Sunday, September 30, 2007
Now, my question to you guys is, are masks hindrances in finding truth, or do they reflect them? And, of course, why?
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Equality is one of the values that we as both human beings and Americans hold most dear. It is one of the basic principles that this country was founded on. Still another value that we hold dear is individuality, and our ability to express ourselves and be unique. I think that is fair to assume that humanity has not reached the level of equality that many wish to. S0 despite our considerable effort towards reaching equality, we all still treasure our individuality. Someone can be an incredible musician, and terrible at math, and it can be vise-versa as well. Thus I ask you this does equality rely on our abilities? Also then no matter what personal talents, or virtues someone else has, do we treat them as equal? How do we then define equality without contradicting ourselves and pointing out that persons qualities that make him or her an individual. I guess my final question is are we to treat everyone equal regardless of their talents or faults, even is it defies what we think of as "ethical, or moral."
Have a great nite;)
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
So I don't really have a clue about the current cloning situation, but we can maybe clone a goat? OK, so the following situation will be completely hypothetical. Much like allegory in the cave one has to go with the scenario and please don't say, this could never happen because... just go with it from where I leave off. I will leave off questions and will respond to comments appropriately. The whole scenario will not be fully explained in the initial post and more will be added, depending on the comments.
So there is a man the subject of "Perfect Cloning". Perfect Cloning is cloning to the exact molecule, where normal cloning emphasizes only gene replication, perfect cloning is everything, the amount of hair, the exact mass down to the last atom, the piece of food stuck to the teeth, the bacteria living on the skin, every single detail of this man, and the organisms present within or on this man down to the last atom. The man gains consciousness within a room, where the clone will gain consciousness in a "perfect clone room" where the room is replicated in exactly the same detail as the originals, down to the last atom. Emphasis is on every single freaking detail, the exact temperature , humidity, air pressure... and time. The location is on the same latitude and longitude of the earth to equalize the time due to to rotation of the earth. The clone's room is on top of the originals, so modifications of air pressure and stuff may be needed. The rooms are exactly the same, down to the last atom! The man regains consciousness at the same time as the clone. The man says, "where am I?"
The question is, would the clone also say the same thing at exactly the same time, as well as with the exact same movements? ie. air released, temperature change, same volume?
Lets use some math.
Say the two rooms, on a molecular level are exactly the same.
R1 and R2 are set equal to each other, so we have:
R1 represents the original room, and R2 the exact replica of the room.
Let M1 represent the original man and M2 represent the clone
R1+M1=R2+M2, assume this is true in terms of whatever, lets use mass as an example. (feel free to substitute mass with anything else)
So original room and the original man combined makes
The question becomes, is this equation true for if X becomes something abstract like the brain frequencies of a human and clone, or the thoughts generated by the human and clone? What about concrete stuff like mass and pressure and movements?
Monday, September 24, 2007
In French right now we’re discussing Islamic veils and their role in school. There was an issue in France where two girls wore their veils to school and were consequently expelled as church and state are supposed to be separated and the schools are part of the state. However, there was disagreement about whether this violated personal liberty. So long as the religious symbol is “discreet” it can be worn, such as crosses or such, but it’s up to the principal to determine whether the symbol is discreet.
In class the issue of which veil came up. Some people argued that a burkha or nikab would be a safety concern since you wouldn’t know who was actually wearing it. However, there was a general consensus that just the head covering was alright; many people compared it to a hat.
Other issues were:
Gang symbolism is not allowed so why would religious symbols be?
Using religion as an excuse for wearing whatever you wanted and not abiding by the dress code
In the U.S. we have a protected right that allows us to express ourselves, and yet some schools, public schools, have uniforms. What if one wishes to express themselves through their clothing? I understand that the uniforms are in order to establish equality among students, yet how does this not infringe upon personal freedom of expression?
Perception seems to be the primary way of knowing as it is purely a visual experience. For example, my cousin in Louisiana goes to a school were uniforms are mandatory. She put blue streaks in her hair over the summer, and when she came back to school she was suspended for two days until she got rid of them. It was purely a visual thing. Logic would dictate that you abide by the laws, and our bill of rights is fairly clear.
