4 Reasons to Consider Squeezing Into a Micro Apartment

micro apartment building seattle

Much controversy has been generated by the recent development of micro apartments and tiny houses. These are smaller than normal living spaces, which in the case of micro apartments often means less than 300 sq ft. They have emerged as an option for environmentally conscious young professionals and students to live in parts of town where they would otherwise be unable to economically sustain themselves. The rent is just too damn high. A lot of people hate the idea of these micro flats.”How could anyone live like that?” some people wonder. “These new buildings are ruining property values!” real estate agents complain. If you have a family of 2 or require a lot of space for your hair dryer, I’m sure you’ve already concluded these little apartments are not for you. Not everyone needs or wants a lot of room though. Here are a few reasons why some of us(at least for a while) wouldn’t mind calling a micro apartment our home:

1. They’re Affordable
This is perhaps the most obvious selling point. In many thriving metropolitan cities, cost of living has long ago outpaced real wages. Places in the heart of San Francisco, Seattle and Portland are expensive and almost impossible to afford for many of the young single professionals work in the city. This tends to require people to make long commutes from far off suburbs or have to hunker down like turtles at the mercy of slumlords in nearby ghettos. That or they end up packed like sardines into an decent but “communal” apartment with bunch of random roommates of various quality and shadiness. Micro apartments allow you to sacrifice space for affordability, privacy and the chance to live in a small compartment in the best part of town.

2. Good for the Environment
No big surprise here. Micro apartment buildings are designed specifically to be energy efficient in all areas. From low-flow shower heads to compact fluorescent light bulbs, these were built for green living. The small area also requires less energy to heat, cool or light. There is so little to do in one of these apartments that unless you turn your room into a bitcoin mining outpost, it’s difficult to see how you could ever run up much of a utility bill. Also, the fact that you can live right where the action is(and likely close to work) means you’ll be using less gas and may not even need to drive an automobile at all.

micro apartment room with window

3. Minimalist Lifestyle
One might think of the idea of being cramped in a tiny apartment as being a stressful thought in and of itself. Instead of falling victim to an anxiety induced cheek bite, chew on this for a second. when I look around at all the junk I’ve accumulated over the years cluttered about, it stressed me out. Life is one’s head is complicated and heavy enough without having a ton of crap in the physical world to weigh you down(and yes I realize that thoughts themselves are technically a physical manifestation, but you know what I mean.) I have fantasies about chucking all my material possessions and going back to basics. At one time I lived for 2 years in a small studio apartment armed with nothing but a $20 cot from Target to sleep on and a Super Nintendo for recreational activity. Those were simple yet carefree times. Micro apartments allow for this kind of minimalist lifestyle. Small spaces can be liberating after all.

4. The Views
Believe it or not, many of these micro apartments come equipped with breathtaking views. The units are often situated in modernist mini high-rise buildings. One of the rare features these units have is large windows. After all, if there’s not room to do anything else your apartment, at least you can gaze outside from the 7th floor and stare at the Cascades all day.

micro flat rooftop view

Dust on the Moon

moonzerotwodeath

If advanced civilization and a continuous expansion of our understanding of the universe are the paramount objectives we strive toward, then a barbarous third world religious populace is not compatible, period. Even the faithful of the first world represent an encumbrance in this regard(and radical traditionalists are not interested is pursuing futurism anyway.) Indeed, any religion which claims authority to create policies related to technology or promote ‘noble savage’ fetishism based on a literal interpretation of scientifically unproven (perhaps even unprovable) supernatural or metaphysical beliefs, is something we need to distance ourselves from… unless we can restrict it’s utility to that of mythological guidance as strictly fictitious metaphor. There is an aesthetic case to be made for “cultural Christianity” or nominalism for neoreactionaries who idealize the medieval frame yet are not true believers. As an escapist who once clocked in nearly 300 hours marveling at the majestic world of Elder Scrolls IV (without ever even bothering with the main quest,) I could certainly see the appeal of such a society. Hell, even that virtual environment in many ways felt superior to what exists in our current reality.

The problem with cultural Christianity though arrives when it intersects with authentic believers. True believers will never accept those who embrace their religion for “values” or utilitarian purposes. Their faith requires them to be disgusted by it and they view it as form of heresy, which is why they recoil at post rationalist attempts at inventing religious concepts like “gnon” as a necessary part of the design of a functional society. Orthodox Christians take it as an insult that one would attempt to adopt their values while denying the divine “truth” of their doctrine. You could not have one without the other, they would claim, and they would find doubly insulting the notion that their values could simply be transplanted into some new metaphysical belief system that a few reactosphere bloggers came up with over the weekend. Not that that sort of thing can’t work on it’s own. Look at the success of Scientology as a religion, the closest thing to a neoreactionary tech comm monarchy that exists today. Have fun getting militant Christian reactionaries to accept your nominalism though in the new nation. As natural busybodies, they are not known for a hands off approach toward non-believers anyway.

