Political Quizzes Reflection

Politics is the field called ‘affairs of cities’, in which people make decisions and apply to their community in groups, or between individuals. I consider myself to be political because even though I’m not voting for political activities within nations, I’m still interested in politicians and their activities. Meaning to be political applies to a broad spectrum of fields, not only the field of politics, such as politicians who use their opinions and language, specifically rhetorics to support their claims. Within a group, such as tribes, cities, or countries, people lead a movement to improve the quality of the group, which results in the form of government. But in general, in a level of nation, every nations in the world establish different political systems and persist their government, challenging difficulties by integrating people with different political stances. Through the three pictures from the political quizzes, it is obvious that I have a political stance as a right-side libertarian. Two of the tests the suggest similar results as I am conservative and seeking for maximizing autonomy and political freedom from the intervention of the government. For the political bias test, I was considered to be politically biased as the average bias score between test takers. As the level of my political bias is 47.14%, I’m less biased than about 50% of other test takers and same as the average score of political bias. It is possible to say that in general, all people are political as they have their own belief and ideology about political issues.

Based on the political stances that all people have about the current society, I consider everything is political at the present time. Since all human beings have their own political stance as a right-side or left-side, or as a libertarian, authoritarian, or totalitarian, every single decisions derived from people’s choices would ultimately result to be political. All current decisions made by the government originates from people’s votings. Not only in the level of nations, but in smaller levels such as individual groups, tribes or cities, all the conflicts, actions, and decisions are political since politics is the field which people arrives to a decision and apply it to their community.

Thus, we should consider politics as an important field and be fully aware of what is occurring within our communities as political issues strongly impacts the constituent members of the community. Currently, I believe coronavirus, current global pandemic that is affecting all nations in a serious degree, is the most important political issue. To resolve this issue of Covid-19, the nations should arrive to an effective solution to afford vaccines to all the citizens within nations. Since this Covid-19 is strongly impacting the economy and other fields of the nations, the investigation and circulation of the Covid-19 vaccines are the priority issues that should be dealt between nations. In conclusion, as all human beings have their political stance, they should be engaging in significant political issues and provide their opinions to lead to a more advantageous and higher quality of decision.

Implications for the development of personal and shared knowledge

The extent of personal knowledge and shared knowledge depends on the accessible range of a person. Currently, I’m living under a society full with technology, which enables me to access diverse knowledges through phone, laptop, and even television. However, unlike current society, the accessible knowledge was extremely restricted at 20th century due to the lack of technology. Comparing 20th century and 21th century, 20th century was the period of the invent and development of technology while 21th century is the period of the development of sophisticated technology. Interviewing my mother and grandmother, I have figured out that the level of technology determines the range to explore personal and shared knowledge.

Two interviewees, my mother and grandmother lived at 20th century, but different period. My mother was born in 1970, which is the period that Korea was recovering from the World War II and Korean War. In Korea during 1970s, enormous amount of electronic devices were invented. However, my mother lived in poverty, so she was unable to access all kinds of electronic devices. According to her interview, she said that “When I was young, there was no phone or computer, so I have acquired knowledge through magazines and school books.” As she mentions, she has used magazines or books to gain knowledge. She also said that “Gaining knowledge was limited because the number of books and magazines wasn’t infinite, so I had to walk about 1 hour to go to school for asking questions to my teacher.”, meaning that sometimes, she had to gain knowledge by face-to-face conversations with others. She also said that “I was available to access television and radio when I was in 11th grade.” This interview addresses how the technology influences the development of personal and shared knowledge. Not only my mother but also my grandmother has developed personal and shared knowledge without any technology. Comparing to my mother, grandmother was extremely restricted in developing her personal or shared knowledge. She said in the interview that “It was immediately after the end of Korean War when I was the age to go elementary school. Because of the Korean War, I was unable to go to school and acquire knowledge.” My grandmother lived at the period when technology didn’t exist and Korea was in an economic crisis right after the Korean War. She said that “The only place to me where I could develop personal or shared knowledge was school. There was no magazine or even books that I could have accessed. But I was unable to attend elementary and middle school because of poverty, so I have learned knowledge through my parents.” Her interview reveals that 1950s, when she was young, was a difficult period to develop personal or shared knowledge.

The interview of my mother and grandmother proves the difference of the degree of knowledge development due to the level of technology. For my grandmother, the technology didn’t exist, limiting her access to knowledge and knowledge development. Similar to grandmother, my mother was also limited in developing knowledge as she was restricted in accessing technology as well as my grandmother. As the interview proves, the modern technology with high sophistication and vast extent of accessible knowledge allows modern people to develop personal and shared knowledge.

TOK Debate Reflection

For the TOK debate with the topic of “Is ignorance bliss?”, I participated the debate in the affirmative side, claiming ignorance is bliss.

