AI’s Looming Shadow: Soma is a Pandora’s Box into a Brave New World of Artificial Reality

AI’s Looming Shadow: Soma is a Pandora’s Box into a Brave New World of Artificial Reality

This particular rabbit hole began when someone pointed out that OpenAi’s new text-to-video tool is named the same thing as the drug of euphoria in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.

It isn’t, but it’s close.

Sora is the new AI video tool that came uncomfortably too soon, and should absolutely freak you out.

Soma is the drug people take in Brave New World’s dystopian future to ignore the harsh truth of reality and live in a blissful statement of happy ignorance.

People aren’t yet commenting on the similarity in names (we’ll break down the full meaning later), but some have been quick to combine the two anyway. Here’s a 2013 article calling viral internet content Huxley’s Soma, with a picture from the Brave New World movie… (a character being forced to watch propaganda).

We’ve been glued to our phones for a decade, and more recently people seem to be deliberately radicalized through social media. VR is the next big thing, because why wouldn’t we strap our phones to our heads and free up our hands from media consumption? Then we can be plugged in, all the time – as many people already are, to music, podcasts, doomscrolling or whatever else bumps dopamine.

While VR headsets like Apple’s Vision Pro are lacking content, for the very first time we have the potential for full, immediate, realistic virtual reality environments with tools like Sora, a text-to-video generator that seems to create entire worlds from scratch.

Brave New World had “Feelies” – or immersive movies with taste and smell. We’re not there yet, but we might be closer than you think (the easier solution would be a brain chip that simulates those senses). We’re in the “Pong” era of AI tech. All this stuff is incredible in that it actually kind of works, though of course way too limited to be useful for now… it’s a novelty, but things are moving quickly, and it’s worth paying very close attention because yes, of course, it will probably lead to an AI apocalypse (the people who work in AI companies give it a 10% chance AI will end the world).

AI dystopia or utopia?

Is AI going to be good, or bad for humanity? This will impact, whether we should resist it, and how much we should resist it. I have a jaded view of Huxley’s dystopia, because I’m jealous of the leisure and happiness that the author portrays as a stark warning.

In A Brave New World, most people just need to be fed, clothed, and entertained, and they’ll be fine. They’ll just consume the state-spun media and not question anything. The point of the dystopian novel is that we *should* resist and question everything and seek out real, authentic experiences rather than be seduced by the easy and luxurious comfort, but personally, I think the idea of a State that actually serves its citizens and makes them happy (basic needs are met) isn’t the worst thing.

In other words, I’m not sure Huxley’s dystopian vision of our future is very far off, and it doesn’t sound that bad given where we are currently. Free healthcare, child-rearing is left to the state, pills to keep us happy and free of pain and sadness, entertainment and media, good vibes. A society devoted to consumption and pleasure (right now we have all the consumption with none of the pleasure).

But of course, for many reasons, any good humanist would disavow this projection and vow that Real Human Art is made from pain and suffering, and we need to Feel and Express ourselves, to quest, to lack, to want… in order to be human. That’s kind of what I did a whole PhD thesis about, but I won’t go into that here (it has a lot to do with Faust’s restless “striving”).

Sora is Pandora’s Box but like, for REAL

Most people don’t know this, but Pandora was originally a sentient AI sent to destroy humanity after they discovered the “technology” of fire. Hḗphaistos, the good of the forge, built himself some automatons (robots), to clean his house and sing for him (utility + entertainment), but he also built a handful of unique characters that played an oversized role in classic mythology.

According to Adrienne Mayor’s book Gods and Robots, “It could be argued that Pandora was a kind of AI agent. Her only mission was to infiltrate the human world and release her jar of miseries.”

So it’s a very fair comparison to make, plus I like the worldplay involved.

Soma is Greek for “body” – in Brave New World, it is “euphoric, narcotic and pleasantly hallucinant.” Study questions for decades have asked whether a drug like Soma is metaphorically like modern addictions to technology – a parallel Huxley himself has endorsed.

