TOK Reflection

The definition of political is “relating to the government or public affairs of a country” or “interested or active in politics”. If according to these definitions, then I don’t consider myself as political. This is because I am neither interested or active in politics nor am I related to the government of public affairs of a country. From the results given by the quizzes, my political compass shows that I am “Economic Left/Right: -0.88 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -1.18”. Although there are some indications, I also think that this result isn’t quite accurate since I couldn’t fully understand some of the questions. I think this could affect the results and produce an inaccurate result.

However, this does not mean that I am not greatly influenced by politics. Living in a time where a vast majority of things are impacted by political decisions, I would say that all of us are influenced by small to large decisions. For example, as students during the time of a pandemic, the government has the say in whether or not we would be able to study in school or if we would be allowed out of the country. These are all decisions related to politics, and are all made based on the the considerations of politics.

Following this topic, I do think that everything is political. We live in an age where power is an extremely important matter, and the people around us all work towards the common goal of obtaining more power, let it be political, economic, social, or more. And although a lot of us don’t realize it, the things around us are invisibly influenced by the decisions of those with these powers. As more industries arise, people have more access to entertainment. Have they realized that these entertainment industries are severely influenced by politics? I would believe that most of them have never thought that the reason why their idols post a certain post on social media or attend a specific award show are all due to the forces of politics. From this point, I would also say that it isn’t extremely important to be aware of what is going on in politics. It’s important that we have a big idea of what is going on in the current world, but what is the benefit of knowing something but not being able to do anything about it? I would say that people who don’t have the need of being aware of these matters don’t need to do so deliberately.

TOK Reflection

During the first semesters a learning engagement that stood out to me was when we were divided into groups and chose a knowledge question to portray and answer. It left me a deep impression because in that project, we were able to explore the knowledge question with others and were given the freedom to choose whichever way we wanted to present our response. At the same time, sitting with my peers and anticipating each group was also a great memory.

I feel that my perspective of information online has deepened as a result of my participation in this course so far. From previous courses, we learned that we should always look at sources and judge if they are reliable and valuable or not. But after the technology section we have done a while ago, my understanding has deepened by learning more about misinformation, as well as how powerful algorithms are and how technology greatly affects us.

I want to keep in mind that I should be creating connections that are direct to the knowledge question that I would choose for the exhibition, and make sure I go through the requirements multiple times as I prepare for it.

To hone my skills for writing, I think it would be best for me to improve my reasoning skills. Often times I am able to provide real life examples but I think I still lack the ability to reason for why it supports my claim.

TOK Technology and Knowledge

I interviewed my parents about what tools they used when they were going to school to learn and/or to produce knowledge and also asked about what they thought of that experience.

My mom said that the main tools that they used in elementary and middle school were printed books and notebooks. In high school, schools started access to analog computers, where there would be one to five computer rooms and there would be computer classes set to teach students about using these devices. The main way of transportation from home to school was biking, and when they (mom/dad) were smaller they had to walk to school (45min walk, 8-10km for my dad). The only sources of knowledge were books (textbooks), teachers, radio, and TVs (for my mom but not for my dad in his student years).

Comparing their experiences with mine, it’s not hard to see that there has been a drastic advancement in technology. This shows from the change from printed books to online learning, from a bike ride to a car ride, from analog computers in computer rooms to laptops that everyone had, from a limited source of knowledge to a much extensive range of medium. These changes, though in such a short time, largely influenced the way knowledge is spread and taught to people in areas of China.

Debate Reflection Blog Post

“Ignorance is bliss”

This team started their argument by altering the statement into “ignorance is sustainable” bliss. They mainly focused on how ignorance is long term stability. They provided childhood examples of fairytales or stories with bad endings and brought up the phrase “hear no evil, see no evil” and used this example to let the audience relate with their argument.

