Literacy rate is high, full use being made, in schools, of skilfully constructed Internet tutorials. Being in the heart of Africa, politics that would be subversive to totalitarian regimes in neighbouring states flourishes. There is openly discussed control over the media; absolute denial of public access to information is maintained only where this will result in endangering lives. Change, engendered by majority consensus, may be fluent but is tempered by wisdom about the power of the media upon mindset. The system aims to perpetuate an increasingly well-informed and effective method of education; controls over the media become cautiously relaxed over time. This restraint is not synonymous with banishing visible signs of transient angst or even hints of temporary neglect in the capital. Such would result in an atmosphere of sterility that is unyielding for those with an inborn urge to seek challenge through manifold forms of stimulation. Individuals are made to be responsible for their lives and environment. Nevertheless, because in Nucleus immediate desires are, on the whole suppressed, on the basis not of edict but of reason, and since reason is inherently adaptable, in the sense of its course being responsive to human welfare, the incidence of many sources of social problems common in the West, such as unwanted pregnancies, recreational drug abuse and psychoses, is low, and charitable causes enjoy considerable support.
With the diversity of cultures the arts flourish and effuse optimism, the spirit of the African people being inherited from the broader environment. On the central Plaza, near where the mosaic paving stone give way to elaborate modern water features, palm leaves quiver like feathered nests, in suppressed excitation, as headwear-clad individuals sip drinks under their shade, each of patch of which is graced by long-necked birds on relief from their journey of migration. A gentle, slightly frayed thread of music issues from a thin and fingery side street, the ambience for a moment suggesting something Mediterranean. In this region there are no day-glow modern colours, nor litter, nor, save the occasional café waiter, individuals in uniform, to break the casual atmosphere and sense of peace. Children kick a ball, their cries muffled by the circulation of air and the semi-segregation of the low concrete structures that provide recesses – for some, a personal space – at the periphery. Ersatz, terracotta-coloured mountains, sculpted here like termite mounds and there like vastly plinthed inselbergs, reveal themselves, when their ‘holes’ are found to be windows and ‘bedding planes’ to be storeys, as cleverly structured modern buildings. Monuments, mostly spiritual in theme, grasp the air at many of the heights unclaimed by the terracotta structures, their regression from the Plaza being hastened by the soporific haze. If the streets are already decorated, the evening will host a carnival.