Posted in Theory of Knowledge, Uncategorized

Political Identity Reflection

Politically, I am a libertarian. This may imply that as a knower, I am aware of global issues, I can understand perspectives of social issues from different individuals, I am global-minded and am an avid contributor to fighting for causes that I believe in.

I am a supporter of diversity, freedom, and the right to be. I consider politics as an essential means to understand my power as a citizen in the world. I think it’s largely important in exercising my right to live and my right to advocate for causes that are important to me and what I believe to be right. Some values that I hold highly are environmentalism, social freedom, economic safety, equality in race, gender, sexuality, protection of the economy and the equal right to take part in it, human rights, and protection of the minority groups (racially, socially, economically). Being political means to be an avid listener, contributor, influencer in social issues.

Politics is definitely related to a lot of how the world functions. Our economy is impacted by the leaders we choose to represent our ideas. The action to fight global warming is impacted by authorities who implement policies to help this cause, such as limiting the expenditure of natural sources vital to the natural survival cycle of the earth. Domestic products, trade, race, gender identification, the right to be human, and what we do as humans are all strongly interconnected. All things we do are influenced by politics, which gives you all the more reason to participate in it. Politics not only allows you to understand the phenomena in the world you are in but introduces a way for you to exercise your right as a being and what you believe in. It is most certainly not only about expressing your ideas and making the world listen to you, but it’s about discussing different social issues to better know how to create solutions that are best for a population. I used to be very unaware of politics, largely because I didn’t understand the structure of it and the reason behind it. As I grew up and became more influenced by the people around me, I am more cognizant of my values and I have a greater passion for sharing my values with other people. As an American citizen, I have the right to exercise my values and work with them to better a community. We will always have to be aware of the issues that are going on around us and to do that, we need to understand why and how we can resort back to a common-ground given all of the injustice swirling around us. As of now, the most important political issues to me are the republican and democratic party divide in the US, beating COVID-19 by promoting public health and safety, overall control of violence, gun rights, abuse, and environmental devastation.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Social Dilemma & Discussion Reflection

Modern advancement in technology has progressively taken a toll on our mental health and state of peace. I’ve come to the understanding that our reliance on social media has been institutionalized for so long now that we seldom are conscious of the consequences of the hours we spend on our devices, and this is terrifying because nations are splitting apart due to this very reason. It’s strangely empowering how The Social Dilemma has given me an opportunity to understand how and why I have a subconscious addiction to social media as well as how I can stop it.

Personally, I have experienced the attraction to social media feeds where I view numerous political posts attacking issues and groups of people I dislike. This automatic selection of posts that are relevant to each other keeps me reading, which is why I enjoy it so much, but it is immensely terrifying too. Social media allows you to become too comfortable with what you want to see only. While it keeps you happy, people should be fed a balanced diet of what they like and don’t like because often our news sources are biased. We should be progressing on a path with the intention to create peace, not conflict; therefore, we must learn to be okay with different opinions. We’ve been blinded by our own beliefs of what is right rather than considering all perspectives to make a justified judgment.

In my discussion group, we touched-base on how misinformation in modern media is rather difficult to distinguish as most news sources nowadays are biased. Solutions discussed included using adblockers and exploring other sources that are unbiased or are biased against your beliefs. Exploring posts about values that you don’t personally agree with may initially create a lot of discomfort and aversion, but if you intend to keep a fair mindset, the up-sides can help you create stronger values that cater to and agree with your true ideals and thinking. Furthermore, social networks absolutely reinforce our existing perspective as we take satisfaction in participating in discussions that agree with our morals. The limit of this almost doesn’t exist because algorithms that narrow your perspectives by constantly feeding you the same kind of information is installed in EVERY media search engine, thereby having a limited perspective is unavoidable. The only solution to this is to willingly seek out information that disagrees with your point of view.

Moreover, technology has strongly impacted how we browse, search, and filter data through installing algorithms. Even search engines such as Google, which we heavily rely on for accurate information, personalize the data that we get to cater to our interests, and how do they know our interests? Every click that we make is being tracked. Anything and everything we want to see is saved into what AI knows about us. My discussion group found this unethical and inhumane as companies should not be able to access private information for their financial incentive. In a way, my private information is being extracted in exchange for negative effects on my mental health, and for large corporations’ financial benefit. They should be held responsible.

Corporations that work in the media should acknowledge that they are responsible for the misinformation that spreads on social media as well. Take, for example, politics, misinformation from government officials, and people who have no credibility whatsoever are allowed to share anything they want to from the tip of their fingers. These people have the attention of populations of people, and if they intentionally spread falsified information, such as how Donald Trump has previously down-played the number of COVID-19 patients in the US, it can create confusion and create health threats that affect millions of people. Moreover, about the 2020 Presidential Election, the US already has been largely affected by this political divide. The Democrats and Republicans have become so opinionated to the extent that riots have started, violent protests have taken lives; peace has been disrupted by the amount of biased and falsified information on social media. This is an unethical and potentially detrimental effect of social media on our lives.