I don’t understand how demonstrating your faith to someone else is forcing that faith upon them.
Hate: a heart
Happiness: an open space in which to be myself
I know this may sound a bit cheesy, but I'd be interested in what everyone sees as a symbol for each of these ideas. (and your justifications for them) If anyone wants me to justify mine I'd be happy to as well.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Stalin, Lenin, Castro, and Mao
How could they justify the murders, corruption and other atrocities? Was it faith that they were doing the right thing for the country? Or was it personal ambition? Or a combination of both?
While reading Crime and Punishment, I found a quote from Svidrigailov "...Reason is the slave of passion, you know, why, probably, i was doing more harm to myself than anyone!" (280) Does this apply to the people under these leaders? The Chinese population of the time (especially the children who were being educated) seemed to worship Mao, saw him as a god, and wouldn't even wash their hands if he had shook them. Yet, the famine that was a result of his "vision" for the country killed millions, and he would kill anyone believed to be a rightist. Did the peoples adoration blind them to this? Or was it fear (isn't there a syndrome like this in kidnappings...? I may be totally making this up, but I think the kidnappee starts to like their abductor...)?
Saturday, September 15, 2007
1. Mrs. King and I have said this to you all but please remember... your use of this blog is related to how well you will perform on the final essay and presentations... It will help... we promise. So take advantage.
2. Think about what you post... Simple questions are great but be thoughtful in how you present your ideas and potential debate topics. Ask for what you want... justifications? claims and counterclaims? etc.
3. Discuss! You have taken to posting so well that we are drowning in posts and comments have been lacking lately. Your initial ideas and thoughts are great, but until you talk, challenge one another's ideas and respond to what you read, you will be limiting your own skills. So slow down on posting a bit and take some time to comment.
(There will be ebbs and flows with this aspect of the blog but please help keep it balanced)
3. Use your TOK skills! Use the language, the concepts, personal examples... and Justify, Justify, Justify.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
So, going off the idea of EE, I feel that I owe it to all of you to present to you the possibility of deciding whether or not something is art. Andres Serrano's Piss Christ has raised more controversy than any other single art piece in the last century (keep in mind that Mapplethorpe's X-Portfolio was just that, a portfolio. 15 photos). I think it is art. It follows the vast majority of the elements and principles of design, and despite that it is still being argued over--admittedly less religiously than before. I say we recreate 1989 right here, and supply evidence for both sides of the argument.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
In history, there have been many protests , even when United States of America was first formed, they were able to gain their independence through protesting and basically "opposing" the British government. So in South Korea, in May 18th, 1980, Gwangju citizens protested against the government. Wikipedia Entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gwangju_Massacre
Read the Wikipedia entry.
Also read the US involvement Article: http://www.kimsoft.com/korea/usknew.htm
What I'm asking is this,
Just discuss about it...
I personally really did not like the whole ordeal. The idea actually is that (don't quote me on this but just fyi), Chun Doo Hwan actually moved against a certain type of Koreans in the area. The country is divided to states just like US except not as much. But Chun Doo Hwan came from a different state which was against the general people who came from the state he attacked. It has been for generations, but why did he do such a thing?? Just by the way Chun Doo Hwan is actually still alive and is rich off of government money.
It is clearly informed that the US was informed of the event.
Overall, does the government have the right to “spy” on its own citizens?
Is there enough justification for the government to install surveillance cameras in public areas?
Does this photograph represent the United States in a fair light?
This photo is courtesy of David Foster, a contact of mine in a photography magazine that I contribute to.
One Nation Under Surveillance
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
My first reaction was that this law was absolutely ridiculous. I understand laws to keep the city beautiful (recycling, air pollution prevention) but to this extent?
What kind of scale is this judged upon? So far in my life experience I've never heard of an 'ugly scale.' I feel its relative to every person: after all, isn't beauty in the eye of the beholder? Or is that just a stupid outdated notion disproved by the media again and again today?
Now, its definitely constitutional because it doesn't violate the first amendment: what does it violate? How would you feel if you were told you classified as ugly and were arrested and fined?
