August 16 "Crossroads Contingency"
Disclaimer: I’m making this post primarily because I’ve reached a crossroads in my own life. I think it’s only fair that I state up front, this post is really about me more than anything else.
The most important thing to realize in respect to civilization, is that there is no specific “reason” for things to be as they are. Whatever the status quo may be at any given moment, it cannot be blamed on any one thing. Things are as they are because of complex interdependencies that effectively prevent systemic change at certain scales.
All too frequently following the event of a global crisis, people will point fingers at specific factors with absolute conviction that if only that one thing had been “different” the crisis could have been averted.
This simply isn't true.
Inversely everything can be blamed on collective determinism. The status quo is merely the direct result of all our individual actions combined. Actions which are themselves determined by the foundational forces of the universe i.e. “nature”.
This is where the facts end and the philosophy begins. All we have by way of clarification is a limited historical record cataloging countless examples of failure and success. It's also important to keep in mind that the definitions of “failure” and “success” are fairly subjective - they can and do change over time.
That being said, the line has to be drawn somewhere. In terms of geopolitics and socioeconomics it's relatively safe to define failure as 'anything that lowers our quality of life over time' and success as 'anything that raises our quality of life over time'.
These are wonderfully flexible definitions because 'quality of life' is both general and concise while the phrase 'over time' does not specify a set scale it just suggests either a downward or upward trend fading away into forever.
Just to elaborate, imagine that you live in poverty yet your quality of life is set to steadily improve over the course of a century. This may actually be less desirable than living a life of incessant decadence that is slowly slipping into poverty over that same time period.
Despite lording over the entire planet the fact remains we humans have relatively short lives, 100 years of peace and prosperity could be easily achieved if we were willing to sacrifice the earth's entire ecosystem to that end. The alternative is living comparably poor lives that will allow for the possibility of successive generations we will never live to see. Morality aside, neither bargain seems particularly intelligent.
Today the predominant delusion is that we can somehow live both of these lives at the same time. This isn't however a choice we can make individually but rather a collective effect that happens automatically as we live according to various genetic and cultural principles.
You might note that despite this apparent paradox “nature” is working exactly as intended. Granted we have no idea what it actually intends (if anything).
My main intent with this post is to outline various observations including the contingencies I have established in response to the status quo which by my definition of failure appears to be failing.
To address any one of the key factors is to strike at the root of every conceivable institution comprising the fabric of civilization today. The very foundations of modern living must be put on trial, no cow is too sacred, no convention or ideology is immune to rigorous reexamination.
First question: is civilization viable? Two quick answers: short-term yes. Long term no. The facts are fairly straightforward, we are using up natural resources faster than they renew, and we are simultaneously destroying the natural systems that make many of those essential resources renewable. If there is one factor above all others that is responsible for this overtly suicidal behaviour it is our global economic system which uses scarcity to determine value.
At a fundamental level this means that plentiful resources are considered worthless and are therefore exploited and consumed until they either become too scarce to afford or are used up completely. This kind of system might actually be practical if we lived in a world where every natural resource existed in a vacuum. Unfortunately most if not all natural resources are intricately connected and interdependent. Abusing or depleting one resource effects the entire resource web, almost categorically in a negative and irreversible way.
Although the most destructive aspect of this process is that due to the distributed, global nature of the attack there is no effective way to defend against it. Furthermore the vast majority of the damage is done entirely under the radar and may take decades or even centuries to uncover, that is assuming we would even be able to connect the dots.
You might think that if the damage isn’t immediately obvious then it clearly isn’t a problem. You’d be half right. This is analogous to breaking a table leg, the table still stays upright, but if you put something on the wrong side the whole thing may just tip over. The problem is that no one knows how many legs the ecosystem has; and we’ve been pretty busy breaking every one we can get our hands on. Not to mention, the human race is piled on top of this table, about a metric ton more of us than it was ever designed to support.
So yeah, that is civilization in its current form. But what about pre-industrial civilization. How does that stack up? Low-tech hunter-gatherer societies are effectively sustainable in both the short and long term. Just keep in mind that there are good yet brutal reasons for this to be true. Life expectancy is dramatically lower, living conditions are austere, climate virtually dictates community viability. Overall quality of life may actually be higher in many respects, but the philosophical cost is steep.
In the end our mode of civilization is determined by ideology, not by science. Factually there is no doubt regarding viability, but at the same time it is not really a consideration. Clearly it was at one point, there were cultures in the past that for whatever reason chose to live in a sustainable way. In doing so they sacrificed their own future to ensure that consecutive generations would be able to enjoy the same quality of life.
