Achilles And The Tortoise Paradox

Salutations.

It has been a while since I have gone off on a random tangent, so here we are. Today we are going to be learning about a very old paradox which was proposed by a fifteenth century BCE Greek philosopher named Zeno

The Paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise is one of a number of theoretical discussions of movement put forward by the Greek philosopher Zeno of Elea in the 5th century BC. It begins with the great hero Achilles challenging a tortoise to a footrace. To keep things fair, he agrees to give the tortoise a head start of, say, 500m. When the race begins, Achilles unsurprisingly starts running at a speed much faster than the tortoise, so that by the time he has reached the 500m mark, the tortoise has only walked 50m further than him. But by the time Achilles has reached the 550m mark, the tortoise has walked another 5m. And by the time he has reached the 555m mark, the tortoise has walked another 0.5m, then 0.25m, then 0.125m, and so on. This process continues again and again over an infinite series of smaller and smaller distances, with the tortoise always moving forwards while Achilles always plays catch up.

Logically, this seems to prove that Achilles can never overtake the tortoise—whenever he reaches somewhere the tortoise has been, he will always have some distance still left to go no matter how small it might be. Except, of course, we know intuitively that he can overtake the tortoise. The trick here is not to think of Zeno’s Achilles Paradox in terms of distances and races, but rather as an example of how any finite value can always be divided an infinite number of times, no matter how small its divisions might become.

If you would like to learn more about the Achilles and the tortoise paradox, then I would suggest watching this video or checking out this link. It will give you a good depth of understanding about how this paradox still impacts us today.

It’s mPOL Season


Salutations

Welcome to my mid-year Presentation Of Learning

I have decided to organize this mPOL presentation in the form of an elevator pitch. What is an elevator pitch you may ask? Good question. The motive of an elevator pitch is to efficaciously discuss a motive to an audience in the amount of time in which you you may be together in an elevator. In this case, you are my audience and I am the presenter discussing my aptitude in PLP. It would be nifty, and yes, I am choosing that word for a reason, if we were to ignore the fact that my elevator pitch will take seven minutes.

Elevator pitch

Who am I. At first, this question may seem simple. I could tell you that my name is Ally, I am fourteen years old in human years, that I have a fondness for Shakespearean comedies and a natural inclination towards online cat videos. All of the latter statements are true, yet they are only skimming the surface of my true self. Yet, who is this true self? How can I harness a full understanding to adapt, and exercise my fundamental qualities? The answer to these questions lie in my identity. This brings me to my first subject of the night. Humanities. If I were to refer to the core competencies, then I would be able to tell that my strongest competency in this subject is comprehending. I have shown my aptitude for it in Alberta, while we were investigating identity. I am able to comprehend historical significance, as well as motives in a historical context.

Conversely, I could have improved on identifying continuity and change. We practiced this competency while in Alberta, instilling our accumulated knowledge in the final Alberta video. Although I had a great understanding of continuity and change, and I am able to define it as well as iterate it in the project, I had could have improved at identifying it in historical contexts. I will be the first to admit that history is not my strongest subject, but that does not limit to what extent I am able to learn. The fact that I didn’t immediately excel at this competency drove me to practice, and improve. We can see the final progress in my Alberta video, where I made the point of accentuating it. Throughout the course of the past semester, I have discovered my strengths and my weaknesses. I have used applied methods, expanded out of my comfort zone and always gone the extra mile to ensure that I am proud of the final product.


Almost exactly one year ago, I set a goal for myself in my eighth grade mPOL to develop confidence in my work, and gain a positive outlook on critique. Since January last year, I have practiced, reflected, and faced many difficult barriers which have taught me to adapt and change my work style. This includes seeking help from either my parents or my peers. So far, I have seen a noticeable change in the quality of my work.

We see the same thing if we consider Scimatics. I would consider Scimatics to be one of my stronger subjects this year. I don’t say this because I believe that I have aced every project. The noticeable difference that I see between this subject and others is the confidence that I feel when I walk into the classroom. Considering this, I have set a higher bar for myself when it comes to project outcomes. Unfortunately, this means that I disappoint myself more than is necessary. Take our chemistry unit, where we studied and learned about the topic of chemical bonding. The competency which we were being judged on was communicating and representing. Our final product was a video that showed our understanding by creating a story that showed the bonding process. I understood this competency. I decided to extend my learning and make the task more difficult by assigning characters to the chemicals and creating an entire reality TV show. The mistake that I made was getting too exited about the project, and forgetting the real purpose of the video: showing the bonding process. Nonetheless, I was disappointed with my grade which brings me to the next mistake that I made. Wallowing. My grade is not going to change itself, and as Mr Hughes always says, “at the end, everything will be alright. If it is not alright, then it is not the end”. I need to rethink how I am acting towards my grades, and whether I am here simply because I want straight As or because I actually want to learn. And as we know, failure is a crucial part of the learning process.

