Sunday, October 2, 2011

Meta-Cognition & Synthesis with Allegory of the Cave Reference

Before I jump head long into this I must first acknowledge Mrs. Mary Palmieri, my Philosophy 250 Instructor. She made learning about these concepts fun and interesting.

Meta-Cognition was defined as the way we think about what we think. As with most things in the realm of philosophy (the love of knowledge Greek Translation) there are not too many answers usually just more questions. However, somewhere along the way a person will find them self deep in thought and come out knowing just a bit more about them self. That has been my experience now that I have a concept to associate with what came naturally to me and every other human.

What I wanted to discuss today has to do with our opinions and where they come from. Why are we prone to think one side of an argument (by argument I mean a rational discussion not two people yelling at each other) has more merit than another. I want to consider what role mass-media plays in our opinion forming. Finally, what it will take for us to simply consider the other side to try and understand how that belief was formed.

I will submit to you that I am not sure where this post will end up. It is exciting to put your thoughts down and then read them. You might surprise yourself and come away with a new opinion. Personally, I think perception is reality, in our minds. Growing up in Lorain, Ohio there was always a sense that the good old days were long gone and we were stuck in a city who had been lost to idled ship building yards, steel mills running at partial capacity, or the whims of the Ford Motor Company. I hated thinking that the citizens had such little faith in themselves or next generation. As hard as I tried, the negative vibe seeped into my mind. This has had a life long impact on my view of the world. I guess "underdogitus" would be a good description. I believe that Mrs. Palmieri help me to change that.

The views of your parents surely play a huge role in what you believe. Were we passing down our views to our children? I submit the saying "To those that much is given, much is expected" also works in reverse. This does not have to be the case for Lorain, Ohio, or The United States. If we teach our kids to think without limits and freely express their ideas our best ideas will be yet to come. We must expect the best from our children and our fellow citizens and quit reaching back for a past that is gone. I reject the medias characterization of our region as the "rust belt."

The national media has the right to sit on high in some midtown office tower in Manhattan, however, they are wrong in their analysis. The people in the "rust-belt," are better than some cute moniker. We need to think for ourselves and quit believing there negative attacks. I want to thank The Morning Journal for having the foresight to allow citizen journalists' to share there platform. This is exactly what is needed to break free from the victim status the national press apply's. They can take their Stockholm Syndrome tactics elsewhere. You might not like me outing you but I have synthesized your input and found it wanting. Sadly, there has been a grate deal of damage done to our area. Realizing who the enemy is, is half of the problem.

The next step is seeing outside the cave. Plato wrote Allegory of the Cave more than two thousand years ago. Here is a snippet from the article:
 In the dialogue, Socrates describes 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 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 is 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"
In my opinion, seeing both sides of an argument is the key to knowing what you truly believe. If you simply reject someone's idea out of hand you could be missing a real opportunity. At least know what they are saying and why. For some people this might be very difficult. Not due to lack of ability, rather a bad habit of assuming you know you are right. I was prone to this affliction before I was shown what it means to really think. It meant freedom, freedom to explore ideas, viewpoints, economic principals, and even music. The best part is that our country thinks enough of us to publicly express our findings. This will lead us to the eBay/ McDonald's Monopoly game strategy. If I have Boardwalk and reach out to find someone with a Park Place together we will win. Ideas work the same way. Collaboration and freedom of thought will lead us to a secure footing. 

I want to thank you for the emails you sent me recently. I appreciate knowing that what I am saying makes a difference. Please comment or email me directly at . Best wishes for the new season and I will be back soon.

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