This documentary is an eye-opener. It demands to be watched and understood because this is worth our time or our world could perish very soon.

Posted in Uncategorized

Implications for the Development of Knowledge

As a member of a family with multi-cultural influences, it is quite interesting to hear about various experiences of my parents growing up in drastically different cultural education settings, especially in the 1980s when socio-economic statuses and policies were still developing. I focused specifically on their high school years to draw the most accurate similarities and differences between my experiences and theirs.

My dad, being an example, shared his experiences with me attending school in Taiwan. His school resources to learn and produce knowledge mostly consisted of physical dictionaries, textbooks, calculator(s), notebooks, and a pencil case. “It was quite hard growing up in a developing country because local libraries were small and did not have all of the textbooks or encyclopedias you needed.” Often, students at my dad’s high school would have to use their teachers as resources or just use textbooks provided by the school. As my dad chose to specialize in analytics and business, he started focusing on mathematics and language from an early age. Expectedly, there are many different experiences that we both have, but surprisingly, we can relate to each others’ respect for sports, engagement in school, lack of motivation when we study, being relieved after finishing a test, and much more. My dad said the hardest part about not growing up with technology was that you “often had to spend a rigorous amount of time using pencils. Everything you needed to use and know wasn’t at your fingertips. If my pencil broke, I would have to bike to a shop. If my textbook got lost, it would stay lost.” My dad also said the worst part about being in the public Taiwanese education system was that the teachers pressed memorizing formulas, which was mentally tiring and emotionally draining. He wishes that his teachers could have taken the approach of explaining why equations work the way they do or why geometry uses a certain formula. Although, he is thankful that the education system could give him so many professional opportunities due to his ability to persevere academically. My experiences are very different. I grew up at ISB using whiteboards and computers. Everything we needed to know was taught very early on in middle school when we were introduced to Google and various (more credible) research engines. What we did have to spend a lot of time doing was typing exercises and getting used to using the different functions on our laptops such as PowerPoint, Word, Google, etc.

The implications for the development of personal knowledge is that through reading various sources, you may acquire knowledge only if you understand the information presented to you. Personal knowledge is very limited when there is only a textbook; however, in modern society, due to the advancement in technology, it is easy to search on Google for various simplified or detailed explanations of questions you may have. If one interpretation of a question seems wrong or hard to understand for you, there are multiple sources and answers you can read to help you best comprehend a piece of information. Thereby implying that technology positively influences personal knowledge. As for shared knowledge, I’m positive that there were class discussions in old educations systems; however, because global education systems are now more aware of how students, more so humans, learn best, which is by creating an environment where individual ideas can be expressed so that this exchange in knowledge will mutually benefit a group of learners, students understand more in less time. As stated by my dad; “many teachers read off of textbooks and merely wanted students to memorize formulas and definitions.” This is seen less commonly now because of the development of education systems. Although there seem to be some similarities, acquiring knowledge seems to be easier in modern times relative to the 1980s.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

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

Some ways of knowing are more beneficial than others to lead to truth depending on what way of knowing a situation favors. The approach taken to answering this question is to analyze the benefits and disadvantages of various ways of knowledge using real-life examples to demonstrate that some ways of knowing are more beneficial in leading to the truth than others. Although the objective truth can never be obtained through our own two eyes, the concept of truth can be defined as the factual reality of a situation or piece of information. Depending on the context of a circumstance, reasoning and logic can guide a course of action onto a less potentially disastrous path. A realistic example being, naturally sensitive businessmen in formal meetings with prospects and colleagues may likely make sudden outbursts when faced with a disagreement, which can affect clients’ perceptions of the businessmen and their credibility and authority. Even if the truth was that these businessmen have the most expertise in the company and have graduated from multiple prestigious universities, the clients may be persuaded from their perception of the sellers being emotionally unstable and asinine; therefore, inadequate to help the clients meet their best interest in the business. Through a logical viewpoint, the clients could consider that the sellers have been having a difficult day. Instead of immediately revoking their offer out of fear from emotion and their perception, the clients could have a conversation with the seller and develop a faithful relationship that will, truthfully, mutually benefit both the seller and buyer.

