May 11, 2012 – Disease

Yeah this'll be a cheery post. Not. At least I can report that to my knowledge I am not dying of any disease known to mankind, not one that has any recognizable name anyway. As you may or may not know, the primary neotoy story canon is comprised of three discrete epochs: before the fall, after the fall, and chromachron. "Fall" in this instance refers to the fall of mankind or alternately the fall of civilization. This fall has always been facilitated in some way by an elegant mechanism of global genocide.

To most people this kind of prospect is probably disconcerting at the very least, but not to me. This is just the way my brain is wired, but I've always felt a strong opposition to senseless masses of people, even from a very young age I was drawn to organizations advocating population control. Having grown and matured in many ways since becoming an adult, my perspective has undergone a radical shift; however I still remember how I felt over twenty years ago, and why I felt that way.

The truth is that the very idea of "senseless masses of people" is a myth. There are just countless individuals struggling to find themselves and survive. Thinking of billions of people together as a mass is just a method to efficiently dehumanize each person, akin to racial profiling. This in turn is just the magnification of a subconscious anxiety that every person feels when confronted with the greater awareness of competition on a global scale. Resources are always limited, this is a fact indelibly hewn into our DNA. It doesn't matter how much of a "people person" you are, if locked in a room with five other monkeys all expected to share a single bag of bananas; acute neurosis will ensue.

Knowing your own needs is knowing that those needs are being multiplied for every other person you can imagine. The more people that are out there, ultimately the less security there is for you. Inversely, the less people there are eating bananas the more bananas will be available for everyone else. That is what the fascist aspect of the brain that keeps us alive in extreme situations will tell you anyway. Having an anxiety disorder, being abnormally sensitive, and possessing above average intelligence is all it really takes to turn an erstwhile humanitarian into a monster that fantasizes about culling the human race like cattle.

There are a million and one ways to rationally and humanely justify population control, even to terrifying levels where forced abortions, euthanasia thresholds, and social Darwinism are but the least of your worries. The point is, all of these concepts are based on the ironic and paradoxical premise that some people must die so that some people can live. The most important thing to always ask in these situations is "Who decides?" i.e. who decides who lives and who dies? Always remember that absolutely no one is qualified to make this decision. No one. Not smart people, not governments, not committees, not bureaucracies. This is why population control is fundamentally wrong.

These were all the thoughts that went through my head as I was determining how to institute the fall of mankind. However, thanks to over two decades of perspective granted via holistic research, I now knew what most people didn't: there was absolutely no need to engineer a global genocide, all the hard work had already been done. All that was left to do was to wait...

I remember when the epiphany first came, I was exposed to the Global Scenario "Fortress World" (one of three) postulated by Allen Hammond (formerly of the World Resource Institute), probably while reading "The World Without Us" (a book by Alen Weisman). Funny that they're both named Allen/Alen. I recognized from within this scenario elements of the neotoy origin dream. This was to my mind, not a confirmation, but rather an indicator that perhaps this scenario was more likely than the other two. As the years passed and my research continued I often thought back to this moment, attempting to support or undermine the eerie parallels between my vision and the scenario.

It all fits. That was my conclusion. The dream, the scenario, my research, and now even the undeniable reality of things like record breaking temperatures. Still, something was missing.

Clearly if I want to take my insanity to the next level it becomes necessary to add layer after layer of delusion and allegory - what about a - false virus! This was actually a fairly recent addition to the continuum, perhaps within the last nine months. Sometimes when I'm thinking about nothing, this one part of the origin dream replays in my mind, it's really the most important part because it's where I become a dubious hero. It's also the introduction of the most enigmatic character: the girl.

If you save somebody's life and nobody cares, did it even happen? That could be the premise for this scene. In this wretched dystopian future, people do not die of disease, lack or need of want; they die of sheer boredom. But that's not really acceptable is it? Not in terms of PR anyway. We must give a name to this affliction, so I christened it – this mysterious, incurable disease – the "N Virus". N for Nihilism. N for Neotoy. No matter how hard the experts tried to find the cause of the terrifying illness that left the body whole but laid waste to the will-to-live, they could not. Still every day the horde came knocking, the media, the government, the people who seemed miraculously immune yet were nonetheless collaterally effected; they demanded an explanation.