“Technology has advanced and this changes social conditions, and suddenly people have found themselves in a situation which they didn’t foresee and doing all sorts of things they didn’t really want to do… At present the television is being used quite harmlessly. I would feel it’s being used too much to distract everybody all the time…

“All technology is morally neutral. These are just powers that can be used well or ill.” – Aldous Huxley, (1958 interview with Mike Wallace)

The Future of Media (AI text to video generators)

It’s already pretty insane, that AI learned how to draw in less than 2 years and can now reproduce faithfully, almost any kind of art or photography – which is a massive amount of the creative industries, though the amount of hobbyists is much greater than the amount of active professional artists and photographers that will be put out of work.

But LLM’s also took out screenwriters and copywriters, as in, if they haven’t quiet achieved usable results yet, anyone can see that given the quick pace of adoption, they will get here fast… which is why creative professionals are protesting. We seem to pay less attention to non-creative tasks: Microsoft already added copilot to Windows, and is rolling out AI tools in its entire Office Suite of desktop applications.

Apple is partnering with Google’s Gemini, presumably to change the old “Siri” into a devoted personal assistant/therapist you can talk to anytime to get immediate advice or results – and we’re probably a few months away from AI “agents” that can actually just do everything for you. So you’d start the day with a todo list, task everything to an assistant, and just revise and edit the completed workflow or focus on more enjoyable, high level things. It’s OK not to be an expert in everything. I won’t waste an hour turning a quick checklist into a Powerpoint presentation. It isn’t worth it to me. But if I can do that instantly with the press of a button, why wouldn’t I?

AI assistants will let people do all the simple things they’ve never bothered to master – dumb programs and stuff – and “finish” the million zany projects they’ve always wanted to pursue but never had the time to invest in. The main reason I don’t think it’s going away, is because for *most people* the efficiency and efficacy will make them insanely useful and valuable.

But… we also get one step closer to Huxley’s vision: doing very little actually work and just enjoying the benefits of rapid production. And of course, the elephant in the room is that, if normal people can use AI tools to do stuff, so can companies… and they won’t need humans anymore.

That creates a pretty large problem. If people can create their own media, everybody will be doing it. There will be more competition and content than ever, but you could always just make your own. Large companies will fire staff and have a handful of prompt engineers; everyone in the gig economy will be out of work. People who offer cheap services on Fiverr or create stock assets, that entire section of the economy will shrivel up… is shriveling up.

This is not a dire futuristic scenario, this is happening right now.

AI Sora video generator

Aged like milk…

I saw a Reddit post from a few years back, commenting on AI, from an author who said “in 100 or 200 years, we’ll be able to generate videos from our favorite books and video games!” basically, instant fan fic. One of the comments was, “too bad none of us will be alive to enjoy it.”

So, the good news is, we’re alive.

And the bad news is, we’re alive.

That means how humanity gets through the next decade, one that Sam Altman has called the most pivotal point in human history except any other point in the future, is up to us.

“Soma” means body. It’s the same word used in the Greek bible, translated as “If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. Better to lose a part of your body than to have your whole body thrown into hell. It wouldn’t be an absurd reach, to associate the right hand or right eye, with our addiction to holding our phones and staring at our screens for hours every day.

It wouldn’t even be crazy, to associate the “mark of the beast” with the apple vision pro – the sign of the beast on our foreheads that allows us to buy and sell (a virtual marketplace, or simply a mark of identification necessary to participate in society; an essential tool that allows us to connect). The apple is, after all, what tempted Eve in the garden.

In Homer’s Iliad, “Soma” always refers to a corpse (the apple led to knowledge, but also death).

If you think I’m just being theatrical… for many people online, AI is absolutely the devil, and anyone supporting it is a morally bankrupt fraud. For that reason, after a few early posts, I’ve been mostly quiet about it until recently. I’ve worked in publishing for a while, so all my friends are authors or designers. I pointed out a year ago that book cover design will probably get replaced by AI. And now that it actually is, I posted an update showing off a ton of pretty neat 3D renders – this is the kind of stock image people used to get from stock photo sites or Daz (a render software for making characters).

sora brave new world apple vision pro video VR

Midjourney can make unique digital assets that are useful in book cover design, and give us designers more options; but since authors could really just make their own covers with AI, they won’t need graphic designers anymore. I think that’s true in all industries, it just isn’t being felt as deeply yet. The artists and freelancers are hurting, and some of them are very angry.

In a Brave New World, appalled at his complicity in the system, the protagonist hangs himself. His rejection and refusal, his rage against the machine (after ford, after automation) fails because it becomes a spectacle. He can’t protest without it becoming a performance that attracts even more attention, performative suffering, public outrage.

