Blog #49: First Techne Check-In W/ Olivia :P

Olivia’s techne: tailoring and upcycling clothing

Olivia has been researching and watching tutorials on how to take in clothes and alter them. She has also been researching places to get renewably sourced clothing, which I think is very admirable. She has been purchasing clothing from sites from Depop, Poshmark, ect. (second-hand stores). She even got her prom dress on Depop! She began designing and creating a sweatshirt this week which I look forward to seeing. The materials she needed for the sweatshirt came in the mail today (Thursday) so she plans to put everything together this weekend. Next week she plans to successfully take in a pair of pants or a skirt that she already owns and continue working on her sweatshirt design. Overall, she’s doing a great job with her techne and is making good progress. 🙂

Blog #48: My Ethics

Integrity is very important to me. I’d rather fail a test honorably than cheat and do well. I don’t see the point in doing things dishonestly. Life’s too short to be ingenuine and take the lazy way out of everything.

I try to respect others the best I can. I try to be empathetic and listen with an open mind. Taking other people’s perspectives into account is very important and allows us to become better more rounded people. I don’t like to belittle people or make them feel as if their situations are less important than mine.

I don’t see the point in being honest about every single little thing; in the sense that I don’t think it’s always necessary to say what you are thinking. For instance, if you think your classmate’s outfit is ugly, there’s no reason to tell them and ruin their day. I think people’s feelings are very important and I try to avoid hurting people as much as possible. This is a very slippery slope, however. Sometimes people need to hear the truth even if it hurts their feelings. I usually have trouble figuring out if it’s necessary to tell people things, especially when they ask for my opinion.

One big ethical thing in my life that people don’t usually agree with is that I think it is unethical to consume animal products. I value the lives of animals as well as humans. I don’t necessarily value the lives of cows, pigs, and chickens over a human life, but I don’t see the point in saying one animal is more valuable than another. For example, I don’t see why people kill pigs but not dogs or cats for food. I don’t think it’s ethical for humans to treat animals badly then kill them for food or to take a cow’s milk for their calf and have it with our cereal. I think that if humans as a species have the option to chose what they eat, then why chose meat? Liking meat isn’t a good enough reason to put animals in harms way.

#47 First Techne Update

My techne: watch more classic films, highly rated and respected films, watch more coming-of-age films (so more films in general)

Today I started watching the 2017 film Moonlight. It was directed by Barry Jenkins and won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2017. It follows the story of a young boy Chiron living in Miami and his journey to finding himself and his place in the world.

Image result for moonlight movie plot

I only watched about half of the two-hour movie before falling asleep but it wasn’t because I didn’t like the movie, but because I was exhausted. Some aspects of watching a little bit at a time work to my advantage because it doesn’t feel as daunting or overwhelming, but sometimes I forget what’s going on when I take an extended break.

So far, I really like the movie. The cinematography is very well done. There are a variety of shots and perspectives shown which keep there from being long-stagnant points in the film which I’m not a fan of as I get easily bored. I also really enjoy the plot so far. I like movies where there’s a lot of character development and it seems as though Chiron is already blossoming into a new boy/man with help from his mentor.

I’m excited to keep watching the movie, however, I do feel anxious that the movie is two hours. Hopefully breaking it up a little bit helps though.

Blog #46: Plato is biased.

A list of biases toward oligarchy:

Plato will always see more problems with the other societies since he most highly valued The Republic.

Plato believed that Oligarchy had more problems than Timarchy. However, he is biased because he was more favorable of Timarchy because they more closely mirrored Sparta, and Plato loved Sparta. He admired Sparta for their aggressiveness and warlike tactics, two things that Oligarchy generally lacked.

Plato believed that the distribution of political power prevented the virtuous poor philosophers from influencing public life. Since Plato was a philosopher, he described the fact that poor people had a difficult time joining the oligarchy as a negative thing.

Plato, being a poor man, believed it was the State’s responsibility to decrease the wage gap. He believed that oligarchs were selfish and rash and did not take into account the underclass as they were too focused on getting money for themselves. Plato thought that the very nature of an oligarch seeks to create inequality and that their ruling techniques would lead to an oversized underclass that is destined to rebel.

Plato was a huge fan of the Spartan military. He believed that military campaign was a sign of power and strength. However, this caused him to view the oligarch’s lack of military power as a negative thing because oligarchs were unwilling to give weapons to the majority (the poor) because oligarchies fear revolution.

