I just finished reading this excellent rant by Charlie Lloyd all about the vast scale of our shared infrastructure where he writes:
What do you get from living on a natural seastead oops I mean small island? Well, you get a different kind of time—a different set of distractions. Not simplicity, but a reallocation of complexity that suits some people. You get too many things to list here. The one I want to talk about is that you see your material dependencies more clearly. That is, you have to carry the gas that you buy. You know where your water comes from, even if it’s just as technologically mediated as a Brooklynite’s water—maybe more—because you have to replace the pump from time to time. It’s not that you have less of a supply chain, it’s that you pay more attention to it because you’re the last link in it. You unload your kit, your cargo, your stuff, from a literal-ass boat that goes across the water.
So here is what I can tell you: our material culture is vast. The substrate of comfortable, middle-class-as-portrayed-in-primetime American life is ginormous, far beyond anyone’s understanding in any depth. [...] The real world is not a packet network—physical objects come with complex and inseparable contexts, and they are produced by a huuuge machine full of flywheels with unfathomable inertia.
I really wish Charlie would write more because I adore his work and I always feel like I’m a whole percentage point smarter when I finish reading something he’s written.