Conceptual Understanding: Paradigms of the Steamboat Pilot

Conceptual Understanding: Through our different experiences and the way we interpret different sources of information, we create different paradigms and process the environment around us differently. This creates subjectivity to one’s perception therefore we will not be certain on what the truth is.

Explanation behind CU: The steamboat story talks about two steamboat pilots and how they see the river in different ways. The novice pilot sees the river for its face value just stating what he sees as for what it is. Unlike his friend who is more experienced with the river, he can “predict” what might happen through his previous experiences. As for the novice pilot, he is still rather new to the environment therefore not entirely knowledgeable about the river and what it might hold. However, even though the more experienced pilot may “know” the river and what it might hold, he can never truly be certain of what will happen next. Hence the way that these two pilots interpret their surroundings are different which doesn’t allow either to know the absolute truth as we all have our different truths. Thus questioning what is the truth and if we will ever be able to see the truth.

TOK: The Way We Perceive The World Around Us

The Natural Sciences are known to create theories and then prove those theories as facts. With the very large community of scientists and researchers who are constantly challenging what we perceive as facts right now hoping to create new theories. However due to how many people rely on science to always show and distribute accurate research, sometimes these papers/theories can be inaccurate. An example of this would be the big news in the Physics world when a Neutrino was thought to have traveled faster than Light.  For a short period of time, this was accepted as a fact before many scientists around the world proved this theory to be wrong. I, myself believed this when the news came out as my favourite science is Physics. As shown through this example, many of us rely on the natural sciences to distribute what we think we know about the world, however, sometimes can be wrong as we all make mistakes.

Although another example of this that is completely different is the ideas and myths behind vaccinations. Many people believe that vaccinations are bad for their children, cause autism, stunt growth, and many more things which all have been proven false. The way these people have taken these theories as facts is because possibly one scientist published research on this which is enough for some people to take their theory as factual evidence. Nonetheless, a much larger majority of papers/research has also been released which proves that those myths are false. What confuses many people is that even though there are thousands of papers which prove this whole theory wrong, people still believe the one paper which supposedly proves that theory is a fact.

The way that we are wired to believe and rely on those who we think to know more about the subject is purely on how we want to see it. As humans, we are always drawn to arguments that expand our thinking but at the same time, we have a bias towards what we want to know.  Therefore we can never be truly “neutral” in terms of accepting new research as we are always drawn towards what we have known throughout our lives or what we believe is true despite the opposition.

Covid-19: Senior Year

As the new school year starts during phase 2 of Singapore’s transition back to normal, we were granted the privilege to go back to school along with the other schools here in Singapore. Of course, as we are still in the middle of a global pandemic there are certain protocols we have to follow to minimize transmission. Being high school students, we are all fairly social, some of us haven’t seen or friends in person for the past 5-6 months, some even longer as some are still stuck in quarantine.

It’s tough not being able to hug friends which we haven’t seen in months, keeping at least a meter between my peers and me, following all these new rules and following them without exception. However, I can’t complain as everyone has to follow these rules, not everyone has the opportunity to go back to school. Many of my cousins back home in the Philippines have their school year postponed until October, some not even knowing when school would start for them again.

Being physically back to school trying to adapt to our new normal is difficult. Simple things which I used to take for granted such as using our secondary school library whenever we wanted and going to our local hawker center for lunch is something we can’t consider anymore. School feels a lot lonelier now with all the distancing and everyone doing their own thing. It is our final year which I think counts the most as it has all of our deadlines which would count to our final grade. It’s scary and with this whole pandemic, we’re all scared things might change even more.

Despite all the things which are happening in the world right now, we’re all trying to make the most of it. We’re all online now so we’re all still talking all day and night. Keeping in touch with friends who cant join us.

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