Friday, May 19, 2017

And Now For Something Completely Different...

Those of you who are into film have probably seen or know about the Bravo TV show Inside the Actors Studio. Whatever your personal opinions about the show or its host, I particularly like the questionnaire at the end. It never ceases to amaze me how people answer the questions. Please answer all the questions and give brief (or longer) justifications for your answers.

1. What is your favorite word?
2. What is your least favorite word?
3. What turns you on (creatively, spiritually, or emotionally)?
4. What turns you off?
5. What is your favorite curse word (no need to censor here)?
6. What sound or noise do you love?
7. What sound or noise do you hate?
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? (Obviously you probably are not in a profession, so what do you want to do?)
9. What profession would you not like to do?
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Monday, April 24, 2017

All Things TED Quarter 4

Post your responses to the 8 TED talks that you watch in this section for 4th Quarter.  Your responses should be about a paragraph.  These responses should be anything that you think is important, cool, uncool, interesting, uninteresting about the video you watched.

Arts and Values

Please respond to at least three of the following prompts:

1. How are value judgments in the arts justified? How is 'good art' or 'bad art' recognized or decided on?

2. What are the justifications and implications of claiming that there are absolute standards for good art, or that the only standard for good art is individual taste?

3. Does the artist carry any moral or ethical responsibility? Is it possible for an artwork to be immoral? Should art be judged on its ability to shock?

4. What is the role of education in creating art, and in appreciating it? Is an art form legitimate if it can be enjoyed only by those trained in its appreciation through having had relevant education or through having become familiar with it in their own cultural context? Is a critical assessment of an art form legitimate if it is made by someone with no relevant education or cultural familiarity?

5. What relationships exist between the arts, on the on hand, and power over the public mind, on the other? Should art be politically subversive? Conversely, should it serve the interests of the community or the state? Why would governments, corporations, advertisers, and ideologically based groups of many kinds concern themselves with visual artists, musicians, and writers?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

History Questions

Please respond to at least 2 of the following questions.

1. Can one talk meaningfully of a historical fact? How can we speak with certainty about anything in the past?

2. In what ways has technology affected the study of history? How have the methods of gaining evidence and the means of communicating historical interpretation, for example, been affected by technological development? Can we now observe the past more directly?

3. What is the role of the historian? Does the historian record history, or create it? Can the historian be free of bias in the selection and interpretation of material? Could it be reasonably argued that the personal understandings of historians, despite their possible bias, is necessary or even desirable in the interpretation and recording of history? Is the power of persuasion a characteristic of a good historian?

4. To what extent is the very nature of this Area of Knowledge affected by being about the past? In what ways do other Areas of Knowledge also concern themselves with the past? Is all knowledge, in a sense, historical knowledge?

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Alternative History

Choose an event in History and write what would have happened if something different had happened to change the outcome of the event. Once an event or person has been written about in this blog, you must choose a different event (basically, I do not want 50 or 60 people writing about what would have happened if Hitler had been hit by a bus. I want to read many different alternative histories). Please consider more than just several ramifications of the alternative history that you choose to write about.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Human Sciences

Please respond to two or more of the following questions.

1. The following anonymous statement is oft quoted, "Under the most rigourously controlled conditions of pressure, temperature, humidity, and other variables, the organism will do exactly as it pleases." How does this quote affect, inform, or question your views on Human behaviour and the how it is studied? With this quote in mind, can human behaviour be studied using the Scientific Method?

2. How might the language used in polls, questionnaires and other information-gathering devices of this sort influence the conclusions reached? If there is an influence, does it, or a similar one, occur in natural science research? Does the extent of the influence relate to the degree of certainty attributed to the natural sciences and the human sciences respectively, or to the social status or value associated with each.

3. What are the implications of Mario Puzo's claim that "If our brains were simple, we would be too simple to understand them."?

4. Is it reasonable to attempt to explain human behaviour independently of what people claim are their intentions? Why, or why not? Explain.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Human Sciences vs. Natural Sciences

Simply respond to the following statement and state your reasons for why you know or believe that you are right.

Nature vs. Nurture