Our path is a different one. Here I find the national motto “carpe diem” particularly apt. We have sacrificed the future in order to seize the day for ourselves. The etymology is quite enlightening, the actual passage from which the phrase is taken reads “Seize the Day, putting as little trust as possible in the future” - Figureativley the future is uncertain therefore drink your wine while there is wine left to drink. This way of living is diametrically opposed to traditional native philosophies such as “take only what you need” and “waste nothing”.
Still we must go far deeper if we are to truly understand ourselves. Being human is not merely about surviving. Curiosity, creativity, ingenuity, there are forces inside us that will simply never be suppressed. Inevitably over time these characteristics inspire us to do things that defy reality itself. I love when people say “It’s just evolution!” as if that somehow explained everything. Yes it is evolution, but what is evolution!? A side effect of physical laws we have yet to fully understand. A process of natural selection, mutation, and genetic drift through which organisms change over time. Change, that is all. No beginning and no end. Is there some hidden meaning or purpose behind it all? Not that we know of. So really what is the rationale behind living disciplined lives, to ensure a future for consecutive generations?
This is the crux is it not? The core philosophical dichotomy at the heart of 21st century everything. Who are the bigger fools - those crazy suicidal maniacs burning through our ecological lifeblood like there’s no tomorrow. Or those clinically insane conservation obsessed flower children struggling to sustain an ecosystem that only their children’s children will be able to appreciate.
The bottom line is that neither of these factions are going anywhere anytime soon, and yet they’ll all be dead in less than 100 years.
So, out of all the conceivable factors currently contributing to the failure of civilization, which is the most crucial, the most central, the most universal? Additionally, how long has this condition been in effect, how has it survived the test of time, and will it continue to persist even after a catastrophic collapse?
I have chosen “ego” as my starting point. Ego is more than just consciousness or self-awareness, it is the timeless characteristic that inspires grand delusions at all levels of society. Ego could very well be the defining characteristic of failure, because it is the most profound form of blindness imaginable. Not only does ego require the constant denial of reality, it also demands that we substitute our own version of the story, effectively living in a world of illusion, designed specifically to tell us what we want to hear. Although the most destructive quality by far is that ego scales at all levels, from the social circles of children to the elite circles of power in government, there is no aspect of civilization that escapes the ever-present influence of ego.
Ego in turn nurtures a culture that is entirely self-referential in nature, which leads to the second factor; the great disconnect, or self-imposed isolation that is endemic of failure. In essence there is no higher power above or beyond humanity, there is no authority figure we can relate to. I say “relate” because this is an important distinction since there is in fact a higher power, albeit an uncommunicative and ruthless force of nature that could effortlessly erase our species from existence.
The problem is we are unable to negotiate with or even comprehend the mentality of this higher power. This is the ultimate failing of ego, a fundamental unwillingness to acknowledge anything that threatens its sense of supremacy. Effectively pretending that such a higher power doesn’t exist, simply because it won’t communicate in a way that validates the ego’s perfect world of self-confirming illusions.
The result is that the ego attempts to recreate its own delusions in the real world. Essentially mirroring the model established in the mind. Isolation is the first logical step, often manifesting in the establishment of artificial environments, starting with simple structures, eventually progressing into complex synthetic systems designed specifically to replace natural ones.
Keep in mind, this is all just the physical side of the equation, there is a spiritual side too, and it’s far more insidious. From an evolutionary perspective this is all just another experiment, if it fails nothing of value is lost, everything will start over. However a part of the current experiment is the fact that not everyone is a willing participant, there is always a counter-culture. Ego is after all only an aspect of consciousness. If you want to take the theatrical route it’s possible to suggest that we are in the middle of the greatest and longest world war of all time. The war between the two dominant faces of consciousness. Ego on one side, awareness on the other.
In the modern world it seems as though ego is winning. Although in this case winning is actually losing. Make no mistake, historically speaking ego has destroyed every major civilization to date. If not directly then indirectly via assimilation. Many would argue that our current civilization is merely the latest victim, currently in the advanced stages of ego death.
Those who would debate this statement are likely to cite the countless benefits of globalization, which are initially impossible to discount. But that is strictly a short-term prognosis, globalization is itself the biggest lie ever sold. It’s only by way of the growing geopolitical disconnect between networked nations that wealth continues to finance poverty. If anything globalization is an anti-global movement that seeks to permanently establish and maintain a graphic socioeconomic disparity.
