A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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25 June 2020

Joining The Dots.

At first glance, my cabin had a cave-like aspect.

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And who can think about caves without Plato springing to mind? His Allegory of the Cave suggests that human knowledge can't be gained by perception alone, but rather can be derived only from additional philosophical reasoning. He illustrates this by populating his cave with people chained to and facing the walls in such a manner that they can see only the shadows of puppets thrown by the light of a fire invisible to them. Plato supposes that one of the unfortunate cave-dwellers escapes his incarceration and emerging into the daylight, discovers sunshine and is temporarily blinded. The blindness quickly wears off and, eager to share his new awareness, he returns to the cave to recount his adventures to his former colleagues. He is blinded again, but this time by the dark and from which he only partially recovers. His overtures are rejected; they don't believe him. They lack the imagination or intellect to accommodate anything that isn't immediate to them and in any case, the cave's prisoners know that the last thing the master puppeteer wants is a revolt.

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Plato's "Allegory of the Cave", drawing by Markus Maurer

Plato is distinguishing between actual truth (as experienced by the prisoners of the cave) and real truth as a combination of past experience and the acquisition of new understanding - portrayed by the escapee. New understandings stimulate the imagination and the accumulation of experience forms a narrative which, uniquely to humans it seems, can help predict and lend a hand to our fate.

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We know that outside this porthole, a world exists....

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Courtesy Marine Traffic

... and we know where we are in that world. But, however trustworthy and genuine this information appears, scrutiny of its source and accuracy and not least, who's controlling its dissemination, should always be considered.

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As is obvious to anyone who pays attention to my notes, a significant slice of my livelihood is derived from the renewable energy industry. I’m not remotely qualified to comment on the efficacy of the ‘Green Deal’, occupied as I am with earning enough to pay my rent and pursue my modest interests. The nature of the work can contract a normal year into the space of 4 months. This arrangement suits me very well and I’m unlikely to jump ship – so to speak. It would be reasonable then to suggest that I’m one of Plato’s prisoners; my actual truth, described above, is the default position, but to introduce ‘additional philosophical reasoning’ could reveal a real truth about renewables, such that my conscience might demand the cessation of my activities. In this regard, my continued internment is assured.

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And who can think about Plato without recalling one of his greatest creations, Atlantis, the inspiration for The Shadows' single of the same name; the 'B' side (I Want You to Want Me) here performed circa 1963, by my big sister (lead racquet on the right) and her equally musical schoolfriend. Plato wouldn't have seen this coming, but clearly, it all ties in.

previous post Another 'Meet The Future' Moment.
next post Righting Wrongs.


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