The Plastic Brain

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Electronica meets Plato.

As a fan of Plato’s Theory of Forms, and of kickin’ bass, I can’t help loving this. [For the kiddies out there, there is a language warning on this clip].

Check the lyrics, and a decent interpretation, here.

And, who this this guy anyway? I’ll leave that up to Beat Magazine.

Some wunderkind lovechild of Grimes and Skrillex, defining the next wave in DIY dance/rock fusion, Robert Delong is a Seattle-born man child who makes music using – I shit you not – Wii remotes and Sega Genesis controllers. With these scraps of plastic and metal, plus drum pads, synths and MIDI interfaces, he crafts big, soupy bass beats and warped, spine-scraping accents; hunks of fun time electro to make you stamp your feet, met with epic, heartfelt vocals. His voice – a barely-broken, bright-eyed thing – is almost Ben Gibbard-esque in its self-aware sincerity. Excellent.” BEAT

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Plato’s Head

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A Poem Inspired by The Republic

That Plato turned things on their head

When Socrates, to Glaucon, said

“The bed you sleep on is no bed.”

Glaucon’s heart was filled with dread,

The man’s gone mad, his brain is dead.

“Why, reason from your mind has fled!”

“The one true bed is in your head,

dear Glaucon, think on that instead.

You’ll reach enlightenment” he said.

“But if it is a phantom bed,

how does it yet support my head?”

Socrates then scratched his head,

and scratched until his pate turned red

“The bed’s not real, nor is your head.

All will be gone when life has fled.

The form of these, this bed, this head,

rest evermore, and this has led

me to conclude what I have said”

He turned, and dove into the Med.

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Milton Galser took the link between Magritte and Plato one step further.

Of this work, he said: “The four hats shown in the poster suggest how art might be defined: as the thing itself, the word for the thing, the shadow of the thing and the shape of the thing.” 

Compare this, now with Plato. The hat, its shape and its shadow are all of the physical. Although the word may advance us a step towrd the Form, it remains only a represenation of the ‘true’ hat.

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As Magritte so poignantly expresses, a picture of a pipe is not a pipe. But as Plato mused, is a pipe even a pipe? What is a real pipe? Surely not that thing you hold in your hand, that did not exist before it was made, and will one day again be dust. The only real pipe is the Form, the idea of the pipe. It is not of the physical world, only of the intellectual, and is eternal and unchanging.

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