Who I am politically

Do you consider yourself to be “political”? Why or why not?

I would consider myself to be a bit political because I have a certain understanding of the international situation and the political situation of some countries. At the same time, I also have my own opinions on politics. Sometimes I will discuss with my father about the major international events and how these events might affect the world. The test result also shows that my political knowledge is higher than 95% of the test taker.

What does it mean to be political?

I think being political means having a certain understanding of how the government and the world operate, and a certain insight into how government decisions will affect society and the world.

Is everything political? Why or why not?

I don’t think everything is political, although there are many things world that is affected by politics. After all, I don’t think anything is related to politics, but with the improvement of the system, many things are linked to politics. Using art as an example, although art can also appear as a political form, many works of art simply want to create a visual impact on the audience.

How important do you feel it is to be aware of what is going on in politics?

I think it is important to understand what is happening in politics. Even though many people think that politics is something smart people do and have little to do with themselves. But many things in politics will have an impact on society, including the people themselves. Therefore, it is more important to understand certain political events.

What are the political issues that you believe are most important right now and why?

I think the discussion of freedom is a more important issue in politics. Freedom of speech allows people to condemn many unfair treatments. This has helped blacks, homosexuals, and many other discriminated groups to stand up and denounce the unfair treatment they have suffered and give them a chance to regain power. This is undoubtedly good, but excessive freedom will magnify the evil side of mankind. Using guns as an example, about 38,826 people in the United States die from intentional gun violence each year. As the most developed democracy in the world, the United States has a very high rate of shooting violence. Even so, the US government still did not take any overly practical actions to suppress the gun order. From this, it can be seen that this is a very important political issue that covers a lot of events happening around the world.

The Social Dilemma

In class, we watched the documentary “Social Dilemma” on social media. This is a very meaningful documentary. This documentary shows the audience a side that people have never contacted or even considered on social media and/or the Internet. It also shows how the capitalists behind them use these networks to control and consume users. This documentary contains a lot of information that can be extracted. After watching the documentary, the biggest gain for me is the new understanding of social software algorithms.

Before watching this documentary, I didn’t know much about the algorithms used by technology companies on social media. After I watched the documentary, I discovered that the algorithms used by social media were more complicated than I thought. Take Youtube as an example. I used to think that Youtube’s algorithm usually only recommends some videos that are watched more to users. But after I watched the documentary, I found that Youtube or other similar software uses a unique algorithm. These algorithms will deduce a variety of “model”. These algorithms will recommend variety of popular videos at the beginning to detect the user’s hobbies. When these algorithms gradually understand and lock the user’s interest range, these algorithms will create various models that are more user-friendly and interested to further attract users. These models will eventually be eliminated one by one until we find the model that best suits this user’s interest. Then it’s time for these algorithms to start controlling users. These algorithms will continue to recommend the videos they are interested in to users and let them click into these videos. When they click on these videos, the videos will also contain advertisements. Although these advertisements basically do not attract users’ attention, technology The company can make a profit from it. As users continue to click into new videos, a lot of time passes without the user’s knowledge.

I have personally experienced this situation. Sometimes I am constantly attracted by interesting videos, which makes me unable to concentrate on studying. One or two hours may have passed after I really realized it. Combined with what I learned in the documentary, I found that these algorithms are really terrible things. It’s like another version of myself, knowing exactly what I want. Therefore, when I use these software in the future, I will be more careful to ensure that I will not be controlled by the algorithms behind them.

Parent interview

Neither of my grandparents live in Beijing, so I decided to interview my father for this task. Due to the long time, it is difficult for my father to recall the experience in public schools in China. However, he can provide more information about his experience of going to school in the United States.

When my father and his family moved to San Francisco, learning tools such as computers had not yet become popular. So my father still uses traditional paper textbooks when he goes to school, and usually uses traditional paper notes in class. Due to my father’s poor English at the time, he needed to practice his English constantly. At that time, the Internet had not yet appeared, so my father could only use the heavy dictionary to read word by word. My father already had a calculator when he was in school, but because the family was too poor at the time to afford a calculator, all the mathematics could only be calculated by himself.

The high school my father attended was a public school in San Francisco. Although the environment is not too bad, it is quite different from my current school. Although my father had already had an IB program when he was in school, their school did not provide them. In addition, all my father’s previous homework was written on paper, which is very different from what we do now with computers. Secondly, the only place my father could go to check information was the library, and he could only use heavy paper books. But now we don’t need these, just a computer is enough.

Many years have passed since my father went to school. The times are progressing little by little, and many traditional learning methods are being eliminated. The rise of the Internet has led to the emergence of new education methods. Tools such as the Internet and computers have made it easier for today’s students to develop personal knowledge and share knowledge. People are no longer restricted and do not need heavy textbooks for learning. A large amount of data and knowledge can be easily accessed by anyone, which makes contemporary students wiser and easier than my father’s time.

Debate reflection post

In the class, we had a debate base on the topic “Is Ignorance Bliss?” The pro side state that ignorance is bliss, because the more we know the more thing that would frustrate us in our life. The con side argue that ignorance is not bliss, because ignorance can cause pain and danger.

