Monday, October 27, 2008


Zoe, I was reading your racism post and I found it to be rather interesting, actually. I will respond to it in a bit but I began doing a little research (nothing big, just looking up some definitions) and I found this quote: "It especially annoys me when racists are accused of 'discrimination.' The ability to discriminate is a precious facility; by judging all members of one 'race' to be the same, the racist precisely shows himself incapable of discrimination." - Christopher Hitchens. I found this to be rather interesting as Mr. Hitchens is right in a sense; those who discriminate actually end up doing the complete opposite, by grouping entire races together, saying these people are all exactly the same, when personalities differ from person to person. What do you guys think? Is Mr. Hitchins correct in saying this? How do you justify your responses? What do you think about discrimination in general? Why do people discriminate?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Racism??? Part II

Sorry, the website/quote didn't get properly attached to my last post about racism. Here it is, I hope. York Voters Express Post-Election Hopes, Fears The lady I was most interested in was Moreland although the other responses are also good to look at. Also, if you can find the audio for it, it is interesting to compare how you feel reading it and her saying it (sense perception!)


I was listening to "All things considered" on NPR (10/24 - York Voters Express Post-Election Hopes, Fears: go to the npr website and find it there if my attachment doesn't work) and they were discussing how the country would be different if it was lead by a black man. One lady (Moreland) said: ""
I was shocked at what she said and how she prefaced what appeared to me to be a racist comment with "I'm not racist." It also raised the questions to me about racism and the election and how many people are voting based on race - despite years of civil rights work. What is your reaction to this woman's quote? Do you think she is racist? How do you think she justifies her ideas? 

Friday, October 24, 2008

Does Dark Matter matter?

Greetings to the Seminar Crowd ~

Your assignment for today's presentaion by Dr. Polhemus is to respond to the following 3 questions. Don't just state your opinion; try to justify your answers. Why do you think the way you do? Are you using logic to support your ideas? Emotion? Sense perception? Authority? Consensus? Faith? Something else?

A second part of this assignment is to respond/comment on the responses of at least two other responses.

  1. After listening to and viewing Dr. Polhemus, do you think dark matter exists? Did he convince you? Why or why not?
  2. What problems exist that may make it difficult for scientists to come to knowledge in an area like dark matter?
  3. Dr. P. gave several examples of times when astrophysicists have been wrong in the past, but because of new findings, they have shifted to a new way of thinking. (This is called a paradigm shift.) Explain a paradigm shift you have experienced. What was the original idea or theory, and what caused you to shift?

This is due by next Friday, Oct. 31.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Sometimes, it is interesting to practice using TOK justifications to advocate a belief that is nigh impossible to properly  justify, given human limitations. What about the shape of time, for example? Does it go in a straight line, or spiral, or a circle or a sphere?   Ok, I realize time is intangible, but I am limited by language, and 'shape' gets close enough. What I really want to know is how do you perceive time?Do you think it is hypothetically possible to skip backwards or forwards within it? Do the future and past exist in tandem with the present? What do you think, and more importantly, why? 

Rachel Dean

Friday, October 3, 2008

Decision 2008

Lately, as the US has been in the midst of the presidential and vice-presidential debates, I’ve been pondering why people gravitate toward one political party or the other. Why might one particular candidate appeal to certain individuals? What properly justified true beliefs do voters use to make their selection, and what knowledge issues result from this? For one who is politically neutral, how might the candidates use emotion, perception, language, reason and logic to win his or her vote? What fallacies arise?