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  1. 8 likes
    The danger with "-isms" and "-tarians" is that when taken out of its original intended context, you get extremely inappropriate uses of the word. For example, you calling the IB "totalitarian" is about as meaningful as calling lemonade totalitarian: Not only does it want to quench your thirst, but it also wants to please your tastebuds by being sweet. Do you see what I mean? Also seriously what is an internationalist. I highly doubt the IB has some grand scheme to mould you into the next Al Gore. Most high school programs have a certain element of "awareness of global issues". I admit that the IB has a bit more of an environmental hippy vibe than the others, but that's just one of its quirks. Like how A levels are said to be purely examination focused and CBSE is said to be an exercise in reciting the textbook. Perhaps to some extent it might mould your personality into one that is more aware of global issues, but certainly not into becoming an environmental terrorist(?) or something. Once again, what is moral/cultural relativism? I can think of a few reasons why it would not want to count religious activities as CAS: 1) There are very few religious activities where Creativity, Action or Service is involved. Of the few, a fraction are meaningful. When you look at that fraction, you tend to realize that with or without religious involvement, that activity would still be the same. An example: A guy in our school tried to pass off his Church's program to make its youth members give less privileged kids free academic support. At the end of the day however, Christ, the Holy Cross, Holy Ghost, etc didn't really affect the action of giving academic support. So, while he could declare the support itself under CAS, there's no reason to declare christianity's involvement in it. Do you see what I mean? 2) If you allow religious activities, it's kind of hard to tell anybody that their religious activity is "wrong". 3) There's more but I really do not want to start a debate about religion here. I think they do not use BCE/CE because it's kinda like the British knighting system. There is no British Empire, yet you've got The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire and stuff like that, which kinda bums out everyone who were annexed forcefully under the British Empire. Possibly the IBO decided not to use BCE/CE to avoid stepping on the toes of those who do not believe in Christ. Would you like it if I declared my birthday the start of a "New Era" and scribbled that all over your book, when clearly, you do not worship me? It's kinda close-minded, don't ya think? Liberal and Left wing are somewhat feeble attempts by politicians to distinguish themselves from other politicians, when there frankly isn't much difference. Doesn't mean all right-wingers think Global warming is a hoax, doesn't mean all Liberals want to put a Muslim Extremist in power. By the way, your definition of "evidence" is... creative, to say the least. As others have mentioned, the IB makes several brave statements like these but at the end of the day, it's a pre-university qualification. No more, no less. Most schools do not attempt to link trigonometric integration and the war in Syria, I promise you. If you are "indoctrinated" by weak sauce like this, you are likely to be "indoctrinated" by any idiot on the road. EDIT: I just saw your topic requesting Philosophy EE criteria for 2015. This explains a lot
  2. 4 likes
    Agree. You know you're in IB when you procrastinate on revising by revising a less important subject
  3. 3 likes
    Are you aware, Jonathan, that the IB program refuses to use the word "genocide" on its history exams because conservative elements in certain nations where it maintains a presence continue to deny responsibility for such atrocities, and that it instead asks you write about "the treatment of minorities"? This doesn't reflect the behavior of a totalitarian leftist political machine. The IB program's flexible cirriculum is precisely the opposite of totalitarianism. Different schools are allowed to offer different courses so long as they satisfy a few basic criteria - ie, some will teach Euoprean history while other will teach American history. Individual teachers essentially plan their own lessons and go off on their own tangents. Seminars/debates are emphasized far more frequently than in a standard or AP classroom. Not to mention, of course, that a significant portion of our english and history classes is dedicated to writing about the horrors and evils of totalitarian regimes with the eloquence you need to ace that written assignment - where do you get the impression IB is "totalitarian?" An education that does not mould your personality is a pretty useless education. TOK is one thing, but CAS? CAS is just glorified community service - my entries were such "international global citizen" activities as doing push ups or reading books. Given the name of the program, this is hardly surprising. Where did you make the leap from "can also be right" to "right and wrong are completely relative"? The assertion that other persons may be correct in their beliefs, in addition to being a pretty self evident statement, suggests precisely the opposite. Which part? Becoming active, compassionate and lifelong learners? Acknowleding your own fallibility? Listening to other people? Where here do you see postmodernism? It also doesn't typically count political activities, despite its supposedly being a leftist propoganda machine. My coordinator also refused my driving lessons as CAS, despite that having absolutely nothing to do with a leftist political agenda. My Palmer history textbook uses the BCE/CE dating method, but I suppose my social studies department could have slipped that under the totalitarniam IB powers that be. Global warming is a mainstream scientific theory supported by vast quantities of peer reviewed empirical evidence. The scientific consensus is such that every single scientific organization on Earth has vouched for its veracity. If anything, the political correctness I found in my physics class leaned the opposite way; the teacher felt obligated to exaggerate the controversy just enough to avoid accusations of political bias, when the topic really had basolutely nothing to do with politics or ideology. If the IB program taught anything other that what was necessitated by the scientific data, which seems to be your desire, it would most certainly be a political organization. I would point out that your appealing to the golden mean here reflects the same moral/factual relativism you just accused IB of perpetuating. Certainly the IB program tends to lean left, as do most public schools and universities. Granted, I live in the United States, where our standards of left and right are different from those of Europe. It's very possible that our teachers' ideological bent would be centrist by the standards of France or Sweden. IB is an international program, after all. Where your argument loses its credibility is where you try to extrapolate from this not at all uncommon ideological bent a systematic political agenda. Just because an English teacher is liberal doesn't mean the promotion of liberalism is the principle or even an important objective of classroom instruction, and just because a philosophy teacher is a democrat doesn't mean the primary purpose of the classroom instruction is to churn out registered democrats.