I don’t think there is a true answer for this question, because this can question can be seen in various of views. First, we have to define what bliss is. Bliss means perfect happiness and great joy. What are the things that brings joy and happiness? It depends. Some people can gain happiness through studying and they enjoy the process of learning. Some people gain happiness and enjoyment through other things, such as sport or gaming. Gaming can’t give you any knowledge, but can give happiness to the people who enjoy it. Secondly in my point of view, I believe that ignorance is not a bad thing. It is true that people who are ignorance are very likely to be the first people who are elimante in the society. But it doesn’t mean that people who are ignorance don’t feel any happiness. The movie Forrest Gump is a very good example of a ignorance man gaining happiness in his life. Although, the movie are bit more dramatic, but it is undeniable that ignorance man can also achieve something great in his life and gain his own happiness. Maybe he won’t be a great leader or hero to the society, but in my opinion, in our short life, happiness is what everyone seeks to achieve. Even that he don’t have infinite knowledge or achieve something useful society, but as long as that person make his life happy and live to the fullest. Then in my point of view that person is the winner in his or her life.

Are some ways of knowing more likely than others to lead to truth?

I think that some methods of knowledge will lead to the truth more than others, but it depends on different situations. Truth is a rather strange concept. Although the truth is broadly defined as something that has been proven, truth refers more to things that people are willing to believe and accept. Everyone has a different view of the truth, so everyone will have different knowledge methods to help them approach the truth. For example, for me, truth is science. Language, reason, and memory can help me approach my truth. Because many senior scholars will convey and confirm their theories through language, these theories will become reasons to explain various phenomena in the world. In the end, the theories I learned will become the truth that memory accompanies me most. Therefore language, cause, and memory are easier to approach the truth than other knowledge methods. However, language, cause, and memory are not necessarily easier for others to approach the truth than other methods of knowledge. For example, for people who believe in religion, their truth is God. Faith, feelings, and imagination can help them approach the truth. They use their imagination to create their gods and enshrine them as beliefs. In the end, this belief will make them feel that God is everything. Therefore, it is easier for them to approach their truth with faith, emotion and imagination than other methods of knowledge. In conclusion, I think that some methods of knowledge are more likely to lead to truth than others, but it depends on one’s definition of truth. A person who defines science as truth, Language, reason, and memory will help this person approach the truth. A person who defines God as truth, Faith, feelings, and imagination can help this person approach the truth.

What do you know for sure, and how do you know it?

My name is Austin Wu, I am 16 years old. Although my nationality is America, I have lived in Beijing for 16 years, so I consider myself Chinese.

What do I know for sure? I know how the noodles taste. I know that my body is made of countless cells. I know these things because I know through study, contact, and observation in life, and more importantly, I believe what I know is real. It’s like I know that all living creatures are made of cells. I know this because the school has taught us this knowledge, and people have discovered cells by observing tissues with a microscope. Therefore, I am sure and believe that all living organisms are made of cells. However, a lot of what people know cannot be observed or contact in life, so how do people learn the things that cannot be contacted and observed in life? In today’s era, a lot of knowledge has become digitized. The Internet helps me learn and confirm that what I know is correct and true. However, I have to admit that the Internet is full of false knowledge. As a result, what many people know may not be correct, including me. In fact, what I know is nothing but what I believe, and what I can observe and come into contact with.

Theater Design:Nightmare World

About my piece

Describe what you were creating:

I created a theater design piece about my nightmare dream using cardboard, yellow/pencil, glue gun, black paint. It is about a giant alien ship that invade the city, I use the black for the background to show the mysterious of the shape and the setting of the night giving people a creepy feeling.

Were you successful or unsuccessful:

My design almost reaches my expectation, but also failed. For example, it shows my basic perspective of my dream, but also failed on showing the perspective in theater and because of the limited time, I didn’t add too much detail on my design.

What did you learn about: Your skills, the idea of design, or creating something for an Audience?

I got a good design idea, but I am still lacking on my designing skills and creating something for audience.

How could you develop the piece further?

I could try to create a 3-dimensional design, so I could give a clear idea on how my design will would show in theatre, how it would show to the audience and also think about where the performer should perform and E/E.

About one another design (Kevin)

What do you see? What feeling sensations, or emotions does it evoke?

I see a table, a chair and a plate on the table that is in front of a black wall and below is floor covered in black. It gives me a very strange feeling, because it was a very dark place and a lonely place, a place only with himself and a guy forcing him to eat.

What do you like or what sticks out to you about design?

I like how simple the design is, and it also contains a creepy feeling after knowing the design.

Were they successful or unsuccessful

I guess both, because the design gives people a weird and creepy feeling, but the designer didn’t ass too much detail on the design based on his story.

How COULD they develop this further: Give them 2 possible ideas.

He could create two people and food on the plat for his design. Sense his dream was a guy forcing him to eat, but his design does not show it.

Capstone Movie

Introduction: For my capstone movie, I did SDG goal 7; sustainable and clean energy. My main focus is on plastic waste and how could recycle solve the plastic waste issue.

Reflection: This is the first time of me making a documentary video, even though for me it’s pretty good. But there are still few small issues I need to fix, first is video editing, I have tried my best to make my video fluence, but there are still few parts that were not good enough. Also, since this is the first time I make a documentary video. I should make people be interested, for example, the interview part is too long and too boring, I could add some image to it to support my interview or just simply make it shorter.

URL link to the Capstone movie: https://isbtube.isb.bj.edu.cn/video/Recycle-saves-the-world/

Capstone: Elevator Pitch

Introduction: For the elevator pitch, I did SDG goal 7. Sustainable and clean energy, in the video, I talk about the relationship between renewable energy and recycling and how is it an issue; also how people are making conception on recycling renewable energy.

Reflection: I did pretty well on the elevator pitch. I express my idea well, my voice is clear loud and expressive, I check my note and use filler words rarely. Even though, I still have few problems to improve on. For example, I shouldn’t put my notecard below. Because that makes my eye contact with the floor, instead of the audience.

URL link to the elevator pitch video: https://isbtube.isb.bj.edu.cn/video/Austin-elevator-pitches/d8b5951a2f444338a4f9d62b46eef588