Fri, 13 March, 2020

Esau’s Stew and Surveillance Capitalism

The parable of Esau selling his birthright to Jacob oddly echoes how many treat surveillance capitalism today. Here is a modern retelling of the parable:

Once day Esau saw Jacob sharing a cat gif online. He said to Jacob, “Let me have an account so I can do such things!"

Jacob replied, “Sure, just read these terms and conditions”

“Whatever,” Esau said, “Who reads these things anyway?”

Jacob said, “Yep, just make sure you agree to everything.” So Esau clicked accept, and gave away his birthright to Jacob.

Esau posted a few cat gifs, sent a few emails, and let the world know he existed.

So Esau despised his birthright.

In the original telling, Esau sold his birthright for some stew. I would imagine cat gifs would suffice for the modern equivalent.

Interestingly enough, the name Jacob may mean to supplant, circumvent, assail, overreach) (less so, Esau means ‘Hairy’ but you can’t always fit everything into your parable!)