On Mon, 3 Dec 2001 10:52:12 -0600, Brian bc <human@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> on
the Subject: Re: TX2/Plato's Spelunking. . .
From Brian's thesis notes:
". . .Socrates continues that the puppeteers use objects such as stone and
wood to create stories with human and animal images, projecting them as
shadows onto the cave wall by the LIGHT of the fire, accompanying them with
sound effects. Conclusively, Socrates says, "reality for the prisoners
would be nothing but shadows cast by artifacts." (502)
Actually, the ABSENCE of light causes shadows. And, the space between the
light and the shadow is called, "the penumbra".
The observer "lives" between light and shadows with BACK to light, and
FRONT towards shadow.
Brian goes on to state that "The audiovisual CYBERSPACE of our ELECTRONIC
MEDIA SYSTEMs can be considered to be an ELECTRONIC cave. We sit, staring
at the screen like Plato's prisoners, thinking that what we are seeing is
REALITY itself, when instead what we see are images projected on an
ELECTRONIC cave wall. (504n)"
There is a difference between the Platonic cave and the "electronic" cave.
It is a conditions opposite and contrary to the Platonic cave. Basically, the
observer "lives" between light and shadows with FRONT to light, and BACK
towards shadow. This is most significant, since it alludes to 3-space in a
more definitive way. The Platonic cave, on the other hand, only allows the
IMAGINATION to conceive of the meanings of the 2-space shadows.
So, in a way, the current (no pun intended) technology has the potential to
take from us a deeper imagination, and from the deeper shadows of
thought. It tends to represent, sometimes without any mathematical
connection to a possible physical reality, physically unbuildable images.
No matter. As long as those images are intended for no more than
themselves, they are acceptable on their own terms. However, when alluding
to the ability to represent the buildable, without any mathematical
connection to another 3-space reality, that is the lack of truth. The
current technology can fix our gaze upon a very limited or extensive
imagination. The current technology is a limited and limiting medium for
the exploration of possibilities of the imagination. In some ways, it is
worse than the Platonic shadows in the cave.
Perhaps living within a penumbra, rather than within the cast light from
the imaginations of others, will allow us to conceive our own dreams. The
former is closer to the experience of a darkened Shinto temple.
Or, perhaps they relate more closely to the darkest interior centers of
Hindu temples---places where one's own spiritual center can be sought.