Chapter 25

Contact Data: Shape, Pressure, and Hover


Advanced sensing, why shape; pressure; and hover matter

To them, I said, the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images.

—Plato, the Allegory of the Cave, The Republic


In The Republic, Plato describes a group of people shackled from birth such that they can see only the wall of a cave, on which the shadows of the world behind them dance in firelight. The prisoners, he argued, would develop and understanding that these flickering shadows are reality. By consequence, they might never develop an understanding of the full 3-D world from which those shadows are projected.

The shadows on the cave wall in Plato’s allegory provide to the viewer an abstraction ...

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