The Anti-Spelunker: Escaping Plato's Cave in the 21st Century
What causes a shadow to appear? Even a child can answer a question as simple as this. A light source is being blocked by an opaque object creating a distorted shape of said object where the light would normally be. Suppose we didn't understand the concept of the shadow. How would we explain it? Would we look for the answers ourselves or would we accept conclusions provided by an authoritative source? If the latter, how qualified and trustworthy are our figures of authority? These are extremely difficult questions, but fortunately, the Greek philosopher Plato made them a bit ...view middle of the document...
Unbeknown to the prisoners, there are people behind them casting shadows on the wall. To the prisoners, these shadows are all that is reality. They know nothing else. Mysteriously, a prisoner manages to free himself and exit the cave. Upon his arrival to the outside world, the once prisoner is able to see the world as it really is. He is then able to understand what shadows are and how shadows are formed. Excited to share the news with his brethren, he returns to the cave with excellent news. The prisoners, in a fit of ignorance and fear, kill him for reasons of heresy and blasphemy. Metaphorically, the same thing happened to Socrates. He provided a different perspective and was murdered for it. The same metaphor can be used to explain our current state of anti-intellectualism. We have our own caves of false reality.
The mass media is the number one culprit. Now, the shadow casters transmit visual and audible imagery into the caves of innocent people to create a new reality for those that surrender to its lullabies. Television alone is overrun with shepherds informing the flocks of the nation on how to live, who to be, what to say, and what to think by means of sensationalism. The audience is subjected to the soothing and well-written speeches performed by puppets of the business interests with all the power and money and can later reenact those same illogical canned responses instead of properly analyzing the information beforehand. As soon as people have their fill with the “news,” they can take comfort in all the mindless entertainment designed to distract the audience from truly important matters. Unfortunately, it works. Instead of asking questions as to why our economic institutions are failing, people would rather discuss the voting of hackneyed “talent” on American Idol. Instead of providing alternatives to our overcrowded prison system, the masses want to keep updated on the happenings of guido scum on Jersey Shore. One thing you'll never see on television is someone providing positive insight on how we can properly grow, both socially and intellectually. That goes against the interests of the “Big Six,” a name given to the six companies that literally own the media on every possible front (television, radio, print, etc.). A happy, comfortable, and docile herd is easier to manage than a group of reasonable and intelligent people. Radio and the press is no different. The media as a whole uses the concept of “standards and practices” as an attempt to cover their endless trails of hypocrisy and dishonesty, but I would personally like to know what “standards” are being “practiced” when programs are interrupted by commercials for beer and cars back to back (“Drink this, drive that, go back to bed.”), which leads me to my next opponent.
Advertising is by far one of the most useless and evil components of influence that spreads like a virus throughout the media. There is no rational explanation for why it...