  4. 2 likes
    don't forget to do your minors in gif editing and dank meme studies
  5. 2 likes
    MM -> Master's in Memology Jk, medicine for ever
  6. 2 likes
    No. Besides, I'm not exactly sure why you should care about the combination being "weird" -- if anything, having diverse interests is an advantage. Math and Econ make a lot of sense in terms of your uni plans (as does Global Politics) and I can't see how IB physics would be any better than bio. If you like bio better, go for bio. Btw, IB physics isn't particularly quantitative. You just need to know a bunch of formulas and how to plug values into them.
  7. 2 likes
    Firstly, I don't think thats what global citizenship means. It is a fuzzy enough definition, but I think saying we all need to integrate our cultures, languages and economy is taking it a bit too far. All it means is recognising the role of other people's cultures, languages and economies and our differences, and having some knowledge about how the rest of the world works as well as our little bit of it. There's absolutely nothing stopping somebody "defending" their own culture, language and history but also recognising the other cultures languages and histories of the rest of the world. It doesn't mean somehow assimilating them, it just means knowing about them and taking consideration of them. Take the EU for instance - I am a European citizen but I am opposed to European cultural, linguistic and economic integration beyond just trade. In Europe culture, language and history of each individual country is exceedingly important and very clearly defined across borders. However the fact we're European citizens improves all our lives - we can travel between countries, learn about each other, trade with each other and profit from it. There are plenty of controversies, sure, like immigration caps and certain policies, but the EU is actually a political union as well so it brings all this stuff with it. Whereas being a 'global citizen' is just a perspective on the world, not a political/economic/cultural/anything union. There is a lot to be gained from travelling, learning how other people do things and exchanging stuff. It doesn't mean you have to lose sight of your own. TL;DR you can have 'nationalistic' views but still be a 'global citizen', they aren't really dealing with the same thing. Re: the TOK point of considering other people's views, I hardly think that's 'left wing' or a 'crime', it's just human decency to be able to listen to perspectives on something and understand where other people are coming from. It doesn't necessarily change what you yourself think, but it helps you understand and deal with other people better. Like I understand that people in certain muslim countries in the world think that women should have their faces entirely covered so men don't ravenously come pouring out of the doors to rape them. I can consider this view but still think it's a load of crap. Or I might understand another person's view and actually then find it better than my own way of thinking - but you don't have to, it's up to you. If you want to shut your ears to other people's opinions, lives and rights then be my guest, but it doesn't make you "right" or "left" wing, just very close-minded and potentially not a nice person to know. TOK actually has faith as one of its "ways of knowing" (although I personally disagree with it) so you can talk about being muslim all you want. If you're implying you can't count worshipping as CAS, that's hardly discrimination, worshipping just doesn't happen to be creativity, action or service to the community. That's what CAS is about. As for whether somebody could read the Grapes of Wrath without empathising with the characters - you can read any novel anywhere on the political spectrum and take from it what you want to take from it. Perhaps some people do read it and feel no sympathy for the Okies at all, I think how you feel about these things tells you a little bit about yourself. It's not brainwashing, it's called educating yourself and broadening your horizons. You could equally read a book about the evils of communism (Animal Farm for instance) and find yourself disagreeing with some of the injustices that happened in that book and seeing how a society that seems so balanced can actually end up being fatally flawed. Reading books can often help you figure out what you personally think about something. It's not brainwashing, it's just the process of thinking in your own head. Most of us reject injustice and suffering in any form, so when we read about it we feel sympathy for its victims.
  8. 2 likes
    I've only read For Whom the Bell Tolls but it was indeed quite interesting, if a little bit grim. Another author who I'd say is similar in terms of having quite a lot of deep themes to his writing would be Steinbeck - the Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden are really worth reading. If you're into that sort of literature, I heavily recommend The Magus by John Fowles. One of the most thought-provokingly confusing books I have ever read, I absolutely loved it. Honestly, it'll probably be one of the most interesting books you'll ever read, I still find myself thinking about it. One thing I would say about the philosophers who write novels is that I've read or had a stab at reading a few of them and they're mostly quite dire. The Stranger (Camus), Beyond Good and Evil (Nietzsche), Nausea (Sartre), Candide (Voltaire) - all of them painful reads (except for Candide which is somewhat amusing) and even though I knew a decent amount about their thoughts previous to reading the novels, I didn't really feel like they enlightened me or demonstrated much! Actually I didn't even manage to finish Nausea, it was so boring. Which is odd because I find Sartre and his ideas fascinating. IMO read the philosophy of philosophers -- and read the literature of authors One lot can think and the other lot can write such that it makes you think. Reading the condensed ideas of various people on wikipedia was definitely the most accessible and interesting way for me to get an idea of philosophy. I don't know if anybody else will back me up on this or not, but I actually find the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett to be strangely deep. It sounds ridiculous but by poking fun at everyone and everything, he really turns your ideas around and makes you question what the value of things are. Plus they're quite fun to read
  9. 1 like
    Hey guys, As is stated in the title, anyone who is taking Biology SL or HL (both DP1/ year 1and DP2/ year 2) can register to be part of a personalized study group. This group consists of fellow IB students from a nearby timezone. You will be allocated on behalf of your topic understandings and confidence level. We will try to keep HL and SL students separated due to the extra topics that are covered at higher level but we would like to know if you want first year and second year students to be mixed. Here is the registration form for the first session (january until february). https://goo.gl/forms/LJX4uRmI5KFDF2k83
  10. 1 like
    extremely helpful for IAs (gotten full marks on majority of IAs) http://www.rcnuwc.org/ibphysics/ia/IA1.html