The National, CBC News, March 27, 2014  In TOK, we deal with “shared knowledge”, the knowledge (or at least knowledge claims) that we pass from person to person in a family, a community, a world.  In some spectacular cases, an event in one part of the world captivates the attention of the rest, and what is “shared” becomes the stuff of media buzz and private conversations across the globe.  In this commentary in the Canadian news, Rex Murphy points out many of the problematic issues of the story of Malaysian Flight 370 — the wild range of speculation within the shared pool of knowledge claims, and the impact of knowledge (and lack of it) on the people whose loved ones were aboard.  But he also raises another important point: when the media focus attention on one world event, they focus attention away from others that, according to other criteria, may be much more significant.  In TOK, these knowledge questions are forever with us:  Out of all possible observations and reports, what do we select as important, and why?  According to what criteria do we accept some interpretations, and rule out others, in everyday life and areas of knowledge?  What is the effect on knowledge of investigating some phenomena extensively, while ignoring others — and to what extent is such selection and imbalance a characteristic (arguably even necessary) feature within areas of knowledge?  And…what are the implications for human lives?  This TV news commentary is short and punchy, worth watching to provoke a discussion on what questions of knowledge inevitably arise from a hot story in the media.


Rex Murphy: Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. The National, CBC News, March 27, 2014.