Visual Poem

TOK Picture Poem

Language is a Way of Knowing


“Man is the animal that speaks. Understanding language is thus the key to understanding man” – Thomas Szasz

I think this quote is suggesting that people need to understand language for the level of complexity understanding man requires.

“Who does not know another language does not know his own” – Goethe

This quote seems to be saying that we cannot know our own language without first perfecting our own. It seems to be supporting the study of native languages and only when it is perfect, a person can learn another language.

Linking Questions:

PERCEPTION: How does language affect the way we see things, and vice versa? How does written language affect knowledge differently than spoken language?

 Language is the only way of two people communicating complex ideas. It makes the world more open to other’s thoughts and opinions. Without being able to communicate with one another, people would perceive the world limited to their own ideas.

Written language has a different impact that spoken language in a number of ways. Usually spoken language is more personal because you can hear the other person’s tone instead of perceiving words written in generic letters. However written language can be personal with symbols such as a heart. ❤️

TECHNOLOGY: How are programming languages like other languages? How have tech innovations altered the way we communicate with language?

Programming languages are very much other languages in the sense that they give commands and tell (the computer) how to do things. Computer languages alike with human languages have a certain syntax and right way of communicating.

Tech innovations have altered our ways of communication mainly with the invention of emojis. The started as the use of existing characters to make faces that express emotion, like “:-)” but they then evolved into picture characters called emojis. They look like “😊”.

Blog Questions:

1. How much could you know about the world if you had no language or means of communicating with other people?

I believe that it is very possible to know about the world even without any means of communication. Evidence of this is animals such as pets. They seem to be intelligent and learn however they do not have language and are barely able to communicate with humans. Even though people think in language, this does not mean that we need language to think and learn.

2. What are some examples of words that have entered the English language as a result of the computer revolution?

Internet, Ethernet, Java, Bluetooth, Hypertext, Touchscreen, Trackpad, Curser

3. Try to define as precisely as possible these words: a. triangle    b. love     c. table  What is the difference? Which was easiest to define?

Triangle: A shape made up of three straight lines, with three points.

Love: A deep emotional and sometimes sexual bond to another person.

Table: A raised, usually flat surface made for placing items while the user either sits or stands.

4. How would you try to explain to a blind person what the word RED means? What does this suggest to you about the limitations of definitions?

Red is a hot illumination. Its wild like fire.

This is a very difficult thing to explain because colors are not in any way perceivable without a sense of sight. It is something you cannot describe in language.

5. To what extent is your use of languages accompanied by images? Does every word conjure up an image or only some of them?

Language is often accompanied by images even when its not necessary. People send emoji pictures in texts to make the conversation more personal.

Words themselves can make us think of pictures, but usually not. This can be a rare occurrence.

6. Do you think a robot (or Siri) could use and respond appropriately to language? What differences would it make in real life if that were the case?

No, Siri is not to the level of sophistication to respond in an appropriate way to speaking in different ways. For example, people from Maine will speak differently from people in Hawaii but Siri will always respond the same way. Same for differences in the user’s language level of formality.

Color and Emotion Project


Topic Proposal: I wanted to do something having to do with how color affects emotion. Click here to view my proposal.

Project: I decided to see how colors affect one’s emotions by coloring black and white photos and asking them what emotion they perceived through the photos. Click here to view my Keynote presentation. Click here to take the survey. Click here to view the results.