Monday, November 12, 2012

The Home and the Apartment

I'm currently renting and probably will for the foreseeable future.  I've been at my current place for about a few months over a year and I'm used to it.  It feels like home, a secure place.  My place.

Of course I don't own it.  Someone else does, and they can dictate the rules.  One such rule is that they can show it to potential renters.  They must give at least 24 hours notice, but I cannot refuse it.  They need only tell me 24 hours in advance and then they can intrude.

In my opinion, that's part of what defines a home: the inability of others to intrude.  Legally or culturally they cannot enter without permission.  That's why even though I'm not a fan of guns or the "get off my property" attitude, I do think people should be able to defend their homes.

I never actually saw anyone in my apartment.  The showing was when I was at work; 4-5pm and I get back at around 5:15.  I'm not sure if that was better or worse.  I unlocked my door, knowing that someone else had unlocked it and locked it not long ago.  I went in cautiously.  It had fully struck me: people can get in when I'm not there, without my permission, and I don't even know who those people are.  I turned on the light near the door and then continued back toward my bedroom.  On the way through the doorway I picked up the bat for some comfort.  Checking the bathroom I knew it was all empty.

But it wasn't empty.  It was filled with the sense that others had been there, in my space, without my invitation.  I'd shown it to relatives and my brother had stayed a couple nights, but those were family, using a key that I gave him.

This worries me, as a general societal trend.  We're renting more and more.  Not just homes, but everything else.  That includes software, where we tend to get licenses, not ownership.  And so we get terms of service, rules about how we can use it, and at times a loss of privacy.

Maybe I'm just weird.  I get annoyed when I wake up my computers and realize that they had a patch overnight.  I'm glad for it; I prefer that Microsoft get security updates out with as little delay as possible, and overnight it doesn't interrupt me.  It would probably annoy me if I was interrupted by a restart.  Yet it still bugs me to have someone reach out into my computer while I slept, when I thought it was asleep too.

1 comment:

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