Friday, October 14, 2011

Hey Everybody!

Karam and Ali here, wishing you all a merry hello from the futures!

Friday, April 10, 2009

What would be the best way to resolve various crises in the Middle East?

Though the documentary shown during the breakout session today did not relate directly to the issues in the Middle East, various conflicts and disagreements did come up from time to time, namely the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and Iraq. I suppose you could include Afghanistan and Iran in this, as well.

Now, in terms of circles of knowers, I'm pretty far removed from these conflicts, though I know there are Diploma Programme IB students at Poudre who are quite close.

Nevertheless, these are my ideas about how some of them might be resolved, or simply my opinions on what would be most just:
Israel/Palestine: Either allow the formation of a Palestinian state from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, put the region under control of the UN with input from both Israeli and Palestinian leaders, or eliminate the West Bank and Gaza Strip zones and incorporate the country under joint leadership, perhaps with a legislature composed half of Palestinians and half of Israelis and two prime ministers.
Iraq: The US needs to withdraw its troops, if not immediately definitely within a year or a year and a half. I'm also aware that there are conflicts between Shiite (Sh'ia) and Sunni Muslims as well as the Kurds. So far as I can tell, one of the main conflicts is that the plurality of the population is Shiite, so the Sunnis (who were in control prior to the US-led invasion) are concerned that a Shiite majority in the legislature will lead to the government ignoring the needs of Sunni Iraqis. The Kurds, on the other hand, want their independence, though I'm not clear on why it is denied them. I think the best solution seems to give the Kurds their independence (if this means taking territory containing a Kurdish majority from other countries to the north of Iraq do so). The Sunnis can either form their own government or join neighbouring Saudi Arabia (as I understand natural and economic resources are scarce in central Iraq, which is primarily populated by Sunnis). The Shiites can choose a new capital and form their own government in the South (primarily populated by Shiites). The other option is to either stick with the current government and try to even out the majorities either with or without the Kurds.

Disclaimer: these are to an extent just ramblings. As I said before, I am not very close to the issues mentioned here at all, and don't mean to offend anyone. Those who are more informed that I (Karam? Meredith?), please shed some more light on the issues and let us know how you think they might be resolved.

Seminar Movie

So I couldn't post on the seminar blog so i decided to post here!!!!! So in the movie there was one thing that i noticed that didn't really seem fair. It seemed like through out the movie, all of the countries were expected to know about America. and then they made fun of the Americans for not knowing about other cultures. It was like they expected the US to know to know about 5 other cultures when they only knew about 1. It would be interesting to ask them about cultures other than the US and see what they knew


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Magistrate Jostad has sent you an email!

Hey, It's a great day to be alive.

A new decision out of the Colorado Supreme Court today --- reversing thedistrict court's suppression of various statements --- Judge O'Hara up in Steamboat --- based upon the fact that the defendant was not in custody..... Well, I, of course, thought of you IB students --- you could read this decision and know what it means!! Might be a good question on an exam or something, eh?

Here's the opinion:

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ms. King's class EQ test

If you are in Ms. King's third period class, please take the emotional intelligence test at the link below prior to coming to class on Friday. Please bring in a printout of your results.

Group 3

Friday, January 30, 2009

Logic and Girl Power

My sister sent me this video today. (It is the entrance video for this website which I have included below.) I doubt that she wanted me to dissect it for logical fallacies, but I guess that is sometimes what happens with an IB education. I think that video does have a very interesting message behind it. But what logical fallacies are they willing to commit to make a more powerful message?

The one generalization that bugs me the most in this video is that of the Girl in poverty. Granted, that is often the situation (from what I know) and is how the western media often displays it . . . but aren't they degrading the people which they are fighting to help? Are they dehumanizing them by clumping them all together?

