s not that I don’t think TOK as it is isn’t worth my concern, but I also think that it’s definitely less of a challenge than any of my other IB classes. And now it may not be a concern for me at all depending on the future of the no grade policy. No more grades in TOK would mean less for me to worry about, at least in terms of getting the grade I want. This would make me more confident in coming up with ideas and brainstorming for discussion, because if it’s wrong there’s no impact on my grade. There’s no risk.

Another reason I like the idea of removing grades from T…

Cave Essay Reflective Response

A long long time ago I was assigned my first essay in TOK. The assignment was basically to read Plato's Allegory of The Cave and provide a brief summation of the allegory, and then link that to our current reality with a focus on knowledge and how it is constructed, obtained, and shared. We were supposed to use real world examples of 'caves', which was the part of the assignment that I left wanting. I didn't really summarize the allegory well (or at all), which kept me from really tapping into the power of the allegory while trying to write about it.

Overall, I did fine. I didn't do as good as I probably could have with some more revision and attention to detail, which I think are recurring problems with not only my writing but with most things I attempt, but I think I generally did fine. in my essay, I tried to focus on perspective and how perspective is important to knowledge. I think I made some broad philosophical claims that were good, but I didn't have ma…

Midterm Blog

This past Friday was our Midterm Cultural Appreciation Feast in TOK. The assignment was to bring in a dish that is culturally relevant or significant to you. I chose to bring a Peach Pie, the recipe for which has been in my family for a long time. I am not sure of my exact heritage, but I know that I am at least part Scottish on my dads side, and Irish and German on my moms. This recipe has been passed down for some time on the German side of my moms family. Peach Pie is not exclusively a German dish, but there aren't any German, Irish, or Scottish foods that I know of that have any significance to me or my family.
This Peach Pie is a dish that is personally culturally significant to me. Peach Pie is Greek in origin, and while I am (probably) not Greek this particular recipe is important culturally for my family. It has been handed down for several generations on my moms side of the family, as are a lot of family recipes that I enjoyed growing up. This pie recipe started at least …

Thanksgiving Blog

The album Invisibilia is a series of NPR podcasts that investigates "The Invisible Forces that Shape our World". This Thanksgiving I listened to an episode called "Future Self".

"Future Self" is podcast that starts off with the story of a Syrian orphan who dreamed of being a a DJ. His head filled with this dream every time he listened to music, until he could make that dream a reality. Eventually he moved to Canada on a visa to peruse his dream. The question about

NPR explains this in a way that makes the story about two people. The Orphan, and his future self. The podcast continues with a story about a High School, Northport. Focusing on the dreams of the students, finding that many students had high hopes for the future. Northport has a bad reputation, namely for their 25% drop out rate and unruly student behavior. The solution to the schools many problems came from their principle. 

The principle started to develop his ideas about how to help the school, …