Plato's Confesses His 10 Biggest Errors

Plato recently confessed his 10 biggest mistakes on twitter. They came via his current spokesperson Rebecca Goldstein author of the entertaining and educational Plato at the Googleplex


Here they are in reverse order: 

10. There is such a thing as a human soul that can preserve our existence post-death in disembodied form.

9. Absolute power is beneficent when restricted to philosophers, who of course won’t abuse it, and so require no oversight.

8.Theory of Forms, the quintessential essentialism.

7. Rulers should be allowed to tell whoppers, so long as their hearts are just & their lies are noble. 

6. Art that stirs up the wrong emotions must be banned.

5. Beautiful mathematics leads us straight to the truth. See http://bit.ly/1qOCSV6

4. Average schmoes with no talent for thinking should be told what to think, which won’t undermine their humanity nor that of the rulers. 

3. Since structure of reality is mathematical, observation is largely irrelevant. 

2. Rule of the people (democracy) is doomed to degenerate into tyranny, as people succumb to promises of a strongman. 

1. The unexamined life is not worth living. 

More Big Think from Plato-Goldstein here. For more of her Platonic tweeting follow  @platobooktour  

Image: Raphael [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

3D printing might save your life one day. It's transforming medicine and health care.

What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.

Northwell Health
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
  • Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
  • Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
Keep reading Show less
Big Think Edge
  • In some fundamental ways, humans haven't changed all that much since the days when we were sitting around communal fires, telling tales.
  • Although we don't always recognize them as such, stories, symbols, and rituals still have tremendous, primal power to move us and shape our lives.
  • This is no less true in the workplace than it is in our personal lives.

Has a black hole made of sound confirmed Hawking radiation?

One of Stephen Hawking's predictions seems to have been borne out in a man-made "black hole".

Image source: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Surprising Science
  • Stephen Hawking predicted virtual particles splitting in two from the gravitational pull of black holes.
  • Black holes, he also said, would eventually evaporate due to the absorption of negatively charged virtual particles.
  • A scientist has built a black hole analogue based on sound instead of light.
Keep reading Show less
Big Think Edge
  • The word "creative" is sometimes waved around like a badge of honor. We speak of creativity in hushed tones, as the special province of the "talented". In reality, the creative process is messy, open, and vulnerable.
  • For this reason, creativity is often at its best in a group setting like brainstorming. But in order to work, the group creative process needs to be led by someone who understands it.
  • This sense of deep trust—that no idea is too silly, that every creative impulse is worth voicing and considering—is essential to producing great work.