Objects are dignified in themselves, whereas the human selves’ dignity is manifest through authenticity of concern in the light of being towards death. Combine this with the neuro-philosophical position that we may only be puppets – unbeknown to these selves – and you arrive at the psychological reaction that embraces OOO.

What is the new virtue of authentic concern as idiosyncratic project in the light of that psychological reaction to the uncertainty that comes alongside the guarantee of infinite regress? Is it the use value to a wider community of disillusioned once-selves, the individual absorbed into the universal?

When reading a book we come across forms of uncertainty; words we’ve never seen before. Sometimes we look them up and sometimes we don’t, even when sometimes the meaning of the whole book might hinge on that word. The book then becomes a more imaginary experience; when a patch is pasted. Reading a book and concentrating on every word gives us trees but no forest; personally it halts the experience of reading. The ‘misunderstood’ word is the more decorative, with embellishments embroidered on top of something supposedly more solid.

So there is someone we can’t understand and they can’t understand themselves either. But this decorative thought functions similarly to an ignorant school master, teaching what it doesn’t know. But where is the dignity in a virtue only acquirable through an external locus of evaluation?

What is the new dignity befitting this new virtue? The use value created through sharing (whether intentionally or secondarily) gives universal purpose to individuals; their dignity now a gift from democracy. But how did democracy arrive as arbiter, either tyrannically or somewhat circularly through its own method.

And so an undignified usurper, under the guise of an absolute ideal, cannot be arbiter of this new found dignity – demanding as it does the counting of hands and access for all. Our projects or products or patterns cannot be summed up by shares or understood through universal value.

The new dignity is found in the embrace of something beyond understanding and misunderstanding, or any combination of the two; a fantasy exploration of overlapping threads and the occasional jewel. And new the virtue is the value acquired by the individual through this project which never need be universal, fully flattened out or made-to-last. Where carpentry is a coffin, embroidery is an experience.

Oliver Braid