The Ordered Mind
By Julian Ostrow

        In my mind, it is necessary to evaluate all input as right or wrong; true or false; 1, 0. The tragedy of this condition lies in the necessity of a method for interpreting in this fashion. A smile is a complex pattern of synapses, a string of electrons falling through the fibrous catacombs of mind. Shades of gray are simply decimals waiting to be rounded up or down; there is no middle ground here. Unfortunately, data is lost in this process. It is perceived by the outside (the untrusted environment) as either conviction or oversimplification, a function of unfathomable complexity...

A kind act; benevolent by definition, but one must look deeper, beyond that smile, beyond that gift; something is expected of me now, yes. Smile. Be gracious, or you’re done. You owe them. Or maybe the act in itself is deserved of no return, but in whose eyes is this judgment made? Yes; this was done with an audience; who are they to ask something of me? They did nothing; I asked for nothing. Perhaps this act of good will was simply a performance so subtle, but doesn’t anyone realize it but me? They must—but they’d never show it. That would be very unbecoming, wouldn’t it—no, there is no benevolence here.

Kindness only exists between two people who exist as little more than one, at a level of understanding that by definition does not require material substance, where no question of intent exists. Otherwise, it is ill-natured or simply one more debt being paid; memory being freed.

Cynical; but that has nothing to do with right or wrong; perhaps one who denies his cynicism—yes, we all have it—is only fooling himself. And even then...

        Paths to truth are innumerable and indistinguishable—but there is only one truth.