To the extent religions, including Christianity (in anything other than their most benign strains) can be compatible with highly advanced technological civilizations at all is a stretch. If you think they are able to, then you and I simply define “advanced” civilization differently. It’s been shown possible with Christianity in the 19th and 20th century, but the pathological altruism and biblical aversion to pursuing certain avenues of technology present a significant hindrance to both civilizational maintenance and technological progress (think where genetic engineering, eugenics, stem cell research and transhumanism would be right now without constant obstruction from religious puritans)

Those who favor Islamification of Europe, or radical christian traditionalism would seem to be content with a sort of “Ape City” from Planet of The Apes as their gold standard, a primitive theocracy which makes use of some modest level of technology. In actuality, the orangutans like Dr. Zaius were pretty wise aristocrats and ape city would probably be preferable to living under actual Islamic law or being governed by pervy bishops, various third world tribal chieftains and the like.

zaius

For those of us who prefer to seek out and supersede the biologically imposed limits of our understanding of the universe as organisms, without restricting ourselves to uncritical faith in currently unproven bronze age supernatural beliefs or leaning on the crutch of an imagined higher power, the future is this way. Let those who are content on the prairie, live as happy families in their familiar traditional communities. We will strive to build lunar cities, our ashes will become moon dust, a lifeless and indifferent soil to be kicked up by the boots of subsequent pioneering dreamers, marching toward their next destination.

Flight From The Senses

flight_33

Flight From The SensesĀ 

Brandon Adamson, 2011

Putting on the invisible disguise
in an effort to evade untimely demise
it’s off to navigate the maze of the skies
without a wingman, minus a stewardess,
and the crash lessons of the last
as the only guide,
such is the flight experience on the airline of the times.
turbulence from the moment you lift off the ground
from the up up uppity ups to the dipstick dippity downs-
could someone please turn this plane around?
and head back toward those now distant,
familiar sounds,
but you fear that they no longer exist.
Consulting once again the trusty oracle,
peering into your past, going back even one minute!
always reveals an inexperienced pilot..
talking to yourself on the captain’s radio
from the cockpit of despair “away we go!”
with the empty air of being alone,
the fare you pay to fly on your own.

The Future of The Civilized World vs. Those Pesky Birthrates

(this article originally appeared December 5, 2014 in Stepkid Magazine)

space_baby

One recurring theme you hear in both mainstream media and alternate right narratives is how the birthrates of native born populations of Europe, the US and places like Japan are below replacement levels and that we need to either import more immigrants or start having more children if we want to survive. I say, no we don’t. At the very least, we can’t know yet if we do or don’t.

Are we committing suicide or preserving ourselves?

The reason why intelligent people have less children is that they recognize how much of a responsibility taking care of a child is and think ahead about how they can pay for it. Other demographics seem to have a shorter time horizon and less impulse control(see the lollipop time horizon study.) They don’t think about any of that “down the road” stuff. They just pop out babies and let the chips fall where they may while society is left to clean up the mess. We don’t know what the long term future holds. It could be that breakthroughs in medical technology will lead to humans having much longer lifespans, and thus there would be less of a need to increase birthrates. Encouraging responsible people just to start primitively pumping out babies indiscriminately whether they can afford them or not just to get their numbers up, is not forward thinking. If you want to encourage them to have more children, work to provide an environment where having and raising children is seen as affordable and logical, and not as a liability. Our present society isn’t it.

In the early 70’s, capable working class guys could get a factory job right out of high school that paid 30 to 35k per year. plenty of money to start a family on in those days, and so they did. 40 years later, those jobs are gone and salaries haven’t increased much, while the cost of living has. Having a child can be a financial disaster for a person who cares enough to be responsible for them. I have a friend who got his girlfriend pregnant and now pays $1000 a month in child support(even though he doesn’t even have visitation rights,) which amounts to nearly half of his take home pay check.

As far as a culture that views children as a liability as “committing suicide,” I would urge you to take a look at what happens in the wild when populations of animals grow wildly. It often leads to mass starvation and disease and ends up destroying the whole herd. Or you can just take a look at Africa to see the result of people living on pure “id” and how it
affects a civilization.

There’s no way to know what the long term future holds based on present birthrates. There are too many variables involved. In the 60’s and 70’s people were convinced there would be massive overpopulation(Soylent Green, The Population Bomb, etc.) Those projections didn’t pan out. Just because birthrates are declining below replacement level(a favorite topic of Pat Buchanan) among certain demographics, doesn’t mean the population will decline all the way down to zero. It could be that we have way too may people right now, so after it gets down to the point where we are once again running around freely in the open spaces of the post apocalyptic frontier or merely mining the underground caverns of mars, babyfever could return in some form.

It’s not defeatist to believe so either. Defeatism would be having a bunch of children you can’t afford and then thinking the resulting generation of poorly raised, dysfunctional, meth addicted white trash would be somehow be a step forward for civilization(but we got the birthrates up!)