 “Ignorance is not bliss”

On this side of the argument, they argued that ignorance has long term negative effects. They provided the argument that we should change our perspective since ignorance could possibly hurt others. They also provided the example of Brexit.

The side ignorance is bliss won, and it is because of a variety of reasons. Firstly, the pro team starts by defining the main topics in the debate and introducing their arguments. Secondly, while the other team did not elaborate on their examples, the pro team points out flaws in their arguments such as they could not generalize the public and provides scientific explanations that suggest the opposing argument to be false and irrelevant. They ask questions on the concept. On top of that, the pro team maintains a relatively formal tone throughout, using phrases such as “the speaker now is talking about…”, whereas the con team uses words such as “darn”.

Although I personally feel like the argument of whether or not ignorance is bliss completely depends on the person or the situation, I would fall on the side on the pro side because of their relatively firm arguments and supporting evidence. When it comes to acquiring knowledge, we have the responsibility to be as objective as possible. Although absolute objectivity is unattainable, we should try to start from an objective perspective so that the knowledge we acquire is as close to the commonly believed truth as possible.

TOK: Ways of Knowing

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

As the main topic of the question, truth is defined as something in accordance with fact or reality or faithfulness to a standard. Within this definition, truth is accepted as both in accordance with fact or reality and or faith or belief. This means that, from the perspectives of different people, the meaning of truth varies and is always determined by their own standards. Whether or not the “truth” stems from a fact or belief, it is inevitably seen from a “particular frame of reference”. Knowing is having or reflecting knowledge, information, or intelligence. In this context, the role of the ways of knowing is utilizing and applying obtained knowledge aimed to lead to truth. Therefore, to approach this question, I will be weighing the different ways of knowing and look at how they work together to lead to truth.

There are no ways of knowing that are more likely than others to lead to truth and each way of knowing work together to lead to truth. While each way of knowing have distinctive methods and unique strengths and weaknesses, it has to be recognized that they all stem from the idea that we already possess a particular frame of reference. In a real-life scenario where a person is playing with their Sphynx, a breed of cat that is hairless, different people might view the situation completely differently. With sense perception, one might register that the person is just physically touching the cat, yet at this point, another way of knowing can take charge and lead in the complete opposite direction. For example, with reason, the person could use their existing knowledge and deduce that the “truth” is someone simply playing with their cat. Yet when two ways of knowing, for example, memory and imagination, is used at the same time, a person with the experience or knowledge of animal abuse could take together with their own imagination and understanding of the cat’s facial expressions and body language and draw the conclusion that the person is abusing the cat. In this example, different people using different ways of knowing would reach a different “truth”, some even using a combination of them.

Some might say that the “truth” of the situation is quite clear, and there should not be any confusions or different perspectives, and that simply in this case sense perception should be more likely to lead to the truth, and that imagination would most obviously lead be the least likely. Yet this understanding is excluding the assumption that each view is based on a neglected bias from unattainable objectivity. Even when I introduced the scenario, I used the word “playing”, which positive intentions on behalf of the cat’s owner. This shows that for me, the “truth” is automatically determined and that the person is just playing with their cat.

If we were to make the assumption from its definition that truth varies for each one of us, we would reach the conclusion that there are no ways of knowing that are more likely to lead to the truth if truth itself is not agreed upon and if we could use multiple ways of knowing at the same time.

Works Cited

“Knowing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

Lagemaat, Richard van de, et al. Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma: Course Guide. Cambridge University Press, 2020.

TOK – What do you know for sure & how do you know it?




Hi, I’m Christina. This is my eighth year here in ISB, and I am quite nervous to begin my last two years of High School with the IB diploma. As much as I have heard about the extreme

stress and responsibility that comes with the IB program, I must take up some challenges to gain a better future or for knowledge and experience.

An incredibly relatable topic that most people’s mind frequently brings up is the validity of our existence. We tend to want to question if our own existence is actual or not, and we tend to always seek for some evidence to support our theory. Although we may have never quite found the ultimate theory, we are sure that we —— no matter the truth of our existence or the meaning of life —— ask questions.

