This place, insofar as Haru showing him the cultivated details of this unusual city, seemed a particular misstep. Why would Haru bring him now to some industrial anomaly? Haru had not done him wrong thus far, so trust was necessary. Sito figured that the demonstration of this sad display of malfunctioning machines must have some value he was missing. He examined the machines closely. Haru was talking at a clip, so surely there was something for him to gain. Then, all at once it hit him. These machines, the most basic of consumer items, or perhaps even the highlight of a human workforce attempting to use machines to make life more comfortable—certainly less dirty—this was somehow the base of the loss of humanity in the kind of class warfare, the replacement of quality for quantity, that even Miko had become mesmerized by. Here we’re all the machines that at once were cheap and now were garbage, put in a single place to remind us that the engagement of consumerism is a cycle that never ends. There are always newer machines to replace the machines that did a job in the first place.

This march of consumer technology, all an attempt to make life easier, all the while consuming the patrons because there is always a better machine to be bought through dedication and work. There is a reason to work harder and that reason is to gain access to the next machine, whatever it may be. The next machine reduces work in some sense, yes, but then new work appears. For instance, the work of sweeping drifts away because there is a new machine that just sucks the dirt away. The new work becomes the act of emptying the machine. Sito thought, a truly good vacuum would empty itself. Sito stoops down close to a large machine, a tank vacuum cleaner, weirdly decorated with gold flecks on a royal blue backdrop.

It catches Sito’s attention because it reminds him, or maybe he personifies the machine. Its obvious face is like a friend he would have wanted to create. While staring at the machine he was waiting for it to bleep or bloop to life. Sito’s entranced by the little blue sparkly machine and in the meantime he is aware that Haru is talking fast about something to do with this wall of machines, and considering the theory of cultivation that Haru had put forth earlier, this must be some demonstration of what had gone wrong with the cultivation of man’s machines. This is something that Sito had given a great deal of thought to, given his work with his company. Always there was a concern about new product, new features, new options, none of which Sito felt was necessary. He was unique among his colleagues for saying “No.” Always they wanted to deliver the next reason for you to buy anything. Anything at all. Sito was always concerned with effect. He was concerned with function, and he believed that form followed function. “They,”—at least Miko—had decided that the social contract had to do with status, and nothing to do with creation.