For one thing, it’s irrelevant whether sperm counts are reduced, as in the near future they won’t be required for reproduction. Advanced scientific intelligence is more of an evolutionary advantage in the long term than just pumping out babies. Through medicine, eradication of diseases which had wiped out entire populations of primitive people put us way ahead of “build huts and hump” crowd. The real question is not whether we can reproduce at the same rate, but whether we can be smart enough to separate ourselves from the overbreeders to create an environment where we can thrive. The technological advances I’m talking about aren’t “pie in the sky” Heinleinian dreams. They’re in the works. No one is talking about Highlander style “immortality,” but there’s little question that in the future people will be living much longer than they do now. Most likely, people in the distant future will look back and think how short and miserable our lives must have been, the same way we look back at the days before people had electricity, cars, running water, etc.

It’s cool though. Some people would rather we all live in trailers and bone down all day to create kids we can’t afford, because you know “we’ll have more Caucasian and Japanese people!” They advocate going down to the level of backward peoples so we can reproduce irresponsibly like they do and keep up with them. I’d rather us climb to a higher level entirely, one that man has not yet reached. While the others are out there in their wife beaters, smoking overtaxed Winston cigs, juggling their 8 kids(that they won’t be able to see because they can’t make the child support payments) trying to outbreed mobs of barbarians and battle it out with them on the streets, we’ll be off in our own homeland putting up a force field to keep out the riff raff, so they can’t interrupt us while we’re interacting with virtual reality porn and trying to watch marathons of Battlestar Galactica(upbeat 70’s version, not the bleak and castrated remake.)

Cherry 2015 – If Loving A Fembot Is Artificial, I Don’t Want To Be Genuine

(this article originally appeared Nov 22, 2014 in Stepkid Magazine)

Cherry_2000_001
One of the most prescient dystopian science fiction films of the 1980’s turned out to be the (direct to video?) 1987 movie, “Cherry 2000.”

The future depicted in Cherry 2000 is one where sexual encounters and relationships with real women have become complicated legal transactions requiring lawyers, and have been reduced to merely emotionless business arrangements. The women are typically aggressive, masculine, demanding and shrill. It leads to an environment where the rare romantic guy, who still longs for a traditional loving relationship, would actually find a courtship with a female android more emotionally fulfilling than one with a real live organic woman. It’s sort of a more sympathetic, less horrific spin on “The Stepford Wives” theme. In Stepford, the men killed their loving yet sassy wives in exchange for robot sex slaves who would do the dishes and clean the house without giving them any grief. They were portrayed unmistakably as as evil pricks. In contrast, the physically human women are the ones who display the robotic behavior in Cherry 2000, while the romantic men are forced to seek out the loving emulation of androids for any “meaningful” companionship. Of course the film sells out in the end, as the main character who sacrifices everything in a dangerous quest to replace his beloved, short circuited fembot(Cherry, played by Pamela Gidley) with the identical discontinued model, ultimately falls for the crass and bitchy, tomboyish tracker, “Edith”(Melanie Griffith) whom he’s hired to help locate the robot.

With the advent of “yes means yes” laws it doesn’t seem like it will be long before men will be required to get some type of verbally recorded or written consent to engage in sexual activity with a seemingly “turned on” girl, to shield themselves from litigation or criminal prosecution if she turns on them later. As if getting a girl pregnant or contracting an STD wasn’t enough to worry about, now we have bigger fish to fry. Indeed, there is already a phone app for sexual consent, called Good2Go.

cherry2000

Recent developments over the past two decades have lead me to conclude we’re headed towards Cherry 2000 style dating in America. Indeed, I’ve started to notice that the crudely annoying spambots on Tinder and Okcupid have been getting more sophisticated in their programming to the point where interacting with them can be more romantically stimulating than talking to actual chicks(which, if you’ve ever had an unfortunate exchange with one of these Tinderbots you would realize is more of a knock on the sorry state of the 21st century female conversational experience than it is one marveling in wonder at the advancements in artificial intelligence spam.)

Then there are video game characters. Back in a particularly isolated time period of my life in 2001 and 2002, when all I did was drink diet pepsi, eat microwave popcorn and play old Super Nintendo RPGs in my studio apartment, I would occasionally develop what I guess you could call “crushes” on some of the female sprites in the games(such as Rydia from Final Fantasy IV, Marle and Schala from Chrono Trigger, Paula from Earthbound, etc.) even to where I began to curiously research the technological possibilities of transferring human consciousness to a computer. I was thinking of course that if i could somehow hack a sprite that resembled me into the game’s ROM, that it might be possible to get something going. Yeah, it’s crazy but so what? Realized dreams are the work of madmen. I also saw Tron in the theater when I was a kid so perhaps it left a subconscious impression on me.

In any case, if that kind of emotion was possible to evoke in the days of 16 bit SNES pixelation, I can only imagine how real a romance could be in the context of modern video games which are now much more advanced in their elaborate overworlds, roleplays and simulations. Thousands if not millions of men and women find the virtual experience of video games more appealing than going outside and playing. It would be naive to think that organic human love would be any less vulnerable to competition from artificial intelligence than other components of our earthly existence.

Dust off your 1980’s JC Penney catalog and get your fembots on order, men! This scene is coming to a nightclub or campus near you.