"The opposite of a truth isn’t a falsity, it’s an ideal. an ideal is an frozen state of perfection-- how the mess of reality should be for us. It prescribes a precise past and future that the present should aspire to reach and hold onto. human existence is nothing if not defined, organized, and stabilized by ideals – names, titles, forms, heavens, hells, rituals, statuses, morals, myths, eras, scripts, models, supermodels, objects, laws, lingo. crucially, an ideal can only exist through the consent and shared history of a community of humans. Ideals are the crude barometers from which we give status to every piece of reality’s mess: authentic, real, fake, imitation, miracle, imperfect, precious, natural. when a community stops believing in an ideal, the ideal becomes worthless noise, but reality is still there."


Ian Cheng, "Forking at Perfection"