The expanding and contracting of our humanity
It is not only human situations which cause the expanding and contracting of my humanity. It is everything in my surroundings, my experience, the physical world I pass through, the activities and actions I encounter. Even architectural details are like this. They support me, or they deny me, in varying degrees. An ordinary iron railing may be very positive. It is no big thing, but as I look at it, as I am aware of being with it, very, very slightly I feel more of a person, a little bit more valuable. Or, on another occasion, I may be looking at a thermostat on the wall, I may feel the opposite. The thermostat itself — the box — is not ugly. It is just ordinary. But when I contemplate it, and contemplate the state I am in as a result of being with that thing in that box, very, very slightly I feel less of a person, and my humanity is falling off again.
Or is it about feeling _valued_ by the thing?
A thing with more living structure makes me more of a person, another thing with less living structure makes me less of a person. All the time, as I go through the world, I feel the expanding and diminishing of my humanity. Of course it comes from me and is caused by me, but it is caused, too, by my interaction with the world; and it is different for the different things which I encounter.
Strong connection to user experience again: if a process (provided in software) or a user interface for any kind of object makes me feel respected, it is more alive then when if doesn’t respect me as much as a person.
#book/The Nature of Order/1 The Phenomenon of Life/9 Beyond Descartes: A new form of scientific observation#