More than just another living room
Neo hippie like? Artistic space? Living room of a collective household in Bellingham called "Sushi House." Collective has been going for quite a few years. Residents come and go. While it's a living space, there are some community events there as well. Several years back, Bellingham Alternative Library gained traction in that living room. The Altlib.org is now at the corner of High and Maple.
I've been to the Sushi House on a few occasions. Part of my vision of the future includes low consumption and communal type living, popular among mostly young people.
One of my co-workers has a different vision of the future than me. His vision is pretty much all high tech. High tech and prosperity. My vision includes high tech also, but its more of a hybrid vision; high tech and low consumption.
My co-worker doesn't think a significant number of people would ever wish to, for instance, give up automobiles and use bicycles. To combat global warming, this co-worker says the solution will have to be high tech all the way. Solar power, better batteries, electric cars and so forth. He feels prosperity must move forward even though he admits there will be the need for more urban density. He acknowledges that "showboat homes on country acreages" may not be sustainable. This co-worker is also liberal on issues related to population growth, reproductive rights, gay rights and so forth. We, running out of room here on Spaceship Earth. His vision of the future was forged in the crucible of the Star Track TV series. He sees our future as one of colonizing the galaxy with star ships and all.
I am also a fan of space science, but large human populated star ships to other solar systems seems so far in the future that it's hard for me to imagine. Its especially hard to fathom until (or if) we ever figure out how to travel faster than the speed of light. I've had friendly debates, with my co-worker, about whether humans could colonize other star systems without "faster than light" travel. He thinks it could still happen. I am more dubious. To me, faster than light travel is an unavoidable prerequisite for inter stellar human civilization.
Closer to my vision of the future is a combination of high tech and voluntary simplicity. A future with places like Sushi House has it's own appeal of community. For instance the genesis of Bellingham's World Naked Bike Ride, which started, several years ago, at Sushi's back yard. There's an appeal in human contact and less isolation than what one normally finds in mainstream society. Prosperity enables isolation, in many cases. People often have fond memories of youth and some of these memories relate to more social connection; before folks get their own houses. Voluntary simplicity offers the appeal of health, agility and connection.
My vision of the future includes technology and prosperity, but it also includes some voluntary simplicity. Simplicity; especially as we wait for the non fossil fuel technology to come along.
Just in my own mind, I sometimes call the Sushi House:
"The Star Ship Sushi House."
That phrase may only make sense to me because of the context of discussions with my co-worker. It also is inspired from listening to Bob Brinker's "Money Talk" show on the radio. Brinker often refers to his show as "The Star Ship Money Talk." Brinker talks about getting to the land of "Critical Mass." Not the critical mass of bicycle fame, but a condition where one has the critical mass of financial investments to be independently wealthy. Bob Brinker is an investment counselor on network radio.
Our different star ships to the future.