Do I consider myself a “politician”? Why or why not? What does it mean to be political?
My definition of politics is “influenced by politics”. In my view, I think everyone is more influenced by politics than they realize. There are so many elements of life that are subtly influenced by politics.
Is everything political? Why or why not?
I think everything is political, it’s just that the degree of political may vary. Politics is global; there is no country or city that is not “political” because its existence was caused by politics more or less.
How important do you think it is to know what’s going on politically?
I don’t think it’s important to know anything about my current political situation just because of my identity as a student. However, I do find it helpful to be aware of what is going on in politics, as the number of occasions where I need political knowledge is slowly increasing. The IO assessment for my English and Chinese Language and Literature courses includes global issues that may be politically relevant.
What do I think is the most important political issue right now? Why is that? International Relations.
- During the first semester, we considered knowledge questions related to “Knowledge and the Knower” and “Knowledge and Technology.” Looking back, what learning engagements stand out to you the most and why?
“Knowledge and Technology” is the topic that affected me the most. It caused me to wonder about the relationship between human society and electronics. Technology is both a good and a bad existence. Modern technology ensured the speed and efficiency of searching. However, technology makes people spend a considerable amount of time browsing content they favored on social media and subscribing to their content.
2. In what ways, if any, has your perspective shifted as a result of your participation in this course so far?
Yes, my perspective did change to a certain extent. We should cultivate tools for exercising skepticism about what we read because we cannot rely on others or social media to be skeptical for us.
3. Looking ahead to the exhibition requirement, what do you want to keep in mind?
Always making sure that my selections and objects stay on the issue itself.
4. Thinking back on the writing you have done so far in the course, what can you do to continue to hone your skills?
Keep practicing my logical thinking and writing skills.
Students interviewed parents and/or grandparents to inquire into which technology was available to them when learning and how that impacted the knowledge that was produced.
I interviewed my parents who are both Chinese and born in the early 1970s in China.
Lang: Which technology was available for you guys when learning? How that impacted the knowledge that was produced?
Father: When we were at school, we only had normal-sized desks. You had to use a lot of scratch paper to do math problems because we didn’t have calculators or computers at that time. We write on both sides of the book, and when we have used up one side, we turn it over on the other. After we both finished using it, we bought a new paper and made new notebooks. We used pencils or pens, like the ones you use now. All the homework is on paper, and we have to answer all the questions in the exercise book. Take notes by hand.
Mother: There was nothing then, but what you have now. There was nothing. No one can help her, so she studies alone. Today’s kids are lucky to have computers and phones to help them find problems. When I am learning English, I have to look it up in an English dictionary, and even if I do, I can’t pronounce it correctly. If you forget to write any Chinese characters, you must look them up in a Chinese dictionary.
After listening to my grandparents’ answers, I realized that the tools I use today are vastly improved from what They used to be. The use of tools directly affects the acquisition of knowledge and the acquisition process as personal knowledge. With the help and support of more advanced devices such as computers and the Internet, the sources of knowledge that students can acquire are immeasurable. All of this evidence points to the development of personal and Shared knowledge.
At that time, people acquired limited knowledge. Constrained by underdeveloped science and technology, they don’t have too many means to acquire rich knowledge. The discovery of new knowledge was also extremely inefficient. There was no network to disseminate this knowledge, and people could only acquire a certain amount of knowledge by reading.
Post Your biggest takeaways from the documentary and the follow-up collaborative discussion to your blog.
Technology is both a good and a bad existence. Modern technology ensured the speed and efficiency of searching. However, technology makes people spend a considerable amount of time browsing content they favored on social media and subscribing to their content.
More importantly, it is incredibly challenging for individuals and groups to distinguish useful and correct information nowadays. People who live nowadays need to ensure that we are critical and judgmental of whatever we are seeing and receiving. Because something observed by you may not be the truth, social networks allow people to see what they want to see instead of opinions that are not entertaining and facts that people don’t usually agree with. Algorithms behind these technologies can be biased if it is well manipulated. Data collections and calculations become the key for technology companies, which leads them to their prodigious profit. As users who utilize these applications, we need to do our best to stay rational and be aware that our private information is not exposed online, so we live our lives as free individuals.