For many people, these are the only 2 options: rage impotently against AI because WE MUST – the alternative is replacement or assimilation. We must battle for our humanity and it’s the only sane and moral reaction.

In 1953, Roald Dahl wrote a short story about an AI Writing tool called The Great Automatic Grammatizator. Dahl’s story is dystopian, and ends with creative writers signing away their names and styles, so that they can retire and have robots do all the writing for them. It ends with the forced choice, to either sign away their creativity or let their family go hungry:

The time the screw turns tighter for those who hesitate to sign their names. This very moment, as I sit here listening to the howling of my nine starving children in the other room, I can feel my own hand creeping closer and closer to that golden contract that lies over on the other side of the desk. Give us strength, Oh Lord, to let our children starve.

Resistance is futile.

I shared this meme recently and for some reason it triggered a lot of people: “Why Would I Dream of LABOR?” A lot of commenters argued that people need purpose and a satisfying mission to be happy, which isn’t untrue – I spent a year translating an old book to decipher the “3 orders of creative wretchedness” – and was rewarded with quotes like these:

“Happiness is the successful pursuit of an aim. Unhappiness results when the imagination outruns the heart.” – William Alger

And I’m not opposed to labor, if doing it pays for my way in society and guarantees me a reasonably decent lifestyle (food, accommodation, entertainment, health). I’m not asking for a lot. I’m willing to work, to pay for a lifestyle in which I can feel happy and fulfilled.

What many, many young people are feeling these days, is that working does not and will not ever increase the decency or enjoyment of our lifestyle; that the benefits have been stripped away, that we are working more and more for less and less. The carrot has been eaten and the stick isn’t effective because how much worse could it get?

As for the mass unemployment I see as kind of inevitable at this point, I cannot fathom the possibility that we all collectively resist the allure of AI to Save Humanity, so I can either – as many famous dystopian writers have already envisioned – destroy myself against the harsh, destructive universe like Vonnegut’s middle finger to the gods in Cat’s Cradle, a response to the world-ending technology of “Ice Nine” I can become that moral crusade and let it engulf me whole – or I can entertain more pleasing possibilities.

And if you think we’re just talking about all office jobs or writing jobs or illustration jobs, photography and art and creative stuff… and that YOUR job will be protected, think again. Nvidia, the chip-making company whose stock and worth and now rivalling Apple, announced some humanoid robots with dexterous fingers that can not only wash dishes, but sense, interact with and judge its own environment to make decisions. We already have Roombas we let roam around our houses dusting up after us; robot tech has never been able to take off because we didn’t have the software, but now we do, so many huge companies are racing to give them bodies.

They’ve already proven to be better at humans, not only in logics and reasoning tests, but also for things like diagnosing patients correctly, identifying cancers and other illnesses earlier, making fewer mistakes and even performing surgery… *better* than doctors (not reliably, not all the time, etc – but enough to predict that they will get their shortly). All this to say, *all jobs are at risk of being replaced in the next decade or less*.

Here’s Lucy and Charlie Chaplin turning this situation into comedy sketches. We’ve had new technologies that replaced labor forces before. We’ve had new tech that threatens the creative arts. But there is no historical comparison to what we’re going through right now.

How to survive the AI apocalypse

The trick is, navigating this space at all is dangerous right now, because many people are too upset by AI to discuss it without it becoming a moral issue… especially when we consider, even all of the people who have resisted it fiercely until now, will inevitably have to face the choice of whether to quit everything entirely, or work in a limited capacity with AI somehow (it’s already in the tools we’re using, at some point refusing to use the tool that is free, easy and reduces the workload *while producing higher quality work in less time* as a personal moral choice stops making sense when our actual livelihoods are at risk).

An author I admire and respect, posted this in response to a conversation about AI:

“I love and support PEOPLE, and that includes folks who feel the pressure to use the plagiarism machine. Do what you gotta do, but don’t be surprised when it still eats the industry and puts lots of people out of work.”

The thing I have trouble with, is that I don’t think I’m disagreeing with anybody. YES, artificial intelligence is going to eat the industry and put lots of people out of work. I’m not saying it won’t, or that this isn’t objectively bad. I completely agree that it’s an existential threat for creatives like artists and authors. The conflict comes from our choice of how to respond.