Ethics in regards to law and justice... in a theatrical format

I just went to see Lobby Hero at the Bas Bleu Theatre and found it to be quite interesting to look at from a ToK perspective. The play discusses ethics, the law, and justice - somewhat applicable to our recent discussions, but also interesting of its own right. Just throwing this out to anyone here interested in theatre and ethics, among other things... more information can be found at the Bas Bleu website. [a warning: due to the setting of the show, profanity is very common in the dialogue...]

If/once you've seen the play, let me know what you think in the comments - if you haven't seen it yet and want to, beware of spoilers....

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Logical fallacies

I stumbled upon this today while browsing the web, and given our recent lessons on logical fallacies, felt it appropriate to post here....

Source: - xkcd is a webcomic written by a former NASA roboticist and also has several other comics regarding various ToK topics...


Obama promised change for the government and for the people of America. Is he really going to bring change to Capitol Hill?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Black first family 'changes everything'

I thought this was a very interesting article, and it certainly brings up some good questions. Is the media still portraying Blacks in a "dark light?"

Friday, January 16, 2009

define: torture

I thought I understood this unit, but apparently not. Perhaps this is because I have accepted the idea that there is an absolute truth to everything, and whether or not we can know it, it is always there. So, if something is, according to absolute truth based on reports from victims, torture, then how can it simply be defined differently, or remain undefined, and be acceptible under the Geneva Convention? Why, if something is not directly labeled by a government as torture, but is, why is it okay? I don't understand.

Torture's Terrible Toll

After reading the two positions on the issue of torture by John McCain and Sam Harris, where do you stand on the issue? Why? Which justifications and Ways of Knowing were the most convincing to you?

Saturday, January 10, 2009


If you have been neglecting the seminar blog, there is an interesting post on religion that I recommend taking a peek at. 

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Speaking in Bubbles

Going back to The Persuaders, the film we watched two breakout sessions ago about the cultures of marketing and advertising, the clip embedded in title addresses public advertising.  The man in the video created the bubble project as a way to inspire dialogue about public advertising, giving the people the chance to talk back to the advertisers and get their voice in the public realm.  While he believes that the corporations win with the bubble project because it brings attention to their ads, it also gives the power back to the people/ the consumers, allowing them to respond to product given to them.  How does allowing people to add their own comments and language to the ad change the carefully crafted image/message the "persuaders" in the media put out?

(When you click on the link give the video a second to load, the page will initially look like there's no video but if you give it a minute it will buffer and appear)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Is information obtained in an altered mindstate valid?

In experiments done with psychedelic mushrooms, a significant number of patients reported having a positive spiritual experience with the drug. Because knowledge was gained in an altered state of conscious, is it valid?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Genetic Testing on children... To see which sports their bodies are better suited for

So I saw a news report on 9News about this topic then went to research it more and I found this article writen by the New York Times. It basically talks about a genetic test that can be performed on children to which sports they are likely to excel in. All I am asking is you take a look at this article, possibly do more research if still not understanding the article... and respond.

The Power of Slang

As we begin our look at Language as a WoK, we are going to consider how a specific language can define a culture, and in this instance, a generation. As part of the Slang Assignment (if you haven't been introduced to it, you will), we want you to consider and use the following slang from the decades listed below. Also provided is an online slang dictionary that will help you find any words that you are having a hard time finding.


Slang Dictionary

If you wish to print these lists for your use, please do so at home. They are long and would be a huge waste of paper. Have Fun...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dark Matter in the news

It seems we're not the only ones interested in dark matter these days. Check out this article from MSNBC about the latest forray into the field. Does this type of study and mass media coverage change your opinion about dark matter at all? Does it validate Dr. P's presentation? Does it add authority and further evidence, or does it raise more questions?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dove - Evolution

I know we just wrapped up sense perception, but I saw this video at a conference this weekend and found it fitting. When it was used at the conference, it was talking about how we shouldn't buy into the superficial lies that we are ugly. My question is, even if everyone saw this video, do you think the media would still have a voice of what is "beautiful" and what isn't?

When is Art Art?

