These days I live in a fairly remote part of Alaska, but we have good cell coverage here now. It's different being in wilderness while still having the possibility of being connected. I feel different when I get into a valley where there's no coverage. I'm tempted to get a satellite device for emergencies, but part of me relishes the impossibility of contact with the outside world for a time. That's a good issue to wrestle with.
If you haven't experienced true solitude yet, go find some. It's pretty grounding.
Where as if you go somewhere where you're certain there's no other people around then you're free of all that, free to express yourself without worrying even a little about other people judging your every little movement, every behaviour.
I wish I was back home with my granddad and just farming sometimes. He is an awesome man but I cannot buy land in India anymore.
Edit: He used to manage an "Ashram" which was basically just a private little river facing house in a village. He maintained the bushes/trees/plants and all that jazz and just chilled. It was good. It was simple.
I know what you mean about solitude in the outdoors, though. I'm not sure if the difference for me is so much about the inability for potential contact with others, but more of a feeling of the appreciation and awe of nature, and the feeling of insignificance and almost intrusion in an environment that is not tailor-made for supporting human life (as civilization is), as well as being alone with one's thoughts instead of reading other people's thoughts in books or online or distracting oneself with other media. There's a lot more time for introspection and reflection when one is alone and away from humanity and its cultural products.
Based on my own experience some solitude is healthy and positive, even necessary for deep work. But too much is quite dangerous for one's mental health. So while I whole heartedly agree that we could all benefit from experiencing more natural environments, I don't think solitude is the answer. We are social animals, even those of us who don't identify with being so.
But of course the wilderness doesn't strictly mean not socializing. Talk to anyone who's thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail or similar and you'll hear about how social of an experience it was, between the times of solitude. The thing is that there is no solitude in heavily populated environments, where things like work are what you're supposed to do. This is the point of the article: in cities, in society, you're not able to focus on the simple joy of your existence, as Byrd was. In solitude you're free from the urban burdens and obligations that stress us, despite how well we've adapted to them.
Of course, Canada is handily next door.
The road rule is actually part of why certain groups push to build roads on public lands, because it reduces the land's environmental status and access to protections from exploitation.
This should be the study:
They basically controlled for everything, if you read the paper, except for the language used for colours, and showed how a colour that's incredibly distinct for us, is incredibly hard to distinguish for them and vice-versa.
You need to find the odd colour out in the rings at:
5:40 (easy for them, hard for us)
6:30 (so easy for us that it's hard to imagine it being hard for anybody)
He was manning the Antarctic station - that sounds like it involves routine work that anyone can do (absolutely no offense), are there jobmarkets out there for these sort of gigs?
Just curious really.
The author spent a number of seasons, including winter, in Antartica. From what I remember he was a "techie" who would run/maintain experiments for European universities; outdoor experience & knowledge on how to operate a LIDAR were his qualifications for the job. The tasks may sound mundane however even running an ethernet cable by -70c is more challenging than it sounds.
There is also an American station but it's rather crowded so I doubt you'd get to enjoy solitude there. The British station is less crowded but I heard it smells terrible.
During this time I wouldn't really have any directed conversation with humans. I'd thank a store clerk, make an order at a cafe or restaurant, that's it. Mostly because I didn't know the local languages in some of these countries (Asia), but sometimes even where I did. I was incredibly lonely the first time it happened due to the former (language), but towards the end of my nomadism it meant something else. I began to seek that time, and use it to commune with the place, the city, and to think truly independently without disrupting my lifestyle. These are big bustling people-filled places I'm talking about -- Seoul, Tokyo, Taipei, Osaka, Bangkok. I can speak Japanese fluently, yet every other week I spent in Tokyo I'd avoid personal interactions, while still going out regularly for dinner, or a run, or to a cafe. You start to see the place as a friend, and understand it more.
Ironically, you begin to be able to understand humans better from this time not being a part of their society. It's stepping away from individuals (friends/family/coworkers/date) you focus on, and suddenly you can observe the humanity around you with an even emphasis. You can see which things they take for granted, how they prioritize life, what makes them tick. You see things, learn things, understand the guiding fabric of their society (and to some extent the global one) from a third-person perspective, which is very different from what I saw while an active part of it.
This same perspective also makes you feel a great deal of freedom from those social rules, yet acute awareness of them (much like with a friend, you don't have to deal with their lifestyle if you don't want to, you can look at their life more objectively than if they were your partner or family). You think about things, try things, plan things, make choices very differently than if you are being socially influenced directly by those around you. Being a foreigner/outsider in those places probably accentuated it, but likely is a prerequisite to feel that way in a city.
I really feel like it permanently changed the way I see the role of society, places, and my human relationships to be a completely different perspective.
Given the consistency at which articles of this nature appear on HN and other tech communities, it appears to be either a common residual feeling or one that is on the rise amongst us in the tech world?
(Not to imply any judgement. I unashamedly fit the stereotype in this respect to a T.)
−57 °F ≈ −49 °C
This reminds me of the Bell Lab's old Holmdel research complex. A ton of early microwave research was done there in the 50s when it was basically just a farm. It wasn't till later that they built the facility that now stands there.
The Santa Cruz mountains, redwoods, Point Reyes, etc, are all great for this right in the bay area.