1. Fight the moral war against it because there is no other alternative, other than being replaced or assimilated. And I understand how that makes sense on an ethical, human rights issue.

2. Be cautiously aware of how AI can improve our workflow so we can continue doing creative projects without falling behind or losing our passion.

Other comments I valued were these: “In a few years, creativity will become a watered down stew, a meaningless blend of other artist’s work that will only require computer skills, not a muse,” and “we are commoditizing the human spirit and we should fight AI-generated creative content as we would fight any other existential threat.”

Whether AI should be allowed to exist, or whether it will be good for humanity, philosophically speaking – no, maybe not. But instead of discussing ideologies about a controversial topic, we should be asking, what should do now that it is here?

I wanted to wrap up with a gallery of some relevant AI art I made about Pandora’s Box, VR and Apple Vision Pro. You may be able to tell these are AI, and you may even argue they have no soul and aren’t human… to that I would disagree, as I find these stirring, inspiring and beautiful, on a creative and aesthetic level. You can experience them one way, but I have the right to my own emotional responses.

Sora AI video generator & Apple Vision Pro

I got a bit off topic up above, but wanted to steer things back on track a little bit with this quote from Huxley I think should get a lot more views. He’s talking about dictatorships in the future. The warning, is against subtle forms of propaganda and control, and I don’t think his predictions missed the mark – I just think he underestimated how attractive this bleak dystopia might seem to the current generations, who are engaging in “bed rot” and “quiet quitting” and generating performative social media content.

I think what is going to happen in the future is that dictators will find, as the old saying goes, that they can do everything with bayonets except sit on them. If you want to preserve your power indefinitely you have to get the consent of the ruled. And this they will do partly by drugs as I foresaw in “Brave New World”, partly by these new techniques of propaganda. They will do it by bypassing the rational side of man and appealing to his subconscious and his deeper emotions and his physiology even. And so making him actually love his slavery. I think this is the danger, that actually people may be in some ways happy under the new regime. But they will be happy in situations where they ought not to be happy. That’s why I think it’s so extremely important here and now to start thinking about these problems not to let ourselves be taken by surprise by the new advances in technology. I mean for example in regard to the use of the drugs, there’s enough evidence now for us to be able on the bases of this evidence and using a certain amount of creative imagination to foresee the kind of uses which could be made by people of bad will with these things, and to attempt to forestall this. And in the same way I think with these other methods of propaganda we can foresee and we can do a good deal to forestall. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”

For me that key line is,

They will be happy in situations where they ought not to be happy.

And I would answer, “who are you to judge someone’s happiness… can’t we have nice things? Could we *try* letting people be happy by fulfilling their needs and desires, before we tell them they just need to skip breakfast and stop drinking $9 lattes from Starbucks?”

PS. If you’re still reading way down here… I’m out of words but I used ChatGPT for the rest of this. Sometimes I think it’s useful, to compare my sloppy, messy, *HUMAN* generated content up above that lacks focus and meanders but might occasionally say meaningful things in a fresh new way, with AI content to just write the article based around my topics and do the work for me. It didn’t do a great job with the details, but it is clean, organized and hopefully a little dry and boring. It’s possible, though, that it’s already better than what my human brain was capable of coming up with. So I’m leaving it here so you can see both and be aware of the differences. This is not a great example though, since I did it rough and fast – AI checkers don’t work, and if I actually was making content for a real purpose, I would heavily edit and revise and polish everything together, so it would still be mine and sound like me, but be smarter and faster than I could have achieved it on my own.

AGI, Pandora’s Box and Sora

The journey toward Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) feels like humanity standing before Pandora’s Box, trembling with anticipation and apprehension. The parallels between our technological advancements and the cautionary tales of literature—such as Huxley’s “Brave New World,” the myth of Pandora, and the soma-induced contentment—offer a profound lens through which to examine the potential consequences of AGI. Tools like Sora, Apple’s Vision Pro, and the pervasive nature of social media exemplify the steps leading to AGI, each echoing the themes of curiosity, control, and escapism that these stories explore.