Although none of that really matters because globalization is just a mind game played by the ego. Wealth and poverty are both artificial conditions created by the ego to establish “winners” and “losers” in a world where winning and losing mean nothing if everybody dies. But it’s not enough for the ego just to survive, it has to dominate, even if that means destroying everything around it in the process.
Consider for a moment that it can’t be stopped. The ego will continue relentlessly to impose its dystopian vision on reality, even if civilization is brought to collapse the ego will live on, slithering out of the ashes it will begin again, building a new world it can dominate. This is the tale of human progress, so far. Luckily for us we were born into a relatively benign period of the cycle and thankfully, reality has allowed this madness to persist if only because it was possible. Think about that for a moment..
Puts things in perspective, right? There is no point trying to contradict history, but that doesn’t mean the future is set in stone. I’ve heard it said that the only hope for humanity is a paradigm shift in consciousness. But I’ve never heard anyone say how we’re supposed to make that happen. I think the great unspoken truth in that statement is that we’re not going to. Not because we can’t but because consciousness was born out of chaos, and the only way to reforge it is to thrust it back into the fires of hell.
Ego is driving us back into the fire, whether we follow it there or not is up to us. Our track record is pretty bad, so I’d say prepare for the worst, which is one reason I’m making this post. There is no way to adequately prepare for what’s probably coming, so I’m not going to bother trying, after all survival is something we’re hardwired for.
My interest is in the mind. After the dust settles, after the decades of pent up denial burst the dam of blissful ignorance and wash away all the glorious yet twisted delusions of the 21st century. What then? What contingencies could we possibly offer the refugees?
For one: Awareness is the key to everything. Like recognizing that ego is something that should be left smoldering in the ashes, if it tries to slither out, spear it through the head. It will never truly die, but it may be subdued.
Our true wealth is our ecology first, our community second and culture third. Money won’t fix anything unless it is backed by life itself, and cities will become barren wastelands unless we build them with that in mind.
Isolation kills the soul and breaks the integral connections between us and our environment. Biodiversity is distributed intelligence, there is nothing smarter nor stronger on this earth; but it’s not conscious nor is it invincible.
Politics won’t solve our most pressing problems, because it is incapable of comprehending them. The past will continue to repeat until it runs out of resources, then consciousness will have no choice but to change.
When all this comes to pass we will begin a new way of life, hopefully one that is considerably less ignorant, mindless and self-destructive. But no matter what it won’t last forever, it has no beginning and no end.
Fourth of July Update "It's Quantum"
Well, where to begin? Every time I write, I ask myself 'is this going to be another downer post?' At times it seems like negativity is my greatest skill, so I will try to start this off with a more positive spin; I have a lot of hope for the future, I'm an optimist. I'm still alive because I believe in potential, my own and that of other people. Still, no matter how I slice it, no matter how hard I try to sidestep the elephant in the room, he never wavers, he never shrinks one iota.
I suppose I should start out by explaining my current state of mind; these posts, as of late, are always like that – a kind of personal 'state of the union' address. Which TBH seems very appropriate in more than one sense. Neotoy is a real place to me, a real world and a real nation, the only difference is that it currently exists only in my mind.
I've been thinking a lot lately about complexity, I keep thinking about the sheer diversity of states of being, of consciousness, in other places, other people, other things. This is my current theme. This kind of reminds me of all of Obama's irritating little colloquial anecdotes about 'main street' Americans. Joe the plumber from Dumbrock Iowa, Susan the stock broker from upstate NY, Amy the hard working waitress from Somewhere Somestate. You get the picture. These are made-up people, these are also real people; and that's just it: there are more people and places out there than can be imagined, and I think it is safe to say that we will never know them all.
This is the theme that persists in my mind. Somewhere in the jungle is a tribe that has never known electricity. Somewhere in California a Mexican construction worker is nailing down a board made from illegally procured endangered hardwood. Somewhere in space a cosmonaut is shitting into the business-end of a vacuum. Somewhere in Russia an orphan is being sold into sexual slavery. Somewhere a dog is dragging a baby out of a burning building. There is no end, there is nothing you can imagine that isn't happening right now, but really it's what you can't imagine that fills up the lion's share of actions taking place at any given moment. And besides, those are just the human stories, we're a minority in the biosphere.
Amidst all this complexity there are select narratives, that for no discernible reason become more visible than others; incidentally there is a notable phenomenon wherein these "actors" through virtue of their visibility create additional, and equally arbitrary, areas of illumination. There is no reason for any of this, it just happens. You can choose to focus on the spectacle, you can choose to ignore it, you can choose to search out some other form of value and meaning, or you may even participate directly.
The more I think about this basic concept of how inconceivably big reality is, the more reluctant I become to accept and appreciate all the small ideas people have (myself included). And yet I exist, I am typing this right now, I don't believe it's meaningless. This is quantum – "quantum mysticism" if you must. Energy is all the validity I need, it's not "I think therefore I am." It's "I am therefore I think." or if you really want to get quantum mystical about it, being and thinking are probably hopelessly entangled - however, merely being alive is not enough for most people (myself included).
Ambition, aspirations, random thoughts that come out of nowhere, inspiring you and me to do crazy shit.. That's what "living" is amirite? Still it's a struggle, grappling with the constant uncertainty; is that cat dead or alive? One wonderful relief is of course the realization that all those "big" problems that everyone else seems to find so all consuming, things like "the debt ceiling", "climate change", "the energy crisis", "Heat death of the universe" are really not all that exciting once you put them in perspective.
So where was I going with all this? No idea, really. I'm not giving up if that's what you're thinking. Although this post is maybe just a way to say that I'm not really getting anywhere either. I really hope that this is not a problem, because I really am trying, sincerely. I've gone diametric but I'm still the same person. Everything I create is caught up in the paradox of my love-hate relationship with humanity, isn't that how it should be? After all I'm only being honest here. There are times when I think a global nuclear war might be the best thing to ever happen to the human race, then there are times when think I can see a little beauty somewhere in that cracked smile of yours.
There's only one thing I just can't stand: people who think they know what's best for everyone. If I ever totally become that person, I hope a swift and merciful death follows shortly thereafter. Meanwhile the infinite kaleidoscope of reality keeps on turning, exposing us all to unimagined truths.
Every being is born into this world a blank slate, every being but one.
The sun if it could be called that was rising over the face of a new world; the first rays of light fell upon a slab of what looked like stone. A figure lay prone on this slab casting a pale milky shadow. His sky-blue skin began to glow with an inner light, as if borrowing some of the radiance from the watery orb that shimmered remotely in the heavens. His body jerked, his back arching in a disturbing and exaggerated way, displaying a profound muscular structure that seemed to defy Newtonian physics; bent almost double, his head dangerously close to his heels there came the accompanying sound of a great rushing wind, which gradually decreased in volume until it became recognizable as a long, drawn out gasp. The Changer had drawn his first breath. The boy's body immediately relaxed, flopping heavily back against the slab with an excruciating slap that echoed off the nearby monolithic architecture. Reflexively his eyes flicked open with an audible snap, two colorless spheres punctuated by pupils as dark and dense as twin black holes where now staring fixedly yet uncomprehendingly into space.
That was his first real memory, although it was not his first memory. Slowly the figure pushed himself into a sitting position, his legs folding naturally and with an uncanny grace. He lowered his gaze, neglecting the sky to take in his surroundings, and then almost instinctively looking down at the slab upon which he sat. There was only one marking on its surface and it fit both neatly and auspiciously within the loose triangle formed by his legs. "Delta" he whispered, reaching down with his right hand and running his fingers along the angled grooves that comprised the engraving. It was a perfect equilateral triangle pointing directly towards him.
"My name is Delta." He said, it was not a question but a statement of fact. He knew this to be true as certainly as he knew he was alive. But that was the last of the assurances he received on that brilliant morning, at the beginning of the world.
In no particular order..
I'm in the process of developing a "product", a catalytic piece of technology designed to indirectly convert gravity into electrical energy and sterilize water. This is a small, lightweight device about the size of paperback. The prototype will be 3D printed, after demoing the device and working out the kinks I plan to open source the design and release it into the public domain. ETA, not sure, but most likely sometime this year, I'd say I'm about 10% done (the hardest 10%).
I bring this up because it raises an interesting quandary. The name I picked for my product is already in use, incidentally the "competing" product is in a similar field of application (although clearly a different class of device). This brings my philosophy into direct conflict with commercialization. My strategy is in effect a test of the current system. The theory is as follows: in the marketplace, designs that vie for market share and are economically motivated are on an even footing.
My offering unintentionally threatens to disrupt that model, mainly because it is not economically motivated. My assumption (a big one) is that offerings that are not economically motivated have a much higher chance of survival, especially in regard to branding. If the design is released into the public domain it has the potential to be manufactured in a distributed way (rather than staying centralized), this makes it uneconomical for the competing brand to litigate.