I am not in HL art, though I know many of you are. I have always struggled with the idea of when art is a masterpiece, and when it just becomes a random splattering of paint on a canvas. I'm sure most of us have had those moments when we looked at a picture and thought, "Wow, I think I did something similar to this in first grade." My question is, at what point do these pieces cease to be meaningful (or are they always meaningful?), and on a different note, what makes them so valuable?
Please, I'm curious to hear the different opinions on this matter, but to get the conversation going, I'll start with my own.
I'm not an artist, as I have previously mentioned. So, I think, it is not such a surprise that I don't consider many forms of splatter paint to be art. If it is something that anyone could do, then how does it really have any meaning? Similarly, pieces of art that are purposely formatted after certain artists or styles also lacks individuality, in my eyes. Without being a new idea, I don't see how art (and therefore the universal meaning it conveys) could progress.
- Lauren P.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

More on why dark matter matters

As I continue to reflect on Dr. P's lecture, there are several questions and considerations I still want to discuss.  One in particular is WHY? I feel very removed from dark matter--I cannot perceive it in my daily existence--and I don't know what bearing, if any, proving or disproving its existence has on my life.  I feel little compulsion to know more.  What justifications might scientists like Dr. P have for a project that seems so purely "knowledge for knowledge's sake?" Is it mere curiosity? Is it a matter of ethics? Of faith? 

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Death in the Family

This article totally changed the way I view the Iraq war.  I think I belong to a unique community of knowers, and my political views are pretty complex, though I generally trend liberal.  In terms of foreign policy, this article changed my foreign policy views from isolationism to interventionism.  This quote in particular struck me:

"Consider that there are 19 year old soldiers from the Midwest who have never touched a college campus or a protest who have done more to uphold the universal legitimacy of representative government and individual rights by placing themselves between Iraqi voting lines and homicidal religious fanatics"

The link is in the title.  Please take five minutes and read it.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Seminar Questions

Hello all TOKers... After the Dark Matter presentation by Dr. Polhemus, please surf over to the Seminar Blog and jump in the conversation. Help out those not involved in TOK yet by modeling how to justify your opinions. Answer the questions posted by Ms. King by this Friday. Thanks.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bite Back Campaign

I personally think that everyone should help out with this cause, and should definitely participate in one the Clementia Project events (go to for more information). However, through the eyes of TOK, I want to know how many other people can identify some of the knowledge issues and the way they present it to you.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The presidents

so everyone... the presidential election is coming up and I want to know.

How do you feel about obama vs mcain?

after that

Do you feel that they justify their points well, what knowledge issues are there in their statements... stuff like that.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Arcadia and Knowledge

After all of the conversations and presentations on Arcadia, I'm boiling it down to one simple question that we would like ALL TOK students to comment on...

What is Arcadia saying about knowledge in general?


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Affirmative Action

So this post is a result of the ethics activities we've been doing in class.  The issue my group had was 'Should colleges or universities be held accountable for creating a ethnic and racially diverse community?' A further question I have is affirmative action (an action/policy that favors those who tend to suffer from discrimination esp. in employment or education) a good or bad thing?  I thought I knew, but then I started playing devil's advocate in class, and then I wasn't sure.

One reason this question is particularly interesting to me is that I'm filling out college apps right now and I always avoid the ethnicity question or don't fill it out if I can.  I'm not sure why I do that, maybe it's because I would prefer that a university look solely at my grades and test scores rather than more personal factors.

What do you guys think?

Friday, October 03, 2008

Caption Contest

Using your TOK skills and language, write a caption to this photo (of a masked TOK Seminar student) and win a prize.

What can we know about this through:
sense perception

What knowlege issues are present?
Keep your captions appropriate, please!