The first speaker of the agreeing side has claimed that ignorance is bliss because it helps people to reduce anxiety and negative emotions and improve one’s mental. Our side’s second speaker added that ignorance helps preventing adolescents from harming mental development by exposure to extreme sitautions. Also, providing historical examples by ignorance and philosophical example such as Dunning-Kruger effect, our side has strengthened our claim. Both first and second speaker of our side has provided sufficient examples that prove that ignorance is bliss. For example, the placebo effect shows the reduction of anxiety and negative emotions that is resulted by ignorance. Not only the phenomenon of placebo but also the example of elixir of immortality addressed the increased anxiety by recognizing the existence of elixir of immortality.

However, the opposing side has provided insufficient and weak examples to support their claim that ignorance is not bliss. The opposing side has provided extreme examples such as genocide, holocaust, and 8 million coronavirus cases. Compared to the examples of agreeing side, the opposing side provided too extreme examples, reducing the effect of persuasion. Also, the second speaker of the opposing side has had a weak claim. This has weakened the claim of ignorance is not bliss. As the evidences are too extreme, the agreeing side has argued the uneffective use of the evidence.

For the attitude of the debaters throughout the overall debate, all debaters have shown an aggressive attitude towards the opponents. Even though both sides should argue their opponents, some debaters have assailed the opponents when they weren’t in their turn of speech.

I personally fall on to the pro side because the evidences provided are too specific and appropriate to support the claim of ‘ignorance is bliss’. The sufficient and appropriate examples provided from the pro side has made me to conclude that ignorance is bliss for individuals.

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

Every individual is unable to figure out the absolute truth by ways of knowing, but is possible to closely approach to the truth by effective use of ways of knowing in different situations. Truth is defined as the state of being in accord with fact or reality and can be determined by several ways of knowing such as emotion, memory, sense perception, imagination, reason, intuition, faith, language. However, every individual have their own criteria of truth, which means everyone has different standard for truth. Even though all ways of knowing are effective to figure out the apparent truth or knowledge, some ways of knowing are more likely to lead to the truth. Among 8 ways of knowing, intuition is more likely to lead individuals to the truth with no inconsistency.

Madeleine L’Engle, an American writer, once stated that “Don’t try to comprehend with your mind. Your minds are very limited. Use your intuition.” As this quote states, intuition is a way of knowing using ‘unconscious cognition’. As intuition extracts the truth immediately without any interruptions or interferences, this way of knowing purely depends on the accumulated knowledge of the individual. The example of intuition is the story of Gianfranco Becchina. The story shows the intuition of Evelyn Harrison and Thomas Hoving to distinguish the authenticity of the Gianfranco Becchina. Both Evelyn Harrison and Thomas Hoving are experts of the field of sculpture, thus their intuition allows efficient acquirement of truth depending on their accumulated knowledge. This example proves the efficiency of intuition as a way of knowing to approach the truth. Additionally, as Evelyn Harrison and Thomas Hoving, the degree of intuition can be improved with practice. As the degree of expertise in a specific field increases, which also means the increases in knowledge, way of knowing through intuition more likely leads to the truth. Comparing to faith and emotion, intuition is more likely to lead to truth. However, some people claim that other ways of knowing are more likely to lead to truth than intuition, such as reasoning. Reasoning is a way of knowing that utilizes two different ways, inductive and deductive, to deduce an accurate conclusion without error. Reasoning is the best way to check the validity of the claim extracted from the premises given. For example,

a) All female logicians are clear thinkers.
b) All lawyers are clear thinkers.

Therefore all female logicians are lawyers.

this question shows the two premises given and the conclusion drawn from those through deductive reasoning. However, as the conclusion drawn is false, the weakness of reason as a way of knowing is that not all conclusions are true. Even though the conclusion could be valid, but it doesn’t mean that the conclusion is true. If the premise isn’t true, then the conclusion is also not true.

Therefore, these examples support my answer to the question that intuition is more likely than other ways of knowing to lead to the truth.

Works Cited

Beckley, Colin. Arm-Chair Logic – Logic Test, www.think-logically.co.uk/lt.htm.

Sutton, Jeremy Ph.D. “What Is Intuition and Why Is It Important? 5 Examples.” PositivePsychology.com, 9 Oct. 2020, positivepsychology.com/intuition/.

Huston, Matthew. “8 Truths About Intuition.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 19 Dec. 2019, www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/201912/8-truths-about-intuition.

“Intuition Quotes (909 Quotes).” Goodreads, Goodreads, www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/intuition.

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

My name is Saein, a 11th grader of ISB. I am from Korea and this is my third year of ISB. I like to look up the international issues that are talked in the news and also like cartoons.