As many intelligent people will tell you, we must become accustomed to failing. I wish that I could snap my fingers and make that come true. But unfortunately this is not the Matrix and I am not Neo. I need an action plan. I have set up what I like to call the “failure February”. Despite it’s depressing name, I believe that this project could turn around my mindset when it comes to failing. Every day in February, I am going to try something new, such as starting a new passion project, or signing up for a new club. I believe that if I get exposure outside of what I know and trust that I will be able to more easily seize opportunities, and develop the ability to cope with failure as well as a stronger sense of self.

On the flip side, there are several Scimatics competencies which I see myself excelling in. Take processing and analyzing for instance. The project that we used to show our understanding of this competency was the exponents project. My partner and I used information that we had learned as well as advanced research to extend beyond what was necessary. I know that I am able to analyze a problem, and use the techniques that I have learned to solve it. Last year, in my mPOL I discussed how I was disappointed in myself for not always getting questions correct. This links back to my innate fear of failure. In the future, I will make sure that I always leave time on my schedule to review my work, so that I have more confidence while submitting my work.

Likewise, we also see some big goals when we consider Maker. The aim of our Maker projects in 2019 have been video skills, including cinematography and mood. A competency that I excelled at was being an active digital citizen. I have shown this through several projects, such as my revolution novel study project. I decided to use the resource at hand, which was my iPad, and reach out to the author to receive answers to my questions. I always take care to make sure that I am being an ethical digital citizen, and that I am being safe while online.

On the flip side, not everything has been dandy, yes, I am using that word for a reason. I have struggled when it comes to certain competencies, particularly being an empowered learner. When I first looked at my progress tracker, and saw a sun beside the empowered learner competency, I was surprised to say the least. I would have thought that this competency was a strength of mine, allowing me to draw the logical conclusion that I have not been showing my fluency in it. I know that I am an empowered learner. I am curious, dedicated and motivated to always do my best. I plan on dedicating time in each of my future Maker blog posts to discussing how I used my abilities as an empowered learner to turn that sun into a rainbow.

Last, but certainly not least I would like us to turn to PGP. In my eighth grade mPOL I discussed the interrelatedness between my PGP goals and this quote, yet the genius of Mr Yogi Berra is too scintillating to be referenced only once. 90% of the game is half mental. Adhering to Mr Berra’s wise words, the competency which I show strength in in thinking. My stye of work has always involved planning the entire essay word for word in my head before I ever touch a keyboard. This competency works well for me in the classroom, and has shone through in my work such as our Alberta reflective post. I showed a depth of understanding which demonstrates how actively I think about the work at hand.

On the contrary, certain competencies do not come as naturally such as revising. I am going to regret saying this later, but my work style had never involved revising. Everything received by my teachers and parents had been a paragraphed formulated in my head, and then typed out. As I have learned from experience, especially in such a confusing time for me as a person, I can not always rely on my head to produce a perfect paragraph. This is where revising will come in handy. Once I develop better work habits, which I can receive with the help of my parents and teachers, I will be unstoppable.


In short, I have demonstrated skill and mastery of many competencies within the first half of my grade 9 year. Good examples of this are my Alberta video, my revolution Podcast and my Chemistry stories reality TV show. Yet, there are many areas of weaknesses, which all seem to link back to my work habits. I have set a plan to abolish them completely, yet I may need the support of my friends, family and teachers to say goodbye to them for good. I have confidence that I will be able to do this by the time I report back for tPOLs, as I have developed the necessary skills to be an extending learner. Good work habits will help as a base to let them shine through for the world to see. To conclude this elevator pitch, I would like to leave you with a poem composed by yours truly.

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of the classroom, 
And conversed with my peers on habits and goals;
The summit to which I climbed using skills and self worth –
and done a hundred things you could not dreamed of –
Failed and learned and swung high in the classroom jeer.
Hovering there I’ve chased the person who stole my Apple Pencil
and posted my eager craft for all to see.

