Who knows what lies in the hearts of men?

The Shadow knows; and you don’t want to. Conspicuous monsters aren’t monsters. They’re neighbors, however temporary. Monsters are guerilla, unseen, opportunistic. They stay shrouded in potential. Where Lorentz had it for relativistic contraction based on inertial frames, these things enjoy a distortion wrought from awareness frames.

This is why we still delight in dirty jokes; we all know their subtext, and can often predict their punchlines. We need these contexts, these distorting frames of awareness, to make sense of the world. We know we won’t achieve parity of understanding and reality; our hypotheses will always need refinement. We accept that all our knowledge is approximation, and need it to be so.

This is why porn and prostitution and lying and theft remain fixtures in our cultures. It’s no accident that congregations of people will invariably sort themselves into a pecking order. Perfection, like power, carries obligatory responsibility, and most people prefer to outsource their authority to people more interested in wielding it. Whatever impedes perfection—like crime—protects us from the great responsibility that comes with great power.

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