Conspiracies Examined: An investigation into how truth is constructed

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We’ve been discussing myth making via our reading of Sapiens as well as our recent examination of the myths that exist in our society. We’ve discovered that there is often a very fine line between what Harari would describe as MYTH and what our society calls TRUTH.

While watching the Zeitgeist documentary on 9/11, many of you questioned the “truth” of the situation.

Your task is to examine work through this learning helper as it guides you through the examination of a conspiracy. We’re looking at conspiracy theories because they are excellent exercises in “truth making” Through our analysis, we’ll gain great insight into the tools of knowledge used to construct “truths” as well as gain greater insight into what that word means.

So click on the link here and start analyzing: 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1m42-mCeQ5lm3VKahYG0nzsgtNGYLuRX0vG5FIWW_TIQ/edit?usp=sharing

Oh! That’s Interesting!

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So.  You’re smart kids right?! RIGHT.  As smart kids, you of course LOVE reading interesting articles, thinking about them, and then sharing your new found thoughts, understandings and wonderings with your friends!

Right!?

Right.

So, check out the thought provoking pieces below and choose 1 to read.  After you’ve done so, get in a group with some of your friends and have a quick chat about the thoughts the piece provoked. They’ll read a different piece and the 3 of you will have a lively idea based intellectual discussion prompted by 3 different articles!  Enjoy!


 

How the Language you speak affects your cognition: 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/how-the-language-you-speak-changes-your-view-of-the-world-10212854.html

How could you like THAT book?!

http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2015/nov/10/how-could-you-like-that-book/

Is Love an Emotion?

https://www.paulekman.com/psychology/is-love-an-emotion/

There is No Such Thing as You:

http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2015/11/no-such-thing-as-you-thats-okay.html

The Science of the “Happy Cry”

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http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2015/11/heres-the-science-of-the-happy-cry.html

Constructing Meaning: Analyzing Economics and Industrial Farming in the context of Capitalism

Read the following two pieces of stimulus material and then respond to the accompanying questions in your TOK online Journal. 

Read the following re: Economics: 

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/oct/11/nobel-prize-economics-not-science-hubris-disaster

Questions: 

  1.  What WOKs do economists use to construct knowledge? 
  2. If their knowledge is unreliable, and they use the above WOKs, does that make those aforementioned WOKs unreliable? Why or Why Not?
  3. Do you agree with the author that economics should not have its own nobel prize? why or why not?
  4. In what way does this piece relate to Capitalism as a whole?

Next, read the following on Industrial Farming:

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/sep/25/industrial-farming-one-worst-crimes-history-ethical-question

  1.  Do you agree with the author’s contention that industrial farming is, “One of the Worst Crimes in History”?
  2. What WOKs does the author use to construct evidence for his arguments?
  3. How does the article on industrial farming relate to capitalism as a whole? Elaborate and integrate the concept of externalities.

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