September 16, 2017 (Saturday)

by Yule Heibel on September 15, 2018

I really don’t feel like writing much about anything this morning. It was another night of still, thick air, seemingly immobile. The last two or so days (and nights) have been this way. And yesterday, after poking around on Nextdoor’s R.-Street thread some more, I thought about how I really don’t want to be here, surrounded by so many benighted people who are cynical and desperate. Who are Cain, not Abel. (This is a reference to Jordan Peterson’s Bible lecture on Abraham and sacrifice, specifically the almost-sacrifice of Isaac. I listened to it yesterday while exercising – I’m inclined to listen to the other lectures in the series. The mix is heady: psychology, evolutionary psychology, Jungian archetypes, and a deep reverence for the Judaeo-Christian teachings as expressed in both the Old and New Testaments. I think there’s a lot to learn, even for non-Christians like me; I was reminded, actually, of how I forced myself to take a “Classical and Biblical Studies” class at UBC during my undergraduate years, because I felt I couldn’t possibly understand all those Old Master paintings without some grounding in the Bible. And it worked.)

As for Nextdoor, I’m also becoming angry with it as a platform, irrespective of anything that’s written on it. Why? Because if you start to think about how it’s a business, you have to start to wonder about its endgame. And I think Nextdoor has one main endgame, or preferred outcome: to be bought by Facebook. And considering how much I revile Facebook, how can I feel sanguine about Nextdoor collecting all this data about me, where I live, my real estate situation, etc. Demographics. If you’re not paying for the service, you’re the product, as they say.

Politics continues to be stupid – the media are a slightly more “polished” version of every idiot who has ever posted on social media, whether it’s Facebook or Nextdoor. We really seem to be – we are – living through a revolution. We don’t see battles clearly, or easily understood battle lines – we’re sort of like medieval peasants scrambling to get out of the way when the various lords’ armies careen across the land. They have agendas, those lords. Their armies might even be vaguely informed. But the sods on the ground are merely kicked over. It feels a bit like that – and I’m too old (mature) to want sod-solidarity. Sod it!

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