All posts by Will R

Taste for Makers Blog Post

In this blog post, I will be reflecting on quality vs taste as talked about in the Taste for Makers hand out. The difference between quality and taste is quality really cannot be argued about, while taste in something can be. For example, artists like Elton John and Phil Collins songs are high quality, and in my opinion that cannot be argued about. however, I really like Drake as an artist, and many people may not agree with my taste in music, but I like his lyrics and think his songs are catchy.

A really good example of quality vs taste is the ice cream story. The Waldorf-Ritz ice cream is very high quality, and made with all natural ingredients, while the Mr. Softie ice cream is made with artificial colours and sweeteners and flavours. Even though the narrators friend knows that all this stuff is bad for him, and is made of almost no real ingredients, he prefers it to Waldorf-Ritz,

“I know,” he said. “It’s crap, and it’s really
bad for me, but I love it anyway.”

I think the whole point of this story is that even though things are fancy, it does not always make them best. Sometimes people prefer simpler things, like music that does not really have any meaning but they enjoy or that makes them feel good, or food that they know is bad for them but is okay to eat once in a while and really savour when they do. Taste and Quality are both important,  but I think people need to balance both, because if you only like things because they are fancy, have a deep meaning or are good for you, then you may not enjoy the simple things in life. sometimes you just need to eat Mr. Softie or listen to rap, even though many people do not consider it high quality.

History-Will R.

History is one of our most important subjects, because, as George Bernard Shaw said,

  we learn from history that we learn nothing from history.

I interpret this quote as him saying that there have been a lot of wars, mass genocides and other terrible things that happened throughout history,  and yet they keep happening all the time, which shows we haven’t learned anything. We need to look back at things that happened in the past, so that we do not keep making the same mistakes.

I also found the George Orwell quote

history is written by the winners

very interesting. I agree with this, because usually the losers of a war or a conflict have been defeated, so they do not get do decide what goes in the history books.  A lot of the time, the people who committed an atrocity or started a war and won, or something along those lines, change the story a lot when it comes to history.  They do this to put themselves in a better light, and make themselves seem less guilty, especially if they did bad things during the conflict, or are the only people who witnessed what really happened, and no one else actually knows the truth.  Much of what is written in history books, especially stuff from a very long time ago, may have some truth, but may be altered. The only way to really know whether a historical event is accurate, or blown out of proportion, is to see whether other textbooks and documents have the same description as what we read.

There are many different ways that we can learn about history. We can watch documentaries, read eyewitness accounts, or read textbooks. There can also be land deeds, historical artifacts, or memoirs of people who experienced the historical event, like the diary of Anne Frank. All of these methods are pretty trustworthy, because they all have to be approved before being published, or the information has to be verified. The only problem is that people who give eyewitness accounts could change the story to get more attention. This is why it can be hard to know what is accurate about history and what is not. For most of the historical events in our textbook, we were not there or were not alive when they happened, so if the person who writes or tells us about history is lying or making things up, or if they are biased, then we may have an inaccurate view of history.


After reading these documents, I am persuaded that storytelling should be a Way of Knowing. one of the things that stuck out to me after reading the documents was from Narrative Science by Daniel Willingham. I found it really interesting how after the students read the text about Galileo in narrative form instead of expository form, many more students comprehended and remembered the information in the text. I agreed with this, because I found that when I was younger I have a way better memory of things when they were told to me as a story, rather than just having them explained to me. I also really liked the proverb,

Until the lion learns to write, every story will always glorify the hunter.

I think this proverb means that people only ever hear the hunters side of the story, but the lion cannot tell anybody what it thinks. I think this can be applied to more than just a hunter and a lion, though. If someone is a victim of injustice by a government or a person, but no one listens to what they have to say, then no one will ever know their side of the story. For the picture “electricity explained” I had no idea what it represented. I probably would be able to understand better if it had been written as a story, with the ohm, the volt and the amp being a character, because it would have helped me visualize what each part was doing.

I think that storytelling should be considered a Way of Knowing, because as Mr. MacKnight said:

Storytelling is how we know most of what we know—or
think we know. The stories we are told, the stories we believe, and the stories we tell—both
to ourselves and to each other—shape our view of reality; our ideas of good and bad, right
and wrong, normal and strange; our most basic beliefs about what is true, and what is false.