#45: Trying Something New

When I was assigned the techne development project I was ready to play it safe and pick something I was already good at and just become even better at it. However, I know that true growth stems from real change and that I need to step out of my comfort zone.

For my techne project, I want to focus on films. I have always had an appreciation for films, but I often am turned off by how long they are. It’s a big commitment to sit down for two hours and watch a movie. And what if I don’t like it? Well, then I’ve just wasted two hours.

However, spending my whole life actively avoiding watching movies has left me with little to no knowledge of classic films, actors and directors, and the art of cinematography. I wanted to take IB Film my junior year to learn about film but I couldn’t fit it into my schedule. This project is kind of going to be tailored toward the things I wish I would’ve learned in film class, but never did. However, I know a large part of learning about films is actually. watching them.

I have asked three of my closest friends who are experts on movies to recommend movies for me to watch over the next few weeks. One of those friends is Olivia, who is also the person from our class who will be checking in with me bi-weekly to monitor my progress. I am excited to watch the movies they suggest but I’m also nervous that I won’t like them. However, I am going into this with an open mind.

I hope to grow my appreciation and understanding of film, the film industry, and film analysis with this project. By the end of this project, I would like to be able to produce film analyses that discuss the underlying message within films and explore the implications of different cinematic techniques.

After each film, I will rank it on a scale of 1-10 and include a brief summary as to why I ranked it the way I did. I will also document my feelings about watching the movies as the weeks go by and keep a journal of my progress and knowledge gained.

Blog #44: How the Debates are going so far

I think the debates are actually going really well. I’ve had a lot of fun dressing up for all of the days. Being in character really helps me get in the mood to defend the oligarchy! I also love debating so the dialectic rounds have been especially enjoyable for me.

The most challenging thing for me has been the preparation. Yes, it’s difficult to think of things to say on the spot, but there’s a lot more pressure when we’re given time to prepare a statement the night before. Everything needs to be perfect and we have to anticipate people’s counterarguments. It’s also hard to coordinate everything because my groupmates and I have different schedules so sometimes it just ends up being one or two people preparing and the other people don’t contribute as much.

I’ve been working on figuring out how to channel everyone’s strengths into the debate. For example, I’m better at debating on the spot and Ava is really great at preparing things to say ahead of time. Those are just two examples though, everyone is really great at something, it’s just a matter of figuring out what that is for each person and applying it strategically. When we all work together though and play into our interests and strengths, things go a lot better. I’ve also been working on not letting it get to me when a teammate’s turn doesn’t go as planned or when I have to do extra work because not everyone can work on the document because they’re busy. It can be frustrating to feel like I’m doing more work than other people, but in reality, we all just have our different approaches and work ethics and I can’t control everyone.

I’m really excited to keep debating and working on this project. Even though it’s really challenging I’ve really been enjoying myself. I think if my group continues to work hard, we can win the whole thing.

Rich Uncle Pennybags costume (Monopoly Man)

Blog #43: Please don’t make us sing these out loud

A potential verse for the song “Just Another Holy Man” by Floyd Red Crow, but about Copernicus:

There was a man named Nicolaus Copernicus
Who knew the golden sun did not revolve around us
Found the glow was at the center
The heliocentric universe was much better
Religious leaders were not progressive
They thought Copernicus was too aggressive
They wanted to beat and hang him
But luckily a stroke he was a’waitin

Blog #42: Trying to understand the Sun, Line, and Cave

“A line is cut into two unequal parts, and each of them is divided again in the same proportion. The two main divisions correspond to the intelligible world and to the visible world. One section in the visible division consists of images, that is,
shadows and reflections, and is accessed through imagination. The other, higher section in the visible division consists of sensible particulars and is accessed through belief. One section in the intelligible division consists of Forms and is accessed through thought, but via sensible particulars and hypotheses, as when geometers use a picture of a triangle to help reason about triangularity, or make appeal to axioms to prove theorems. The other, higher section in the intelligible division also consists of Forms but is accessed by understanding, a purely abstract science which requires neither sensible particulars nor hypotheses, but only an unhypothetical first principle, namely, the Form of the Good. The purpose of education is to move the philosopher through the various sections of the line until he reaches the Form of the Good.