Finally they had their answer, a name, a figurehead upon which they could declare a righteous and deleterious war – only they didn't. The "N" virus didn't exist, it was a construct, a placeholder, a concept cooked up by a small group of scientists and politicians to explain away the unexplainable. People were dying, but of what god only knew. Naturally I being the author of this story also know. A holistic illness similar to bee colony collapse disorder; a profoundly unfortunate combination of malefactors leading to apparent psychosis, virtually untraceable to a single source.

Although, if there was a single source it would be the fact that in this world mankind had utterly destroyed the ecosystem. People were now surrounded on every side by cyclopean concrete walls holding back the creeping death that sprawled just outside. The affluent lived on inside this opulent hell thinking, believing they had it all, when really all that they had was all that was left, and even that was slowly slipping away. Slipping like their children playing their suicide games, falling from the broken Brachiosaurian backs of uncompleted superhighway overpass; like so many others perpetually under construction but never to be finished.

All diseases had been cured, all scarcity eliminated, every conceivable want and need fulfilled beyond expectation. And yet without love it was as a clanging gong. This new plague was not a disease, it was a cure, a cure for what we had all become. Well, not all. There was a wanderer, from what world he came no one knew. Only one thing was clear, he was an alien, or at the very least a stranger. Who knows what he was doing there at that time, at that place, the only thing that is certain: he saw and he acted. A stirring of the heart, a flutter. Maybe this world is not entirely dead yet. That must have been the thought that fluttered through her head as she dangled - more bemused than afraid – over the blood-stained blacktop littered with dead bodies far, far below. Looking up at the curious stranger who had reached out and grasped her flailing hand at the last possible second.

Those eyes might have been sky blue, then again maybe they were black, I can never quite remember.

April 25, 2012 – Four modes

Euphoria – state of perpetual pleasure and enlightenment, we become as gods
Utopia – a “perfect world” where one's ideals are realized and enjoyed by all
Dystopia – stagnation incarnate, progress is no longer possible, decline is inevitable
Grimdark – things just keep getting worse and worse until the bitter end

Just something I was thinking about this morning. Trying to place myself in this list and neotoy. My reality is probably situated somewhere between Dystopia and Utopia, closer to Dystopia. Neotoy places between Utopia and Euphoria, closer to Utopia. Where does your reality lie?

April 5, 2012 – Power of the triangle

The following are a couple of lines of dialog that came to me in the early morning, they include short explanatory notes that have been blacked out because they are extreme spoilers in regard to the main narrative. Note: hovering over the redacted text will reveal it.

"You should know, I carry a great darkness inside me, one capable of blotting out all light in the universe."
The "darkness" Delta refers to is the knowledge of good and evil, which is just a metaphor for human consciousness. The chromachron is in reality an elaborate big red button that when pressed ends the neotoy experiment, for all time; effectively destroying (or nullifying) the entire universe. It may have other uses as well, but those would not even be included in a spoiler.
"Sometimes all I have to stave off the darkness are these strange words in a language I do not know."
When Delta is unduly burdened with the weight of consciousness he begins speaking fluently in a variety of lost languages; spouting short phrases that typically have the semantic quality of prayers for mercy or curses against god(s). These are just memory fragments from earth's historical records archived in his crystal ball – empathic emotional resonance brings them to the surface.

Incidentally the lines above have absolutely nothing to do with the main topic of this post which is geometry. As you may know, organic math plays a huge role in neotoy, not only in how the physical world is shaped, but also in an all-pervasive philosophical sense. When I make a statement like "the foundation of neotoy is the triangle." it means more than just the apparent geometric significance. The triangle is an idea, at its most basic level a triangle is three points in space, which is what you need to establish a surface; a surface is the basis of our physical reality, without a plane for light and other things to bounce off of all you ever have is an invisible, intangible line.

The key element here however is not so much the fact that the triangle is the basis of all geometrical forms, but rather that it is the simplest and most elegant of those forms. Therefore it stands to reason that the closer a structural schema adheres to its prime structural origin the more simple, elegant and ultimately sound it will be. I have written before in my previously unpublished notes that structurally speaking neotoy is fundamentally about two things above all others: "resisting chaos and entropy". This requires two recursively synergistic components – density and finesse of moving parts within an inversely soft and inept context.

