03 July 2017


     While I waited for a bus at Stonestown late this afternoon in a light rain, a rainbow appeared against the clouds in the eastern sky. A rainbow is a rare sight in The City, a joy really, and many people remarked on it. I thought of the opening to Owen Barfield's book 'Saving the Appearances': 

      "Look at a rainbow. While it lasts, it is, or appears to be, a great arc of many colours occupying a position out there in space. It touches the horizon between that chimney and that tree; a line drawn from the sun behind you and passing through your head would pierce the centre of the circle of which it is part. And now, before it fades, recollect all you have ever been told about the rainbow and its causes, and ask yourself the question: Is it really there?" 

      The full quote is too long to include here. It begins a discussion of reality and representation and much more. Yesterday I asked a friend (a Platonist and mathematician) why the world is thought to be an imperfect copy of a Platonic Idea. How can a rainbow be imperfect? (26.III.17)

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