Wednesday, August 25 2021

Quote of the Day

The zoos are already natural history museums, the children’s books already out of date.

DAVID WALLACE-WELLS, THE UNINHABITABLE EARTH

Yesteryear

A video popped up on my YouTube feed about Arcosanti, an experimental town north of Phoenix.

America’s Experimental City – Arcosanti

It’s rather fascinating to watch what happens when the idea of utopia as conceptualized by a single person manifests itself into the real world. In this case, only about a quarter of the original plan was built, and only a handful of people live there instead of the thousands planned for. The Italian architect who envisioned this place was a master and also accused of sexual assault. Some people who live there now consider the place done as-is, while others want to continue to build toward the original vision. The community makes money by crafting and selling bronze bells worldwide, and the now-elderly first generation is trying to figure out how to hand down this legacy to a bunch of over-educated white millennials who brought WiFi and VR.


Earthship irony

The previous video led me to another about Earthships, houses built out of trash in a community in northern New Mexico.

Earthships – America’s Off-Grid Desert Community

The house designs are brilliant in their sustainability and livability with all the comforts of modern convenances. I mean, I don’t think they generate enough power to, say, mine for Bitcoin 24/7, and there was mention that baths instead of showers require some water budgeting, but they are still pretty impressive.

The ironic part is that they call the houses Earthships because they are self-sustaining, like a spaceship. But most visions of self-sustaining spaceships contain families and communities. These houses are built for loners who clearly are contemptuous of society and eschew community–one woman who let the crew in to see her house had never had a single visitor to her house before.

I love the sustainability, but people need people. You can claim to be a hermit all you want, but your life is still possible because a network of people–from doctors to car line workers to people who make solar panels to grocery store workers who stock the food the Earthship people don’t grow–do the work to make it happen. Opting out of that completely feels dishonest and disrespectful.


Sadly, life costs money

And only a tiny percentage of people are getting paid enough to live.

Paycheck-To-Paycheck Nation: Why Even Americans With Higher Income Struggle With Bills

:angry emoji face: