Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Right Brain v. Left Brain

Proper credit should be given to Rebecca Levy for finding this site.
She demands it.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Reason, Instinct & Creation

"Reason must sit at the knee of instinct and learn reverence for the miraculous instinctual capacity for creation." -Jonathan Schell
What do you think this quote is saying about the connection between reason, instinct and creation? Also, what do you think this quote is implying about ways of knowing?


When modern professions are so specialized, do they gain or lose an appreciation for other disciplines? Justify.

Descriptive vs Acquaintence

Does Descriptive Knowledge always turn into Acquaintence Knowledge? For example, anti-drug ads. (My internet's down, so I'm using Katie's login).


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Perception of a Picture versus an Article

First, look at the picture of the kitten and allow yourself time to process it
(Imagine this cat is a cat in need of a home)

Now read the article about the need for cat adoption
How to Help a Homeless Cat

Every year millions of homeless cats are euthanized. These are adoptable and healthy cats that weren’t as lucky as some of their neighbor kitties at the shelter – the cats who found their forever homes. Many more homeless cats roam the streets, unwanted and unloved. Everyday they battle the dangers of the harsh outdoors – desperately seeking food and refuge from the elements when Mother Nature wreaks havoc. They are at great risk for disease and other dangers, such as being hit by a car or killed by a predator. The lives of these cats are very different from those of our beloved cats whom we consider our family members. And I believe each of these homeless cats, whether currently in a shelter, foster home or on the street, has the potential to be a precious, loving member of a family. Think about your cat and all the joy and love s/he brings you. What if you hadn’t been introduced to your kitty and s/he was one of the millions of homeless cats? What treasures are we missing out on with each homeless cat that dies on the street or is euthanized merely to make room for another homeless cat at an overcrowded shelter?

Did you respond more to the picture or to the article? After viewing which one would you be more likely to adopt a cat? Discuss the knowledge issues of perception in your answer.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Perceptions of Reality

I just read that a snail’s neurons pick up signals from the outside world so slowly that they literally won’t see events that happen any faster than three seconds. For example, if a snail was looking at an apple and you quickly snatched it with your hand, the sail wouldn’t detect your hand. To the snail, the apple would appear to vanish into thin air.[1]

In comparison to other animals, our nervous systems are also rather slow.

If seeing is believing…
What kinds of things could we be missing?
How do we know that the things we are sensing are REAL?
As a TOK student, how is your perception limited?

Also, consider this:
Atoms are made up of packets of energy, which are invisible with no mass or size. Also, every object is 99.9999% empty space at the atomic level. So at a deeper level, your hand is just invisible vibrations taking place in a void, which go in and out of existence millions of times per second.

How does this alter your view of reality?


[1] Deepak, Chopra. How to Know God. New York: Harmony Books Inc., 2000.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Turning knots into bows

There are different kinds of thinking; they can be broadly categorized into five types:
  1. Natural thinking: Fluid and undirected; it wanders and meanders. Subject to repetition and generalizations. The kind of thinking that goes on when we don't think we're thinking.
  2. Logical thinking: Selects a route and follows it to its conclusion. The solution is largely predetermined, so if you head off in the wrong direction you end up painting yourself into a corner.
  3. Pattern thinking: Confines thoughts to operate within given rules. Therefore solutions are limited the the possibilities within the pattern.
  4. Lateral thinking: Purposeful in intent without specific aim. This can reveal solutions which might have been overlooked in other approaches.
  5. Grasshopper thinking: Our usual thought; jumps around alternating and mixing between reasoning which adheres to measurable responses, and imagining which allows unpredictable currents to play around with data.
Which of these seem to produce the most answers/solutions? Do particular thinking types correspond to particular personality types or learning styles?

Does anyone actually think in words? Literally where everything you think is spelled out in words running through your head.

Education seems to allocate more value to logic and analytical thinking kills than to imaginative conjectures. Is this true? How does it influence our learning?

Language also plays a part. Have you ever noticed that when we don't agree with someone we say "I don't think so...."? The "think so" literally indicates a proscribed route. Does that mean when disagreeing with a person, we only disagree because we are predisposed to?

I'm sorry theres so many questions here, I was just thinking while driving to Cheyenne, but feel free to answer whatever you want, I would be most appreciative.

