TOK Journals



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Today, I read the news about the earthquake in Haiti and a thought popped up in my mind: why is it that I rarely hear about disasters happening to countries like Britain, Japan, or anywhere capable of saving the situation? Why do disasters generally happen to countries like Haiti who cannot do much about the situation? It cannot just be coincidence. Therefore, I thought deeply into the question.

I believe it is not that disasters happen more often in less developed countries that cannot deal with it as well as developed countries like the US. It is because more developed countries have more a complete safety system, facilities to evacuate and most importantly, safer buildings that are less vulnerable to natural disasters. Therefore, for example, if the same level of earthquake hits the US instead of Haiti this time, the destruction caused in the US wouldn’t be as significant, especially places like Boston and LA, where the buildings are built stronger. Moreover, because there are better and more advanced evacuation systems, the death rate will also reduce which will cause a smaller scene in the world than Haiti did.

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The US will also need less help from other countries to recover from the earthquake, whereas, Haiti in this case, will require a lot of help from other countries to be able to get through this rough period of time. This is why even countries like Taiwan are already so aware of the earthquake that happened in Haiti and are ready to donate and support them. Therefore, I don’t think it is coincidence that we hear less about disasters that happen in developed countries, it is the way the media spread information.

Inductive Logic- Without knowing it, we all use induction all the time. An example of inductive reasoning is “because I have always enjoyed playing tennis, I assume that if I play again today, I will again enjoy it.” Or “day has always followed night in my experience, so I assume that it will continue to do so.” But my question is, how reasonable or accurate is it to think this way? Because by “logic,” if you enjoy playing tennis one day, it doesn’t mean that you will enjoy it the next day, especially when emotion is taken into account.

Emotion can change a lot of how a person thinks or if a person enjoys what he or she does. This is because if someone is in a bad mood, whatever he or she does, will not be enjoyed, at least for me. Even though I think this method of thinking is not valid, there isn’t another method that can be applied to make the logic more valid. This is because, we cannot foresee the future or what happens in the future, the most we can do is use inductive logic and use the patterns we discover over time to predict the future, with, of course, not guarantees about the accuracy and precision at best.

What do we “know” about the world by the process of induction? Technically, we do not “know” anything about the world by the process of induction, not to mention the future of the world, which is what inductive logic is mostly used for. However, with inductive reasoning, we can guess or predict future events that are reasonably accurate with new technologies to determine different patterns for more accurate and precise estimation using inductive reasoning.

This means that nothing in life can be accurately predicted (so fortunetelling is all lies). The most we can do is predict the future using experience and past patterns that developed over time. By now, technology has developed so much that in everyday life, we rely on inductive reasoning without even noticing ourselves. For example, we rely on the weather forecast and others, which are deduced from inductive reasoning. This is possible now because of how much technology has advanced so much that we can accurately predict certain aspects of life that we can rely on, without being much off.

What is beauty?

Recently, I was talking to my parents about history of China, which I have absolutely no knowledge about whatsoever, I found out that in the past, Chinese people thought that the fatter (without being obese, of course) a girl is, the prettier or more attractive. This view has evidently died off now as it is apparent in fashion magazines, models, and celebrities, in that one of the biggest things they look for to look attractive is to be slim and without any fat. People nowadays, myself included, may be puzzled by why ancient Chinese people would find fat people attractive, as fat as possible in fact.

Even to the point that they appointed one overweight lady (who they believed was extremely beautiful of course) to one of the four most beautiful women in the history of China. However, I think there is a reason to this, as there is to everything. In my view, this is because of the surrounding influences. For example, if I were to be born and exposed to very overweight women who are thought to be beautiful, I believe that I will ultimately feel the same way. But it is still perplexing to me how the view stopped, if the whole of China thought the same thing and kids were born exposed to this view.

One logical explanation to this I believe may be that when there’s a majority, there’s always a group of minorities who think differently to what the majorities think. The one logical explanation to me is that the views of the minorities slowly influenced those of the majorities and slowly spread over time. I was born in the view that slim and fit women tend to be more attractive rather than extremely overweight women, which I think is the main reason why I think that. Therefore, I think the word beauty is relative, there is not one thing that is beautiful to everyone or one thing that is ugly to everyone.

 

I believe there is no one in the world that better luck or worse luck than another significantly. This is because, to me, over time the element of luck even out. I feel that it is difficult to describe the word luck in words, but an example might help: For example, if there is a 1/25 chance of picking out a red ball in a basket full of blue balls, and a person picks out the red ball, that itself isn’t lucky, that has to be paired with the element of likeness. If the person wanted to pick out the red ball and does, he is considered lucky; however, if he didn’t want to pick out the red ball but does, he is considered unlucky.

Therefore, I think luck isn’t only determined by the chances of getting something, but it is determined by what a person wants. One thing that is always an element of luck is that the percentage of achieving what the person wants always has to be below 1/2 or else people will view it like you are supposed to have gotten what you wanted. With this explanation or hypothesis, I can come up with the conclusion that luck always has something to do with percentages and chances. And, as a math student, I can use knowledge from math to know that the more times something that can be calculated with a fraction is done, the more it will even out to be closer to the fraction. This means that if luck is determined by percentages and fractions, everyone’s luck will eventually be evened out when life comes to an end, showing that nobody is luckier than another.

How does Myers Briggs work? The Myers Briggs personality test works as it first asks you some 70 questions that together can supposedly show a person’s personality. Each question I believe has its own certain purpose, for example, I believe purpose of the question “you enjoy having a wide circle of acquaintances, yes or no” is to determine your openness to a social life. With each question having its own purpose, the test then pieces everything together to determine your personality, accurate to a very high extent. So accurate that I was, at some points, shocked at the results. I believe this ties in with inductive reasoning.

This is because Myers Briggs probably studied the thought patterns and process of numerous human beings to come up with a pattern that fit “all” people. (But, of course, having studied TOK at TES, we know that no patterns fit everything.) After discovering a pattern, Myers Briggs uses the patterns to construct the questions and use our answers to determine our personalities. Why should I trust this knowledge? I shouldn’t. But I do. That may seem ironic but looking at the results and comparing it to myself, it appears that a lot of what the analysis reflects my own personality. It’s perplexing how much some 70 simple yes or no questions can tell a computer about me, but it happened so I believe it.

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