ATLANTIS

 

Thomas Russell Wingate  

November 2011

 

 

 

                   1

 

We have all heard of Atlantis. Most of us have not given thought to how we have heard of Atlantis.¹

 

                   2

 

Repetition is not corroboration.

 

Genealogists and historians have to be taught that if Source A says that XYZ happened, and Sources B, C, and D also say that XYZ happened, the additional say-sos of B, C, and D are worthless if, upon inspection, B, C, and D each rely upon A or upon each other.

 

In my hypothetical instance, you do not have four sources of evidence that XYZ happened, you only have one, namely A.

 

3

 

Hundreds of essays and books, maybe thousands, have been written about Atlantis.  

 

Now the place is even being linked to Neanderthals.

 

The Neanderthals, at least, were real.

 

So who says Atlantis was real? Who told us all he “knew,” and all we “know,” about the Suddenly Sunken Kingdom?

 

                   4

 

Plato tells us that Solon told the Greeks that Egyptian priests told Solon the story. The Egyptian priests distorted nothing, Solon distorted nothing, and Plato wouldn’t dream of it. Is it or is it not strange that no Greek before Plato wrote of Atlantis?

 

Plato wrote that “the noble lie” is necessary to hold together a collectivist society, which is of course the best humankind can deserve to have or to hope for.

 

                   5

 

Full disclosure: Plato is my least favorite philosopher.²

 

His “republic” would not permit poets to attain prominence, good repute, honor, or wealth.  

 

Poets are likely to see through the noble lie (as well as base ones). They are likely to say what they see and to say it in ways which are hard to get out of your mind.

 

Plato didn’t want you using your inspiration or common sense to address your problems. He wanted you to serve a “philosopher-king.” In our time, this means organized experts driven by glittering ideas and passive people driven by regulations—the fewer available ideas, the better; the more regulations, the better.

   

We can be certain that Plato would have detested the American Revolution, commercial enterprises, and the vigorous World Wide Web. 

 

Plato beguiles. Orwell rings true.      

 

6

 

Atlantis (1985–2011) was the last of the space shuttles. She orbited Earth 4,848 times, traveling 525 times the radar distance to Apollo footprints (1969–72).

 

Her sisters³ Challenger (1986) and Columbia (2003) paid in fire and blood for America’s share of the high frontier.    

 

 

 

NOTES

 

 

1 See Wikipedia.

2 In The Open Society and Its Enemies (1945), Karl Popper devotes

   the first and larger of two volumes entirely to Plato. See Brain Drain

   note 2 on website. See also Bureaucracy and Error and Tradition 1–4

   on website.

3 All six space shuttles were named to honor famous sailing ships.