Unlike with the process of diffusion (right-hand of entropy) which governs so much of reality; this alternative is constantly moving in the opposite direction on both fronts: dense objects become further concentrated while their context is constantly softening. This is not a process that can happen without consciousness (hyper-consciousness to be sure); in fact it can only happen under conditions where intelligence allows the moving parts to improve their capacity for density while simultaneously and judiciously softening everything around them.

This word "softening" is an interesting concept, no? Is it reverse-diffusion? Anti-entropy? Or is it hyper-diffusion? Super-entropy? What exactly is happening in a situation where 'hard' elements are being remade into 'soft'? If you go by the neotoy canon pseudo-science it is a process of re-engineering the quantum – taking the basis of energy itself and changing its core attributes so that the laws of physics either no longer apply, or behave in a different way. I predict that if our species survives the next century, that this will be the field representing the final phase of scientific progress: conscious transformation of quanta. If this is achieved it will be possible to create entirely new realities, and beyond that I can neither see nor sense a new frontier.

Sorry if I'm getting too abstract here, I'm also getting a little off-topic. Using the word 'softening' in this way is unfortunately misleading, but there is just no appropriate term in any language with which I am familiar. On a purely pragmatic level the concept is fairly easy to grasp; beveling the hard, outward-facing edges on a piece of furniture could be one example. The next time you stumble over it in the dark perhaps it won't hurt quite as much. A bad example would be something like a foam body suit. Yes it has the same basic effect, but it is also debilitating in many ways. Things get complicated when all this theory gets filtered through the lens of geometry; it takes a LOT of triangles to make a soft surface. Naturally this is a key problem that I hope neotoy can help crack.

March 28, 2012 – Ethos

I've been reading what is probably the definitive treatise on 'modern' architecture. It is so well written that I am constantly in awe of the writer's scholarly panoptic eagle-eyed death-grip on the subject matter. People who can manipulate and present information in this way are like ancient gods gazing down from an unassailable vantage point of truly Olympian proportions. Although the best part about reading books like this is that it gives you the advantage of taking a puzzle-piece like microcosm and cramming it into a small corner of your own personal panorama of reality. There is just no way to properly evaluate how profoundly precious having the capacity for this process can be; it goes beyond mere personal enrichment and enters into the sacred Platonian realm of holistic enlightenment.

All of this leads me to the thematic question that has become the most pressing intellectual, nay, philosophical enigma striking at the very root of my life's work. Namely: Is the city our future, or is it just another evolutionary death trap that will springboard our species into extinction? This question is particularly important for several reasons, foremost because not many people are asking it. Everyone knows that the rurality is coming to a swift and abrupt end; it is being supplanted by the city. Many experts in many fields agree that this is a "good thing". Cities are humanity's centers of intellectual and hence industrial power, cities are efficient, cities are the pinnacle of our aspiration for a collective cultural identity. But does that make them right?

On a personal level Neotoy itself is a city-planet – it is effectively an entire planet composed solely of seamlessly interconnected cities; so you may be able to understand why this question would concern me; what if cities were actually a consummate intellectual cancer? While the data makes them seemingly inevitable, there is no reason to assume that the foundational concepts upon which they are built are intelligent or will endure, furthermore there are many symptoms both nascent and long-standing that shed significant and reasonable doubt on their ultimate utility and viability.

Neotoy, as you may know from reading my documentation so far, is not just a speculative work of science fiction – it is between the lines a blueprint for the future of civilization. It is also a hybrid prediction of human evolution and design inevitability. Yet nowhere in my narrative have I ever dared to question this foregone conclusion that the city is in fact our salvation. This is problematic because the more adept I become at holistic thinking the less respect I have for humanistic thinking, and if anything the city is our single greatest monument to ourselves.

