Thursday, April 26, 2018


We are all influenced by various forms of cognitive bias in our decision making but confirmation bias is by far the most common. Do your research to find out what exactly it entails and how it effects our daily life. When you are ready, write an essay on the topic.
Familiarize yourself with the issue
·         Confirmation bias in five minutes
·         What is confirmation bias?    
Reading material to make notes on
·         Our brains rapidly and automatically process opinions we agree with as if they are facts  
·         How to get people to overcome their bias
·         Confirmation bias
Videos to take notes from
·         Confirmation bias – definition, examples and how to avoid
·         Pitfalls of thinking: confirmation bias 1of 2
·         Pitfalls of thinking: confirmation bias 2 of 2
       Refer to my second blog, The Essay Archive, for sample essays:

Tuesday, April 24, 2018


joi blade runner 2049 ile ilgili görsel sonucuRobot relationships need not be kinky, exploitative or fake. In fact, they may give human relationships a helpful boost.
By: John Danaher
Level of difficulty: ****
It is important that you watch the film Blade Runner 2049 before tackling the text. It is available online
Click on the “Listen Here” icon to the left of your screen and highlight the text as you listen.
1.       Start reading; which paragraphs constitute the first section of the text?  What would you call this section? What is the significance of the last short paragraph? Now answer the questions:
·         Which sentence(s) best expresses(express) the take home point(s) from the first two paragraphs: A human being seems to have been able to fall in love with a hologram / An ideal marriage is one in which the woman is completely subjugated to her husband / Human-hologram relationships seem to be able to replicate human-human relationships./ The traditional role of the woman which is to serve and devote herself to her husband leads to a happy union.
·         Why is Joi being replicated by Gatebox: The company is tapping into an emerging demand in the market / The company is trying to spread joy and happiness among singles / Men are no longer happy with modern women; they want the traditional role of women to be restored.
2.       The second section starts with the phrase “In Blade Runner 2049…” but where does it end? Now answer the questions:
·         What is the major difference between K and Joi’s relationship and love the way we know it? There is/ is no…
·         In a human-human relationship as we know it various………….is/are not enough; ……………….is also necessary. This is not the case for K and Joi as in the background, the corporation is continually making adjustments.
3.       Where does the third section end? Now answer the questions:
·         It is difficult to determine if someone really loves one except by…
·         Where would you place the following sentence: After all, loving behavior is the only yardstick we have for deciding whether or not someone loves us.
·         People need love to be given freely yet they have no other way of judging if this is the case than looking pot for….
·         It can be concluded from Haus Keller’s opinions that the key reason not to trust the love of a robot is that there is cause to……..In short, the robot has been…... whereas the human has not.
4.       Where does the fourth section end? Now answer the questions:
·         We are not really that different from robots because…….The only difference between us and robots is that….
·         Where in this section would you place the following sentence: We did it once; we can do it again ?
·         Remove “This” from the following sentence: “This has a lot of people worried. What would you replace it with? Be precise. The phrase you select needs to fit into the sentence grammatically.
·         The prevalence of robots as partners has serious implications as….
·         What is the writer referring to when he says “the representations themselves”?
5.       Where does the fifth section end? Now answer the questions:
·         We understand from the first paragraph of the section that: it is the context that determines whether the content is appropriate / It is both the content and the context that determine whether certain behavior is acceptable/ It is the content that determines whether the context is appropriate.
·         What makes current robot lovers distasteful to some is that they are…
·         Two important preconditions to the producing and selling of robot lovers is the need to ……….and the need for………….
·         Read the two paragraphs covering the possible negative and positive effects of robot loversa to the end. The text seems to imply that the only way to be able to move forward with the project is to have…..
·         It will be very difficult to draw a concrete conclusion concerning media effects robot lovers because ….
6.       Read the last section to the end. Now answer the questions:
·         Focus on the main arguments presented in the paragraph beginning “One possibility”. Which of the following could be included in the paragraph as an example: For example, there is a great gender imbalance in modern day China in favor of men due to the practice of aborting female babies. There are a lot of young men in the country now who will never be able to find a human partner. Their problem could be partially addressed in this way. / For example, there is widespread abduction of young women in Eastern Asia who are then sold as slaves in areas where the number of marriageable girls is not enough. This and similar crimes could be addressed in this way.
·         Read the two paragraphs in this section covering triadic relationships. Which sentence best expresses the main idea?
·         Read the last paragraph of the text. Which sentence best qualifies the first sentence?
Refer to the film you have watched and the text to write an argumentative essay on whether or not to allow robot lovers. Alternatively, you could write an essay discussing the advantages and disadvantages of robot lovers.
This text addresses a very controversial issue which will probably cause a great deal of heated debate and thus lead easily to an argumentative essay. It is strongly recommended that the viewing of the film be included in the lesson plan should the activity be done in class.
1.       From the beginning to the end of the paragraph beginning “Contrary to critics…” / The introduction / The thesis statement
·         1 and 3
·         1
2.       At the end of the paragraph beginning “This seems to scupper…”
·         Mutual commitment
·         Certain behavioral patterns, free commitment
3.       At the end of the paragraph beginning “Put differently…”
·         Certain behavioral motions that are suggestive of this
·         After “… but only appear to do so”
·         Certain behavioral indicators that are suggestive of this
·         Doubt the sincerity of the robot’s behavior;  designed and programmed
4.       At the end of the paragraph beginning Gutiu thinks…
·         We are programmed, by evolution and culture, to develop loving attachments to one another; It might be difficult to reverse engineer our programming
·         After “…saw the moral error in this practice”
·         (The idea of) representing and reinforcing a pornified ideal of female sexuality (has a lot of people worried.
·         This will enable users to act out rape fantasies and confirm rape myths
·         Representing women sexual commodities to be bought and sold
5.       At the end of the paragraph beginning “The picture is much the same…”
·         The first
·         Representationally problematic
·         Consciousness raising around the problems of gendered harassment and inequality; a greater sensitivity to the representational harms that could be implicated by this technology
·         Empirical studies on the effects of robot lovers
·         Complex socio-behavioral phenomena are likely to be casually over-determined, and subject to many different contextual and individual variations.
6.       This is the last section.
·         The first (there is no mention of trafficking in the paragraph)
·         It is a mistake to always think of robots as replacements for human lovers; we could also view them as complements to existing relationships.
·         The last

