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Our offer on a house near Carson City, Nevada, fell through last week, so we are now on the prowl for a new home again. This is a strange and tedious activity because there are so many unknown variables which don’t figure into the standard home search sites like Zillow. None of them mention the internet hookup speed or the plans for upgrading whatever service there is available. Nowadays, for us at least, where there is no internet there is no real life. Oh sure, we have Netflix, but even with the new Blu-ray disk player it wouldn’t be participation in the modern world. It does give us more beautifully clear movies than we could ever hope to watch, and with the Playstation 3 we will have more games than we will ever want to play. Furthermore, we have collected a hugish number of carefully selected books after a decade of being online book sellers. So, we can move anywhere and still have far more literary material and entertainment than we can possibly use, ever, but that isn’t living a meaningful life anymore because it isn’t interactive with modern society.

Here in the Berkeley area we are relatively poor people, and have been forced to rent our home because here no one can buy a house for under four hundred thousand dollars. That is crazy! However, in Carson City, where we made our bid, we could easily buy a decent house for a quarter the monetary outlay and in the Boise, Idaho area we could afford a nearly new 3,000 square foot MacMansion. Those monster houses are available for under one hundred thousand dollars. In that area the price of a bottom end Berkeley home market will get you a fabulous place, with lots of property, a great view and other perks but with the anti perk of few high paying jobs.

Even a few years ago living in the San Francisco Bay Area had lots of valuable advantages such as better high tech jobs and the various thrills of civilization. Those weren’t available out in the hinterlands. Now, however, most of the goodies of civilization are available anywhere you can get postal delivery for physical goods and internet access for electronic social contact, so even a connected cabin on a remote mountain top or shack on the beach of a desert island has most of the advantages of modern civilization. The last couple of years I have quit going to museums, and theaters whereas I used to physically go almost weekly to participate in something one might call cultural. I still like to go to lectures and seminars here on the Berkeley campus, and interact a little with some of the  famous local people but most of those people can be visited on line now.

For many years I went to coffee shops for an hour or more per day, but I quit doing that last year and discovered, somewhat to my surprise, that endless arguing with people about abstract issues wasn’t necessary for maintaining an exciting life. Exploring new ideas with the goal of finding ways for humanity to maximize its long term wellbeing, while nursing a cup of tea, is presently excitement enough for this old dude.

Moving to Idaho a couple of years ago would have seemed like an undesirable option because I would be cut off from the peculiar culture then available in Berkeley which I seemed to need at that time. Now, it appears that the things I value most can be had elsewhere with less hassle and at a much more affordable price. The residence within which we will physically reside can be much more pleasant in every way out in the what was once the wilderness.

Hi Ho Silver — Away!   :)