The “Smirk seen ’round the world”

sandmannInteresting situation from a TOK perspective. Below is a collection of articles about the topic. They raise a lot of interesting questions about how we acquire knowledge and the relationships among the various ways of knowing. It also lends itself to ask about the primacy of some WOKs over others.

 

Download Lesson plan on “the smirk”

Download smirk articles handout

TOK Day 31 (daily student worksheet)

What’s also interesting is how impactful the image was. The image seemed to be a perfect representation of how many people view the current moment in the United States. It fit perfectly into prior assumptions about the world and spoke to a deeper truth. Interpreting and explaining this image!and fitting it into preexisting mental schema seemed pretty easy.

Once more and more videos started to emerge and the greater context became known, there were some interesting developments. Some people Continue reading

‘They had us fooled’: Inside Payless’s elaborate prank to dupe people into paying $600 for shoes

Knowledge Questions: What role do expectations play in our sense perception? To what extent can our judgments be objective?

But the prank also points to a reality about the human mind: Consumers are not capable of discerning the quality and value of the things they buy, said Philip Graves, a consumer behavior consultant from Britain. Slap a fancy-sounding European label on $30 shoes, and you have an illusion of status that people will pay an exorbitant amount of money for.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2018/11/30/they-had-us-fooled-inside-paylesss-elaborate-prank-dupe-people-into-paying-shoes/?utm_term=.dab90144f733

 

This is similar to a prank Penn and Teller did at a restaurant telling people they were drinking fine waters but were actually drinking water from a garden hose behind the restaurant.

 

Pearls Before Breakfast: Can one of the nation’s great musicians cut through the fog of a D.C. rush hour? Let’s find out.

A world famous violinist, Joshua Bell, set up to play in the middle of a busy train station in DC.

“Each passerby had a quick choice to make, one familiar to commuters in any urban area where the occasional street performer is part of the cityscape: Do you stop and listen? Do you hurry past with a blend of guilt and irritation, aware of your cupidity but annoyed by the unbidden demand on your time and your wallet? Do you throw in a buck, just to be polite? Does your decision change if he’s really bad? What if he’s really good? Do you have time for beauty? Shouldn’t you? What’s the moral mathematics of the moment?”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/pearls-before-breakfast-can-one-of-the-nations-great-musicians-cut-through-the-fog-of-a-dc-rush-hour-lets-find-out/2014/09/23/8a6d46da-4331-11e4-b47c-f5889e061e5f_story.html

Banksy Has Unannounced Art Sale with Genuine Signed Canvases in Central Park, Sells Almost Nothing

What is the value of artwork? How do we determine? Why did it matter whether people knew or didn’t know whether these were original works?

“For his 13th day in New York, Banksy pulled a fantastic prank on unsuspecting passersby in Central Park yesterday by setting up an unannounced art stall with dozens of 100% original signed canvases. In a world where copies of unlicensed Banksy works are available for a dime a dozen, it’s not inconceivable for somebody to peddle cheap knockoffs for $60 apiece. To further camouflage the artwork the booth was labeled simply “SPRAY ART” and manned by an unsuspecting old man who seemed completely uninterested in what he was doing.”

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2013/10/banksy-art-sale/

Scientists Have Mapped Where People Feel Emotions in Their Bodies

Feelings are a funny thing. Love and heartache both happen inside your head, but they’re felt in very different places. On the flipside, excitement and fear are two very different emotions, but they feel nearly identical. To make things even more complicated, feelings are subjective — it’s hard to know if other people feel things the same way you do. That’s why this new study from a team of Finnish researchers is so fascinating: They’ve mapped emotions to where most people feel them in their own bodies. It turns out that most of us feel our emotions in similar places.

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https://curiosity.com/topics/scientists-have-mapped-where-people-feel-emotions-in-their-bodies-curiosity?fbclid=IwAR3hoWj6K6OeB-faJ37q_YOuYe6eqkhdDH3vqmMvrNRNFXnPJ7bHacN7b7M

Animals “see” electromagnetic fields

Human senses allow us access to “information” about the world outside of ourselves. Our senses are based on human evolution and the needs of being human. We can’t possibly perceive everything going on around us but we perceive the things that were relevant for our evolutionary past. The same is true for other species whose senses allow them access to other information we can’t perceive. Sometimes these senses are more acute than human senses like a dog’s sense of smell and sometimes these senses allow access to information that is inaccessible to our inborn senses.

Here are two new articles about animals that can perceive electromagnetic fields. Do they “see” them the way we see visible light? Some interesting speculation about how that might work and what it might look like.

Birds Can See Earth’s Magnetic Fields, And We Finally Know How That’s Possible

“The mystery behind how birds navigate might finally be solved: it’s not the iron in their beaks providing a magnetic compass, but a newly discovered protein in their eyes that lets them “see” Earth’s magnetic fields.”

https://www.sciencealert.com/birds-see-magnetic-fields-cryptochrome-cry4-photoreceptor