Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Talk about carrot

Recently, Baby Carrot (the blog with the same background as mine) surprised some of us by revealing the author was a guy and not a girl. Was it because his first post was about matching up bloggers? How stereotypical.

Regardless, reading the comments that explained the name for the blog and blogger, reminded me of a long forgotten book.

Anyone ever heard of the book Poil de Carotte by Jules Renard? I think the english version is called Carrot Head. The book is either a short novel or an autobiography by Jules Renard. It's basically about this red hair boy, hence the nickname Carrot Head, and how throughout his boyhood, he is mistreated, bullied and disliked by "friends" and family because of his hair color.

What a strange book to grow up on, and how fun to remember it now...

Friday, July 6, 2012

Allegory of the Cave

This is going to be an interesting semester: 

The “Allegory of the Cave” is a philosophy put forth by Plato in his most famous work, “The Republic.” Plato has Socrates describe the following scenario.
Prisoners in a cave are chained so that they only see the back wall of the cave; the prisoners have been there for life and can not see themselves or each other. The only things they can see are the shadows on the wall of the cave. A fire that burns on a ledge above and behind them is how the shadows are cast. There is a wall-lined path between the fire and the prisoners where people walk – carrying statues, vases, and other artifacts on their heads. The prisoners hear the echoes of voices and see the shadows of the artifacts, which they mistake for reality. Then a prisoner is unchained and turned around, forced to discover the true source of the shadows. The fire hurts his eyes; he prefers the deception of the shadows to be more pleasant. The mouth of the cave is beyond and above the fire and outside in the bright sunlight is the sky, trees, rivers, and mountains. The prisoner who was unchained is forced “up the steep and rugged ascent” (Plato’s allegory of education) and brought into the exterior world full of sunlight. The light blinds the prisoner. As he is used to shadows, he must first look at the shadows of the trees, then at the trees and the mountains. Finally, he is able to see the sun itself (the allegory of enlightenment). He now understands the true form of reality. Plato suggests that if this prisoner were to return to the cave, he would see sun spots everywhere and appear deluded, and not be able to penetrate the darkness. Also, if he tried to liberate the other prisoners, they would become angry that their illusions were disturbed and try to kill him (an allusion to the death of Socrates).