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Why are Menlo Park/Atherton residents so apathetic?

Original post made by curious, Menlo Park: other, on Jul 28, 2007

I check this board every day to see if anyone has posted anything new. How disappointing to see that the only post before mine (at approximately 3 p.m.) pertains to Ken's House of Pancakes, and it's the first post on that thread in about six weeks.

Meanwhile, our neighbors to the south have a much livelier board on which they discuss topics ranging from local politics and school issues to movies and national news. Just today, there have been dozens of posts made on 14 different topics.

There's a lot going on in this city. Why aren't more people talking about the hot topics du jour? Don't tell me it's because we're lazier or stupider than those other guys. If there's another forum where the locals hang out, can someone please post the link?

Comments (3)

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Posted by also curious
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jul 28, 2007 at 4:39 pm

I think there have been more recent postings on some topics, but the topics don't seem to be listed in order of the most recent posting but rather in the order of the original posting.
Maybe another reason is that PA is much bigger than our city, and it's an election year there.

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Posted by Donna
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Jul 28, 2007 at 7:33 pm

I've been wondering the same thing myself. It seems that the only time a discussion takes off is if it's the sort of issue that allows people to be self-righteous and to savage other people. Depressing ... I'd like to see discussions not only on local topics (civil discussions, that is) but on books and film and other areas of the arts and culture. But the few times someone has posted on any of those topics, the thread dies a quick death. Aren't people here interested in anything other than the quotidian? Sometimes the world of Menlo Park and environs seems very small. Suffocatingly small.

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Posted by Martin Engel
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 2, 2007 at 6:22 pm

People seem to leap from apathetic to apoplectic. Threaten to plant a tree in front of their house if they hate trees, or remove one if they love trees, and you will see the apathy disappear and be replaced by apoplexy. In short, people respond if they perceive that they will be affected personally. Those of us who live near, say, a new high-density housing development really give a damn about what happens. We are not apathetic. Everybody else could care less, since it doesn’t affect them personally. So they believe. The fact is, that what happens in Menlo Park affects everyone in Menlo Park. Taxes go up. Developers build. Populations grow. Traffic increases. Public services deteriorate. The quality of life changes, but not for the better.

Bottom line: Most of us live our lives as if we were the legendary frogs who, when placed in warm water, sit there until they slowly boil to death.

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