Pandora Unleashed: AGI as Humanity’s Box of Wonders and Woes

Pandora’s Box, a gift that unleashed a swarm of troubles upon the world, serves as a poignant metaphor for the development of AGI. Much like Pandora’s curiosity led to unforeseeable consequences, our pursuit of AGI teeters on the brink of unleashing forces we may not fully control or understand. This narrative urges us to proceed with wisdom, ensuring that the AGI we aim to create benefits humanity rather than leading to our undoing.

sora brave new world apple vision pro video VR

Sora and the New Age of Creation

Sora, an AI-driven platform for video creation, symbolizes the incredible creative potential that AGI holds. Like the “all-gifted” Pandora, Sora offers users the ability to generate content from mere text prompts, democratizing creativity and opening new avenues for expression. However, this ease of creation also prompts a reflection on the nature of art and authenticity in the age of AGI. Will the ease of generating content lead to a new renaissance, or will it dilute the human essence of creativity?

Soma: The Sedative of the Digital Age

In “Brave New World,” soma is used to maintain societal harmony through enforced happiness. This concept eerily mirrors the role of social media and virtual reality today, serving as a modern-day soma that captivates and pacifies us. The development of AGI could amplify this effect, creating virtual experiences and content so engaging and personalized that they distract us from reality, leading to a state of blissful but ignorant contentment.

Apple’s Vision Pro: Stepping into Brave New Worlds

The Apple Vision Pro represents the cutting edge of virtual reality, a tool that could serve as the gateway to worlds as vivid and compelling as any described by Huxley or the ancient myths. This technology, in the hands of AGI, could craft experiences so immersive that they blur the lines between reality and fiction, offering both incredible potential for education and escapism but also raising questions about the impact on our perception of reality.

The Social Media Soma and AGI

Social media, the soma of our times, shows how content tailored by increasingly intelligent algorithms can shape our thoughts, feelings, and actions. As AGI evolves, it could take this influence to new heights, curating our digital experiences so precisely that it could control not just what we see and hear but how we perceive and interpret the world around us.

The Brave New World Awaits

As we inch closer to realizing AGI, we find ourselves at a crossroads reminiscent of the worlds depicted in “Brave New World” and the story of Pandora. The potential for AGI to serve as a force for good is immense, yet the risks it poses to our autonomy, creativity, and understanding of reality are profound.

The lessons from Huxley and ancient myths underscore the need for careful, ethical consideration in our approach to AGI. It’s not just about unleashing the wonders within Pandora’s Box; it’s about ensuring we can live with what comes out. As we venture into this brave new world, let us do so with the foresight to foster an AGI that enhances the human experience, reminding us that in the end, the most profound creations are those that reflect our humanity back at us, not diminish it.

Who am I to comment?

I’m hiding this stuff down at the bottom because it’s rough and opinionated, so it’s probably not good enough to be read but in case people are asking more detailed questions about AI, you might find answers here…

Who is allowed to have an opinion, about what it means to be a (good) human? Everybody, probably, so if you find some of these themes and ideas unsettling, I’m sorry for your discomfort. But it may be more than that; perhaps you don’t think I should be allowed to say such things with my platform, and that anybody working in creative industries has a moral obligation to support artists against new technology that could rob them of their identity, dignity and livelihood.

And that makes complete sense; I understand why you’d think that. So I feel a little bit of pressure to excuse myself. Firstly, I’m not exactly nobody – I have a PhD in Literature which means nothing except that I can obsess on an idea for 8 years; and I’ve been both a fine artist (gallery grade) and an author. I also studied philosophy and the history of ancient literature. This doesn’t make my opinions right, but it does make them informed.

And BTW, I’m not stressing any opinion, I pride myself on not choosing sides and watching quietly to see how things play out, and I realize that can always seem like the worst kind of behavior, but moderation is a stoic principle that remains kind of popular. I’m pointing things out, because I think you and all creatives, whether you make money from your art or writing or aspire to, need to be aware that these things exist and that they’re happening, and that creatives have prophesied the End of Art (through automation) for thousands of years, and it is HERE.

That’s both terrifying and incredibly stimulating. May you live in interesting times indeed.

My position on AI, such that I have one, is that artists and creatives shouldn’t get bullied into not using AI as some kind of puritanical campaign to preserve art, and find suddenly that the rug has been pulled out from under them in a dramatic and destructive way, when all the normal people who don’t have the skills to make things and used to pay artists and writers to make them, can now make those things themselves without paying for them.

