The tyranny of physical presence

The Gargler makes an insightful point:

I love those who defend city-life. They dance and dodge to the best of their ability when you try to pin them down on just what the city offers that the country does not. If you can ever force one to give you an answer you’ll probably get a stuttering list of important sounding places that the cityboy has never actually stepped foot in.

The workerbee will prattle on about museums he doesn’t go to, symphonies he’s never been to, festivals he doesn’t care about, and so on. Dispatching these one by one, you eventually come to the foregone conclusion. The city has more bars. Confronted with this.. they offer only deer in the headlights stares.

The fact is, he doesn’t know why he’s there at all, and if he does, he’d never admit it.

As far as I’m concerned, there are only two rational reasons for a man to live in a city. One is the increased potential for more, and more attractive, sex partners. The second is greater access to high income jobs. (For most men, this latter is often counter-balanced by the greater cost of living and higher taxes, making it a wash.) For women, the primary reason is increased exposure to high-income men, although working as a nanny in any wealthy suburb is almost surely more effective.

In any case, it is amusing to hear those who live in cities point to places they don’t visit and things they don’t do as the chief benefits of their place of abode. Now, there are certainly city rats who truly love life under neon, but I’ve always found it significant that the first thing all the successful CEOs and whatnot do when they feel that they’ve made it is to find themselves a place away from the city.

Why not skip the whole process altogether and jump right to the end game? With the Internet, there’s almost no genuine need for people, even managers and executives, to be physically present in the office on a daily basis. Escaping the tyranny of physical presence is one of the great opportunities of these interesting times in which we live.

Of course, that’s easy for an uploaded, machine-augmented superintelligence to say….