Having Been Human
<Previous Next>
Thu Sep 20 17:53:04 2012
Travail et travel

One of the things that continually surprises me in NYC is how so many people are reluctant to travel very far outside their neighbourhood, usually citing time as the reason.

I suspect what's really going on is that they're sticking to a community, and narrowing the range of travelability is one way to react to being in a huge city.

Still, it's a difference; I think very little ill of hopping on a train from Ditmas Park (where I live) up through Manhattan into Queens County to the town of Astoria to visit a teahouse I like there, and if it takes an hour, that's no big deal because it's the subway and I can just read. The time I spend in a book is essentially free anyhow; I'm (almost) equally willing to spend that sitting in bed as on a train.

I remain a bit weirded out by the conversation with door-to-door preachers I had sometime back; I surprised them a bit by insisting that humans are animals and correcting them every time they tried to draw the line there, and they tried to argue that because people prefer to go to doctors rather than vets, that illustrates that animals and humans are different in nature; I kept trying to pull him towards a more nuanced understanding of that (the difference is just a name, there are various kinds of vets, and the distinction between vets and doctors is as arbitrary as the distinction between a horse doctor and a crocodile doctor), but he became a broken record once I had him in that lock, because he was unwilling to yield his point even after it was demonstrated as silly. Frustrating; seems to happen fairly often when the less-educated flavour of preacher, with memorised arguments, comes to debate. Arguments become mantras and survive where a bit of clear thought should've shattered them.