Sunday, September 09, 2007
The intensity of hate that I witness on the boards seriously concerns me as well. These threats, slurs, and profanities are coming from people who are 18 and younger. How can someone have so much hate inside them at such a young age? Have they been raised to act/think like that? Has something truly awful happened to them to change their point of view? Or have they just adopted that persona to fit in, and if that’s the case, when did hate become cool? Doesn’t anyone realize that if a serious politician read what they were writing they’d be deeply ashamed and quite possibly horrified?
(This is the abridged version of what I initially wrote because I felt like I should cut some things out because they didn’t really pertain to TOK.)
"I like them to talk nonsense. That's man's one privilege over all creation. Thought error you come to the truth! I am a man because i err! You never reach any truth without making fourteen mistakes and very likely a hundred and fourteen. And a fine thing, too, in it's way; but we can't even make mistakes on our own account! Talk nonsense, but talk your own nonsense, and I'll kiss you for it. To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's. I the first case you are a man, in the second you're no better than a bird. Truth won't escape you, but life can be cramped. There have been examples. And what are we doing now? In science, development, thought, invention, ideals, aims, liberalism, judgement, experience and everything, everything, everything, we are still in the preparatory class at school. We prefer to live on other people;s ideas, it's what we are used to! Am I right, Am i right?"(Crime and Punishment 202-203)
I was wondering what other people thought of Razumihin's drunken ravings, for I personally found that I agreed with a majority of it.
However this year, activist groups are taking a different look at this day. Marches are going to be held on Washington DC, people are encouraged to speak out against this war. 9/11 is supposed to be a day without school, work, buying or anything. We are encouraged to 'Hit the Streets'.
I'm still trying to make up my own mind on how I feel about this event, but I figured I had a huge resource of ideas and opinions within IB. What do you guys think about using this day to pose a strike and to have this particular month filled with various protests, etc.? I know that one can claim that it's not ok to use this particular day to protest the war, but is it really ok to use this day to encourage it? If it's the lives of those lost that we're trying to honor, then why are we sacrficing more in this 'Endless War'?
While looking this stuff up, I came across quite a few outraged editorial authors who commented on Congress' recent decision to allow Bush the power to montior and 'wiretap without a warrent for 6 months.' We learned while reading Anthem, I believe, that Liberty/Freedom and Safety are in a constant tug-of-war. What do you guys think about this? About the fact that our freedoms are disappearing for 'safety'... and even that 'safety' is questionable.
So... I don't know if I'll be in school on Tuesday or not, but I want to know your opinions.
Saturday, September 08, 2007
1. Who decides what makes art good or bad? Can art be good even if its technically poor but has a strong emotion, feeling or message attached?
2. Is art a personal experience where the viewer gets to decide what it means through their own rationalizations or is it determined through authority, and societal consensus?
Friday, September 07, 2007
So, feel free to choose any of the following questions, and analyze (to the best of a TOK student's knowledge using AOKs, Reasoning behind beliefs, etc.)
1) How does one avoid stereotypes? Even if you have them, how do you eliminate them?
2) What would happen if there was a world without stereotypes? Would it be better/worse?
3) Why do you assume that it takes only 2.5 seconds before one already has made a (most likely) false assumption about someone else?
So, my question is......why, particularly our generation, are we so entranced with the daily lives and troubles of others? Why is privacy growing to gradual extinction in our society today, and what do YOU think about it's departure, and its possible impact upon future society?
Thursday, September 06, 2007
I am going to make a huge generalization here, but I imagine by that definition everyone here is a Feminist. I hope that that is the case.
However, as much as you may claim you are a feminist, I ask you girls: Have you ever asked a guy out? Would you, before this listing, have thought of proposing to a man? When I googled "Woman proposes to man" it blessed me a total of NINE finds.
Several of the ladies I know have attributed this to a fear of rejection that they for some reason think we are immune to. Some even said that guys wouldn't appreciate it, if the girl asked. I, personally, would have no problem with it.
So the questions are:
Girls: Why don't you ask people out?
