The Museum of Vestigial Desire

Cost

tags: teeth

We don’t know the price because we do not know the cost. To know the true cost of a commodity, its method of production has to be examined outsides the context that buffers it. To isolate the context that buffers it from other contexts that still contain it, some degree of dismantling needs to be done. Dismantling is a kind of analysis that is a part of reverse engineering but it does not involve an end-product. Things are taken apart but not put back together. Dismantling has no interest in synthesis. It is interested only in the process of analysis, distinguishing and discernment. We want to see what the innards of this particular machine look like. The innards of this particular machine look like they have passed through a lot of struggle. They have scraped through the narrow walls of some passage and now they are worn out. How can we know more about the struggles of these mechanisms? We observe, we make notes but we do not manage to find out any additional detail. The parts got worn out because of some moment of crisis, but now the moment of crises has passed.

The parts of the machine show the marks of the crises but the crises has now passed so it only links back to a kind of history now. We dismantled the system and we have only realised that the history of this system had a crises as an event in its history.

The cost of a commodity is derived from the significance of its moment of crises. If the crises was major in some substantial way, the trauma associated with it must also have been substantial.

But in most cases that we come across, we realise that very ordinary moments over time snowball into something else. To uncover the true cost of a commodity, we will have to dig deeper. The moments of crises have become false beacons for us. We need to look elsewhere. For instance, the layers of cover that we had to peel to reach the rotten core of the machine can be weighed and valued. A level of parametric evaluation has to come in at some point. Without a metric of evaluation, we find the entire process of dismantling disillusioning and pointless.

But if evaluation has to become an apparent and obvious system, what would be the scale? Which system of measurement will we follow and what will be the units? The ambiguity around the metric to be used leads some to believe that cost can be a random assignment and need not have any magic. But there always has to be a logic. Even if the system of logic followed is irrational to the core and rather random in type and tradition, it has to be there. Cost cannot be derived from fear or an irrational claim to primacy. Fear is not logical and neither is narcissism. Given the right flaws you could be so narcissistic that you do believe yourself to be free from all logic. You might claim autonomy. But first you must know whether you can afford the autonomy. First you must realise the true cost.

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