What if I asked you where would you like to live, dear reader? What would your reply be? In a city? In the unadulterated countryside? By mountain ranges, grassy meadows, or golden sands? On earth, or in space? I’m afraid I can’t offer you any of these, but I wonder, if you really were offered a home in your dream location, would you accept it?
You see, the way I see it, and I speak from about as much experience as one can have living in the same house since birth, moving house is a big thing. It’s understandably upsetting for children who suddenly lose all their freinds, and have to go to a brand new school with new uniform and scary teachers. And it might well be a shame leaving your neighbours, although that really depends on what kind of relationship you’ve built up with them. And if you’re one of those smiling at the thought of leaving your neighbours, shame on you. Go bake a cake for everyone on your road. Now.
And if you’re being given this house, have you got any plans about upkeep, both for your dream home and for yourself? Does this place offer good job prospects, because running a minor Bed and Breakfast can be a lot more stressful than you’d imagine. And if you’re the one that chose the hovel on the dead husk of a neutron star, I hope you’ve thought about how you’re going to eat daily.
It’s the problem with hypotheticals. They are, well hypothetical. They don’t exist. We have to suspend our reality to accept them. In effect, the practicality of the situation is ignored. This is what makes hypotheticals impractical in real life.
So could there be a more sensible hypothetical, or at least a sensible answer to it? Take my first example. If I could live anywhere, where would I choose to live? And, of course, why?
I’ve got to start by asking why I’ve been given this opportunity. Am I the only one? Who’s providing the means? Is this a legal activity? What’s the catch? Will I be able to take my family friends and loved ones? There’s rarely such a thing as a free lunch, so can I see a catch? Am I really being too cynical about the whole situation, or just realistic?
Next, I’ve hot to think long term. It’s no good just living, I need to think about my education, money, free time, whether I’m going to eat, my social life. This is where all of those really cool ideas like living in the middle of a giant pyramid on the moon, or living in the middle of the Amazonian rainforest can get knocked on the head. Humans require a good many things to survive, not least food and water, but also the company of fellow humans. And I know I’d get extremely bored without the internet, and my physics to keep me occupied. But this also applies to those idyllic places in the countryside or by the sea that many of us city-folk dream of. Would I be able to get a job in a quiet rural village? The sale of handmade crafts rarely provides the nice income that I would want to be able to do everything that I want. It would certainly be hard to, say, raise a child if my one source of income relied solely on a good crop of tourists every summer.
So, you cry, the point is made. Hypotheticals are just hypothetical. But the important thing I’m trying to get at is a suspension of disbelief. We are quite content with ignoring reality on many occasions – see the myriad of sci-fi and fantasy television shows as evidence of this. Yet there is so much in our real world that is important. Waving wands around and shouting lumos? Try the devices in our real world that can turn on lights with a click. The in-depth worlds in our fantasy books? Nothing compared to the complex beauty of fractal patterns.
There’s a lot of beauty in our universe. Let’s not get stuck on strange fantasies.
That said, what is your dream home? Answers in the comments…