Malthusians – Geography

Would you describe your views as more akin to the NeoMalthusians or Anti Malthusians? Why? 

 

Both the views of Neo Malthusian and Anti Malthusian are both quite extreme. Although I am usually an optimist in life, I would place myself as in between Neo Malthusian and Anti Malthusian. There are some things I agree with both sides on and other things that I disagree with.

I personally believe that we need to make changes to the way we live to ensure that we don’t keep consuming at our current rate. I do believe there is a limit to the amount of resources we have on earth. I also do believe we should change our habits for the betterment of the environment. I am optimistic that we will be able to survive without drastically decreasing our population. I believe that we will be able to sustainable live with our population size but our consumption habits are what have to change. Many resources that we rely heavily on are finite such as coal or oil. If we continue to consume at the rate we are consuming at and continue to increase our population, we will reach a crisis. This will not mean the end of the world but it will cause many problems of different levels. Unless we are able to suddenly discover technology that helps preserve these finite resources or find more of these natural resources, we will need to make drastic changes.

I do believe that being 100% optimistic comes with it’s problems. You will have to think realistically which could lean towards a more pessimistic approach. A good balance of 50%, 50% will allow me to think from both sides of the spectrum and come up with ideas that can help us use our resources in the most effective and sustainable ways for the future. It is sometimes even better to be slightly more pessimistic as it causes you think of ideas that could eventually prevent a crisis or fall of a current system. It will be a driving point for invention and adaptation. If people are forced to change their habits due to fear, at least that gets people to change their consumption habits.

That’s why I really believe that any little change I make to my consumption habits goes a long way. Even if it’s just turning the lights off when I don’t need them or denying a plastic bag at the grocery store. Any step in the right direction goes a long way.

 

Me and My Waste – Geography

Do you recycle? Why? Why not? 

In my condo, there are 14 general recycling bins for everything and 12 more specialised recycling trash cans. Many people do not use these as they are not in every block. If I see someone throwing cans or cardboard in the normal trash, I try to politely tell them to throw it in the recycling bins instead. Although the nearest bin is quite far from my house, I make the effort to go three times a week to drop off all our recyclable trash in their designated bins. My family may tell me to save the effort and just drop a few items into the normal trash can but I always refuse. I believe it is worth walking for 3 extra minutes to the recycling bins for the sake of our environment. As a geographer, it is one of my duties to be an environmental leader. I need to set an example for others. I recycle because I do believe that although recycling is not the solution to the problems, it is a step in the right direction. It is hard to produce 0 waste but whatever waste can be recycled should be. I feel bad if I through plastic, paper or cans in the normal trash and refuse to change my recycling habits wherever I live. This is a topic I have been passionate about especially after completing a Global Perspectives critical challenge project on this topic in grade 10.

 

To what extended do you think that complacency is to blame for people not dealing with environmental problems? 

First, the world complacency means a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc. This for sure is a reason why many people avoid the topic of environmental problems and how to tackle environmental issues. Living in a little bubble, it is hard to think of our environmental impact. We get on with our daily duties the way we would like to Mindsets that people have is the root of the problem. If people don’t see the destruction their habits are causing, they will merely continue how they are living. This leaves many people in the world oblivious to the various environmental problems they are contributing to. Mindsets are the hardest things to change as these can be set and require the most effort to change but changing mindsets, can change the way the world functions. If people believe that many of their daily activities have a negative impact on the environment and slight modifications to them does a little bit to preserve our environment then we are making progress as a community.

The general public doesn’t wish to take an extra effort for something they can’t visibly see the effect of. They are unaware of their impact as it is not as black and white as other things. This is also a major reason why people hesitate from trying to make changes to their lives. On the other hand, many people have just never got the exposure to the knowledge and therefore can’t do their part because they are just unaware of how.