All of us with the ability to think frequently ask questions in every aspect of life, whether it is profound inquiries such as what we live for or why we think, to trivial questions such as what should I eat for lunch or is this person my crush? We might not know the answer to these questions for sure, but what we do know is that, because of us wanting to know answers, we are asking questions. And that might have started from when we sat in the back of the car, asking our parents why they stopped when the lights turned red.

Because we have the power to think, we inquire. We are thirsty for knowledge, even if you keep insisting that you are not.

Science Engineering Project Blogpost #4: Reflect and Share

This is my final product of this project, however, I was not able to show energy transfer with my device. I ran out of time to connect my motor with the battery and the switch, and without an energy source, my device cannot show energy transfer from stored electrical energy to kinetic energy. The device only has the shell but is missing its core to function as a whole.

I was successful in this project by learning something new such as making a device that uses my scientific knowledge and applying that to a real life project. I challenged myself in this project too, because I have never done engineering and this time I tried to learn about it and had fun doing it.

If I had one more week (2 more work periods) to finish this project, I would first connect the motors and wires on the bottom, because it’s not a hard job but it might take some time. Also, the top seems to be quite shaky and it looks like it would be even worse if I started the motor, so I might have to improve the stability of the entire device, which is crucial. If I had a lot of time, I could have made this project with wood, but that would have taken way too long for me to finish, so prototype one is good enough just to be made with cardboard.

Impact of this project:

Environmentally: Able to use recycled materials to make this device

Potential client/consumer: My original client and purpose was a gift to entertain my oldest sister’s baby from her aunt, so that when she grows up I can tell her that I made her a gift that she really enjoyed when she was a baby. Unfortunately I was not able to finish this project, but the process of this engineering project was incredibly fun and important, I learned so much from just a couple of work periods.

Science Engineering Project Blogpost #3: Create and Improve

The pictures above show what I have done in the first class we started to create our design. In the first class, I started late adding more information into my plan and did a lot of thinking through before I started to build stuff. To make sure my plan is doable, I didn’t start with cutting out all the parts with cardboard first, but I started to try and see if my battery can connect with the motor and the switch. I started out slow but it was a good start since I made sure that my project can be done the way I imagined it.

In the second class, I started creating pieces of the design and ordered pieces of toys that would hang from the top of the carousel. Some accidents happened and I found out after I ordered the toys that they were the wrong materials, so I ordered it again with recommendations from my peers. I also drilled the stick that connects the top with the motor. I felt like I made many accomplishments that work period, because I created half of the carousel already, so the next class I had a clear goal of finishing the bottom part of the carousel.


Science Engineering Project Blogpost #1: Define and Inquire

This engineering task is where we used ISB’s design thinking process to design and create a device that shows the energy transfer.

  1. In this video, I received the idea of using potential energy to create a device that can be used to entertain others, however, I was not able to develop further into the idea because I wasn’t exactly sure how I would embed energy transfer into my created device. The pros about this idea was clearly limited, which was why I dislike this idea.
  2. This video was produced by a recommended Youtuber, and it showed him making an electric car with card board. Since my oldest sister was about to give birth to her baby, I had the idea of making a toy a a gift to entertain the baby, but I just needed the aspect of energy transfer in this device. The device might be a a wheel that can spin with different objects on it whether using wind energy, solar energy, or electrical energy in some kind of way. What’s good about this idea is that it has a directed audience and clear use, although I’m not sure how I will use energy transfer in this device yet.


Pros: Easy to find materials. Cons: Not sure if it includes energy transfer.


Pros: Really entertaining and interesting. Aesthetically pleasing. Cons: Complicated and time consuming, maybe I need to make a simpler version of it.


Pros: Doable and compared with the one above, this one is easier to make. Cons: Using paper for this project is not durable, so I will use cardboard for it.