I agree with this. A lot of what I know, I learned from stories read to me when I was little. Most stories are meant to have a meaning, or a lesson that people can learn from. Most stories also have themes, that we do not realize are there unless we look closer at what the author is trying to say. Even the most simple children’s stories have very important themes, like Courage, Friendship, and Loss. All of these are very important things in our lives, and we need to learn about them. I think this is why our parents read us specific stories when we are young, that they know will teach us valuable life lessons that we will need later in life.


Human Geography – Will R

Geography is focused mainly on human migration, causes of migration and why some locations have larger populations than others. In Geography, it is usually hard to formulate false evidence unless you control the experiment. In any experiment in Geography, you need to have proof of whatever it is that you are doing research on. Most content in Human Geography is factual, like statistics on quality of life , or human rights around the world. However, people can formulate false results in Human Geography. If someone wrote a paper about water quality in a third-world country, and made a statement saying that no one in that country has access to quality water, but said it without doing actual research, people could start to believe that the statement is true, because they trust the person who wrote the article. If another scientist or person in a high position looked into the paper and proved that statement wrong, then the person who wrote the paper could have their career destroyed. To minimize this problem, people writing papers on Human Geography should always do proper research into what they are writing about, and have multiple colleagues fact check their paper.

I do believe that Human Geography is really scientific, because everything we learn about in Geography, like statistics, is proven facts and has been researched and studied by scientists and by organizations like the UN. I do think that some Human Sciences call themselves scientific to increase their credibility, but I do not believe that Geography is one of them.


emotion is one of the four ways of knowing, the others being language, reason and perception. an angry, frightened or infatuated person is not likely to be able to see clearly or reason well, and this is why we usually tell people to be reasonable, and not emotional. there are six basic emotions, also known as primary emotions, that are common everywhere. they are happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise and disgust.  when photographs of people showing these emotions are shown to people, they can identify without much thought the matching emotion, no matter where they are from. also, children who are born blind and deaf show these emotions, which means that people are born with them and not taught them. as well as primary emotions, we can experience social emotions like ambition, contempt, embarrassment, envy, gratitude and a lot more. because we have so much intelligence and imagination, we are able to anticipate and picture dangers far in the future. we worry about our final exams, or our basketball game a month from now, or our camping trip in the summer.

What I found most interesting about chapter 6 was the James-Lange theory. this theory says that emotions are pretty much physical in nature, and bodily changes come before, and cause, emotional changes. for examples, if you are feeling nervous for a baseball or basketball game, or an exam, your mouth will feel dry, you will have butterflies in your stomach, and your hands will be sweaty. if you remove all of these physical signs of being nervous, then you will not feel nervous anymore because there will be no physical sings that you are.

universal moral values

I think that there are universal moral values, because everybody has a sense of knowing what is right and what is wrong. Different cultures or different people may think different things are right and wrong, but they still think some things are right and some wrong. we argue and disagree so much about what is good and bad because for some things, there are blurry lines. If one person murders another person, they will go to jail, and they possibly could be executed by the state. this is murder, but some people do not think it is bad because the person murdered somebody and the state is just serving justice. The word fact can be applied to ethics, because some things are just a fact, like “murder is wrong”, and everybody knows it is wrong.


This theory tells us that altruism is the act of helping someone in a way that does not warrant any reward for helping them, or anything in return. For me, altruism is my favourite theory, because I think that people should always help other people and not expect a reward or to be recognized, just because it is the right thing to do.

the difference between right and wrong

From a young age, we are taught by our parents about what is right and what is wrong. Even when we are young, we know the difference between right and wrong because we see what our parents do, though when we are very young we cannot express how we feel. If someone sees something that they think or feel is wrong, they will most likely step in and fix the problem. For example, if someone is being bullied it is right to stand up for them, even if it may not make you the most popular person in school. When I was in grade 8, I saw a kid being bullied by other kids in his grade, and I went and got him out of that situation and hung out with him for the rest of lunch. I think that people know what is right or wrong because we are all born with ethics, and when we see something wrong something in our gut tells us it is wrong and we should do something about it.

unrepresentative sample

The definition of unrepresentative sample is that the sample used is very different from the population as a whole. For example: a lot of Canadians like hockey. That must mean that all Canadians like hockey. I chose this one because it shows that a lot of the time, people put groups of people, cultures, or things in one big box, like if one part of Canada normally votes mostly Liberal, then everyone in that part of Canada votes Liberal. That is probably not true, because everyone supports different political parties. The issue with unrepresentative sample is that it makes you think that everyone in Canada likes hockey, or everyone in the US is arrogant and does not care about the environment. This is a fallacy because it does not show that everyone has different personalities, and likes and dislikes, and instead it paints them all in the same colour.