To an extent, a lot of these changes that may seem little are very hard to eliminate. An example of this is not using a straw when drinking store bought drinks. A lot of the time, it is impossible to drink the drink without a straw and other times it’s simply harder to drink without a straw. Although this would have a positive impact on the environment by reducing the amount of plastic used, it is an inconvenience to many. People need incentives to take any action. Perhaps, if drinks are 50c cheaper if you say no to a straw, more people would be willing to shift their habits. Humans think of themselves first. That is just how humans are. If an incentive is given, more people may change their mindsets and/or try to do their part.

People believe the ideas of climate change or other environmental issues are obscure ideas that are vague and not to happen in our lifetime. If it’s not in our lifetime, what have we got to worry about? This is a common mindset that exists in our society today. People continue contributing to these problems and worsening it without any form of change being implemented in their daily habits purely due to the fact that they are unaware of what they are doing or they chose to believe that they are not contributing. Many people also believe that their small change won’t have any impact and therefore see it as quite useless. A mindset shift is essential. People need to understand that every action counts, no matter how little it is.

An example of this is the president of the USA, Donald Trump. He is a prime example of someone who uses complacency to avoid climate change. He doesn’t know about the science and evidence behind it and merely believes that some Chinese people made up a conspiracy theory about it. As he fails to understand climate change, he maintains a closed mind toward discussions on the topic and tries to uninvolved the world’s greatest power from climate change talks with the world. He believes that our existing situation is fine and nothing like climate change is going to change how the world works now.

Despite this, many environmental activists and people in power and doing their point to raise more awareness of ways we can change our daily lifestyles to become more environmentally friendly. Now it’s up to the people to implement these strategies and do their part to save the environment.

TOK – Knowledge Question #2- Mathematics

To what extent is “complete certainty” achievable?

Claim

TOK Terminology

Complete certainty is never achievable. Getting a result more than once never assures complete complete certainty. Even if you prove something right, 8 million times, in the 8,000,001st time an alternate response could give another result. There is no physical way of ensuring that something is going to come out with the same outcome every time as nobody will go through an infinite amount of trials in order to confirm something. We can get very close to complete certainty but can never fully achieve it.

Real Life Example

AOK Terminology

When confirming that triangles’ angles always add up to 180 degrees, mathematicians have not tried their theory on every single triangle that ever exists in the world. They may have tried it out on billions of triangles and have come to the conclusion. This makes their theory highly reliable and most probably certain but there is always a small slight percentage of the theory being falsified. With an increased number of trials, this percentage dramatically decreases and begins to approach 0 but it will never reach 0.

TOK Analysis

TOK Terminology

(+AOK Terminology)

In any areas of knowledge, we can never be 100% completely certain that a theory or part of knowledge is correct but mathematics is the one area of knowledge in which theories and knowledge is the closest to being completely certain. As mathematics requires rigorous proofing before they can confirm a theory, this makes it the only area of knowledge to approach 0 on the scale of complete certainty.

Counterclaim

TOK Terminology

 People may argue that everything in mathematics is completely certain as math comes in the forms of questions with only one possible answer but multiple ways to get to that answer do exist. Complete certainty can be said, to be reached only in mathematics. There is only one answer to every equation and question, therefore complete certainty is reached.

Real Life Example

AOK Terminology

2+2 can only ever equal 4. The world is absolutely certain that 2+2 can only ever equal 4. Even in an alternative universe, 2+2 will always only equal 4. This is complete certainty.

TOK Analysis

TOK Terminology

(+AOK Terminology)

Complete certainty is about there only being one ever answer that we are 100% sure of. Mathematicians do enough tests to ensure that something is completely certain and before knowledge in mathematics can become public knowledge it has to be completely true. Without this, that part of mathematics cannot be taught to children in school and therefore everything in mathematics is completely certain.
ShortEvaluation  To conclude, complete certainty is never achieved. Despite this, mathematics is the only area of knowledge that comes close to confirming complete certainty.

 

TOK- Knowledge Question #1 – The Arts

Word count: 200-400 words

To what extent can one describe the knowledge produced in the Arts as objective?