Deadline, Friday, Oct. 10!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Belief vs. truth

A simple question: What is the relationship between belief and reality? Here's my theory:
In what way do we know the world? We experience it through our senses, but how can we know what is real and what is not? If one is not aware of the existence of some thing, the thing is not real to the observer because it is not perceived as real. There is no true knowledge that we can know, but we can create knowledge through belief formulated through observation and the other ways of knowing we have discussed, because it is the closest thing we have to the truth. What we believe as real or perceive as real becomes real simply by the act of perceiving it so.
Existence is a web of infinite dimensions in which everything is linked to everything else through the threads, which are cause-effect relationships between events; the web encompasses all space, time, matter, energy - it is everything and is always expanding as time goes forward. Paradoxically, because it is not possible for something not to exist, the blanket is infinite. It is not one-, two-, three-, four-dimensional. It includes and composes everything, in an infinite number of dimensions.
If one part of the web is changed, an infinite number of new threads spring from the changed point. The resulting threads originating from the centre [theoretically the beginning of space, time &cetera] form the web as it grows to fill the future, a process which continually alters the future as the past changes.
Though the web encompasses everything, that is not to say that it is absolute. The present [which is infinitely small because it is simply the point at which the past and the future meet] and the past exist only in perception and memory. We can perceive that there is a present, but it is impossible to define a time as the present because we can only measure it relative to the past and future. In fact, the present is perception, while what we frequently refer to as the present is often the near past or near future. The past, on the other hand, can be altered because it does exist in the web but is stored in memory that is constantly being filtered through perception, making it extremely dynamic and removing the physical limitations that, along with perception of the past, govern the future.
Since the past exists only though perception thereof, because the future does not yet exist, and because the physical world only governs the future, perception is all that is real and therefore every being has a different reality.
It is also possible to delete from or to add to the past by adding or removing events or series of events from the blanket. When an event or series of events is removed, the causes of that event or series run straight through to the effects and the event no longer exists; it never existed, in the perception of whoever removed it. When an event is added, it attaches to effects and causes, forming a new portion of the web. This manipulation of the past can be achieved through either conscious or unconscious change in perception, and when the past changes, conscious choices and in turn the future will change.
George Orwell adequately described this idea of intentional manipulation of perception to exercise control over the past and through cause and effect the future in 1984 with the concept of doublethink and the Party’s slogan that 'whoever controls the past controls the future'.
The future is governed jointly by the physical world and by the collective of individual perceptions of the past and present, making it impossible to predict due to the extremely dynamic nature of perception.
Due to this relationship between perception and reality, life only has a meaning if there is a perceived meaning. Once a meaning has been perceived, that meaning holds true within one's own reality. Life is what you make of it.

If you hear me say "In your perception", it means that whatever you've said is simply your perception, and isn't the only reality. So I guess what I mean to say is "I reject your reality, and substitute my own."


Monday, September 22, 2008

Something to think about

Hey guys!
I'm sure some of you have seen this video before... but its just something that got me thinking.

We've all seen and heard these statistics before, but this video puts them into a much smaller context, and uses some pretty emotional images and music to get the point across.

Just thought I'd throw it out there!

Let me know what you think!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

God Bless George W Bush

So if y'all haven't noticed, the majority of Poudre is way liberal, and i think its about time i post some of my beliefs (that differ vastly) and see what y'all say. I found a youtube video that pretty much sums it up, so have at it. xoxo sarah t xox

oh and some things that the vid didn't say
after 9/11 when surveyed (by NY Times) well over 50% of people supported invading iraq
saddam had used weapons of mass destruction on his people before and didn't let the UN investigate his labs, despite his agreement to do so
he's human, and i hardly ever hear anyone speak with proper grammer...ever. so don't go saying he's stupid because he cant speak correctly. 

its fascinating to me that as americans, we love to rewrite our history :~)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dear Mr. Obama

Talking about Community of Knowers, here is this guy who was a soldier in the Iraq war. This is what he has to say.