Friday, April 20, 2018


“Crowds can be lethal – but also surprisingly rational. As scientists learn more about how groups of people behave, they’re figuring out how to prevent deadly incidents in the future”
By: Christine Ro
Level of Difficulty:**
·         The power of the crowd
1.       What misconception does the writer draw attention to at the beginning of the text? There are two answers; find both
2.       The way we perceive crowds has been transformed as we now know that….
3.       We understand from the text that the collective identity that emerged during the 7/7 London bombings was one of ….
4.       Dividing crowds on the basis of gender or ethnicity is a mistake because these identities are no longer as powerful as ………………..
5.       Watch: Ten rules for moshing safely Now look at an example:  Rock Am Ring: Huge Mosh Pit We understand from the text mosh pit behavior is not what it seems because…
6.       Watch: The Hillsborough Stadium Disaster The police were at least partially responsible for the disaster because…
7.       The media is to blame for overstating the dangers of crowds since ….
8.       Considering all that has been said so far, why do we still need plans to deal with crowds? Because…
9.       Check out Sharma’s website: From what you have seen and what you have read, we understand that ………………….can help deal with potential problems with crowds.
10.   What conclusion can be drawn from the example of one Newcastle school?
11.   Choosing to overlook …………………can prevent crowd simulation software from being more helpful.
12.   We understand from Templeton’s remarks that the nature of a crowd can vary from place to place / change during the course of an event/ can change from time to time/ is determined at the outset.
Use all the information that you have learnt to discuss how crowds should be handled and why.
Managing crowds requires a good understanding of crowd psychology and this text covers this topic at a relatively simple level. It is always a joy to find a text covering a sophisticated issue in language intermediate students can follow. Most people have had experience of crowds and should be able share their experiences. As always, the writing task ties everything together.
1.       That deadly crowd crushes are unavoidable / Crowds are  mindless masses
2.       Crowds are as psychologically specific as individuals
3.       Cooperation between members of the crowd (they comforted each other, shared water, and provided basic first aid)
4.       Crowd identity
5.       It is rule bound
6.       They were so preoccupied with possible hooliganism that their actions like penning fans into tight packs made things worse
7.       It is more dramatic for storytelling purposes
8.       If people are primed to believe that others will panic in a crowd, they are more likely to panic themselves
9.       Sharma’s Crowd simulation software package
10.   (Even in places with limited resources) Asking the right questions could help avoid crowd crushes
11.   The way members of a crowd interact with each other
12.   Can change during the course of an event

Thursday, April 12, 2018


Palm oil is now used more widely than ever before in everything from food to cosmetics yet this is doing untold damage. Do your research for details of the social and environmental impacts of the booming palm oil industry and write an essay describing them. In your conclusion, you could suggest solutions. Refer to my second blog, The Essay Archive, for sample essays:
Related image

Familiarize yourself with the issue
·         The Palm Oil Dilemna
·         Palm Oil 
Reading material to make notes on
·         WWF Palm Oil  Make sure to explore the sight thoroughly
·         Social and environmental impacts of palm oil Make sure to explore the sight thoroughly
·         Palm oil- deforestation for everyday products  
Videos to take notes from
·         Earthwatch: Palm Oil Lecture
·         Palm Oil Economics in Malaysia and Indonesia