In the collaborative discussion, we have discussed the following question:
Should we hold people responsible for the applications of technologies they develop/create?
My response: Developers and producers need to pay more attention to the design of applications and safe usage. So these technologies may not be manipulated in inappropriate ways that might harm society and individuals.
Are some ways of knowing more likely than others to lead to truth?
Reason is the more likely way of knowing to lead to truth. The definition of truth is one of the most ambiguous and difficult to communicate definition in philosophy. Apart from the fact that individuals have different understandings of truth founded on different philosophical positions and ways of knowing, the difference in logical and linguistic ways is also an important factor. In exploring the relationship between the eight existing ways of knowing and truth, the definition of truth is supposed to be that people’s correct understanding of the essence and law of objective existences. Cognition accords with objective reality is truth.
Some arguments stated that perception is the way that humans relied on most significantly and frequently, and therefore, it is the most suitable way of knowing that should be adopted if individuals are seeking for the truth. However, truth and objective existences are the objective materials that people know through perception. Perception is an approximate, active reflection of the truth, not an approach that can lead to truth. Truth does not depend on the individuals’ feelings but are reflected, recognized, and felt by the individual’s perception. For example, chairs are objectively produced substances that people can perceive when they sit on them, but the existence of these chairs do not change because of how people feel about them. No matter how people’s perception change, the truth and the reality will always exist regardless of the individual’s feelings.
Since the eternal truth is independent of any human thought, it is possible for reason to lead mankind to the truth of the objective existence. While the other seven ways of knowing all depend to some extent on human consciousness and thought, reason is the one that contains as diminutive personal consciousness as possible. Reason concerns the unadulterated knowledge of the nature of existences, which then develop into the individual’s own experience of existences. The experience possessed by the individual can help to make further rational judgment and analysis. Reason is the higher power of thought which is derived from all experience, and it may help human to acquire more knowledge.
Reason finds truth through persuasive arguments, and it obtains conclusions, opinions and grounds for action by logical reasoning rather than by appearances. Innate knowledge comes from pure rational thought, including concepts we are born with, such as how to breathe and logical reasoning. Individuals can only reason out the rest of knowledge by applying the principles they instinctively possessed. For example, mathematical concepts like multiplication or division cannot be perceived without a direct counterpart in the real world. Therefore, human beings need to rely on their innate knowledge and inherent logical thinking ability to reason, so as to seek the truth.
In essence, the reason is the way of knowing that is more likely to lead to truth.
What do you know for sure, and how do you know it?
In my personal opinion, I prefer to say that one plus one equals two is one of the things I am sure of. There are several reasons why I am sure about this knowledge:
1. It belongs to common knowledge. From school to society, more than 99 percent of people generally accept this knowledge and believe that it is true.
2. It gives me a sense of trust because all the math problems I have dealt with are based on this logic, confirming its correctness at a subconscious level.
If I think about this phenomenon from a critical thinking point of view, the idea of one plus one equals two became a common sense in my consciousness for years, and it also points out a fundamental point that I accept this knowledge because I choose to believe it. Moreover, it is also the idea that the public is in agreement with and has chosen to be believed. But this is going to have a certain degree of a discrepancy with another element, the correctness. If the whole world chooses not to believe something, does its correctness go awry? In other words, will something turn to be absolutely true if the world chooses to believe? Could it be said that accepting knowledge means trusting it?
If a reference to other content, such as the specific size of the moon, I cannot guarantee that I know it for sure, because I have no information about the specific knowledge and cannot confirm its correctness. Most of the time, knowledge is acquired through others. Like listening to a teacher or reading a book written by someone else.
AFTER the PEER review:
I strongly agree with the opinion that knowledge can be varied and distinct from a different perspective. As