For whatever reason, human beings have evolved the seemingly unique ability to be perpetually unsatisfied with everything. I like to look at this from a different perspective though; that reality is in fact very unsatisfactory and we are just the first organism defiant enough to grasp it by the testicles and squeeze until we turn those motherfucking lemons into some delicious goddamn lemonade. The only downside to this mentality is that when you hijack the plane there's always the chance that you won't have a fucking clue how to fly the thing and might end up ramming it right into a volcano. Best case scenario, you eventually run out of gas and then have to make an emergency landing. Unless, someone on board is a super-genius, they decode the entire control panel, build a perpetual motion machine out of spare parts and fly that sonofabitch right into a better tomorrow.

You can't ask any of these questions without wondering exactly what makes the universe tick. For example I want to say: do you really think the human race can outsmart billions of years of trial and error executed by the proverbial blind watchmaker? But then I have to take into account that we are also a product of that experiment, we both embody and define it. Do we really have a choice? If you could see that watchmaker's hands you'd realize what it all means, the cuts the bruises the countless bandages, the missing fingers. Maybe he's blind because once or twice a watch blew up in his face? Still he just keeps going. That's the essence of the human spirit right? Not quite as glamorous or entrepreneurial as we'd have ourselves believe, we're just tools of an unseen force only made visible by its parochial success. Yet for each obscene triumph paraded down Broadway there's an infinite boneyard of failure languishing backstage. The watchmaker knows this better than anyone, and we would be wise to take heed.

Every act is an act of defiance. And yet there is some non sequitur component to my psyche that says "NO!" every act is an act of cooperation! Humanity ascended because we shared information freely and worked together gladly. They can both be true, maybe they both need to be true. Every duality is a signpost proclaiming the inadequacy of our semantics. But I've always believed there is more at stake than survival; for me that is what philosophy really means, a willingness to go beyond what is self-evident.

March 25, 2012 – Wizard (3.obsolete a wise man)

Ha, I tired to write a post last month about this month's topic, what a failure, lol. And what was that topic exactly? Oh right, it was that the only good posts I've written throughout the years were wholly insane and consequently original. Sure the self-righteous, politically-incorrect, explicative laced rants were fun, but quite frankly they were all forgettable. Editor's note: Uh-oh, here I am, constantly falling into a pattern where I write about my writing in the past tense, wallowing in nostalgia and pretending I'm all washed up at the same time. I think I've caught some kind of hipster cancer, like metanoma maybe. Everything has to be so ironic. See, this is what I'm talking about right here.

It's true, the best posts were like this; playful, irreverent, well-informed, but with a lot less self-referential bullshit. Back then it was all about the mission, me, I was just a machine that would somehow make it happen. An Elegant Weapon, For a More Civilized Age. Since then I've lost sight of my vision, I've been transmuted into some kind of chickenshit steam-punk dragon dildo, reduced to being a fashionable overpriced paperweight sitting around on some stylish Ikea coffee table in an apartment populated by polyamorous skinny-jean wearing fixed-gear bike riding metrosexuals. But what's far worse is that I've convinced myself that the modern age no longer has any need for the wise.

I have this recurring fantasy where the world is coming to an end, suddenly everyone realizes that all their petty and idiotic differences of opinion no longer mean a damn thing. All the ignorance, greed and ambition that formerly dominated life on earth disappears overnight, people spend the rest of their lives doing whatever they want, which doesn't always end well, but at least it's sincere and they live or die without any regrets. Then in a totally unexpected twist it turns out that the world isn't really going to end, and everyone is forced to choose between returning to the way things were or to continue living as if each day was their last.

What might have been a profound thought yesterday is now nothing more than the punchline for a sappy romantic comedy today. This may be evolution, but that doesn't mean we have to like it. I'm sure these were the famous last words of each consecutive generation since the dawn of time. The truth is that meanwhile, as the world spirals into abject madness what it needs more than ever is to resuscitate the dying art of wisdom. While writing these words I feel as though I've been here countless times in the past, the anachronistic seer standing on the street corner of the information superhighway; the cars will just keep zipping by, their passengers will not even turn their heads, locked in the perpetual tunnel vision of post-modernism.