Guys: What would you think of a girl asking you out?
All: Is anyone a feminist if they refuse to accept true equality, down to the social aspects of dating? Isn't it sexist to put all of that pressure on one half of the population?
Of course, the only reason she really is such an influence is because of the media exposure, but what does this say about our country?
"Hope is the denial of reality. It is the carrot dangled before the draft horse to keep him plodding along in a vain attempt to reach it."
Personally, I took this quote to mean that when you have hope, you are blinding yourself to reality. In connection to the Allegory of the Cave, I saw the light as not reality, but as hope. It lights the darkness, but leaves shadows in its wake, and those shadows are what we fear, because they are the unknown. The darkness is reality, and the only way to face reality is to look away from the light. Thus, they are no more shadows, they are a part of the darkness. The quote goes on, latter, to say that we need to take the carrot away and walk with our eyes open. Hope is not going to save us, hope will do nothing, and if we follow the carrot, we'll be following it until we realize how we've wasted away.
That's how I took the quote in a nutshell. What do you think?
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
"We sit here, the mountain and I, until only the mountain remains." -Li Po
"When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice"- Cherokee Proverb
So in English we were looking at quotes and I chose this one to analyze. I posted it on the English blog but I thought that with the nature of the quote it would also be relevant here, this is what I wrote about it.
This quote is made powerful by the simplistic phrasing of an eloquent idea. It has relevance to a present day situation, making it more powerful, as people can relate to it by opinion and emotion. It is a call to justice, stating that we need to take a different action for war if we are truly at war to maintain peace. The word justify implies that the war needs justification, but because of the two contradicting words, it is implied that the justification is faulty, and needs a new one. The words “ideals” and “peace” have become important words in our society, as have freedom, liberty, and happiness; which are contained within American ideals. The quotes main statement is how hypocritical “we” are by using the war as an excuse to maintain ideals, when in fact, we state that our ideals are based on peace.The fact that “ideals” is used twice makes us connect the two action words together. Peace and war are paradoxical, and therefore the reader is forced to look at how exactly they are being connected. Simplifying the quote by taking out the connecting “ideals”, it becomes “War cannot be justified as peace”. A more direct statement of what the author is trying to portray. In this quote the wording is vital to how it is perceived. It is short and to the point. Without the comparison the author makes with his contradicting words and the repetition of “ideals” to enhance the comparison, the quote would not have the same meaning or effect.
For example, in Mexico death is more of a celebration of the loved ones lives, instead of being extremely dark and gloomy. They even have celebrations such as the Day of the Dead to not only bring them back, but also to celebrate and appreciate their lives.
In the United States, funerals take on a different role, and it is meant to remember, rather than celebrate a life well-lived. Funerals are usually very solemn and rarely festive, like the Mexican culture.
How can you explain these differences? How do other cultures, say "goodbye"?
Today for example, my class was asked what we wanted to get out of the class and so we answered with ideas like college prep time, homework time, food, team building activities (like the ropes course) and the like. Immediately after we had finished the discussion, we were told that the teacher did not see anything that we wanted out of the class. He saw ways we were trying to avoid the class. However, he had not told us the purpose of senior AIM, and then critiqued us without actually knowing what he had wanted us to come up with.
How is this logical?
This class was supposed to be implemented in order for us to make the "transitions", but how can you make the transitions without actually graduating high school (hence the homework time), or applying to colleges (hence the college prep time), or the team building (since the IB kids "run around in packs throughout the school"). However, when we had tried to make the class work for us, we were immediately shot down with "you guys aren't even trying to use the potential this class has". When authority talks to people like this, i believe they lose some of that authority because they lose respect as well.
So, why do we have AIM?
What is going on in other classes? (I know this isn't exactly ToK, but our class isn't exactly the most open to the "IB kids"). Why do people gravitate into cliques when in a class thats meant to break that?
Why do people automatically reject something thats new (think allegory of the cave), or is it when the new thing is forced upon people? (Or do we reject it because we lost late start in our sophomore year?)
-Also (from AIM) can a place (location) be important to someone or is it the event or memory of something that happpened there the true importance?