Tag Archives: language

“What’s your favourite number?”

nine-217900_640(by Eileen Dombrowski, from OSC TOK blog) Mathematician Alex Bellos was intensely irritated by the question. Was that person in the audience mocking him, or possibly ridiculing what he’d been saying about mathematics, to ask such a bizarre and irrelevant question at the end of his lecture? The audience member had asked him, as others had done before, “What’s your favourite number?”  In this podcast conversation from Radiolab, Bellos describes his abrupt shift of perspective as he realizes that the questioner is asking in sincerity.  Quickly, he discovers that half the members of his audience have “favourite numbers”. And so begins his own investigation into emotional and imaginative associations with numbers, and the non-rational characteristics that many people attribute to a numbering system he had previously seen exclusively in terms of reason. 
Continue reading

Arts and transformation?

(by Eileen Dombrowski. from OSC TOK blog Sept 28, 2014) “There might be a case,” the TOK subject guide allows, “for supposing that the arts have an important function as a medium for social criticism and transformation.” Might be a case? Supposing?  No overstatements here! The arts (arguably literature most directly) are used so widely as a vehicle for social critique that I offer one more example only for its striking current relevance and UN context: Continue reading

So who needs language?

(by Eileen Dombrowski, from OSC blog Sept 25, 2014)  :roll:   Can we write more directly and more effectively to each other by chucking out all those words and using emoticons or emoji instead?  Three social networks are currently offering images to bypass text altogether.  Could this be, at last, a universal language? Continue reading

opinions on the child: raising knowledge questions with literature

14 07 28 baby
(by Theo Dombrowski, OSC TOK blog July 28, 2014) On a day when TOK students seem hard to rouse to even a mild level of vehement engagement, they will almost certainly perk up when asked questions like the following:

Continue reading