Up, up the long delirious trail
I’ve accomplished incredible heights with ease and grace,
where I never thought I could fly;
and, while with silent, reflective thought I have written 
the high un-trespassed sanctity of potential
put out my hand for the leap of faith into the unknown

Before I conclude this pitch, I would like to ask you one question. In this oncoming time of DI, I know that several subjects are going to clash. How would you suggest that I prioritize my work?

Thank you for attending my TED talk.

May The Force Be With You (Humanities)

Salutations

A long time ago, on a planet far far away we began the relapse of what  is called the “Winter Exhibition”. I apologize for how long and overdue this moment has been, so take a picture. Make it last. On a more serious note, I have been quite preoccupied lately. Let me re-stride this metaphorical wave of inspiration. (This, ladies and gentlemen is a scintillating example of why one should never give me access to a keyboard. The results are catastrophic to say the least.) To warm up towards this subject, I figured that it would be helpful to rejig my outlook on the situation. Pop quiz hot shots, how do we do this? if you responded with “by telling jokes”, then congratulations you have officially earned my respect. I would have also accepted Seth MacFarlane and cat videos. 

Luke and Obi-Wan walk into a Chinese restaurant. Ten minutes into the meal, Luke’s still having trouble with the chopsticks, dropping food everywhere. Obi-Wan finally snaps, “Use the forks, Luke.”


How might we build an interactive exhibit which explains the hero’s journey? This was the question that drove the following project. Our task was to refine our story telling skills in the form of a short story that conveyed the evolution of an unlikely hero. Our final product would be an interactive exhibit that brings the driving question to life, including theatrical elements, a creation of our choosing and a full repertoire of the entire journey. For my group, our planet of setting was Endor. By group I mean my assembly of trustee peers, Liam, Kaia, Rhiann, Ryan, Ben and Asha. By the end of this project, my goal was to have a deeper understanding of literature techniques, and to have the ability to identify them. How did I do this? The answer lies in the core competencies, as well as in my final product.

 

CORE COMPETENCIES

Expressing and Supporting Opinions 

Express an opinion and support it with credible evidence.
This competency was interwoven throughout this project. Although, I believe that the best example of my work using this ISTE standard was the movie review post. I did not have any experience with writing a persuasive essay. The thought of doing so was daunting, as I knew that I could support a case in person, yet how could I do that in my writing? In class, we practiced doing this, using credible evidence and writing techniques. I practiced this competency on my parents as well. When the time came to write our movie reviews, it felt natural to sit down and discuss my subject. I developed confidence in this competency, and I am finding myself using it in my daily life.

Evidence

Assess the justification for competing historical accounts after investigating points of contention, reliability of sources, and adequacy
of evidence.
Although as I mentioned in my previous paragraph on expressing and supporting an opinion, I have used evidence both audible, visual and researched to do all of my work. When I have a quote to support the work that I am doing, I feel much more confident in the final product. I found this competency to be very useful when it came to building our design. On Endor lies many lush environments, and to replicate them in our room at the Winter Exhibition would be difficult, yet very rewarding. We used research and evidence to create the floor plan for what would be our exhibition room. My team for this particular assignment included Liam, Kaia, Rhiann, Ryan, Ben and Asha. I found myself learning and benefitting from not only the research, but the process. I would say that researching has inspired me to change and mould my work ethic. Am I proud of how I worked with those competency? Yes. Do I believe that I took my learning to the next level by implementing it into my daily life and changing my habits as a result of being inspired by it? Yes.

Literary Identification and Analysis

Recognize  how literary elements, techniques, and devices enhance and shape meaning.
Using our understanding of literary terms and devices, we completed a short story analysis test. To be blunt about it, I could have done better on this test. I did think that I was fully prepared, as in I had read every book, completed every work sheet, done every enhancing questionnaire, created flash cards and quizzed myself. I used study techniques that helped me comprehend not only what literary identification is, but how it works. The pros of this milestones were that I identified an excellent study technique, I prepared myself well, and I now have a full understanding of literary identification and analysis. On the dark side, I had not prepared for a dominant part of the quiz, which would be free answer. When I opened the quiz, I was startled to say the least. Fortunately, all of that studying came in handy as what I was not aware of was that it was also helping me form opinions and use my knowledge to support using evidence. Overall, the literary test went well.

