Sunday, April 27, 2008

Presidential Race

Relating to the current focus in the media on the presidential race:
We’ve been hearing a lot in the news about the candidates, an important issue to be sure, as it will determine where our country will be headed in the next four years. But a trend has been emerging in the media coverage of this important race: the determined focus of coverage on “political gaffs” made by the candidates in their bid for nomination. For example, Hilary has been labeled a liar for saying she was “under sniper fire” in Bosnia. Obama has been called elitist by saying that people from Pennsylvania who were frustrated have been turning to “religion and guns”.
The most surprising thing about all this political hoopla is how many intelligent people I have heard justifying their positions on these candidates based upon these gaffs (versus the issues, as I expected).
So the question is: do these gaffs represent simple mistakes made during a stressful time by overtired candidates or are they signs of major character flaws? What WOKs do we use to justify our judgment of this? And how does the media coverage play into our perceptions of these gaffs (as it focuses on these versus the issues)?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Community Service

Since all of us are in IB, there are definitely some points in the school year where we have had to do community service. In your opinion, do you feel that there is more need for service on a local, state, national, or global level? Justify your reasoning using WOKs and try to identify your own biases that might cause you to support one level over another.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Everyone (Who Contributes) Gets a Cookie!

What’s your position on Eminent Domain? How would you define “Public Use”?

Remember: Anyone who contributes (With POK’s WOK’s etc.) to this post will get a cookie if they show up to the Eminent Domain IA presentation on May 14th.
Note: If you want more background information, or interesting stories, ask and I’ll post them to this thread.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ethics in Subliminal Messages?

To being with, we have had a bit of a dead spot in the blog, so I'll try to throw in a relatively controversial topic...

When my Norwegian relatives came over a few summers ago, my second cousin discussed subliminal messages. Since he was majoring in psycology, he talked on how most subliminal messages do not actually work, and it is actually better to just show a commercial about your given product.

However, this brings to light many ethical decisions.

Should subliminal messaging be allowed? Why or why not?

Try your best to use the POKs and WOKs for your justification

Monday, April 14, 2008

More Fiction

In class we came up with books that we felt we could know something from. I want to know if you've ever read a book of fiction that made you completely challenge something you knew before reading it. What ways of knowing were you using and what ways of knowing was the book using? What was the conclusion that you made after reading it? Oh, and just one more thing: do you think that the quality of the writing of a book can affect your ability to know from it?

Monday, April 07, 2008


This week in TOK, we're looking at ways we can know through fiction by watching the movie "10 Things I Hate About You." Don't get me wrong, I like the movie, but what can we really say we know after watching it? Is it possible to know something through any type of fiction, or does knowing through fiction only come through certain works or genres? If so, what do you think those works or genres may be?


Sunday, April 06, 2008

An Echo

"An echo, while implying an enormity of a space, at the same time also defines it, limits it, and even temporarily inhabits it." -Mark Z. Danielewski

Reading this quote made me really think about ways of knowing outside of science. While an echo can be defined with sound waves and logical explanations, here is a definition that seems to be driven more by emotion and even sense perception. How can changing our usual ways of knowing help us gain a new perspective on something, such as the nature of an echo?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


How do you, personally, define American culture?
Is there a societal definition?
And how do we arrive at such a definition?