Sunday, September 07, 2008


Alright folks, it's time to bring up the inevitable... do aliens exist? what are you're justifications, and lets all try to use out those truth tests. Now there is a lot of evidence on both sides saying yes or no, a simple visit to youtube will give you all the info you need to make an educated guess.

Now as for me, I guess I fell that there has to be something else out there with some intelligence. It would be unlikely for there not to be. How could it be that in the BILLIONS and billions of planets in the universe that our planet was the only one to sustain life, it just dosen't work.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

"Allegory of the Cave" Question #1

What is something that you now believe to be true that you had a difficult time accepting? Why did you have a hard time believing it in the first place? What justifications were used that helped you turn the corner? And now that you accept it, how would you properly justify it to someone else? Please use ToK language and develop your answers.

"Allegory of the Cave" Question #2

When considering "Allegory of the Cave," how is it possible that some people can beilieve in illusion and accept it as reality? Give examples.

"Allegory of the Cave" Question #3

What is an example of "knowledge" that you have struggled accepting in any of your academic courses? Why has it been difficult? What is it about YOU that possibly has influenced this?

Please discuss subject matter, not individual teachers or teaching styles.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

René Descartes

Ok guys, here's a question I've wanted to ask for a LONG time. The famous quote

"Cogito, ergo sum"- "I think, therefore I am"

or the alternate quote

"Dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum"-"I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am"

So is this true. I think this topic came up in our lunch class today, are we all really in some sort of generated universe, is everything just one REALLY long dream? What exists? can a table exist, if it dosen't think?

For all my fellow bookworms...

So, as you all know we've been working with Plato's "Allegory of the Cave", trying to understand how it relates to knowledge and our search for truth.
This conversation brought to mind a book that I'd read that some of you may be interested in. The book is called Till We Have Faces and is a retelling of the myth of Psyche and Cupid by C.S. Lewis. Besides being a fascinating story it also contains some parallels with Plato's ''Allegory" regarding the way in which humans deal with being shown truth and the discomfort that sometimes accompanies acquisition of knowledge. I think the themes presented would lend themselves very well to a ToK discussion and fit in with what we've been learning about.
I've attached a link explaining some of the key themes/concepts of the book to the title of the post, the ones that would be most applicable are towards the bottom of the webpage. If you have time (I know it's a laughable concept in most of our lives...) please read it!
Let me know what you think...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Does God Exist?

I'm posting this in hopes of finding all the proper justification for one of the biggest questions, in my mind, that exists. I do ask that people don't argue and also respect eachothers opinions.

My goal for this post if for everyone to put everything on the table. Why they believe or even know God exists or why they believe or even know God doesn't exist. The "What do you believe" topic was a bit to broad for me and so I'm asking my fellow Theory of Knowledgians a more specific question that hopefully will raise many more.

I will start by saying that I do believe in a God. Perhaps not "The God" as described in the bible but rather a greater entity that created the universe. My reasons for this belief are faith, as I have always felt in a near impossible to describe way that there was something that I couldn't fathom that had to have created the very smallest fabric of space and time that makes up my eyes, ears, hair, pajamas, and keyboard that I type on, and that, while I believe evolution and even string theory, that there logically had to be something that created the strings.

Please respond to this post as I'm very agnostic and very unsure of many of my beliefs regarding religion and God. I'm not asking for someone to preach to me, I'm just curious what other's beliefs are and why they believe that way.

Also please be respectful in your comments as this is a delicate subject.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Open Minds

So reading everyone's posts on the blog has been interesting, and I know we're talking a lot about knowledge and what we know and learning more stuff to know and all that.  Something that comes up a lot, and comes up a lot in IB in general, is a concept of an open mind.  I have a quote that I try to adhere to, and I'd like to share it, and see what people think.

"It is important to have an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out."

Is there such a thing as too open-minded? Too close-minded? What's the difference between being close-minded and standing by what you believe in?  Draw the lines for me, guys....


Is the exclusion of developing countries from groups like G8 deterimental?

