My new house is five miles exactly from my old house. My new house is one mile from the little green sign that says "City Maintenance Ends Here." And my new house also occupies a nexus of nullspace heretofore unbeknownst to all of mankind. Except the little old ladies who work at the county courthouse and have those big folders of plat records and old farm deeds and the like.
That little green sign wasn't kidding when it read "City Maintenance Ends Here." It should have been "Civilization Ends Here" because in spite of being not-that-far from that sign, I've gone from having screaming high speed internet provided by a civic entity (the city itself has a telecom utility that offers cable internet), to...two Dixie cups and a string. I've moved to the only two square miles on the entire planet where
I'm not sure how this happened. I'm about five miles from three different city centers. Okay, they're town centers, but they have their own zip codes and at least one police cruiser apiece. So why can't I get
Of course, the tradeoff of majestic views and a beautiful new home with closets that contain quantum singularities. And a kitchen that has enough room for me to cook and feed my perpetually-starving army, with countertops that register hardness on the Mohs scale and enough cabinet space to enable me to toss all the boxes I used to keep small appliances in. And once the water softener goes in, I won't have to take a hard hat into the great new oversized shower.
Now with all this nifty new stuff in my new house, I can't help but compare to some of my settings. Living quarters in the future all seem like they'd be small. In the universe I created for "Hounded" space is at a premium in artificial habitats, so people live in very small quarters, in exchange for having common areas. I can see the implications of that on both a grand and a small scale. As anyone who lives in a house with small bedrooms knows, the smaller the room, the less room you have for your stuff and your free time. So you spend your leisure time in a common area, like the family room or more likely, the kitchen (since everyone who's ever had a party knows you have to chase people out of your kitchen--it's an instinctive thing to go to where the food is).
In many cultures, especially ones in temperate or hotter climes, the dwelling itself is used for sleep and privacy and little else, while the cooking and the chores are all done outside, facing the common area or the road or the village center. It's how I picture most of my future living spaces, as well. Maybe it reflects a wish, in that people don't use technology to eventually supplant community. With the internet, large rooms that can be wired for all manner of entertainment, and communications that allow us to connect without connecting, it can be easy to stay in your room and be a hermit without the hermit-ness, but you also lose the sense of community that can come from sitting on your front porch and watching what the neighbors are doing. Maybe helping out when they need it and getting help when you need it. Getting to know the people who share your physical space, because when it's at a premium, it helps to like the people sharing it with you.
Still...it's awfully nice to have high-speed internet for my community in etherspace.