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This is a site where I post articles, videos, and various resources relevant to a Theory of Knowledge teacher or student. As I find things that are relevant to the class, I post them here. There is no particular order in which the resources are posted but you can search by relevant Area of Knowledge or Way of Knowing by navigating the tabs above. Some of them have specific subject tabs for topics that seem to come up often like “Animals” as a common theme under “Ethics.

You can also navigate the “Misc Topics” tab to help you find other topics that frequently come up in the resources posted here.

Some posts are simply articles with an excerpt included to give you an idea what it’s about. All have some relevance to helping you think about theory of knowledge topics or ideas.

Some posts are more well developed collections of resources on a particular theme or topic like this one about the ethics of facebook experimentation that has a series of articles on that topic.

Please contact me by email if you have any questions or to report any broken links.

TOKTopics[at]gmail.com

 

Planet Money Podcast: What does Georgetown owe the descendants of the 272 slaves it sold in 1838?

“In 1838, Jesuit priests sold a group of 272 men, women, and children – slaves – to pay off Georgetown University’s debts. The slaves were sent from Maryland to Louisiana. In part one of this two part episode, we told the story of how the residents of a small town discovered where they’d come from. Now in part two, we ask what, if anything, Georgetown owes the descendants of those slaves.”

Parts One and Two linked below

http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2017/04/21/525058118/episode-766-georgetown-louisiana-part-one

http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2017/04/26/525769269/episode-767-georgetown-louisiana-part-two

Genetic Engineering Will Change Everything Forever – CRISPR

“Designer babies, the end of diseases, genetically modified humans that never age. Outrageous things that used to be science fiction are suddenly becoming reality. The only thing we know for sure is that things will change irreversibly.”

 

What you need to know about CRISPR | Ellen Jorgensen

Should we bring back the wooly mammoth? Or edit a human embryo? Or wipe out an entire species that we consider harmful? The genome-editing technology CRISPR has made extraordinary questions like these legitimate — but how does it work? Scientist and community lab advocate Ellen Jorgensen is on a mission to explain the myths and realities of CRISPR, hype-free, to the non-scientists among us.

What are the limits of human vision?

“Wondrous as it is, our sense of vision is clearly not without certain limitations. We can no more see radio waves emanating from our electronic devices than we can spot the wee bacteria right under our noses. But with advances in physics and biology, we can test the fundamental limits of natural vision. “Everything you can discern has a threshold, a lowest level above which you can and below which you can’t,” says Michael Landy, professor of psychology and neural science at New York University. ”

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150727-what-are-the-limits-of-human-vision

What’s the most we can remember?

“Instead, researchers believe memories form in the connections between neurons and across neural networks. Each neuron sprouts extensions like train lines from a commuter hub, looping in about a thousand other nerve cells neurons. This architecture, it is thought, makes the elements of memories available across the whole tangled web. As such, the concept of a blue sky, say, can show up in countless, notionally discrete memories of outdoor scenes.

“Reber calls this effect “exponential storage,” and with it the brain’s memory capacity “goes through the roof.” ”

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150401-whats-the-most-we-can-remember

The Women with Superhuman Vision

“A tiny group of people can see ‘invisible’ colours that no-one else can perceive, discovers David Robson. How do they do it?”

“Today, she knows that this is a symptom of a condition known as “tetrachromacy”. Thanks to a variation in a gene that influences the development of their retinas, people like Antico can see colours invisible to most of us. Consider a pebble pathway. What appears dull grey to you or me shines like a jeweller’s display to Antico. “The little stones jump out at me with oranges, yellows, greens, blues and pinks,” she says. “I’m kind of shocked when I realise what other people aren’t seeing.””

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140905-the-women-with-super-human-vision

How East and West think in profoundly different ways

“Psychologists are uncovering the surprising influence of geography on our reasoning, behaviour, and sense of self.”

“Some of the most notable differences revolved around the concepts of “individualism” and “collectivism”; whether you consider yourself to be independent and self-contained, or entwined and interconnected with the other people around you, valuing the group over the individual. Generally speaking – there are many exceptions – people in the West tend to be more individualist, and people from Asian countries like India, Japan or China tend to be more collectivist.”

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170118-how-east-and-west-think-in-profoundly-different-ways

This Article Won’t Change Your Mind: The facts on why facts alone can’t fight false beliefs

“This doubling down in the face of conflicting evidence is a way of reducing the discomfort of dissonance, and is part of a set of behaviors known in the psychology literature as “motivated reasoning.” Motivated reasoning is how people convince themselves or remain convinced of what they want to believe—they seek out agreeable information and learn it more easily; and they avoid, ignore, devalue, forget, or argue against information that contradicts their beliefs.”

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/03/this-article-wont-change-your-mind/519093/?utm_