The Writing Process 

Transform ideas and information, using appropriate features, forms, and genres, through the writing process to plan, create, assess, and refine original, engaging, and meaningful literary and informational texts for a variety of purposes, audiences, and messages while using an increasing repertoire of conventions (Canadian spelling, grammar, and punctuation) and appropriate citations for clarity, effectiveness, and impact.
While writing my story, which used this competency, I had a variety of things to consider. Was I using proper grammar? Was it meaningful and engaging? Who was my audience? What purpose would it serve? What sources did I need to site? How many rounds of critique did my story need to go through to be passable as a short story? To say the least, I answered all of these questions. The questions themselves were the simple part. Iterating the answers did not come as easily as I had expected. I used other competencies that I had already developed an understanding of such as using evidence, and literary analysis. My story developed from good, to better, to outstanding all thanks to the people who helped me. When I first wrote my story, it was ok. Not my finest piece of work. I will go more in-depth about it later in this blog post, but a key price of information which helped it improve was the fact that I asked for help. Yes, you heard that right. Asking for help has always been one of my weaknesses, despite the fact that it comes very naturally to some people. My story was read by my group, my family, my friends, my neighbours, my extended family, etc. In total, I received 8 rounds of critique on my story. In my opinion, this is an excellent example of the writing process. I overcame a urge obstacle in order to complete this competency well, and I am proud of that.

Creating and Extending Shared Understanding

Exchange ideas and viewpoints to build shared understanding and extend thinking.
Using my understanding of the hero’s journey, I completed a graphic organizer that prepared me for story creation. I used my peers, and their knowledge to enhance my story graph. By doing this, we were creating and extending a shared understanding. It helped us moving forward as we created our stories, decorated our room and presented our findings. I am truly thankful for how well my group worked together, as we truly did extend our learning.
The monomyth, or the hero's journey, is the common template of a broad category of tales and lore that involves a hero who goes on an adventure, and in a decisive crisis wins a victory, and then comes home changed or transformed.

Milestones

Considering that there were six milestones in this project, I have selected my top three favourite that show the creation process of my story.
Star Wars opinion piece
This was not my best work, to say the least. I selected this milestone as an example of my work because it shows the greatest growth from all of the competencies. I did not receive feedback on this essay that I was happy about. In my opinion, I could have improved this by proof reading multiple times. In reflection, this would have upped my chances of getting better recognition for the writing statement. Nonetheless, all of my ideas were present on the page, in a well laid out manner. I was rattled at the fact that I did not do as well as I had hoped, but in many respects it was a good thing. It opened room for improvement, and motivated me to go further.

First page of my post

A movie review post
As I have already discussed in this blog post, I completed a movie review post which I have submitted in a New York Times writing contest. I was proud of this work because it demonstrated how well I understand creative writing, and how I have implemented strategies to enhance it. This milestone built off the previous one, in the sense that I saw great improvement. The paragraph was shorter, snappier, and overall more satisfying to read. Do I think that it was my best work? No. But am I proud of it? To a certain extent. Here, we tolerate nothing but the epitome of my work.

Endorian ecosystem

Exhibition presentation
The infamous day finally rolled around. It was time to decorate our room, prepare our tables and lay our the completed story for all to see. By this time, I had used all of the competencies in this project, and it was time for me to proudly display my work. But the work never ends. I used these skills even while presenting, and I am using them now while writing this blog post. I presented well, I used my effective communication skills to convey the point. On the day of, I even decided to create a mind map that shows the brainstorming behind my idea. The full story was on display for all to see, and I received good feedback from those who read it.

