Friday, September 1, 2017

Plato's 'Republic,' ripped from the headlines

     Computers prevailed, remember, because they are far better than what came before.
     When writing, you can edit easily. No Wite-Out necessary.
     When reading, the endless resources of the internet are a few keystrokes away.
     But books are not entirely mooted. They retain advantages, which is why, unlike typewriters, they’re still here. Books do one thing technology is still terrible at: they stick around for a long, long time. Any given technology has a way of blooming dramatically then wilting fast. Everything I wrote on my Kaypro is lost unless I printed it out. The Zip drive I bought with my Dells? Useless. With the Cloud, thumb drives are as convenient as thumbscrews.
     But the copy of Plato’s “Republic,” translated by G.M.A. Grube, that I bought in 1981 for a college class is still here, booted up, ready to go when, on a whim, I plucked it off the shelf to pass an idle hour.
  
     Wow.
     The “Republic” vibrates with relevance, from the very first page, when Socrates and his pal Glaucon head down to check out a festival and, wobbling homeward, are overtaken by friends, who deliver an ominous invitation to stick around in town.
     “Do you see how many we are?” Polemarchus asks.
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8 comments:

  1. Thanks for the reminder of the antique use of "yahoo."

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    1. Interesting; I was not aware of this difference. Has this been shown to have any relevance/applicability beyond aptitude testing?

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  4. Trump is the anti-Socrates. From that perspective it's no surprise that he's president. With few exceptions, there has been very little Socratic method employed in American politics in a long time. It's been "my way or the highway" all day, every day. It's truly amazing when anything at all is a

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  5. Even the yahoos of Socrates' time weren't ready for his wisdom, as evidenced by the manner of his death.

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  6. You can't persuade me, if I refuse to listen to you. Or if I do listen, but only in order to gather material by which to refute what you say, which seems more typical of our day, though I suppose the Sophists of Socrates' time did much the same.

    john

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