Claim

TOK Terminology

Knowledge produced in the arts are very subjective as everyone has a different opinion of what they consider good art. As everyone has different opinions on the way of considering something as nice or not. Arts cannot be considered objective as their is no right way to create something in the arts, there is no definite right or wrong in anyway therefore it cannot be objective. What is considered valuable or great knowledge is up to the eyes of the viewer and that of the artist, which are most likely different.

Real Life Example

AOK Terminology

In the arts, it is harder to know what is considered knowledgable. A real example of this would be the Mona Lisa, everyone knows it is one of the world’s most famous, valuable and therefore beautiful pieces of art out there but this is an example of shared knowledge that has been passed on from others. It is something we are told to know but in our eyes, it may seem dull and boring. We may not see the value or the meaning behind it or just straight up might not like it therefore Art is the most subjective of the areas of the knowledge. In other areas of knowledge such as Natural Sciences, people have discovered, experimented and attempted to falsify theories before allowing sharing of the information to take place. It may not even be that great to the artist itself as art is so subjective, everyone will have a different opinion on any knowledge from the arts.

TOK Analysis

TOK Terminology

(+AOK Terminology)

The arts are fully subjective as everyone has their own opinions on what they consider good or not. Art is created to be appreciated or many different reasons.

Counterclaim

TOK Terminology

Art can be objective in the sense that grades cannot be put on it for exams if it is not objective to some extent. Art as a whole is highly subjective but for different circumstances, it has to be objective.

Real Life Example

AOK Terminology

As an example of when art is objective, when grading IGCSE art grades, the examiners create a rubric of different things that are required to be done by the artist and there has a be a strict criteria on how art should be graded to ensure that personal opinion is not taken into account.

TOK Analysis

TOK Terminology

(+AOK Terminology)

As art is more than just what is on the surface, it is impossible for it to be objective. Everyone has a different opinion on the look of art, weather it is beautiful or ugly, and the deeper meaning is usually not known to everyone.
Short Evaluation Overall, art is purely subjective but to an extent in different scenarios, it is required to be objective. Art is more complicated than just what can be seen by the ordinary viewer. Something this complicated has to be subjective.

 

Geogaphy – Migration Case Studies

My Case Study:

Image result for syria

Syrian Refugee Crisis

What is the most significant factor causing the migration? 

  • The current civil war which begun on the 15th of March 2011 is the most significant reason why people are fleeing, the civil war has also lead to almost all the other factors that caused people to move such as unemployment, soil degradation etc.
  • The political unrest between Bashar Al Assad, ISIS and the Syrian Rebels.
  • This has caused millions (11 million displaced within the country and have fled to neighboring countries + Europe) . The largest migrations since WWII and Syria is now the world’s leading producer of refugees overtaking Afghanistan.

What do you predict for the future of the place and people involved?

  • The war doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon so I do not see much hope for them in the future if the conflict persists.
  • I believe that the amount of refugees and people fleeing will continue to increase as it is becoming less and less safe to reside in Syria.
  • The situation within Syria will get worse as so much damage is being made without any government efforts to rehabilitate, rebuild and further develop the nation as a whole. The constant war is causing more and more destruction daily.

What solutions can you suggest to resolve some of the consequences?

  • Countries, both surrounding Syria as well as European countries should openly allow refugees asylum in their countries and provide them with basic necessities. Governments should also help them get jobs and help them integrate in the local communities instead of secluding them in isolated, poorly resourced refugee camps.

 

My thoughts and feelings on the issue:

  • I believe that as citizens of the world it is our duty to help out the refugees emigrating as their state is dire and it is essential that the world comes together to help the people out. The sad makes me extremly sad but it also makes me upset because the world is not doing enough, we ignore it in our day to day life and fail to even think about their situation. Although Singapore too far away from the crisis for it to be pertinent, Singapore can help in other ways such as providing aid or donating to LEDCs that are taking in large numbers of refugees such as Jordan.

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