Lauren Ayala November 2006 TOK 12

Sesame Street Style

Which one does not fit? An anomaly is described as an irregularity or an abnormality in a pattern. We as children begin our lives being asked to recognize patterns, to pick out the one that does not fit, and to memorize catchy tunes; all to learn. One, Two, Three-what will come next in the pattern? A pattern can be described as many things, from a model used for imitation, an artistic design, or something used to help design things; nonetheless, we see the common idea. We continue in our lives, making choices based off groupings and patterns, whether or not we should date the "geek", buy the latest trends, or go out to the cool party. Next time, won't you sing with me? We follow by example, following in trends, ironically, lacking to determine the whether it be good, bad, or odd. Regardless, as children the properties and protocols are instilled in us, making us pattern seekers and oddball pointers, shutting us in a box consisting of solely patterns and those that do not fit. As a whole, the human populace ceases to think outside of our innate, one-track, pattern-

seeking mind, to see the glorious abstract beauty and designs that life holds for us. A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I--As a child, I specifically remember two things, being sat in front of the television to watch Sesame Street--to practice my ABC's--and my kindergarten teacher dauntingly repeated the ABC's to the entire class, until we knew them on our own. This was a huge deal for me. I was horrible at remembering and repeating patterns, I could not do it. Now that I reminisce on these memories, I find it somewhat degrading and pitiful. Regardless, those ABC's were the building blocks for my entire future, somewhat significant to say the least. After singing follows a memorization of words, then the reading of books, the writing of comprehensive essays, and it all builds from there, leading all back to one original, catchy tune. As a result, I have come to see that some patterns are necessary for our life. Do you know what does not belong here? Some patterns, such as those that we as adolescents are demanded to follow, have no business in life. We are asked to dress a certain way, to act in a specific manner, to buy certain clothing, all to become the epitome of "popular". I find that there are plenty of stereotypical patterns that exist about a typical high school campus, such as those that are used to classify people and distribute them into their corresponding stereotype. Such patterns are these, that do not belong.

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13...Add the last two digits together to get the next in the pattern. We mainly associate patterns with the ideas of math and sciences. The following pattern is an ancient and famous mathematical pattern, called Fibonacci numbers. These patterns as well as many other patterns are sources of apriori knowledge, meaning it is knowledge that is widely accepted without reason or analysis, which we build our entire life's knowledge justification chain on. Some certain patterns that are minor building blocks in our chain, without these patterns, our chain would cease to exist and we would be forced to question the sources of all of our knowledge. However, because we have these sources of apriori knowledge, we can continue to add on, following the pattern of building onto the never-ending justification chain. If there are small incremental changes in the value of a variable in a natural system, then this can lead to sudden large changes in the state of the system. The following theory is called the "Catastrophe Theory", written by René Thom. The following theory includes advanced uses of modern mathematics, to prove a seemingly obvious theory, which brings us to the question--Do we put to much value on these patterns and anomalies? We strive to create these patterns, singling out anomalies, only to find that we have successfully simplified things beyond necessity. We, as humans, have a complex--a need to oversimplify things, in order to create a human dominance over any

thing. I believe we put too much emphasis on the patterns in life, resulting in our one-track, scientifically, and rounded minds. For me, this leaves more to be desired, with a life full of black and white areas, I wish to see vibrancy. Abstract art and beauty; present an aesthetic art that no human can put a price on. We can continually produce and reproduce patterns, creating a simplistic pattern to our lives. Using our patterns, we can deduct that they are very useful, providing for us a majority of our necessary building blocks that we use throughout life. However, we can see that there are many anomalies that have made their way into our daily lives, leaving us to accept them as patterns and to apply them, which is ridiculous. This brings me to my next point, which is that I believe the knowledge that we gain from patterns has as much meaning as any other fact, however, I believe that we put too much emphasis on the idea of patterns, and we do not utilize our ability to infer and appreciate the abstract things in life. As a result, sometimes things just belong and sometimes it is just the whole thing that does not belong.