The right and only move, I guess, is to be outraged. And that makes sense. Guilt people into supporting artists for as long as possible and hold on to a little bit of income. That’s a popular response.

I’m a pragmatist. I quit “art” when I saw it was taking way too much work, time and effort and I moved on to design services – using my talents to provide value and earn a living. If your art or writing is not providing value, you don’t deserve to earn a living… that’s something I’ve said in the past that can sound offensive, but is a core tenet of my brand and platform (that’s basically the meaning of ‘Creativindie’).

People shouldn’t necessarily get paid only to do the work they enjoy, if nobody else really wants the work enough to buy or use it. Now if there is no work to be done, and we all get paid, then absolutely we should all just do art all the time, if we want to (though I wonder, wouldn’t we still be trapped into questing after accolades, prizes, likes and shares, popularity and fame… the strive to be better, to be the best, that’s a human thing that used to be a major sin, but became a modern virtue… the Faustian striving, the same vacuous unfulfillment that drove the hero of Paradise Lost.)

It should be fine to not love your job or to yearn for a perfect dream job.

It should be fine not to turn your creative hobbies and pursuits into a business or try to sell things for money; to become a professional rather than an amateur (one who does for love!) is literally about abandoning your passion for profit.

The problem is, for most creative people, their creativity is part of their identity and even if they don’t want $MONEY, they most likely aspire to some form of attention or praise for the labor of love they’ve steadfastly pursued to its completion – some kind of reward for all the work and effort – and in a very real way, that identity is threatened by AI, even if their incomes are not.

It’s a scary time for artists and writers.

Humans have been afforded the opportunity to be creative, usually in periods where their basic survival needs have been met; not in periods of high-stress; not when there is work to be done to enable us to continue living.

We are *already* at the point that even many people who are working full-time jobs still can barely afford to survive; we’ve always had hope that things will improve with time, until recently; most younger generations no longer believe this.

People are needed to do the jobs, until they aren’t. Companies are *already* laying off thousands of workers, or cancelling huge contracts because if they wait a year some new AI might be a viable solution and save them billions of dollars.

And it’s a scary time for businesses as well; everybody is freaking out, because the money could be shut off or dry up instantly for every major industry, platform and web community. But this won’t push them towards embracing humanity and artists, even when it is their sole mission to do so.

Why is AI so bad? Because it’s TOO good.

I see people say things like, “I see AI art everywhere in every hobby or interest group, and everyone loves it. I hate that because it takes away from the real creators.”

Basically it’s like the dumb kid who cheats off your paper in class, but the teacher gives him a better grade. It’s not fair that they are rewarded for less work, but at the same time, this acknowledges that AI pictures are more popular and more liked – partly because skill or possibility isn’t an issue; AI art is truly creative in that it has no restrictions in the process of actually making the thing, it can just make it awesome and aesthetically perfect. Incredible, novel, cute. It *does* hit people emotionally and make them feel good and happy things.

How exactly does this hurt real artists? Probably because, people will expect too much of them. They were fighting for attention before and doing their best, and people who don’t belong can just make images that get clicks and shares and hearts. It trains us to expect miracles, that aren’t actually physically possible to achieve by real working artists.

So that’s fair, and valid – and yes there should be a way to *opt out* if YOU don’t want to see those things. But do you really want to remove all of them from other people’s feeds as well? They weren’t forced to like them. We should be aware of AI of course, and people should absolutely learn to recognize AI, but shouldn’t it then be our personal choice what kind of media we are exposed to (the algorithms learn quickly, if you’re seeing a lot of AI art, more than anything else, it’s because AI art is what the MOST people are engaging with! That’s a humanity issue.)

I’ll end this very lamely, with a link to an older article about how the “creative war against AI has already been lost” … but you don’t need to read it. Everything I predicted came true this year and surpassed even my own expectations. The takeaway, I hope, is that morally I agree with you and sympathize; and also that pragmatically, I’m excited about the new potential to create more, better things using AI as an assistant or secretary, to thwart my executive disfunction and procrastination, and as an easy and fun tool for instant ideation and development of random epiphanies into something concrete and real I’d never ever get around to otherwise.

My own views on AI are nuanced and complex, but mainly at this point it seems to be a moral issue, and I don’t think I have the moral authority to prescribe or require ethical behavior in others.

And with that, my friend, adieu.

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