The process

My first draft of the story was interesting to say the least. Beginning with what was done well, I think that I had effectively delivered an image of the scene by using description. I had balanced out the mood of the scene by using humour, and foreshadowing what would come. The critique that I received was to connect this portion of the story with the rest, as it was a very small and contained moment.
In the second draft of my story, I improved how my story connected to those of others. I did this by communicating with my teammates and using a web of my creation to fit the pieces of my story together. The critique that. Received throughout the next couple of rounds said that it had improved greatly. Now, I needed to focus on shortening my chapter
In the third draft, I used past critique and shortened my portion of the story. The deadline was arriving rapidly, which is why I only had time to complete one more draft amongst the sea of other projects. To date, this was my favourite draft of the story. Still, it could have been improved.
I had done it. Small scraps fell daintily from the sky, covering the ground like a blanket. Remains of what were once ominous white storm troopers now lay at my feet, converted to fragments. Only several seconds ago, the planet was lit up, vibrating with terror. Now, it was silent. Even the birds were quiet. No one dared make a sound. I knelt down slowly to feel the thin shards between my fingers. As I did so, the thought finally settled in. I had done it. The troopers had turned around and left Endor. Without warning, I let out a big whoop. I, Nicki, had diverted the empire. The thought was so foreign and discombobulated. The moments was surreal. After only a few seconds, the low chime of the lantern pierced the silence, and soon, the vibrant sounds of the forest returned. The rustles of the Quarfs recommenced, and the high vibrato of the Fircles singing made me smile. My home was still here, and I was part of the reason why. I slowly balanced back onto my heels, and rocked myself back onto my feet. There was a faint throbbing in my knee, but it was overshadowed by the glowing sense of pride that crept up from my core and through my heart and cheeks. I took one last look at the wreck that stood in front of me; heaps of the leftover storm craft, and dark swirling liquid all covered in a thin bed of metal where what was once the launch pad stood. Beyond that lay the lush, green forests of Endor, sprinkled with golden sunlight. I turned my head, and began the trek back to Bright Tree. I needed to inform C-3PO that the ships were gone. As I walked, I could not disguise the elated sense that spread through me. I did cartwheels, and spins and flips with a smile on my face that shone brighter than sunlight. And then, I rammed face first into a tree. Slyly pulling a thorn from my chin, I let out a laugh. As I continued to walk, golden soupy sunlight began to filter through the Cedars. The pungent smell of gas dissipated the further the distance I put between myself and the wreckage. The walk towards the village lay ahead of me, which gave me several minutes to reflect on what had just happened. Had I done the right thing? After several minutes, I pushed aside a fern and Bright Tree came into sight. At the ridge amongst the beds of Sparkle Seed that grow in the hollows next to a crystal brook stood C-3PO and a small blue box that seemed to be the source of some beeping noise. The box had the symbols R2-D2 scrolled across it’s back. I walked with a spring in my step up to the peak of the ridge, where C-3PO greeted me. “Greetings, Nicki. I see that you have successfully diverted the imperial vessels, and the storm troops have rerouted from Endor. Congratulations.” I beamed. “Thank you very much, it-“ I was interrupted by a sharp whirr from R2-D2, which was quickly followed by a red light. C-3PO twisted his head to that he faced the blue box, to which he said “Excuse me Nicki, it is a message from the alliance.” The beeps and whirs of the blue box were now replaced with a dainty, melodic voice. “C-3PO, we have successfully disabled the shields and we suggest that you and R2-D2 return to the ship”. “Thank you Lea.” replied C-3PO. “Nicki, it has been a pleasure meeting you, and I would like to thank you for contributing your knowledge of this planet. Now we must be off”. With that, he began to walk over the crest of the hill, followed by R2-D2. The two slowly faded into the distance, the tall slender body of C-3PO sharply contrasting the rectilinear shape of R2-D2. The further away they got, the more I became conscience of the irking pain in my knee. Finally, just as strangely as they had appeared, the pair disappeared over the crest, and through the greenery. I could have stayed, and I would have seen an inauspicious grey ship shaped like a comet lower it’s doors with a puff to C-3PO and R2-D2. But I turned around. Ahead of me lay the bright spance of Endor, dull golden sunlight slowly washing over the rolling hills. I didn’t look back, not even as the ship rumbled, and gusts of air flattened the grass. Not even as the shrill whine increased, and the ship disappeared. No, I couldn’t do that. The world of the rebels had only temporarily collided with mine. I belonged here, on Endor. Besides, I had some unfinished business with Wicket.
Finally, I finished the final draft of my story. It shows tremendous improvement, and how I incorporated the core competencies into the creation process. I used all of the feedback that I received on my first draft, and even related a custom story cover for the book.

In short, I think that this exhibition went well. I am not just saying this for the record. I genuinely grew as a learner, instilled all of the competencies and extended beyond my own expectations. My favourite activity in this project was Milestone 5, our story. I thought that I took advantage of the time that I had, which allowed me to tackle a personal issue as well as finish the project at hand. I did have issues when it came to the literacy test, but my progress and preparation was something to be proud of. In hindsight, I could have gone to visit a teacher about the material of the test. Next time, I will make sure that I do this. I decided to take a step further with this project by creating a cover for my book at using all of the given resources at hand. Not only did I get the job accomplished, but I exceeded my own expectations which is perhaps the best feeling in the world. I will walk away from this project with renewed confidence in my abilities when it comes to Humanities, as well as many tips and study tricks to use in the future. I even have more insight on my own hero’s journey, and how I will be able to overcome just like the character in our story.