February 25, 2012 – Eddy

Refinement, a process that is truly never-ending, and yet the more refined something becomes the harder it is to further refine. Even in chemistry the concept of "purity" is not absolute; the closest you might get is to isolate a single molecule or atom, but no, even then it's not "pure" – the very process of observation pollutes it. The lesson here is that refinement only gets you so far, at some point you have to accept that the law of diminishing returns has kicked in. Alternately you might assume that earthly perfection has been achieved (imperfect solutions for an imperfect world). Furthermore I present a third avenue even more esoteric: say that reaching the efficiency threshold of refinement is really just a signal that it's time to move on to alchemy? Specifically the art of transmutation – a phenomenon that even the very atoms themselves are certain to experience as they inevitably succumb to entropy.

As I ramble along this rout of exponential abstraction I am reminded of my ignoble quest for the ultimate purpose of neotoy and the self. The answer is always the same, so in the end I always come to the same conclusion, namely that refinement is a fool's errand because it invariably leads to transformation. This is not so much a dark, nihilistic, suicide note as it is an apathetic affirmation of life's most reliable and irreverent constant: change. Cynicism may be the purest form of self-indulgence known to man, and I think I have reached a level of refinement previously unparalleled. I cling to the hope that these are not my personal feelings, but rather just the zeitgeist of the collective consciousness imprinting on my overly-sensitive psyche. Although to be honest, I'm not sure one is better than the other. I ask myself in all sincerity: how can anyone take this seriously? And by "this" I mean just about everything. Our political systems, our economic systems, our social systems, our technology, our ideology... I won't bore you further with an infinite litany.

The origin of my allergic reaction does not lie within any of these things. I am not cynical because civilization is a chronically dysfunctional failure. I am cynical because I am obsessed with it. I am taking it seriously, when clearly the only rational course of action is to accept that chaos is in full control and move on. And by "move on" I mean attempt to carve out a comfortable niche with as little exposure to the insanity raging outside as possible. I guess that's my current dream, not to swim against the current or go with the flow but to find some hospitable eddy wherein I can collect my thoughts.

February 21, 2012 – nothing is obvious

I use the word "obvious" a lot, here I'm using it again but in an atypical way. It may shock you to discover that while I've gone to great lengths in the past to espouse absolutist rhetoric encompassing technology, philosophy, geopolitics, socioeconomics, ecology - you name it; yet at the current moment in time – nothing is obvious. I think it's only natural that the more information you absorb on any given subject (assuming it is broad enough in scope) the more progressively uncertain you become about how it might evolve and adapt in the future. This is not intuitive. In information technology the opposite is true, the more data you accumulate the more deterministic your empirical base becomes, eventually you can predict anything within the context of that system. With holism it seems like that's not the case. This may be analogous to how the laws of physics behave in a radically different way at the sub-atomic scale. Holism is like the super-macro. You see the thing is, while it may be possible to predict the outcomes of numerous individual systems, combining them into some kind of analytic Venn diagram simply doesn't work. Even attempting to merge two definitive outcomes creates an entirely new and magnitudinal scenario wherein all bets are off.

For example, I've been playing around with merging the apparently unstoppable ascent of technology with the equally unstoppable degradation of the ecosystem. These two complex systems are highly interrelated and highly predictable individually; combine them however and suddenly it becomes impossible to determine even the most hypothetical of outcomes. It's clear that if technology keeps progressing at the current rate it's only a matter of time before mankind acquires god-like powers. It's equally clear that if ecological degradation is not reversed within a relatively small window within that same timeline, mankind will not be around to utilize those powers. But if technology is used to restore the ecosystem? Likewise within these two fields there are political and genetic influences vying for control – it is however anyone's guess as to whether they might at some point suddenly begin to cooperate. There is simply no way to predict this confluence, it seems just as likely as it does unlikely. So in conclusion the certain becomes uncertain again and only holism can provide answers.

