Knowledge. Questions.

Knowledge questions are a crucial component of the TOK curriculum.  Fluency in their construction is necessary for high achievement on both the presentation and essay components of the TOK program.

So, in order to practice creating knowledge questions, you’ll go through the following exercise. This is simultaneously designed to get you to learn some cool new things about the world and “think big” Pinky Dinky Doo Style

So.  The procedure is as follows:

  1. Go to various reputable and interesting web sites.  A list of my favorites are below:
    1. http://www.slate.com
    2. http://www.theatlantic.com
    3. http://www.esquire.com
    4. http://www.wired.com
    5. http://www.grantland.com (sports and culture. but smart)
    6. http://www.nytimes.com
    7. http://www.economist.com
  2. Read some articles.  These will be content specific. these will satisfy the “real world situation” component of both the essay and the presentation.
  3. Generate knowledge questions inspired by your article reading. Remember, knowledge questions should be:

    1. About Knowledge
    2. General
    3. Open Ended

YOU MUST GENERATE 4 KNOWLEDGE QUESTIONS IN TOTAL. They MUST be linked to an article you read…so you can get 4 from one article, or 2 from one and 2 from another…or 1 from each of 4 different articles. whatever. just get 4 from a RECENT article. 

The Matrix as Simulation Argument and Metaphor

Yes, watching the Matrix in TOK is definitely cliche, but whatever. It’s just too perfect for furthering our investigation of the Simulation Argument put forth by Philosopher Nick Bostrom of MIT. As well as serve as expanding our understanding of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave and even Heidegger’s, Berkeley’s and Wittgenstein’s concepts of “what is real.” so yea. we’re watching the freakin’ Matrix. Cause it’s awesome. 

So, after concluding The Matrix, conduct the following Analysis:

Respond to the following as a Journal Entry:

1.  Discuss how the ideas contained within the Matrix would support the Simulation Hypothesis put forth by Bostrom (see previous post on the subject)

2.  Discuss The Matrix as allegory/metaphor to our current “Real Life”

3.  At one point Morpheus says that we’re, “Born into bondage.”  Are we currently born into bondage?  What binds us and who ties the knots?

4.  Morpheus also remarks, “What is real?  Reality is nothing more than electrical signals interpreted by your brain” What do you think about this?

The Matrix ends with a song by Rage Against the Machine.  Watch the music video linked below and think about how it applies. This will be discussed, you do not need to include this in your journal post. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaI-9rYJPxw

Read the Interview with Nick Bostrom from The New Yorker Magazine below:

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/23/doomsday-invention-artificial-intelligence-nick-bostrom

And linked her is his essay on The Dragon mentioned in the piece above illustrating the need of assessing and addressing Existential Risk:

http://www.nickbostrom.com/fable/dragon.html

All is Idea? Or Keep it Real?

We talk a lot about ways of knowing and how they contribute to our knowledge. We evaluate knowledge claims.  Today, we’re going to do both.  Read the article below elucidating Berkeley and Wittgenstein’s concepts vs. materialism (keepin’ it real).  Then, we’ll evaluate the claims contained within. 

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/04/13/philosophy-returns-to-the-real-world/