Knowledge & Politics Reflection

I never considered myself a political person, and especially not interested or involved in political news or discussions. Although not directly engaging in politics in ways such as having strong opinions on certain political subjects, I’ve realized everything is either influenced by or can be seen as political. The meaning certainly there could be a political bent to the subject discussed, for example, someone may argue COVID-19 is managed inappropriately in some nations, by saying this they are targeting the current efforts by the government to conceal data, earning illegal profits, and improperly managing a global pandemic. When changing the wording of “Covid-19 is pretty terrible” to “Covid-19 in America is terrible” is how people make common-sense issues into political issues. We can also see this in many common issues such as education, medical care, social security, etc.

Looking at my three political quiz results, I am leaning slightly to the left (liberal), towards libertarian on the Political Compass, and totalitarian on the Nolan Chart. However, both of the results show a minimal amount of bias towards these political ideologies, I am actually very moderate in terms of political bias. Looking at the previous political examples I gave, I realized political lens that people look through heavily influences the way in which they view political issues. The results of the quizzes were quite interesting to me and motivate me to understand more about how politics work, especially how different political ideologies change the way people look at the world

TOK semester 1 reflection

During semester 1 of TOK, the most interesting activity was viewing and discussing the documentary The Social Dilemma. The documentary really interested me and opened up my view on current-day technology and especially in areas which we were unaware of. Over the course of TOK, I feel that my perspective on how technology has influenced our daily lives has changed slightly, instead of only recognizing that technology has had a slight impact on society, I now think more of how technology governs the behaviors of people through so many different ways. One idea that heavily stood out to me was the Pizza Gate incident, it really shows how people can be heavily manipulated by social media in ways that have genuine dangerous results. Over the course of TOK and looking at different sources, I feel very ready to continue onto the second semester to look further into the knowledge questions for the TOK exhibition, and to do so, I also want to make sure I maintain a high level of writing which especially means sticking to the topic and trying to be as concise as possible.

Parent Interview About Technology

While speaking with my parents on technology during their time when studying compared to the technology in the current day, they explained how drastically technological advancements have changed almost everything in society. My parents focused mainly on how technology has impacted daily lives and education. When they were studying, the primary source of information they have access to were books and papers, there was almost no other technology that they can use. In their daily lives, they did not have the internet for communication, the closest people to them were always their neighbors and family members. They say nowadays they hardly know any of their neighbors but rather have a close group of friends communicating through social media. They also state nobody expected the level of technology 30 years when they were children to reach the level it is at today, the idea of being able to do almost everything daily through a phone did not exist when they were young. The introduction of such technologies has made the daily lives of people much more efficient and allows people to now have access to information in an instant. Lastly, my parents commented on the negatives of our heavily technology controlled society, as they state although technology does make daily tasks much more convenient, it also forces society to move at a much faster paste, people have to constantly catch up with everything around them nowadays in order to keep up with technology developments, causing unnecessary stress towards everybody working to make a living.

Summative Blog Post #1: Are some ways of knowing more likely than others to lead to truth?

“Truth, in metaphysics and the philosophy of language, the property of sentences, assertions, beliefs, thoughts, or propositions that are said, in ordinary discourse, to agree with the facts or to state what is the case” (Blackburn). Different individuals have different ways of knowing, which are they use in their understanding of reality. To answer the question, truth is an objective reality; it corresponds to facts. The ways of knowing, including language, sense perception, emotion, reason, imagination, intuition, memory, and faith, allow us to obtain knowledge and therefore understand truth.

Perception and reason are the two ways of knowing which justifiably allow us to understand objective truth. Sense perception is how we use our five senses: sight, taste, touch, smell, and hearing to experience the object world around us. It gives us the truth most literally. If someone were to see this image or experiencing this image in reality, there is no denying that there is a tree in front of them. 


Reason allows us to obtain knowledge through logic and deduction and understand the truth that is unable to be obtained only through the perception of physical reality. As long as the reasoning deducted is based on aligns with reality, the truth inferred will generally also be true. Mathematical reasoning is a primary example of how logic is used to formulate the truth. 

 “Mathematical reasoning is the critical skill that enables a student to make use of all other mathematical skills. With the development of mathematical reasoning, students recognize that mathematics makes sense and can be understood. They learn how to evaluate situations, select problem-solving strategies, draw logical conclusions, develop and describe solutions, and recognize how those solutions can be applied. Mathematical reasoners are able to reflect on solutions to problems and determine whether or not they make sense. They appreciate the pervasive use and power of reasoning as a part of mathematics” (Resnick). 

Lauren Resnick stated that reasoning determines the solution of a problem, and we know the solution is true if the method is correct.

However, some may argue that perception and reasoning only lead to objective truth; one may live in an imaginary reality of their own. Therefore, their perception and reasoning of certain subjects differ from reality. This can occur due to false education, religion, manipulation, and several other possibilities. The Flat Earth Society is an example of how people have formulated a truth based on their perception, reasoning, and other WOKs. Meaning objective truth does not necessarily exist; it is assumed to exist in my argument. Truth should not be determined through bare assumptions and people’s imagination; the determination of truth should be through proven knowledge. 

