Fish & Einstein – Together At Last

While you have been testing, I have been grading though I have taken a few breaks. During one of them today, a paragraph caught my attention because it reminded me of a paragraph from yesterday. Spooky action indeed.

James Gleick “What does quantum physics actually tell us about the world?” NYT, May 8, 2017

“The first proof of atoms came from 26-year-old Albert Einstein in 1905, the same year he proposed his theory of special relativity. Before that, the atom served as an increasingly useful hypothetical construct. At the same time, Einstein defined a new entity: a particle of light, the “light quantum,” now called the photon. Until then, everyone considered light to be a kind of wave. It didn’t bother Einstein that no one could observe this new thing. “It is the theory which decides what we can observe,” he said.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/08/books/review/adam-becker-what-is-real.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbooks&action=click&contentCollection=books&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront

 

Stanley Fish “ ‘Transparency’ is the mother of fake news” NYT, May 7, 2018

“The insistence on the primacy of narratives and interpretations does not involve a deriding of facts but an alternative story of their emergence. Postmodernism sets itself against the notion of facts just lying there discrete and independent, and waiting to be described. Instead it argues that fact is the achievement of argument and debate, not a pre-existing entity by whose measure argument can be assessed. Arguments come first; when they are successful, facts follow — at least for a while, until a new round of arguments replaces them with a new set of facts.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/07/opinion/transparency-fake-news.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fopinion&action=click&contentCollection=opinion&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=6&pgtype=sectionfront

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Our recent readings

Given our on-going examination of indigenous knowledge and our approaches to that through a variety of readings, when I came across these articles today, I thought of our discussions from this week and thought I would share them with you. Use them as springboards for further thinking and discussion if you like.

Regarding the Alain de Botton article on marrying the wrong person: via Why marriage is both anachronistic and discriminatory | Aeon Essays

Regarding knowing the Other (and thinking of the Tibetan monks at Davidson):  The Simplistic Image of Tibetan Buddhism

Regarding knowing the Other and questions of evolution: Adapting bodies to the ocean

Enjoy.

np: The Del-Byzanteens “Girls Imagination”

 

Nuance in approaches to accessing knowledge

Following today’s conversation about nuance and “no-easy” answers follows these three articles which all address the ways in which knowledge is accessed. What results is complicated but significant. Enjoy.

via Why Can’t I Put My Smartphone Down? Here’s The Science : Shots – Health News : NPR

Reading and how it is taught (incorrectly)

America’s Real Digital Divide

np: “Losing My Edge” LCD Soundsystem

A Change in Knowledge Production

I saw this today and immediately thought of several things almost at once but for now I am going to leave aside the English teacher excitement of such a finding. Instead I want to think through this wearing my ToK beanie/toboggan. Read through this and see how much of this is similar to the piece we are reading in class about how a discipline is altered/created by the technology used. I am of the opinion that the humanities have only begun to understand what the computer can do and as time goes on, a paradigm shift is in the works – not unlike what happened to ethnomusicology with the advent of the phonogram. If this kind of thing strikes your interest, then look up the Stanford Literary Lab and Franco Moretti – they are seen as being on the cutting edge of this. Enjoy.

via Plagiarism Software Unveils a New Source for 11 of Shakespeare’s Plays – The New York Times

np: The Hair and Skin Trading Company (early stuff)

The intersection of ethics, science, and nature

Saw this yesterday and was greatly intrigued. It is easy to think that things will always be as they are now – some psychologists argue that is our default position. But in fact, nothing remains the same. So the question is, what to do about that? How to prepare for an ever-changing future?

Where those questions get really interesting is in the area of ethics. Here is one possible ethical response to an ever-changing future. And if you would like a more philosophical examination of this issue, then check out the pieces in your ToK Reader on pp. 303, 306, and 310.

And if you were looking for example ideas for your ToK Essay, you could do worse than this one

via No Children Because of Climate Change? Some People Are Considering It – The New York Times

Interpretation in science

New interpretation? paradigm shift? any of these are possible as continued work reveals new findings in the sciences. As more work is done in this area, the implications get wider and wider. If plants are conscious, then what does “life” mean? does this mean we need to re-think certain ethical concepts? does it mean that Burger is in fact related to the trees?

At any rate, this article does a good job of presenting  the role of interpretation in science. Enjoy.

via Sedate a Plant, and It Seems to Lose Consciousness. Is It Conscious? – The New York Times

np: Aphex Twin “Selected Ambient Vol 2”

re Prof Stell’s visit

IF you were able to hear Prof Stell the other day then this article might interest you given his discussion of ethics in medicine. What ethical guiding principle should be put to work here? Of what use is expert judgement?

via Wasteful Medical Care Runs Rampant : Shots – Health News : NPR

np (now playing): still listening to Jenny Lin’s Glass Etudes for Piano.