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Less is More? Personal Technology & Real Estate Allocation


  by SchiffGold  0   6

A fundamental yet almost imperceptible shift has occurred. Those with their ears to the ground might have felt the tectonic plates beneath them shift, yet most are merely milling in the overworld. The grinning, faceless hordes of propagandists and marketers have become so successful that they feel they have inverted human nature itself. In the past, they sought to grasp more and more mental real estate within a preestablished preference framework. They assumed that people’s desires in specific realms could be influenced, yet they could not have dreamed that they would be able to hold as primary a role in preference formation as they do today.

Whether governmental or industrial, the forces that would form human consciousness in their own image have found incredible success in the new era of personal technological proliferation. Family, community, and introspection have been replaced by a vast amount of time on personal technological devices. Time and energy spent on the machines directly help these controlling forces, both through network effects and increasing personal interest. The average American spends over four hours a day looking at their phone. The amount of time spent doing this type of activity will only increase as technology becomes even more addictive. The digital world is perfectly designed to suck individuals in, and the world surrounding them becomes much less interesting. Real estate will become far less expensive as more individuals recognize it brings little utility to their virtually lived lives.

Land’s greatest value to people comes from its use for personal enjoyment and outdoor recreation. Surveying one’s land becomes far less interesting if free time is a mere fraction of what it once was. Outdoor recreation will be enjoyed far less frequently in favor of online actions which release far more endorphins. While most can recognize the objectively better nature of actions in the real physical world, some will inevitably recognize they cannot win the battle against their temptation and move real estate down in their list of priorities. Especially with its extremely high prices, real estate may begin to take a back seat for individuals who recognize how much happiness they can still possess in a small room with Wi-Fi, food, and electricity. Outdoor recreation has already been partially replaced by AR headset exercise options. All real happiness derived from land can be easily crowded out when individuals with fundamentally rewired preferences recognize their momentary pleasure from the endless endorphins of the online world.

A second benefit to real estate is increased social status. Even aside from luxury real estate, the ability to own a home indicates credibility and general competence. Virtual communities may create incentives that shift individuals away from owning houses. If people spend even more of their precious time on these devices, they may start to value online shows of wealth more than physical displays. Purchasing virtual assets will constrict the amount of funds that individuals have on hand to pay for property. Additionally, the widespread nature of online communities allows individuals to never have to actually show others where they live. Whether for good or for bad, many individuals would be perfectly happy with little more than a space to sleep and clean themselves if it weren’t for societal pressure. Small rooms may become more acceptable as physical communities become rapidly replaced by more niche online interest communities. Individual technological obsession will allow financial ease to far outweigh the benefits of owning property.

The desires of propagandists will also most likely drive individuals away from owning homes, as apartments are more environmentally friendly, and cultural hegemony is easier when people are condensed into a small space. People are easier to predict and control when they are more similar. This useful similarity can be enforced quite easily by the promotion of geographical similitude, namely cities. Cities allow more elements of individuals’ lives to be controlled than in a more rural setting, so marketers will use their power of preference formation to show individuals the benefits of city life. Apartment living in cities certainly has its benefits, but the mass movement towards it will outweigh many of its benefits. Countless individuals all equally consumed with their technological playthings will make none of the pleasant community that could make city living pleasant. Humans will have been shaped into something unrecognizable, unpleasant, and fully controllable. Individual addiction to endorphins will numb people to their isolation and open up land in the countryside for those who will use it well. No matter how rich someone is, those who control will give them an avenue to spend their money within the virtual world to the point where they will desire no property. For those who do not intend to partake in such obsession, there will be more than enough land to steward.

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