In a sense this is a democratic process, the consumer has the choice to establish which product is associated with which brand, extralegally (really outside the whole commercial system). Eventually the popularity of each product determines which one better fits the brand name, regardless of assertions of copyright infringement or intellectual property. This basically removes the idea of ownership from the equation and lets the consumer play free association.
The one concern I have is the phenomenon of brand dilution. I don't desire or intend to disassociate the competing product with the brand, but at the same time the brand works better for one offering than the other. If successful the strategy all but ensures that the competing brand becomes a casualty of what is clearly a superior method of empowering the consumer via technology.
Is it possible for competing products to share a brand? This is one question I hope the project can answer. It certainly seems to work with my personal brand, although neotoy represents a continuum rather than a product, I am not economically engaged, therefore I am not undermining the brand in a concrete way.
So my last post was about integration, I thought I might spend a little time elaborating on that - not the definitions but rather on the actual effect it may have on neotoy. At this point I've determined to my satisfaction that I have two distinct identities; neotoy (the one with which you are familiar) and my "RL" identity. The latter is gradually sliding into the realm of holism, analogue, emotion, ambiguity, androgyny, ambivalence. While the former is sliding into absolutism, digital, synthesis, uniformity, asexuality. Two extremes, one person. I am the integration of these two personalities, divided we provide reciprocal insight into two diametric points of view, together we form a whole.
Is neotoy really about integration? It seems like that can't be true since the continuum is a manifestation of everything that contradicts the real world. And yet take a look around, that digital future is where we're headed. In this sense neotoy is the purest form of science fantasy, you could even call it "neoclassical" or canon, it is not much more than one particularly dedicated prediction of the future, assuming that current trends continue indefinitely. Perhaps the integration emerges when at the last possible moment the reader realizes that even neotoy is imperfect?
For that is the hallmark of all transcendent works of art, that sublime act of pulling the ancient gods down from the firmament of heaven, proving them mortal through loophole and treachery and then finally at the masterstroke of midnight sacrificing them brutally and forever on the ritualistic alter of our own eternal incredulity.. only to find that we struck them down merely to usurp them. How petty, how mundane, how banal. Still the insanity of the human race had to come from somewhere, it's not like we can take all the credit.
tl;dr the jury is still out on integration.
Genetic algorithms have been getting a lot of press lately, the term keeps popping up. Imagine you're contracted to build a bridge; now you can do all the hard work and heavy lifting yourself, you can pick the materials, you can plan the aesthetics, then engineer everything into the most suitable specification imaginable. What you get at the end of the day is a work of art, a testament to human ingenuity, etc. Or..
Or you can work in reverse, plug your specifications into a computer which then engineers the most statistically sound model, wholly disregards fanciful ideas like aesthetics, picks the most appropriate materials, and then runs billions of simulations attempting to test the feasibility of the design. Over time these tests mutate (some randomly, some purposefully), in response the design begins to react in kind. The bridge mutates back, like a living thing, like an immune system it learns from each new assault, using its genetic memory to adapt and make itself stronger, more streamlined, whatever it takes to survive.
It could theoretically go on forever, except for the fact that the simulation itself is still restricted by a set of rules. There are only so many materials to choose from, resources are not infinite either, and the worst thing of all; the bridge isn't a living thing, it's a tool, it provides a specific utility, there are parts that must adhere to some underlying purpose neither the bridge nor the algorithms know anything about. Still they do their best.
Eventually what you have is something that could not have been imagined by any architect or engineer, it may be ugly (although probably not), but it does the job better. You start to play the 'what if' game: what if the algorithm was able to synthesise materials in addition to designing the bridge? What if the algorithm was able to reimagine the vehicles that would be utilizing the bridge? What if the algorithm was able to reimagine the interstate system that necessitated the bridge? Before too long you would have a whole new world, one utterly alien, one where bridges might not even exist!
Whether it's better or not is debatable, what's important is that it's different. At this point it becomes a question of abstract determinism, who is in control, how much control do they really have, and what (if any) is the point?
Say it's just factoring, accelerating probability to discover a meaningful sequence, it's like code breaking, or is it? The initial set of variables determine the outcome (which is the code). The code is not known, but we know that it exists.. and yet the whole point of the simulation is to arrive at the right answer faster. An answer that would take too long to guess. So it is not really an attempt to "think outside the box", rather it is an attempt to make a really big box, fill it with our favorite things and then shake it until the ingredients are refined into the purest and most poignant combination. The bottom line is that it can never produce a genuinely unexpected result.
