Best Freinds Forever?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Utopia : One Thread
If you see two versions of this question on the board, my apologies. This blasted AOL keeps signing me off w/o warning, and last time, it did so while I was sending my question in. AOL is evil!
Anyways, I just bade a tearful farewell to many of my high school buddies who just graduated. (Remember, I'm only a freshman - well, a rising sophmore now.) I remember wishing that we all didn't have to go our seperate ways, that we could be together forever. At the same time, I missed my old city (Birmingham, Alabama). Sometimes I wish I hadn't left.
Most of our utopias addressed the need for community. I remember that, in a few (Murph and Stephen's?) people stayed in one place, with one group of people all their lives.
Is that the way it should be? Should we ever have to leave the freinds and places we hold dear? Or would that honestly too boring? Is it more important to meet new people and see new places? After all, I think, I wouldn't have met all you fun people if I hadn't come to Nashville.
Please tell me what you think!
-- Anonymous, May 24, 2000
Well, I pestered everyone to write questions, so I would be remiss in not answering them as they appear.
I like this question, because I think it points out a problem for which there is (probably) no perfect solution. One of the frustrating things about utopias is that there are so many of those... ;)
In our modern world, moving seems to be a necessity largely because of specialization. When there were only two jobs--hunter and gatherer--people could stay in one small village for life. But if you want to go to one of the top universities, you'll probably have to leave your hometown. Likewise if you want to work in a very specific industry--e.g., most (big-screen) actors live in Hollywood out of necessity.
One partial solution is e-commuting / working from home. However, I worry about the social impact of a nation that never leaves the house. That works against the community we're trying to preserve, or at least I think it would in America, at this time.
On the other hand, I think if you live in a large enough city and are culturally willing/able to be less specialized, or more willing/able to change specializations periodically, then most of the population could be stably employed and not have to move far, so most relationships could be maintained.
I certainly do think it's important to see new people and places; I count various travels among my most valuable life experiences. I don't think that's incompatible with stable, life-long communities of friends.
Then again, people change. How many people would you want to be friends with forever? ;)
(In other words, I can't come to a conclusion on this one just yet!)
-- Anonymous, May 25, 2000