On an entirely different topic: as some will have noticed I've become more involved in Second Life as of late; this is not just a casual thing, I've decided to do it as a career path. Although that's not entirely accurate since my main goal is simply to do something I enjoy that can also generate income. To this end I've chosen complete digital 3D asset creation as my objective, this includes modeling, texturing, scripting, documenting/marketing and ultimately the selling of virtual objects in virtual worlds. This isn't just a get-rich-slow scheme though, I'm already doing it and making money. Long-term I'm hoping this enterprise will lead to more socially engaging applications; since I'm specializing in virtual worlds, hence heavy asset optimization, I'm really aiming for involvement in "game development". Probably one of the most cliché career paths for my demographic in the 21st century. But, I'm not really so much interested in creating assets for games as I am in realizing my life-long vision of the "neotoy continuum" and its greater relevance as a model that can be adapted to improving the real world. At its core neotoy relies on a profound understanding of geometry to provide structure on every level, 3D modeling is invaluable as an aid to this end.

As for Second Life, well it is incidentally an ideal platform for creating social and physical simulations.

February 01, 2012 – The Reluctant Anarchist

This episode is titled "The Reluctant Anarchist". Recently I stumbled across the coming insurrection by the "Invisible Committee" (allegedly the "Tarnac Nine"). You can read the entire text here: https://tarnac9.wordpress.com/texts/the-coming-insurrection/

Anarchist Propaganda, could there really be a more inherently humorous term? In my continued exploration of the omnipervasive SNR (signal to nose ratio) this manifesto stands as a shining example of how ego inevitably corrupts ideology. You see, ideology is nothing without people to embody it – effectively it is possible to rank the relevance and validity of an ideology by the number of practitioners it has – keep in mind this is a purely subjective, human-centric relevance and validity! Members of any given cult are acutely aware of this fact at all times, naturally it's only a matter of time before a recruitment mechanism develops to compensate for the intrinsic lack of functionality.

At this point the ideology looses all credibility, yet continues to propagate! If it did indeed have any genuine relevance or validity, people would automatically adopt it. It would be obvious, self-evident, undeniably right and true. But that never has been, nor ever will be the case with any ideology. Why? Because we are living things and so are our ideas, and life cannot exist without change. Ideology has one fatal flaw: it tries to codify and crystallize a liquid reality. Reality however isn't a static thing that can be reduced to fundamental forces. Yet people are stupid, they'll never understand or accept this.

Anarchy may be fine for awhile but fascism will take over at some point, then democracy, then theocracy, eventually monarchy, and then back to anarchy. None of these systems are wholly right in the head, they are just different tools used to maintain civilization at different times. Even before anarchy there is a default state of intellectual nothingness, a complete and utter lack of coherent ideology – that is true anarchy, but it could never be labeled as such, because it is too pure and too real to be cheapened with a name. In summation: all ideologies are but ignorant bastard children of the ego, effete noise for the masses. Philosophies that never stoop to the level of begging or coercion to swell their ranks, these are unadulterated signal, and the minds capable of deciphering them are few and far between.

I've read that "cool" is synonymous with indifference, there is some truth to that, just like there is always a little bit of sweet savory signal in every swath of incoherent noise. Games within games, that is the theme for this year and perhaps this "lost" decade. The quickest way to reconnect with reality is to stop playing games with our minds, and with each other. Being real is not about learning new rules, it is about unlearning the game-playing mentality altogether.

Prosperity can be achieved via innumerable mechanisms – independent of ideology. Looking at nature, from nothingness emerged an incalculably prosperous ecosystem. The simple act of interrelated and interconnected organisms living by instinct enriched the whole; ideology was not required. There's no guarantee of success with a passive approach, but dominance requires clairvoyance – it must be certain of its own validity!

Imagine for a moment that dominance is not a sustainable mechanism for prosperity, but an evolutionary dead-end. In a human-centric world full of increasingly competitive mind-games that loose all meaning without winners and losers, can sustainable alternatives even exist? If you presume to dominate, this kind of question can't be overlooked. Anarchy is just a rejection of hierarchy and of dominance, a natural and sensible reaction to the question posed above. If dominance can't be assured, then perhaps it is better to err on the side of caution? There must be space for alternatives to manifest, ponds full of primordial muck that are free to spawn solutions of their own; that is the essence of life, is it not?

January 29, 2012 – The Dark Aisle

Moving into the future becomes a process of trying to break long-standing patterns; this is not necessarily growth (personal or otherwise), just a side-effect of getting older, and becoming tired of living the same scenarios over and over. An inconvenience only experienced by those who suffer from afflictions like intelligence and good memory.