For knowing sure, which means the knowledge to know is definitely true. Defining whether or not one knows for sure about a knowledge isn’t simple because the standard for “knowing” is not established. To know doesn’t deal with the depth of understanding, but to know for sure means to have a deep understanding of knowledge. Examples are those who, like famous scholars known to the world, have invented and discovered an academic discipline. The common learning in school does not belong to the axis of knowing for sure because it’s just learning a small part of a huge study. However, discovering new content that has not been revealed to the world is clearly defined as “knowing for sure” because it is utilizes all the knowledge already known. Those who know for sure learn and apply knowledge and utilizes the knowledge to discover a new part of it. Studies such as mathematics and science do not have many perspectives because the contents are proved by formulas and are logical. So the standard of knowing for sure is more certain, but sociology is not easy to define that people know for sure because there are many different perspectives of people. On the other hand, it might be impossible to “know for sure” in a different perspective. As aforementioned, if “knowing for sure” means that the knowledge to know is true, it’s impossible to determine whether people are knowing for sure or not. Therefore, depending on which perspective to define “knowing for sure,” it might be impossible or not to know for sure.


  1. Give it a title or label it as untitled
  2. Explain why you choose this photo as your final 5
  3. Discuss your process or technical ability (how did you get the shot, what was interesting about getting that shot, what is cool about this shot?
  4. Describe what you would do differently if you could do this photo over

Change of generations

This picture is one of my final street photography shots I chose. I chose this picture as my final because this is appropriately revealing the topic which is China’s past. To take a picture that represents past, I took a shot of old people who represents past. In this picture, I think two old people turning their back on shows that past is finished.  If I take this picture again, then I’ll take this picture near from them, taking their facial expressions.

Harmonious musician

To show the harmony of past and present, I took this picture. In this picture the man is wearing a modern clothing that represents present, however, the old instrument he’s playing represents past. I took this picture when our photography class was moving to another place. It was cool that he didn’t care about taking pictures. If I take this picture again, I’ll include many stuffs that represents past and present.

Lonely walk

To show the loneliness of past people, I took this picture. The focus in this picture is the old man who is walking across and the building. I took this picture to show the distance between present people and past people as replacing the old man out of the building and young people inside the building. If you see the picture in detail, there are people inside the building who represents the present. If I get a opportunity to take this shot again, I’ll reduce the distance between me and the old man, building to show more details.

Shift of generation

The main idea of this picture is shift of generation. In the picture, the focus is the old man (maybe the kid’s grandfather) and the kid and the old man is talking to the kid. When I took this picture, I thought that the kid represents the future generation and the old man represents past the generation. The clothing of the kid includes Micky Mouse(a name of cartoon) which is a evidence that shows the kid is the symbol of future generation. And the hair color and the wrinkles of the man’s hand proves that the old man represents old generation. If I can take this shot again, I’ll try to only include the old man and the kid, no other people in the shot.

Kid’s determination

In this picture, I tried to convey the topic, future to the audience through the kid in the photo. The kid is the focus of this photo, representing future. Not only the cap and clothing of the kid but also the pose and facial expression of the kid conveys the topic, future. As the light is brightening the kid partly, this tells that future generation is starting. The proportion of the light brightening the kid is showing  the growth of the kid.

THREE different photographers

Many of Elliott Erwitt’s pictures are black and white and are quite humorous, especially the ones featuring children or dogs. In this picture the focus is on the dog, using color and size. The background is dark, except for the dog, which has white color. The size of the dog is fitting to the picture, and as the dog is in a humorous pose, it causes fun.

In this picture, there is only one person who is sweeping the floor. The focus of this picture is on the man, who is lonely cleaning. As the background color of this picture is black & white, the mood of this picture becomes solitary. The color and elements of this picture constructs the mood of this picture.

Vivian Maier usually takes pictures of herself, reflecting her on the mirror. In this picture, as Vivian Maier reflected herself on the mirror, some other elements or things are reflected slightly. As she is the biggest element of this picture, the focus is on herself. Her pose to take a picture of her reflection on the mirror is eye-catching and attracting.

Hutong Photo Day Plan of Action

  1. What photographer inspires you the most?
      • Walker Evans
      • Alex webb
  2. What is it about their photos that you like?
      • Use of color
      • Background of their photos
  3. Post some examples and plan out how your will adopt this style?-                                Focus on people’s facial expressions, not focusing on the camera. Focus on backgrounds of the pictures.
  4. What do you hope to accomplish for tomorrow?                                                                                      – I’ll take shots at various places to capture people’s various daily lives.                              – I’ll focus on the backgrounds and people’s facial expressions.

5 pictures critique

The Five Best photos

This photo is my strongest photo. I chose this picture as my best picture because this photo best conveys the message that I want to talk about. This family stayed here for an hour as I saw them when I first came to this park and when I had to leave this park. The theme that I wanted to express through this photo was ‘Harmonious family.’ I never saw my family as this picture since 2013. As this picture fits best to my worry about my family, I picked this photo as my best photo.

Photo analysis

Title: The Ancient Charm

Name of the photographer: Jessica Shan

I saw this piece of picture in the hallway which is front of the HS/MS cafeteria. I chose this picture because I saw a landscape as this when I visited the Great Wall. As I was this photo, this made me to recall my memory. The technical skill used in this photo is the point of view of the camera. As the photographer took this photo leaning the camera, it seems like the photographer seeing down from a high location. I think the artistic skill is choosing the color. As there is only red and black color, this makes the photo to be seen as a black-white-photography.