Furthermore, our intuitions, similar to our perceptions, can lead us to an inaccurate assessment of information. Our intuitive thinking is merely based upon our immediate innate behavior. This process, though quick and natural, may be inaccurate in detecting truth as our intuitions are often reliant on our past and present perceptions. If our perceptions are horribly manipulated, our factual realities that our subconsciouses are naturally attracted to can be completely false. Logic and reasoning; however, often allow us to analyze situations based on evidence and facts. Often, evidence is objective as it can be numerical, scientific, historical, all of which are popularly favored as objective truths by society. In the process of analyzation, our thinking takes pieces of evidence that have been entirely classified as ‘the truth’ to justify our argument and thus, guide us closer to truth.

Although very commonly used to ensure that our decisions are rational, logic does not provide an immediate instinctual attraction to a decision. Our intuition and emotion unlock the ability of the sub-conscious to process information based off of past experiences. According to Live Science, “when artifacts have unidentified origins, radiocarbon dating can be applied; however, due to fragility and other factors, historians usually rely on their collective instincts to narrow down the period of time the artifact could be from”. Other lab tests are then run as a result of what the historians best assume is the origin, which largely benefits their trajectory to the truth. Moreover, studies show that various professionals in highly-respected fields actually rely on their instincts to make extremely time-consuming and complex decisions, which usually undergo the process of logic. The British Dental Journal found that dentists, ironically, largely rely on their subconscious, memory, and amount of experience to make decisions quickly when performing orthodontal surgery, something rational thinking would not be able to support given the limited time. Although this example does not address how intuition leads to truth, it supports the idea that intuition can positively impact the way we think and approach issues to reach our desired goals. Therefore, acknowledging that there are both benefits and flaws of intuition, logic, perception, and other ways of knowing, some ways of knowing are more beneficial than others to lead to truth depending on what way of knowing a situation favors.

Citations

Suprusr. “Are Some Ways of Knowing More Likely than Others to Lead to Truth? Example.” Graduateway, Graduateway, 15 Oct. 2020, graduateway.com/are-some-ways-of-knowing-more-likely-than-others-to-lead-to-truth/.

Mauk, Ben. “How Do Scientists Date Ancient Things?” LiveScience, Purch, 20 Nov. 2012, www.livescience.com/32291-how-do-scientists-date-ancient-things.html.

 

Posted in Theory of Knowledge

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

My name is Lei. This will be my twelfth year at ISB.

Personally, I believe that no one knows for sure. Our ideas and knowledge are developed and created by man, so what we perceive to be true is to the extent of our own belief. Even then, there is popular belief voted by a majority, which often dictates what mankind believes to be true. When we see phenomena through our own eyes, including intangible phenomena such as emotional events, we understand from how we interpret and the approach we take. When this happens, our consciousnesses and opinions (made up of our knowledge and experiences) are utilized. If an elderly woman dawdled into a cafe and stole a young man’s wallet, at the moment you walk in and observe that the young man is trying to take something from the elderly, you can only understand that the old woman is endangered. You can only believe phenomena to be true at face value when it is presented. However, humans have the ability to expand our understanding further than what we see initially. The truth was that the grandma posed as a victim of a robbery when she, in reality, was the offender. You would not be able to know this version of reality unless you heard the experiences of the old woman, young man, and other people in the cafe in full honesty. Even when sworn to say the truth, there is manipulation. Manipulation describes the ability humans have to deceive others and receive personal benefit. Our truths can change drastically when we know more and even when we think that we understand enough to know for sure, manipulation and deception can change our truth. Other than higher power, no human can guarantee full legitimate validity. They can only offer what they perceive to be true, and this is because man’s perspective is limited to our own. There is uncertainty everywhere. Therefore, as humans live alone in our own consciousnesses, what we believe is true from what we understand is not known for sure; truth can only be interpreted by us to be our truth.

Posted in French

Activité écrite (259 mots)

Je ne veux pas être réduite à ce seul qualificatif parce que je pense que je suis un individuel unique. Je suis différente de l’autre. Tout le monde a différentes. Les humains ont des caractères spéciaux. Nous avons les temps quand nous sommes très tristes ou heureux. Mais je ne veux pas être réduite à ce seul qualificatif. J’ai beaucoup des qualificatives. Je suis une personne avec des émotions, Je suis une asiatique qui aime l’anglais plus que les mathématiques. C’est un stéréotype pour les chinois être fort en maths. Mais, ce n’est pas moi. C’est irrespectueux impoli pour moi en tant qu’humain. Les stéréotypes que la société a créés ne sont pas seulement des qualités méchantes mais également inexactes sur les gens. Les insultes ne sont pas bénéfiques pour les gens. Ils sont négatifs et décourageants. Je suis une personne qui peut être travailleuse et paresseuse aussi. Tout le monde peut être très  fou dans certaines situations. Mais, nous avons tous des qualités qui nous rendent uniques. Quel qu’un aiment l’art, pas moi. Quel qu’un aiment la musique, je n’aime pas la mais je ne me moque d’eux parce que ce sont des gens. Nous devons encourage les autres pour rendons ce monde meilleur. Les personnes disent que je suis jeune et très naïve et c’est bien ! Je ne veux pas être parfait. Ce ne serait pas une vie heureuse. J’encourage les gens être positifs. Nous vivrions dans un monde meilleur. Je suis un humaine. Je suis une personne différente mais c’est ce qui nous rend beaux.


