TOK Exhibition
Science Fair Video Style Exhibition for TOK.
9 months ago



The TOK Exhibition is project requirement for the IB cuirriculum. Since I won't be able to be there in "person" This is a series of videos that I will be making to showcase my project.

The Essay


Object 1: My Chess Board

Excerpt from the Essay (Section 2: Chessboard)

The game of chess surpasses what the human mind can fully comprehend, with over 10^120 possible positions (Shannon p. 4). Even the most skilled players cannot calculate all possible moves and positions in a game (Kasparov p. 1), revealing the limits of the human brain’s capacity to process information. More formally, this is called the ”Cognitive skill” of the human mind. The brain can only process a limited amount of information at any given moment, and it relies on various shortcuts and heuristics to make sense of the world (Douglas et al. p. 1).

In the context of chess, these limitations become particularly apparent (Burgoyne et al. p. 3). While computers can analyze billions of possible moves per second and calculate outcomes with near-perfect accuracy, humans are limited to processing only a fraction of this information. As a result, even the best human players are prone to making mistakes and overlooking key moves. This idea of limited understanding extends beyond chess, of course. We are constantly faced with the challenge of understanding complex systems in fields ranging from science and technology to politics and economics (Sterman p. 4). The human brain has a finite capacity for processing information, and therefore cannot fully understand all the intricacies of complex systems above our cognitive capacity.

Object 2: My Copy of 'The Republic' by Plato

Excerpt from the Essay (Section 3: The Republic, Plato)

In this section, I focus on Books VI-VII of ”The Republic”, Plato (sec. 6 ∼ 7), where he delves into the concept of justice and its application to a just city-state. Of particular interest is Plato’s use of the Allegory of the cave to distinguish between the world of appearances and the ’real’ world of Platonic Forms (Silverman sec. 9).

Plato’s Theory of forms asserts that there exists an objective reality beyond the physical world we experience. The physical world, for Plato, is a mere imitation of the real world of Forms. The Forms are eternal, unchanging, and perfect, while the physical world is constantly changing, imperfect, and temporary (Kraut sec. 10).

The allegory depicts a group of people who have been chained their entire lives in- side a dark cave, facing a wall on which shadows are projected. They believe that these shadows are the only reality and have no knowledge of the outside world. However, if one of the prisoners were to be released and leave the cave, they would discover the real world, illuminated by the sun.

According to Plato, the shadows are fragments of reality perceivable by our senses, while outside the cave are the true forms (sec. 3) which can only been seen through reason (natural sciences, mathematics, deductive logic, etc.).

Plato’s Theory of Forms (sec. 3) and the Allegory of the Cave (sec. 3) illustrates that our perception of reality is limited by our senses and our experiences. The prisoners in the cave only know the reality they have experienced, and they cannot conceive of any other reality until they are shown it. Similarly, our perception of reality is limited by our senses and experiences, and we can only gain knowledge of the Forms through reason and philosophy, which is never complete or absolute (Raatikainen). This implies, given our current understanding, there may exist things we can never fully comprehend the true nature of.

Object 3: My Dad's Telescope (I'm not allowed to touch it)

Excerpt from the Essay (Section 4: The Republic, Plato)

To me, my dad’s telescope is more than just a tool for observing the cosmos. It is a testament to the power of human curiosity and our unrelenting desire to understand the world around us.

Throughout history, both the humble beginnings of Galileo’s first telescope in the 1600s (Galileo and the Telescope — Modeling the Cosmos — Articles and Essays — Finding Our Place in the Cosmos) and the cutting-edge advancements embodied by the James Webb Telescope of the 21st century (Gardner et al.) have exemplified the remarkable capability of a seemingly simple tool to propel us towards the boundaries of human knowledge.

A telescope is a simple apparatus, made out of just a few lenses and mirrors. Nonetheless, it has a large impact on the limits of our understanding. It allows us to peer into the depths of space thus uncovering celestial marvels once invisible to the naked eye.



I hope you enjoyed reading my essay! If you have any questions, comments, or concerns there are two things you can do as of now:

I'll get back to you as soon as I can!