I was most confused about the significance of the line so that is where I dedicated most of my research and understanding. The quote from the hyperlinked website above helped me understand that the line is not only meant to bridge the gap between the sun and the cave, but it creates a sort of process in which somebody is meant to go through until they reach the good. Most people are unable to reach the good without first experiencing imagination and opinion, however, I’m still confused as to why that is. To me, it seems that Forms and abstract sciences are not dependent on imagination and opinion. However, perhaps that is the point, people must experience imagination and opinion and observe the effects of the two before Forms and abstract sciences. Maybe this is so that people can see that Forms and abstract sciences allow us to lead a better and “good” life.

The source above focuses on just the line, it breaks the line up similarly to the first source (into four sections), however, it shows that the different parts of the line are placed in a sort of hierarchy. This makes more sense to me since the four sections aren’t very dependent on one another. In addition, if the four parts of the line aren’t meant to be dependent on each other but are simply ranked, then it makes sense that the line bridges together the sun and cave. The lower-ranked parts are more towards the cave and the higher-ranked parts are more toward the sun. There is still a journey involved here in a way because people likely start at the cave but as they acquire new skills, closer to the side of the sun, they get closer to the “good”.

Blog #41: We’re not the center of the universe.

The geocentric model was developed by Ptolemy in the 2nd century CE and it was widely accepted for over 1500 years. People believed that the sun, and the other stars and planets revolved around the Earth, hence “geocentric”. People simply saw that the stars were in a different place each night and assumed that they must be moving around the Earth and that the Earth was staying in place. They solely relied on their empirical observations to form these beliefs. Since they didn’t feel the Earth moving, but saw the stars moving, they assumed that everything must be revolving around the Earth.

However, in the late 16th century, the heliocentric model, proposed by Copernicus, superseded the geocentric model. Copernicus used scientific and mathematical ideas to back up his model and refrained from relying solely on empirical observations, as are our senses are fallible. The problem with Copernicus’ proposed model was that nobody believed him at first. People were convinced that the Earth wasn’t moving because they couldn’t sense that it was. Plus people had been living according to the geocentric model for so long and were hesitant to all of a sudden listen to and accept Copernicus’s theory. However, with the Copernicus Revolution came support from other scientists. Advancements from scientists like Galileo (who used a telescope to help support Copernicus’s theories) helped legitimize the heliocentric universe.

*shadows comparable with people seeing the stars moving and thinking that Earth was not

*sun is comparable to Copernicus’ theories and the scientific and mathematical reasoning behind it

Make-up blog: Analyzing a quote from The Republic.

Isn’t it really the public who say this who are themselves Sophists on a grand scale…” (214, The Republic)

Who is talking: Socrates

Explanation and analysis of the quote: Socrates is trying to explain to Adeimantus that good characters can only remain good if they are brought up properly and raised in an environment that fosters goodness and excellence. However, Socrates makes the point that this hardly ever happens because the general public sways the opinions of those who are naturally gifted with their ill-thought-out ideas.

The public likes to blame technical sophists or professional teachers for corrupting the gifted, but in reality, the public is partly to blame for the corrpution taking place. The public are sophists themselves because they have a heavy influence over others. If somebody did not agree with the public opinion back then, they were ostracized or even put to death, so it became very difficult to hold radical ideas, even if the ideas were good. To avoid persecution, people, found it easier to conform with society’s widley-accepted ideas fighting the urge to pursue their own agendas. There was a great deal of pressure to think and act like the majority causing a decrease in the gifted living their lives to the fullest.

Connect the quote to today’s society: It’s always difficult to go against the grain and stand by an idea that’s deemed radical by society, however, radical ideas are what lead to change. For example, Greta Thunberg skipping school everyday Friday to protest the climate crisis was an extremely radical idea a year ago. However, she knew that skipping school would show people that she was not going to put up with the political inaction taking place. Today, thousands of students skip school on Fridays to protest with Greta and millions participate in climate walkouts, inspired by Greta’s bravura. Greta pursued her gift and carried out her agenda despite public backlash about her skipping school. It is her dedication to going against the norm that has brought so much attention to the climate crisis and inspired millions of people to band together and protect Mother Earth. However, lots of people still find it difficult to walk out during school and attend protests in DC because it goes against the norm and students may risk getting into trouble. When students conform with the norm, it is easier in the moment, but they sacrifice pushing for political action to prevent climate change, something more important in the long run.