The phrase "I lost my job" just never sounds good, regardless of the circumstances. I tried to sum up my thoughts on the experience by creating a narrative I titled "The Dark Aisle"; it was based on a dream which explained the amorphous emotional character of my ten years working for company X. Work is not about making things, it is about relationships with other people. Our world contains countless souls laboring under the shared delusion that they are striving to fulfill some abstract corporate "mission statement". Nope. You are just playing a game, the only game in town, the favorite game of humans world-wide. It's even bigger than Monopoly. This game is called "forming communities within communities so we can have even more fun acting out our hierarchy fantasies."

It's not that people can't be content just floating in a socially neutral sate, it's that some people are not content unless they are either above or below others; controlling or being controlled. This necessitates an array of virtually limitless social games that people are tricked into playing so that the control fantasies of these "ambitious" individuals are made real. The fact that there are industrial side-effects to this process is purely incidental; for while we can live easily without contrivances like mobile phones and fast food, it's our emotionally charged social life that ultimately sustains us. This "big secret" was discovered by advertisers a long time ago, which is why to this day commercialized compulsion takes the form of social and emotional manipulation. Understand the human psyche and there's absolutely nothing you can't trick people into doing. Likewise the weakest link in security is and will always be social engineering. No one is immune and there's always a first time.

In The Dark Aisle I'm eternally walking between two rows of ceiling-high shelves in a large warehouse, I'm not there to work, I'm merely passing through. The lights are off, everything has gone dark, the feeling is indescribable: a hunger, a craving beyond anything humanly comprehensible, paired with an excruciating emptiness, a nihilism that has gathered itself up into a terrifying golem of nothingness. Suddenly all the lights turn on, a blinding warmth that penetrates every cell, thawing and illuminating the body from within. There are other people now, that familiar bustle experienced throughout the world in countless locations at any given moment, civilization! Other warm bodies full of life, milling about. Even strangers are somehow comforting, unless you have Agoraphobia or anti-social personality disorder! But these are not strangers to me, they're more like family; they tell me that the warehouse is opening again, I can even work there if I want to. I find this funny because I was just on my way up to my office on the second floor, I must have missed the memo telling me that the place shut down! LOL! Really it's not funny at all. It's life and death.

Just another day at the office.

The truth is I didn't loose my job, an economy failed and I lost a family. No matter what kind of games are played in this world, regardless of the reasons, it's the social relationships that matter and the emotions that they create. Everything else is just so much whatever. I sincerely wish that more people realized this and took it to heart. We are not all working for abstract things that slake an inherent emptiness in the human soul that can never be completely filled, we are working for lasting human happiness through meaningful relationships. Ha! I bet this post is a huge surprise amirite? A positive, optimistic message of hope? Okay, what did you do to the real neotoy? Don't worry he's not locked in my basement, just on vacation.

It's ironic that I created an alter-ego to express my positive side - my public persona became more cynical while the jaded original was quietly transforming into something new. This is a good year for that considering the challenges faced by humanity. I'm sure you noticed by now, but I never finished the project I started last year (the humanitarian one). Truth is I did create draft designs for the main components, but they were too expensive to 3D print, so I had no choice but to table the project for the time being. This is my new economic reality, pretty soon I will not just be doing this as a philanthropic hobby, but for my own personal use.

I love all those articles about the recession and losing your job having a silver lining because you know what? They're right. Of course it depends heavily on the type of person you are and how responsible you are with money. Even so, it forces you to look at things from a different perspective, luckily I was already changing my lifestyle before I lost my job so the transition has been less dramatic than it might otherwise have been. It was probably two or three years ago that I came to the general conclusion that money was just like oil, an unconscionable poison that we had no choice but to utilize until it ran out. Three years before that I had realized that our economic system was blind to the point of chronic dysfunction. Now it's 2012, the chickens have come to roost, the money has all but run out, and the human race is grappling with multiple global challenges it can neither control nor comprehend.

Being in a situation that's out of control is just like loosing your job, and it also has a silver lining: you can stop struggling. Now this doesn't mean stopping everything, it just means changing priorities. Certain things are out of control, not everything.