	
Posted in Tutor Training 1

Weekly Reflection #5

This week, I made a lot of progress on finishing the course. I’ve just submitted the final exam, and I’m waiting for access to the student survey assignment. I’ve also drafted my “What I’ll Give Back” paper and sent it to Mr. Dilts for feedback. I worked on the paper for an appropriate amount of time. Initially, I struggled to find essential details that would contribute to my overall opinion; however, I managed to dig deep into my personal experiences and finish the paper. I’m quite content with my time management this week, as I was struggling with it a little last week. My current routine has been maintained well.

I wake up around 8am, and I go downstairs for a high-fiber breakfast. I then proceed to sit in the sun and work on assignments for a couple hours. My laptop usually runs out of battery around 3pm, so I come back into the house and finish whatever isn’t complete. One issue I’m facing is the closing of the gym. I went for a run on Tuesday, but that was the last time I exercised 🙁 I’m planning to run outside whenever there’s no pollution, but that would mean taking further preventative measures from contracting the virus. However, I’m spending a good portion of my day in the sun, which I’m quite happy about. There are also extra hours in the evening when I get to select a book to read or watch an episode of some TV shows I’ve been meaning to get to. I’ve gone through a few books this past month, including what I’m currently reading; Anne Frank’s diary. I’m enjoying it so far; however, it’s somewhat depressing to learn about her days confined in small spaces and especially, finishing off the day ending on a distressing tone. I find the parallelism amusing given the similarities in my current situation with hers. Still, it’s not to compare because the severity of our situations are on entirely different ends of separate spectrums. Anyway, I’m glad to be in my routine as of now, but I’m praying we’ll get back to school in a matter of weeks.

Posted in Tutor Training 1

Weekly Reflection #4

This week, I mainly focused on the online course. I’ve come to realize that with Crossroads, I do not consistently take thirty minutes every day to work on the assignments. I spent two hours yesterday working on the course and I managed to cover six topics. I also went back and re-edited my Tutor Training paper on my goals. I believe I did well with reflecting on my intentions of signing up for this elective; however, I could’ve made my goals more specific by addressing how I was going to measure them. There were a lot of challenges this week regarding school work and managing Zoom calls. My teachers have fully gotten into the routine of asking us to conference on Zoom weekly. I had a tough time balancing my schedule and staying healthy with Zoom calls being scheduled for a specific time of the day. I try to wake up early and have a healthy breakfast before starting to work on my classes every day but this remains an inconsistent habit. I also try to get exercise every other day to be in shape for track season (although, it is now canceled). I had three zoom calls today including math, mentoring, and executive elections for my club. It was quite difficult to manage because I also have a large work pile. I think sustaining a positive mindset and working through what you can, given your energy level, is the best way to get through work and avoid procrastination. This is precisely what I did with the Crossroads course. I got tired from focusing every half an hour so I would go on a walk or get some water. I want to practice this habit more when school comes around but I think I’m definitely doing the best I can given the hours spent on my laptop.

 

Posted in Tutor Training 1

Week 3 Online Course Update

Although it’s only Wednesday, I’d like to reflect on my third week with the online course. I’m definitely enjoying the content being taught. I like how they’ve incorporated various aspects of tutoring that allow us to fully understand the role of a tutor. Going through the course module, I’ve started to see my responsibilities as a tutor clearly. The idea of helping students is not only done through your academic knowledge, but it’s also an act of empathy and building a relationship of trust to guide a student in his/her academic journey. The tutoring responsibilities come with a lot of balance with your other activities since to tutor, you must know the subject well yourself. I’m curious to learn up to what extent can tutors guide students. I’m sure we all must sustain brilliant grades in order to help our peers; however, I’m curious to know, specifically, what can be done when we face a challenge that we might not know the answer to. After all, we are not professionally trained educators. That is my sole purpose for week four!

Posted in Tutor Training 1

Week 2 Online Course Update

This last week has been a little hectic with school but I’ve found that with the online course, you just need to stay self-motivated and have a regular work ethic that allows you to put in sufficient time and effort into completing the course assignments. At the start of the week, I was very keen on getting the assignments turned in; however, I realized that no amount of effort you put in now will get you through all the assignments. With the structure given, you must be consistent with completing them. I’ve come to enjoy the course content especially because I can learn a bit more about effective communication that would not only help me in tutor training but with school and university level collaboration. I’m excited to see what other skills we will develop throughout this course.