I have also created a blog post on the Maker portion of this assignment which I will link here.

Lesson of the day: revise and reiterate. This project taught me that one draft is never enough, which will be a valuable lesson for the future.

”Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening and goodnight” – The Truman

Na·tion·al·ism

Salutations!

It is that time of year! I am in high spirits because today marks the end of perhaps one of my favourite projects this year.

We recently finished our “Straight flowin’ / while I am scrolling” project. This scheme gave us an in-depth understanding of historical significance, nationalism, memes, and the path of adaption of ideas overtime, which in turn gives us a better understanding of the correlation between pride and conflict.

This blog post is by no means my final reflection on the process. I am under the impression that I have a deeper understanding of historical significance and miming than I do when it comes to nationalism. The following blog post contains exerts from multiple articles and research papers that I read on the topic of nationalism.

Nationalism is a key component of our identity

The dictionary's definition of the word seems innocent enough: a person devoted to nationalism (the devotion and loyalty to one's own country). But make no mistake about it. Nationalist is a loaded and controversial term. It dates back to the 17th century and rose into prominence during the uprisings in the 18th century that produced the American and French revolutions. But the word attained more of a negative connotation during the 20th century as it become associated with the nationalism movements in Europe that helped lead to World War I and World War II. Today the word is often associated with the far-right, racist ideologies of white nationalists. There are different definitions depending on whose nationalism you're talking about," Paul D. Miller, a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council's Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, told CNN. "Scholars generally differentiate between civic and ethnic/sectarian nationalism, that is, between rooting American identity in the ideals of the American experiment versus rooting it in some aspect of our culture, heritage, history, language or ethnicity. Civic nationalism is the same as what I would call patriotism, and it is essential to a healthy democracy. The second kind of nationalism — sectarian nationalism — is pernicious and dangerous."

Overtime, our perception of the word nationalism has changed. Especially because of the dawning age of Donald Trump, the word nationalism has come to mean a whole new thing. Here is an exert of a CNN article titles “The Definition of a Nationalist

During a rally Monday night in Texas, President Donald Trump used a word he had never before uttered publicly to describe himself: nationalist.
After telling the crowd that a globalist is someone who “wants the globe to do well” at the expense of the country, Trump made it clear he’s not one of those.
“You know what I am, I’m a nationalist. Use that word,” he roared, as the crowd erupted in cheers of “USA! USA!”

We are able to see acts of nationalism through the ages if we examine a historically significant moment very closely. For instance, take the rise of Greek nationalism. The war of Greek independence was by no mean an isolated event. In fact, the Greek effort to free themselves from Ottoman rule was influenced by the ideology of nationalism. 

Greek nationalism

Before the rise of nationalism, most Europeans lived in large, multiethnic states, such as the Austrian, Russian, and Ottoman Empires, or much smaller states within ethnically similar regions. Monarchs or religious leaders whose legitimacy often derived from claims to a divine right ruled these states. But the revolutions in America and France in the late 18th century demonstrated that a state could instead derive its legitimacy from the consent of its citizens. The idea of a nation-state, a country with a unified national identity and clear territorial boundaries, was thus popularized and inspired nationalist movements across the world. As nationalism spread, nation-states emerged from the decline of larger empires and the unification of smaller states.

Ironically, the Ottoman Empire gave the Greeks the rights required to self-identify as a nation state. The Greek elite held prominent roles in the parliamentary system, and even had the right, that back in the day was a liberty, to dictate their own child’s education. Nationalism is still an influential ideology today. Kurdish, Basque, Tibetan, and Chechen nationalist movements have had an enormous impact on international politics, and new states like South Sudan continue to show the appeal of the nation-state as a form of government.

As we can observe, nationalism used to be a term that was revered. It signified liberty and pride in one’s culture. Yet, throughout the coming of different eras, advancements in minorities lifestyles have come to discourage certain types of nationalism. We no longer give the power to white men who want to revel in how amazing they are while they oppress a race of people. Certain nations who hold a dark past are discouraged from showing nationalism. From certain perspectives, this is a good thing. And from others, it is not. The decision as to whether nationalism should be supported or silenced is ongoing, and because of how many varying perspectives are participating in the conversation, we may never come to a consensus. 


