UPDATE: I'm currently staying in a cabin at a Quaker retreat center. This is basically the thing I needed. Thanks to everyone who reached out with suggestions or offers.
I’m currently coming to terms with just how much of human communication is marketing, like unto the Hobbesian war of all against all. I want to figure out a way for human beings to coordinate and create value when the dominant society is like that. That task is too big for me, so I need a team. I don’t know how to find the right people, but my best guess is that if I can clearly articulate what is needed, the right people have a good chance of recognizing my project as the one they want to be part of. But I can’t write about this in a reasonable way, because I can’t think about this in a reasonable way, because my intuitions are still all applying way too high a level of implicit trust, which means that I’m effectively deluged with spam and buying everything.
So, I want to get away, physically, to buy myself a little breathing room and get my head screwed on straight. A cabin, somewhere where I am not implicitly obligated to engage in more than incidental contact with other human beings, and can live in a reasonable amount of comfort for a while (e.g. includes basic temperature control and running water) is the essential thing. Other desiderata that are nice to have but not essential include:
- A high vantage point overlooking something, whether it be coastal cliffs, a mountainside, or something similar. One goes to a mountaintop to receive the law, so this feels aesthetically appropriate in a way that “a cabin in the woods” or something out in the more level desert does not.
- A land line telephone I can use.
- Drivable distance from the SF Bay Area or otherwise convenient for me to get to.
- Internet access, either on-site or within an hour of the site.
- ETA: Running water
Let me know if you have something like this to offer either free or for money, know of someone who does, or have advice beyond checking AirBnB for how to find something like this.
My best guess is that I should try this out for two weeks and then figure out what to do longer-term.
You can rent old fire towers, but last I checked they were heavily booked during the summer season: http://www.firelookout.org/lookout-rentals.html
Thanks, this seems to be the convergent recommendation, but AFAICT fire towers have no running water AND are pretty hard to get to and I would rather not learn how to manage a whole bunch of different logistical things all at once.
My family has a three-season cabin in northern New Hampshire, on the side of a mountain such that your view is woods and mountain ranges. It does not have any land line, and reliable internet is about a 20 minute drive away, cafe hours only.
I am about 50% that I could get it for you for an arbitrary two-week period; this depends mainly on whether my father values being able to visit it on a whim over doing a favor. Money might change his opinion of that tradeoff somewhat; market value is probably around $100 for a two-week rental but that's not necessarily coupled to what price he'd ask for in any way.
Should I investigate?
Yes, please! Also, if you really mean that market value is $100/2wk then I'm also interested in more info on the relevant market if this doesn't work out but you know how I'd find other people who might be willing to let their cabin.
Here's a cheap mountain cabin in Washington: https://skimtta.org/product/copper-creek-hut/. Not open until mid-November, sadly. Maybe you can find something else in its reference class -- I found it by going through https://rootsrated.com/stories/summer-days-mountain-huts-in-washington to https://skimtta.org/reservations/ .
Thanks! The info about your search trail seems likely to be helpful 🙂
I'd be interested in something similar if stumble on a good way of finding these...
I ended up going to a cabin at Sierra Friends Center. A Quaker group runs these retreats, apparently at cost, on the model that there ought to be somewhere a person or group can go to reflect on their own, in order to discern right action. Overall, I'm impressed, they seem to be doing all the things a reasonable person would do, under the constraints of individualism and pacifism. They also operate retreat centers in Ben Lomond, CA (near Santa Cruz) and in Massachusetts.
Nice, thank you! I will check this out.
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