The determinism takes place between the lines. Each singular optimization allows each connected component to function with greater efficiency and more importantly conductivity; this in turn pressures the connected parts to go through a similar process, over time the whole becomes exponentially more efficient and conductive. Or does it? Being too good at doing the wrong thing is much worse than being really bad at doing the right thing. It becomes of the utmost importance to determine which is the case.. arguably far more important than anything else. But there's no algorithm for that! (I'm sure google would beg to differ).
As an applicable model I was recently mulling over my decision to go with geodesic modules (equilateral triangles) for the neotonian "metto", as oppose to something far more organic. This also came up with my recent foray into SketchUp involving neotonian architecture which is almost exclusively founded on 45 degree angles. Due to complications with the geometry I experimented briefly with far more crystalline configurations (random angles, random face width, random heights), where previously everything had been fixed-width. The difference is that one is a mathematical delusion while the other is (dare I say it?) biomimicry.
Put another way, one is a vision into Plato's Socrates's world of Forms (Eidos), while the other is a more conventional portrayal of the world of shadows that we inhabit. Or as I like to think of it the shadow of a shadow. So it seems that after all is said and done the two configurations are not all that different, and it amounts to a subjective preference. As long as one is willing to accept the difficulty entailed in attempting to depict "perfect", hence impossible forms in an imperfect world. As noted above I've already discovered that it's far easier to incorporate imperfection into the design (as subtlety as possible, mind). This is in effect an integration, and ideal from my POV.
That is all for this update.
Bet you thought I finally abandoned this site, amirite? It has been 4 months since I last updated any of the main pages. But no, I haven't abandoned this site, nor have I abandoned neotoy.
People with emotional problems experience throughout their lives many Long Dark Tea-Times of the Soul
. And no, I am not really much of a Douglas Adams fan. But enough about me.
It's 2011 January 5th. Unlike with the last handful of updates I'm going to stick with the 1 page 1 year model this time around, so until 2012 all further news will be added to this page. Should make things a little less schizophrenic for my regular visitors. Speaking of which..
gets 93.88% of total site traffic. Fair enough, it was practically perfection for that period in time. It hardly takes a genius to realize that people hate pagination, hell, I hate it. So, back to the better model, for now.
Adaptability was kinda the theme of my last post, this post is in the same vein, although the focus is more on flexibility. Let me differentiate: adaptability means changing from one form or context to another, while flexibility means changing only the behavior of a preexisting form in the same context. Although the purpose of both is the same - to "live" better.
Flexibility assumes that the underlying model is sound, that only minor rather than foundational modifications need to be made - optimizations, if you will.
Then again, it almost seems more important to note that flexibility above all else is about sacrificing rigidity and ideology for far more corporeal gains. In essence, flexibility is the incarnation of being gracefully wrong, learning (quickly) from mistakes, and rebounding with minimal strain and effort. Flexibility and ego clash on a regular basis, they are mortal enemies.
Ahh.. finally remembered where I was going with this. Neotoy. It may come as a surprise to some, but neotoy is not actually a wholesale rejection of the real world - no - quite the contrary it is a sincere attempt at holistic integration. If this post is about anything at all, it is about recognizing that in the world today we are stuck with a global elitist culture that refuses to acknowledge the necessity of integration. An inflexible culture.
Although this statement is somewhat ironic! Since said culture overtly espouses its countless and costly gestures of sociopolitical integration. Lies. This culture in its current form has no desire to integrate, rather it aspires to assimilate. Its true and only desire is to convert the entire world into its spitting image. For that is the only way it feels that it can relate. Sad really.
Time to differentiate again: integration means combining various unique parts into an integral whole; assimilation means absorbing and incorporating unique parts into a preexisting design. The difference in status should be obvious. In integration, all parts are equal, having equal value and equal potential. In assimilation the preexisting institution is superior, the parts are inferior, they are merely tools to be acquired and then exploited in such a way that the interests of the institution are sustained.
The second system only works in a universe where one group of people has all the answers. That is not a real world view, it is a deluded, warped, and ultimately cancerous philosophy that destroys everything it manages to suck into its dominion.
As I come to understand all of these things, I realize that neotoy in turn has to be flexible, neotoy has to learn from these mistakes and integrate these crucial ideas into itself - because our world has cancer, and we are the only ones who can cure it.