Backers of the ‘horseless e-carriage’ were at the New York Auto Show yesterday to present their electric ‘homage to the Brass Era’ vehicle (top photo), that they hope will replace the horse-drawn buggies in Central Park.

It’s common today for people to try to make what is old look new, and what is new look old. The cult of realism has led to a culture of deception—and the absurdly unreal, with the result being disorientation and even mental illness.

The maker of the horseless e-carriage engaged in a mental back-flip, into an empty pool, by asserting that his vehicle was an “organic reality-based tech successor” to the horses in Central Park.

If deception contributes to mental illness, and truth contributes to mental health, then the real horse-drawn carriages in Central Park are probably a healthier option for everyone, including the horses, than the horseless alternative.

CentralParkHorses2014aPhotographs: Stephen Wise