Tuesday, April 10, 2018


Biomimicry ile ilgili görsel sonucu
My former students often drop by to see me at my office and last week, Halil İbrahim popped in to tell me all about a topic he was researching for one of his courses in the Engineering Faculty: biomimicry. I was fascinated and set about researching the topic myself. The more I learnt, the more interested I became. Below you will find a list of the sites I visited. Do your research and write an essay explaining what exactly biomimicry is and what its advantages are.
Biomimicry ile ilgili görsel sonucu

Familiarize yourself with the issue
Reading material to make notes on
·         Biomimicry  
Explore this site in detail: click on “Biomimicry examples” and “Stories from the Field”
·         What is biomimicry?
Videos to take notes from
·         Biomimicry in action
·         Biomimicry’s surprising lessons from nature’s engineers  
·         Using nature’s genius in architecture
·         Video playlist about biomimicry Take your pick; I watched them all and was fascinated.
    Refer to my second blog, The Essay Archive, for sample essays: 

Monday, April 9, 2018


The word microaggression has now been added to the Oxford English Dictionary as it is such a widespread phenomenon in our global world. Do your research and find out exactly what it is and write about the “macro” impacts it has.
microaggression ile ilgili görsel sonucu

Familiarize yourself with the issue:
·         Microaggressions in the classroom
·         How do you respond to microaggressions
Reading material to make notes on
·         How racism and microaggressions lead to worse health
·         Prejudice is not always overt. It is called microaggression.  
Videos to watch and take notes from

·         Microaggressions: Understanding the Effects of Daily Interactions

·         Implicit Bias and Microaggressions: the Macro Impact of Small Acts
Refer to my second blog, The Essay Archive, for sample essays:

Monday, April 2, 2018


“Strokes and hugs are being edged out of our lives, with doctors, teachers and colleagues increasingly hesitant about social touching. Is this hyper vigilance of boundaries beginning to harm our mental health?

By: Paula Cocozza
Level of difficulty: **
1.       Why is it strange that social touch is considered unacceptable?
2.       What extraordinary new venture has emerged in the market? What is the probable reason for the emerging demand?
3.       Look back at the three paragraphs you have read. Which of the following phrases would make the best subtitle: social touch / a crisis of touch /the loneliness epidemic/ the end to comforting.
4.       Science supports / does not support Mc Glone because in fact, we are / aren’t equipped with…
5.       We are programmed to respond positively to touch as ….
6.       Why does McGlone call c tactile afferents the Higgs boson of the social world? Because it is…
7.       There is a real scientific basis for our instinctive understanding of the power of touch. It is the fact that…
8.       Why do people who visit “Cuddle Up To Me” keep forgetting stuff? Because…
9.        Watch first: Harlow’s experiments and the case of the Romanian orphanages prove that…
10.   In what sense do Field’s observations mirror Harlow’s earlier findings? In the sense that …
11.   Read the information provided by Kelly Payne and Field. What conclusion can be drawn from this information:
·         Lack of touch can kill
·         Lack of touch is widespread
·         Lack of touch is toxic
·         Lack of touch is an epidemic
12.   McGlone warns against……….. because such a move might lead to………..
13.   Where in the paragraph beginning “Touch” would you place the following sentence: In other words, it has its negative effects as well.
14.   “Energetically leaning forward for a hug “is an example of a method of…
15.   The case of Meghan Markle, Michelle Obama and the rugby player are all examples of …
16.   You can reap the benefits of touch on your own by ………….or……………… because…
Refer back to all you have read and listened to and write an essay discussing the reasons for the importance of touch.
As a member of a nation which is not renowned for being tactile but living in a country where everyone is culturally much more tactile, I have long been aware of the issue of touch. This text confirmed for me many conclusions I had already reached myself. I hope you find it as interesting as I did.
1.       It was instinctive to us as children
2.       A touch industry / a loneliness epidemic
3.       A crisis of touch
4.       A nerve ending which exists solely to recognize a gentle stroking touch
5.       The pleasantness encourages us to keep touching, nourishes babies and binds adults and threads wellbeing into the fabric of our being.
6.       Responsible for so many aspects of our wellbeing across our lifespan
7.       It slows down heart rate, blood pressure and the release of cortisol (which gives people better control over their stress hormones)
8.       They leave with a dose of oxytocin
9.       Touch is a sort of species recognition (which suggests that without touch, humans may be less human)
10.   People were wrapped in their own worlds rather than each other, sitting in isolation, bowed over screens, a huddle unto themselves
11.   The third (Toxic, here: has a lot of serious negative effects)
12.   Disturbing or interrupting the evolutionary system / compensation which could be drugs or alcohol
13.   After “…universal good”
14.   Offering and inviting touch
15.   Touch that breaks protocol
16.   Power walking or yoga/ they stimulate pressure points