In conclusion, some may believe the truth entirely is based on one’s understanding of reality. Instead of using logic, WOKs such as imagination and faith create a false sense of truth and cause the uncertainty of the person’s belief to be much higher. Perception and reasoning enable us to understand the objective truth aligned with reality, which is the truth we want to understand more about our world.

Works Cited

Blackburn, Simon W. “Truth.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 27 Apr. 2020,

Resnick, Lauren. Education and Learning to Think. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1987.


My name is Bill Zhu, throughout my six years at ISB, I have continuously developed my skills for problem-solving, time management, communication, and many other important skills necessary for critical thinking and learning. Over the next two years, I will be taking TOK, hoping to learn more on thinking critically of knowledge.

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

Looking at this question, it is difficult to pinpoint a certain thing that I know for sure, I can tell someone that a chair is there or I’m thinking of a chair, then I know for certain these actions are what I am doing. These are instant thoughts of mine, therefore another thing which I know for sure is awareness. But as others and my thoughts and views constantly transition and evolve, then I believe nothing else other than awareness would be something I can know for sure. Repeating patterns are part of reality which make us believe it will occur again, for example, the sun will rise in the morning, the moon will come up again, or it will be winter in china in December. These patterns are things I believe will happen, but cannot be for sure does not come to an end.

Food Truck: Blog Reflection

During the Design Studio course, our task was to create graphics and branding material for a client opening a mobile catering business, the style and foods were for us to decide.

The Design Problem

For the food truck, I’ve decided it to be a western grill style food truck containing foods such as burgers, salads, sandwiches. As with this particular style, the targeted audience will be primarily western, and in my design I would like to create a secondary target towards young adults, as minimalism is a very popular concept currently, a minimalistic but attractive logo will drive attention towards young adults.

Examples of Minimalistic Logos:











For other inspirations, I particularly liked Shake Shake and Avocado Tree.

Shake Shack has in my opinion has one of the best restaurant logo designs. It is minimalistic, friendly, and gives an idea of what the restaurant is. This will be one of my most influential inspirations.

Avocado tree is also an example of a minimalistic and interesting design for a logo. Its text clearly delivers the way the restaurant operates.

After surfing the internet for inspiration I began to generate possible ideas

In these designs, there are several concepts which I could possibly continue working on. In the top right corner, the design is more complicated, but its style is able to be more appealing to children. The three designs in the middle as well as the design on the bottom left are simplistic logos which simply delivers a message, my favorite of these four is the spatula in the flame. My favorite design of the bunch is the logo on the bottom right, it collects design concepts from both the Shake Shack and Avocado Tree logo. I really like it because it gives a modern vibe and would appeal to a large audience.

As for the final product, I decided to continue creating a minimalistic logo

To complete the branding the branding material, I created a menu and used a photoshop mockup of some food packaging.

Lastly, I created a mockup of what the final food truck would look like.


During this project, I believe I kept my design minimalistic and easily understandable. Each aspect of the graphic contributes to the design as a whole. The logo also fits well with the mockups, I especially like the logo on the food packaging mockups. My favorite part of this project was the freedom we were given for creativity, but overall there are still possible improvements which I can have. For example, one improvement is to create  vectors of different foods such as salads, sandwiches , etc. This way these vectors could also be used in the menu or even packaging. Another thing I feel lacking is color, an issue with adding color is the logo does not really fit with any very colorful palettes, but possibly I can do something similar to Shake Shack by using a primary color of green and a black to go with the green.

Drawing folio

How could observational drawing be a useful technique in the define & inquire phase of the design process? 

Observation drawing is a useful way for designers to find inspiration or take a concept from the real world into a design. Designers are able to have a better understanding of perspective and the way objects look which can be very useful when trying to recreate an object in software.

observational drawing

What is visualization drawing and what are the biggest challenges?

Visualization is the process of mentally constructing, shaping, and understanding a piece of information or idea in order to externally communicate the idea. Drawing is one of several ways in which this process occurs.  The biggest challenge in this process for me is the lack of drawing practice, and therefore it becomes difficult to link visualization to the drawing.

visualization drawing


Typography Booklet

In this unit, we looked into typography design. I was assigned with the font Univers and tasked with understanding the creator and background of this font.

For the process of these two graphics, the first step was to research graphics using Univers to see how this font is generally used in designs. A common theme was the idea of universal and consistent. The Univers font consists of dozens of variations, each able to complement each other very well, and therefore designers use this to their advantage to create interesting pieces.

What is typography and why is it important for all designers to understand? Typography is a crucial aspect of design, it is the simplest way to convey a message, designers are able to use the font directly, or manipulate it in a may in conveys a message through a graphic instead of text.

What is the most useful or interesting thing you learned about typography during this unit? Different typography styles are able to convey different messages and moods in a graphic. For example, this font creates a modern and simplistic feeling to the design.

What do you think you need to learn more about? Something I wish I had more time learning was the process of designing a font and how to design a font myself.

User Persona


The biggest challenge of this creation process was to keep the same aesthetic of the poster but not enough for it to be a mess or for there to be no focal point, in order for the information to be the focal point, it is in a different and contrasting color compared to the rest of the poster. The original portrait was a simple recreation of the image used but after tweaking around with fills and colors, it turned out more as line art. The work reflects me as a designer as it shows I like to work with abstraction, lines, and typography.

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