VSI and the ToK Life

Two things: 1) here is the link to the VSI guided reading questions you put in your Comp Book. Requests have been made suggesting that it might be easier to answer and organize your thoughts if you could see ll the questions gathered in one place. That seemed reasonable and appropriate, so here you are.

VSI Guided Questions

2) Here is a link to an article about the current Alex Honnold documentary, “Free Solo”. Alex is an extraordinary rock climber, specializing in climbing without a rope (“free-soloing”). The movie is both a riveting and beautiful account of his attempt to free-solo “El Capitan”, one of the largest and most iconic rock walls in the world. The article makes the case that he is living a radically truthful life. When I saw it last night, I thought of it as more of a “ToK life”. I was struck by his interrogation and investigation of what it means to truly, deeply live. I also couldn’t help but notice that he was an IB student in high school in Calif. and while he doesn’t call out ToK in specific, I am claiming it. So, look for yourself and see how someone lives their life. Here’s the link and the movie is at the Manor.

Alex Honnold and the Lived Life


One way to encounter the other

This is one way to do it – and a strong argument for doing it this way.

Oh, did I mention I went to Duke? – jes’ sayin’

via Why Duke University Won’t Honor Freshman Roommate Requests This Fall : NPR

np: the plaintive cry of my water bottle nozzle after a long bike ride

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


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

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”

A more contemporary paradigm shift?

If you want to explore a more recent exploration about existent paradigms and possible shifts, then check this out.  It gets a little technical for us non-biology types, but I made it through and was greatly intrigued. Part of my fascination is from the suggestion that if “we are all multitudes” then what does that do to psychology and/or religion?

And, are paradigm shifts ever just in one discipline, or are they part of a larger shift in the “gestalt”? Enjoy.

via Microchimerism: how pregnancy changes the mother’s very DNA | Aeon Essays