"Logic is the art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding." -Ambrose Bierce-

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

HIV doesn't cause AIDS... ??

I was doing biology homework... and researching information on AIDS... when this article came up. It's quite long, but I thought it had an interesting relevance to ToK. You can skim the article to get the general idea.

How does the doubt behind whether or not the HIV/AIDS correlation = causation imply knowledge issues and why do we, as a general population, ignore protests like these even if there is support behind them?

Just curious also, what do you guys think might happen if these scientists/authors are correct and eventually it is found that AIDS has a different cause, or HIV is only a factor in enabling AIDS to be contracted? How will that weaken our trust in modern science and how will it affect our society?

Do they provide enough evidence to be taken seriously?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Art and Discovery

I was listening to NPR today and they had a segment on how the discoveries of the "new world" impacted the Renassance artists during that time era. I was thinking about my own art and how many people find it easier to find inspiration from new unkown materail or subjects rather than things they know well, and i was wondering why this might be, what about new objects inspire artists?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Monday, October 08, 2007

Artists and Writers

In a comment on a recent post about perception and art, Ben claims the following...

"Why teach art classes if art is subjective? I don't need an art class to be an artist, is what we're saying. Is that what we are saying? Is art education pointless?"

In the same line of thinking... many argue that one is a writer if one writes.

If this is the case, can one be a writer without taking writing classes as it is suggested about artists? Or do you believe that neither is the case?

What do you think? Justify...

Ethics and Morals

So the Seniors will get this more since we just talked about this in English. If the ethical code says that one cannot kill an animal in an expieriment, is it not a "grey zone" between morals and ethics when one decides how much they can stress the animal and still be "ethical"? By definition ethics should have to personal bias, but is not true that few things work the way they should in the real world? Does it not make sense that in out imperfect world ethics would have some personal bias as well?

Saturday, October 06, 2007


So we have almost finished Arcadia. The Theatre in the Classroom group will be coming in on Monday for 3rd hour and Tuesday for 5th and 7th to perform the final scene of the play. After this, we (the actors and I) will be leading a talk back concerning the play, both specifically and in a greater context. Therefore, I would love it if you could give any questions that you have concerning the play that we could address in the talk-back. I'll then try to incorporate it, and hopefully that will help it to run smoothly! So, any questions or topics of discussion?

Friday, October 05, 2007

The Collegian

The Collegian's Editor in Chief didn't get fired from his job. What is your response to this and what are your jusifications behind it?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

the nature of knowledge

This part of Arcadia intrigued me in particular, and I wanted to get other people's opinions. Tom Stoppard introduces the concept that knowledge is cyclical. The library of alexandria and all the knowledge it contained was burned, as was the hermitage's wealth of the apparantly lunatic scribblings of a madman (genius). Thomasina's own mathmatical musings (iterations), though abandoned by the originator, were taken up again years later by Valentine. I think that although some knowledge is discovered repeatedly, humans are making a general progression into as of yet undiscovered material. I realize that I may well share Valentines bias, but I still am having a hard time believing that knowledge so revolutionary to us in the 21st century may have been discovered long ago the first time around. I am struggling with the concept that advanced though we may view ourselves, knowledge as Stoppard would have it is more cyclical than progressive - that all the literary works of alexandria will one day be rewritten. At the same time, but through a literary lense, with archetypes as evidence, I can see how some aspects of knowledge can be considered tried and true. What do you think?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


As per today's discussion, what do you guys consider to be beautiful?

How do you justify it?

Has it ever impeded/aided you in acquiring knowledge?

How does in interact with knowledge issues?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Well, it's that time of year again.

Time for me to host the blog that is!
Perception. I love it. You love it. We all love it. Let's exercise it, shall we?
Below (or above, I don’t know how this thing works) I have posted a link to a website. If you have already seen it, be patient, and if not, boy are you in for a treat. The site offers something to the viewer, that thing is a test on art. The test gives you 16 images and you discern which ones are considered art, and which ones are something the author fished out of a dumpster. Notice how what one person perceives as art is different from another. Please, if you do take this quiz, post your score with your response to the following question:

Does this [the test] prove that art is pointless?

Thank you, and goodnight/day/month/year/slash-mark.

P.S. – If you are still starved perception quizzes, you can also visit the other website listed below.

Art Quiz -

Other Perception Quiz -