Meno part 5

In part 5 of Plato’s Meno, Meno is still trying to find out whether virtue can be taught or not. Many times throughout part 5, Meno thinks he has found the solution to his problem, but when  Socrates keeps questioning him he realizes that he has not found the solution yet.

So our first duty is to look to ourselves, and try to find somebody
who will have some means or other of making us better. I say this with special reference to
our recent inquiry, in which I see that we absurdly failed to note that it is not only through
the guidance of knowledge that human conduct is right and good; and it is probably owing
to this that we fail to perceive by what means good men can be produced.

p. 41

In this passage I think that Socrates was telling Meno that we always have to try to find someone who has a way of making us better. Socrates also says that knowledge is not the only way that people act right and good. They still do not perceive how good men can be produced.

From Socrates telling him this, Meno comes up with the conclusion that if people do not understand what virtue is, virtue cannot be taught.

Meno Part 3-4 Will

The part that made me think the most about parts 3 and 4 of Plato’s Meno was when they discussed whether men can be good by nature or if they are taught to be good. I really paid attention to this part because I had to think about what I thought was good and what was not.

Then may we assert this as a universal rule, that in man all other things depend upon the
soul, while the things of the soul herself depend upon wisdom, if they are to be good; and
so by this account the profitable will be wisdom, and virtue, we say, is profitable? (32)

This is the quote that made me think a lot about whether we are born good or taught to be good. It also made me think a lot about whether if we have virtue, we can use it to our advantage by getting a good job. It could also help us make better life decisions in the future.

meno part 2 writhaler

In part  2 of Plato’s Meno, Meno and Socrates begin speaking about different topics, especially mathematical ideas that they try out on a boy who is Meno’s servant. the boy shows them that he understands the theories reasonably well, and Socrates comes up with a theory that suggests that the boy is in a “state of knowing”. Socrates thinks that the boy did not learn geometry, he just always knew how to do it:

Now if he always had it, he was always in a state of knowing; and if he acquired it all some
time, he could not have acquired it in this life. Or has someone taught him geometry? You
see, he can do the same as this with all geometry and every branch of knowledge. Now,
can anyone have taught him all this? You ought surely to know, especially as he was born
and bred in your house(p. 27).

This quotation adds to and supports the theory of being in a State of Knowing. A second topic which they speak about was how the boy was positive that his answer was the right one and showed that he was positive even if he did not fully know the answer. Most people who are not quite sure of their answer still do this today. We do our best to answer to the best of our ability, and we answer with confidence and self-assuredness. They also talk about how inquiring after what we do not know will make us better and braver and less helpless(28).



























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Meno Part 1

My understanding of part one of Plato’s Meno is the focus on virtue. Meno asks Socrates whether virtue can be taught and acquired through practice. At the beginning of the script, Meno is confident that he knows what virtue is and that virtue will change, depending on whether the person is a man or a woman, their class, or role in society, and their age.

Why, there is no difficulty, Socrates, in telling. First of all, if you take the virtue of a man, it is easily stated that a man’s virtue is this—that he be competent to manage the affairs of his city, and to manage them so as to benefit his friends and harm his enemies, and to take care to avoid suffering harm himself. Or take a woman’s virtue: there is no difficulty in describing it as the duty of ordering the house well, looking after the property indoors, and obeying her husband. And the child has another virtue—one for the female, and one for the male; and there is another for elderly men—one, if you like, for freemen, and yet another for slaves. And there are very many other virtues besides, so that one cannot be at a loss to explain what virtue is; for it is according to each activity and age that every one of us, in whatever we do, has his virtue; and the same, I take it, Socrates, will hold also of vice. (p. 2).

This excerpt from the script shows me that Meno is very confident in his understanding and comprehension of virtue. As I read this, it confused me a bit. I think Socrates will continue to explain to Meno what virtue is, in a way to help him and myself to understand the idea better. Something else that Socrates did which I thought was very smart was that Socrates would not tell the answer to Meno in a straightforward way, but instead he would ask him a question in order to make Meno actually think instead of just being told the answer. By doing this, Meno has to look at all the different views and perspectives of the idea to help him solve the problem, instead of just his own.