Many developing countries, which are in need of better economic support, are left out of major decisions and groups that could have very positive effects on their economy. They are left out because they do not have major production or consumption of products. Is this a fair or logical way for world economics to work?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Alrighty... lets fire up some discussion. IS freedom of choice really the right to hate?

OK... where to start?

Basically, i just went to youtube and typed the only thing i knew to - "Freedom of Speech is the Right to Hate", and clicked on the first video in the mix.

In short, it's a video response to an atheist concerning free speech.

In the video the man, (who, i thought really interstingly is MUSLIM) describes how even though people have "the right to engage in intellectual discourse, criticism and debate", they should still stay true to others' right to respect and dignity.

Wasn't that the main thing we talked about??

This creepy old man with a creepy little sign is protesting at an innocent young man's funeral, completely disrespecting the dead boy's parents and family. All for his own, creepy, old (yet still 'wise and authoritative') beliefs.

There's the other thing! He mentions authority later in his video description. Word for word:

"Who would win in a slandering fight between you and Rupert Murdoch? You both and the same 'freedoms' but he has more POWER than you (since he owns SKY channels and newspapers)."

Thats's it. Who determines whether this guy is just old and creepy, sick, and wrong for coming to this boy's funeral and undermining every last bit of importance he had in life, destroying the good memories of him with messages of hate, or whether he's an Authority, a vietnam war veteran who's seen more than any of us IB kids combined, who knows - and FEELS what's right for himself (and obviously others around him)? Who decides this?


It's his belief.

It's his choice.

I guess we have to give it to him, right?

But no matter what is decided, someone else has to come in and throw in their two cents. The majority of the comments were hate messages, not only to the man himself, but also to Islam, Middle Eastern Countries, and people of color in general!! It disgusted me... i had to leave 3 comments politely telling some people off. Oh well.

I just thought that this man, known as youtuber mujtahid2006, summed up everything we talked about in the last 3 days perfectly. Check out the video so you can see waht im talking about, the hate comments, and how right this man is on everything we talked about.

Go, my fellow IB students...



The PHS ToK web page

Greetings! Click on the title of this post to access the PHS ToK web page. This page will provide you with all kinds of information, including links to the ToK assignment calendar, assessment documents and rubrics, seminar information and other nifty stuff. You will want to bookmark the calendar page and check it often since journal topics, due dates and handouts for the class are posted here.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What do you believe now?

What is a belief that you hold dear and why? How do you justify this belief?

Feel free to challenge each others' justifications and discuss one another's beliefs.

What did you believe?

What is something that you thought to be true but later learned was not? (go beyond Santa Claus... link it to an AOK or personal experience)

What did you notice about yourself?

What is one epiphany you had when writing your Knower Biography or since when considering what you know about personal and proper justifications?

Monday, August 04, 2008

A new year, A few big changes

Welcome back to TOK and Poudre High School... TOK is changing and the blog is doing the same. Joining us this year is the talented Mr. Knight, teaching 7th period. Rumored to be a teacher once upon a time, he's back to give his wisdom. And since he is old, he has lots of it. In addition, this year's blog discussions will include the new TOK Seminar Students. This will make the blog a much more dynamic and important communication tool used by the PHS Diploma Students. So please... post, comment, discuss. Help us get it started... See you soon.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Usual Suspects

So I know both the TOK classes have watched or are in the middle of watching "The Usual Suspects". I've already seen it before and now that I'm watching it again I realize that some pieces of information that I took for being true turned out to be false. However, at the time I did not question the validity of the information.
In the movie, how do you know what you know and why do you accept it to be true?
Were there any points in the movie when you did question the validity of the information that was presented?
Please discuss but try not to give too much away for the people who haven't finished it yet. Thanks :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Again, freedom of choice is the right to hate

I found this a couple days ago and it reminded me of "Freedom of Choice is the Right to Hate".

What do you think of this?

-Its not necessary to watch the whole thing....yes it is from the tyra banks show-