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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Technical, Not Social

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I tend to travel, endure hardship, and then forget. Not forget entirely, but forget the intensity and depth of feeling.

A classic hobo in LA. Not me, mind you. ;-)

I walked through downtown Los Angeles, confronted at evening hours with the hoards of street & tent living people - hobos. Mostly black. It is hardly the first time I have run by, or met homeless people. They are everywhere, almost, and especially in the city. Every city. But this time, it was so massive and disturbing, that I felt a dire sadness in me.

I was wondering about something terrible. Would all those people be better off in their natural home countries? West Africa, for most. Places lush with vegetation, economic poverty the norm, and filled with other people who basically look the same.

Always reflections in the city... Everywhere.

A single person, off their luck, in their hometown or city, sort of getting by... I can sympathize with that. For example, I talked to an older lady, almost sixty, who struck misfortune, lost her husband and her leg, and found herself without. Myself, I would not stay, never! Rather any place and work, than being stuck in disgrace & boredom. But I do understand.

On the other hand, when it is a whole community, several blocks in a big city, I am unable to sympathize. What the fuck is going on? A well organized group of people can make a village. Easily. Now, I know, most of them are fucked up on drugs. Distorted minds, unable to act in any meaningful way. Sadly.

But this is why I travel in discomfort! It is why I am a vagabond, and not a tourist. I want to learn from experience, I want to meet skin to skin! I sleep outside, I eat simple, and I prefer roaming by foot than by bus or bike. I want to find meaning in life through action and interaction. I want the facts and feelings.

It's a lonely thing, traveling. Even meeting people is a passing thing.

That is how I have noticed that our homes are not designed to incorporate everyone; those traveling or without, the trees and animals. The full scale of life & living observed. And this is why, I concur, there is a great sadness amongst us. I feel it. I see it in others; those who are more sympathetic and keen to be caring, rather than winning.

It is astonishing to me, how anyone can be content, even cheerful, when their own kin near them suffer this direly. It is as if everyone is obsessed with comforts; food, drink, and play. Like children, who ignore their surroundings and feel no responsibility.

In their quest for freedom, hippies seek to liberate the mind & body from the fear of lacking base needs, so as to give space to acts of kindness. But they miss on the mutual benefit, in designing permanent spaces that take care of people. Places designed not only for purpose, such as work or recreation, but for intent.

Uncomfortable. No control. That's how it feels to be without, almost constantly.

Such places would act similar to the hippie commune or the forest encampment. It is where lives are shared for the feeling of it, as opposed to the need. Where a person chooses to join and give, for its own sake. Transient places, regular in place, but designed for an ever changing community. Not charity, but community. Not religion, but feeling. A hub of life, not meant to be a safe comfort for the family, like the modern house in the modern neighborhood.

I suspect that only the right technology would allow this. The investment is too great, for any person or group to make and sustain. We need the equipment & machines that will take care of us, requiring little care back. Even today, camping gear & outfits allow any person to be comfortable outdoors for reasonable prices. Utilities, such as washrooms, taps, and transportation, and WIFI, together with cheap smartphones, let us maintain ourselves and our relationships with ease.

Music always cheers the man.

Next, would be buildings with sleeping pods (Japan) and self-cleaning washrooms (San Francisco)? Food serving machines that take in any organic waste, converting it into edible form? I find myself ever curious to take part in those questions & answers.

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