This node co-written. These writeups co-written. This writeup not whole in itself. See second writeup for the story of this node/patchwork manifesto's genesis, should you care.

Neo is new, so strictly speaking neo-plastic is simply new plastic. But neo is generally reserved for those things that are newer than new. Bleeding edge. The kind of plastic developed by NASA to withstand the awesome pressures of Jupiter or the melting heat of the Sun. The materials that trickle down over the years into common commercial use, where they become simply plastic.

No only, but also...

A mode of identity. Who you are and may be. Who we are constantly becoming in this, a (post?)post-modern (neo-modern?) world. The ironic, "didn't really mean that" culture of the 90s gave way to a new sincerity, a gushiness, almost, a return to the sincerity of an older generation. We dyed-in-the-wool sarcastics cringed, but as DFW has said, irony has limited effectiveness: it's a tool, not an effective long-term identity. Building on sands, you see. You pull your own rug out from under yourself. It's too easily co-opted by the people we were subverting in the first place. So we fall, yet grasping the wooden sincerity gives us splinters in the brain, breaks too easily, creates lies in order to create something unchanging. So that's right out. What can we make? An ideology cocktail: existentialism maybe with a dash of sweet and desperate idealism and a tart, almost sarcastic twist. We tire of sensationalist journalism...

(continued in yossarian's writeup)

(continued from ideath's writeup)

...and talk shows about unwed mothers carrying their step-father's child. We are sick of the pandering of politicians and the hypocrisy of religious leaders. We look for the truth in all things, a truth that transcends tabloid headlines and quotes from shock jocks. A truth that will mesh with and into a livable worldview, that shifts as a living language of thought. Something that will bend, not break, and not undermine, something sculptural, maybe with a little beauty?

To find the truth in all things, we have to be willing to change our attitudes, to adjust to divergences in thought and philosophy and in the face of new facts. If irony is fluid, and sincerity is concrete, the then an amalgam of the two would retain qualities of both. Something with the strength of sincerity, but with the adaptability of irony. Something malleable. Plastic. Neo-plastic.

The story of this node's creation

There was a nodeshell that needed to be filled. But try as I might, I could not find the words for it. So I turned to my Everything Guru, ideath, for ideas. And she said "To create that node you must first define what neo-plastic is." And she was right.

So we took her suggestions and my suggestions and built on top of that. Brainstorming over the course of a day via email, we created our own definition for the word. But it has become more than a definition. It has become a manifesto. More importantly, it is an experiment in cooperative node creation, the product of two minds connecting over distances through nothing more than words on a screen.

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