A note on the name:
Thinking about such things as what the meaning behind the city of Tiphares is, is why I currently have to apply the brakes until my mind comes to a screeching halt in University.
Tiphares, while being a translation from the original Zalem, has many references to specific concepts placed in the series. Tiphares is a Hebrew word whose meaning is "form". The name is interesting because translating it into Greek and Chinese gives different meanings.
In Greek, "form", or Eidos, is used by Plato in The Republic to describe a world beyond the senses, where people can truly understand what is going on around them, and which is the only base for an orderly political community where people can live free of their passions. Which is, after all, what Tiphares appears to be.
However, the Chinese translation of "form", Se, has a more negative connoctation. Se is a Buddhist term denoting the concept of form, but the word can also mean "color" or "lust". The Dream of the Red Chamber (which for some obvious and not so obvious reasons, could have been a big influence on Gun Dream) famously states: from Kong, which is Truth, comes Se, which is illusion. In many ways, the people of Tiphares are still cut off from the truth, they are merely living in a more refined state of illusion than the denizens of the scrapyard.
It should also be noted that in Hebrew belief, Tiphares is still in the worlds of gilgul, or reincarnation. Desty Nova, the Karmic Scientist is from Tiphares, and
despite his best efforts, is still caught up in his karma.
So the name "Tiphares" perfectly captures the nature of the city: a totalitarian state where people live free of crude passions, but left in a world of form where they are still trapped in their karma.