Friday, January 4, 2013

Swarms of ideas

This last week I have had gobs of thoughts about what to write about.
We have dealt with impossible finals study guides, a boy with a crappy attitude, practices, homework, watching the Truman Show....and making allegories.

Some of it hasn't been so much fun.
The cuter half and I were helping my Mom make a move. Fortunately, it wasn't went well. The stuff she is getting rid of is stuff she hasn't dealt with or looked at in 7+ years. It needed to be reorganized anyway.

During the move there were a couple of things that the cuter half and I noticed. Most elderly peoople living in facilities did NOT have their furniture from their homes, pictures on the wall, their collections, books or family portraits. Statistics indicate that people who don't have their "stuff" are not as sucessful in their moves. My Mom has her stuff. Actually, I am very proud of how she handled this move. She did really well. She really was good about making decisions for herself. Who she wanted what to go to....if she didn't care, what she kept and what she gave was all there. She made the choices....and that is OK with me.

I see now where the boy and I get it from though. We are collectors....or horders depending on your view.
After many years of working in a museum I have what I call "this museum obession" with keeping like items together; sections or whatever. I like to have my stuff organized and kept in place.....Maybe that is why I am into "cases" and organizing by type. All those years in the rubbed off.

The boy is a horder. His game obession is now almost scary.....he has more games than anyone i know. He has them by type, he has old ones, he has new....this is a kid who thinks a game from Goodwill is an acceptable present. The more out of print they are the better he would like it- it has to look cool. He thinks the older the game is the better it is and the more he will want it....We try to help him keep them organized....and he has sold a few....but there is still a monster pile under his bed, on his shelves and in the closet.

Now onto something completely different........
The cool allegory I mentioned earlier was really good. The boy was talking about Plato's Cave
If you don't know what that is here is a reasonable explaination

The Allegory of the Cave—also known as the Analogy of the Cave, Plato's Cave, or the Parable of the Cave—is an allegory used by the Greek philosopher Plato in his work The Republic to illustrate "our nature in its education and want of education" (514a). It is written as a dialogue narrated by Plato's friend Socrates and Plato's brother Glaucon at the beginning of Book VII (514a–520a). The Allegory of the Cave is presented after the metaphor of the sun (508b–509c) and the analogy of the divided line (509d–513e). All three are characterized in relation to dialectic at the end of Book VII and VIII (531d–534e).
Plato lets Socrates describe a group of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them, and begin to ascribe forms to these shadows. According to Plato's Socrates, the shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality. He then explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall do not make up reality at all, as he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the mere shadows seen by the prisoners.
The Allegory may be related to Plato's Theory of Forms, according to which the "Forms" (or "Ideas"), and not the material world of change known to us through sensation, possess the highest and most fundamental kind of reality. Only knowledge of the Forms constitutes real knowledge.[1] In addition, the Allegory of the Cave is an attempt to explain the philosopher's place in society: to attempt to enlighten the "prisoners."
Plato's Phaedo contains similar imagery to that of the Allegory of the Cave; a philosopher recognizes that before philosophy, his soul was "a veritable prisoner fast bound within his body... and that instead of investigating reality by itself and in itself it is compelled to peer through the bars of its prison."[2]

Anyhow, we were watching the Truman Show at one point, "They find that Truman has managed to overcome his fear of the water and has been sailing away from the town in a small boat named Santa Maria (the name of the largest of the three ships with which Christopher Columbus sailed to the New World). After restoring the broadcast, Christof orders the show's crew to create a large storm to try to capsize the boat, prompting a heated debate with his superiors over the morality and legality of killing Truman off in front of a live global audience. However, Truman's determination eventually leads Christof to terminate the storm. As Truman recovers, the boat reaches the edge of the dome, its bow piercing through the dome's painted sky. An awe-struck Truman then discovers a flight of stairs nearby, leading to a door marked "EXIT". As he contemplates leaving his world, Christof speaks directly to Truman via a powerful sound system, trying to persuade him to stay and arguing that there is no more truth in the real world than there is in his own, artificial world. Truman, after a moment's thought, delivers his catchphrase — "In case I don't see you... good afternoon, good evening, and good night" —, bows to his audience and steps through the door and into the real world. The assembled television viewers excitedly celebrate Truman's escape, and Sylvia quickly leaves her apartment to reunite with him. A network executive orders the crew to cease transmission. With the show completed, members of Truman's former audience are shown looking for something else to watch.

The boy came up with the allegory of the Truman show and Platos Cave.....there is more to it but it is a really good comparason. We were discussing this movie and how it would relate to his class and he mentioned,"I think I will write about how the movie is similar to the Cave and why it is that way." The cuter half and i were amazed that the boy pulled that out of himself and made it relevant.

I think that the boy putting the "think outside the box" thoughts in his brain is a great thing....pulling them out of his brain is a whole nother deal. It's harder. We work hard with him to get the ideas out and in reasonable order (unlike the blog today)...


  1. My daughter and were watching Babylon 5 yesterday and we had just finished watching the episode "Passing Through Gethsemane" when I read your blog. In this episode, the Minbari ambassador tries to explain the Minbari notion of soul (a non-localized phenomena) to a human monk named Edward. Her attache elaborates by describing a flashlight shining on a wall, where the wall is what some people think of as their soul, but the source is actually not in the wall. Thus, I was thinking of Plato's Cave.

    1. That is a great comment....I think that there are many, shall I say, modern ideas (books, movies, television) that are applicable to Plato's allegory.
      I hadn't really thought about Plato until recently with the boy taking a class and the teacher mentioned it. Certainly has stirred up a bunch of gray matter with going over things this year.
      With kids on the spectrum thinking outside their boxes is really important. It is so easy to become isolated....we do it here more than we ought to.


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