A fascinating example of nationalism was information that I have pulled from an article from BCC News titled “Schools in France Display Flag In Classroom”. By hanging flags on the wall, France is supporting it’s country, and showing pride. This gives the children in schools a stronger sense of nationality. In this case, it is beneficial. In other cases, perhaps not. Take nationalism in the age of Trump. This term became a flash point because it was claimed by President Trump during a stump speech in Texas on Monday. That alone means people are likely to argue about it.

But the president said Tuesday he was a “proud” nationalist, and he used it to contrast himself with previous presidents who negotiated trade deals, arms agreements and immigration laws — all of which involve the interests of other nations in addition to our own.
Trump has made it his business to repudiate all of the above. He often recounts how he has complimented leaders of Japan and China and other world powers on their pursuit of their national interest. We should be more assertive about serving our own, he says.

Pop quiz. Why is this behaviour dangerous? Other nationalist nations will also think highly of themselves, as they should. When Trump claimed that he was not receiving the respect with which he is offering, that will result in other nations repenting. This is a good example of when nationalism can lead to conflict. 

Whether you are a firm believer in nationalism, or a holder of the mindset that nationalism holds toxicity as a wide lifestyle, we all hold these opinions for a reason. The variety when it comes to these opinions is arguably what fuels change and improvement in our society.

In short, nationalism, which is a public display of pride for ones nation, can be a driving force, while in other cases it can cause conflict. In extremist cases, nationalism can lead to war, which has been illustrated in revolutions throughout the years such as the Italian unification and the Greek revolution. Each and every one of us hold a different perspective on the significance of these events, using it as a source of information which will offer the answer as to whether nationalism is right or wrong. I am not about to go off on a philosophical tangent, yet how are we able to define right or wrong when the idea itself is subjective. I am not sure how nationalism may apply to your life, and I am not able to govern it for you (cough* Cecil Rhodes *cough). Although I may not know how you embrace nationalism, I know how I do. I show pride for my country and identity. Since we began doing this project, I have become much more aware of how nationalism leaves a lasting impact on my life. I am fascinated by the subject, and I hope to pursue it further into the future. 

If you have stuck with my throughout this lengthy tangent, then you deserve an award. Until next time folks.

Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening and goodnight” – The Truman Show

Dark Energy and Reflections Upon My Existence

Salutations

Greetings, and welcome back to yet another lengthy blog post. I am currently typing this because I have managed to work myself into a funk about the endless winding road that is PLP reflections. Don’t get me wrong, undertaking this procedure is essential to the learning operation. Although 54 blog posts into my second high school year? That is approximately 30 blog posts in my eighth grade year, and seeing as there are 10 months of school that brings us to a sum total of three blog posts every month, which is equal to one every ten days. Sitting down in the same location, beginning with the same opening sentence and ending line has me yearning for a more purposeful reflection method.

I am currently procrastinating completing two different blog posts and all of the work that they entail. Seeing as this is the case, I have decided to do twenty minute of research on the modern knowledge of dark energy. I hope this pleases you folks. Enjoy my weapon of mass procrastination.

Dark Energy is a hypothetical form of energy that exerts a negative, repulsive pressure, behaving like the opposite of gravity. It has been hypothesised to account for the observational properties of distant type Ia supernovae, which show the universe going through an accelerated period of expansion. Like Dark Matter, Dark Energy is not directly observed, but rather inferred from observations of gravitational interactions between astronomical objects.

Proportion of matter in Universe

Schematic representation of the total mass-energy density in the universe.
Credit: Swinburne

Dark Energy makes up 72% of the total mass-energy density of the universe. The other dominant contributor is Dark Matter, and a small amount is due to atoms or baryonic matter.

In 1998 two teams of astronomers announced that distant, z~1 type Ia supernovae were slightly too faint than model predictions of an expanding (yet slowing) universe. To be fainter, the supernovae must be farther away and this requires that the expansion of the Universe was slower in the past. Both teams agreed that the universe is going through a phase of accelerated expansion. Dark Energy was invoked to drive this acceleration.

Ok I am still not in the mood to work, although a stress-free weekend is calling my name. If you happen to be one of the few people reading this before it is archived, then congratulations and welcome to the elite.

“Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening and goodnight” – The Truman Show

Tiktok On The Clock

Salutations

You must be wondering why a plebeian like myself is posting about such an app. After all, an application overrun by teenagers willing to ruin themselves for minute of fame and 12 year olds who manage zodiac sign accounts isn’t amongst my wavelength. Although, there is a lot to be said for the transitional format, and how it reflects centuries of conceptualization and deliberation. First things first. What is Tiktok? Traditionally, Tiktok can be perceived as a social media platform that allows viewers to create, comment and like 15 second videos. The app was an offspring of the myth that was once Musical.ly. Eventually, Musical.ly was bought by a Chinese company called Bytedance. The app was rebranded, and the mainframe was recoded. On August 1st, the young demographic of North American children went to sleep with Musical.ly, and they woke up on the morning of August 2 with Tiktok. Fun fact, this happens to be my birthday. 

How is this relevant, you may ask? PLP has embarked on another endeavour. The subject of this project? How can we use current memes to comment on the significance and consequences of nationalism around the world. In order to illustrate this, we must familiarize ourselves with the algorithm and trends of Tiktok. Because, incredible as it seems, we are able to see mirrored and mimetic elements in the vitality of videos today, which connects all the way back to the age of colonialism. What is the key between these two vastly different eras? Nationalism, and the spreading of ideas.

One of the most fascinating aspects of Tiktok is just how easy and naturally it allows the fusion of ideas. For instance, in October a Tiktoker called Danielle Cohn posted a video of herself dancing. Shortly after, that video went viral. And following suite came the meme videos. The meme videos soon morphed into another style of video that made jokes at the expense of the meme videos. This is a good example of the process of virality. But does this process remind you of anything? That’s right! The process of virality is not unlike Darwin’s theory of evolution.

In the 1950s, a man named Richard Dawkins hypothesized that the life on a meme was much like that of survival of the fittest. As time progresses, a meme changes overtime because of all of the different minds that are reiterating it. Much like weak species that are no longer fit for a habitat, memes die. The ONLY was that a meme is able to survive the turbulence of social media is by adapting and changing.


In the classroom, we were challenged with creating three different Tiktoks with a group of friends. One of these was required to be a dance video, one of them a special feature and yet another a meme. This is a compilation of the five videos created by Alex, Julia, Kaia and I.

Tiktok #1, the renegade

The renegade was a dance trend that was originally popularized by teenager Charli D’Amelio. The dance is very catchy, and a great example to what lengths people will dedicate themselves in order to learn a trend. 

Tiktok #2, Canada check

Canada check is a grand that allows video creators to flex their nationality as a Canadian. We were inspired by videos that were shown in class, and decided to do our own spin on it. Fun fact, as Julia and Alex made a fool out of themselves in the snow our principal was watching us. In retrospect we could have asked him to join us, but as it was we were in a prettified state. And they all lived happily ever after. 

Tiktok #3, the hype house

If you do not know what this Tiktok is referencing, then boy do I have a surprise for you. The hype house is a large estate in Los Angeles that is home to perhaps 20 of Tiktok’s biggest stars. People such as Lil Huddy, Bryce Hall, Dixie D’Amelio and Addison Easterling have all convened and decided to spend their collective pay checks on an unfurnished mansion. What better way to spend your money? The main characters in this Tiktok are the females of the hype house, and how they are under siege in a reign of terror all thanks to our favourite spaghetti noodle, Lil Huddy.

Tiktok #4, the special effect

This was a twist that we put on the very popular dance. I really enjoyed this video especially because I thought that the idea itself was a level above dimply doing a dance. 

Tiktok #5, the PLP class

This particular Tiktok could probably crack a laugh out of a PLP student, although others perhaps not so much. This is the accident that we made with this  meme. It solely targets one audience meaning that others are not able to see it and reiterate it. It states a fact, a fact that only certain people are able to understand.


Overall, I have benefitted from spending time in the online world. I do not use social media, and I found it quite amusing to immerse myself in a space where teenagers state their thought process. They do this because of the lack of consequences. After all, millions of videos are uploaded every day meaning that you can say or do anything without reading the consequences. The question is, is your content related to by others? Will it survive the stampede that is becoming a meme? This is where survival of the fittest comes into play. One day I would like to be able to sit down and fully comprehend and sift through the frightening space that it my For You Page. Until then, I am happy sitting through the amusing outlook of my peers. 

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening and goodnight” – the Truman show