Sudden moments of realisation are what many of us live for. Give me a fizzle of my frontal lobe every few hours, and I’ll be yours forever: ideas, inspiration, moments of flow, of poetry, of elegance, whether in our work or in our play, are what gives many people a reason to live.
(It may actually be, and I digress at this point, the reason that many of us congregate here: the thrill of a elegantly rendered hack is so much more potent than simple bread and circuses. This is your brain on drugs, this is *mine* on Knuth)
So, anyway, you find me on the come-down of a idea-hit. My wife and I have decided to emigrate. Ok, so that might seem a little inwardly thrilling (I mean you’re thinking, well done Ben, but why should I care, right?), but bear with me.
You see, I just realised that no one - at least no one who pays me a wage - has any real idea where I am. I’ve never met my editor here at O’Reilly, Simon St Laurent, but given that I’m English he could possibly guess to within a few hundred miles, and my boss at The Guardian could perhaps narrow it down to within 10, but at the end of the day, my address is my URL, my email and my Instant Messenger accounts. Add in a mobile phone, and I’ve worked seamlessly from Tehran to Rangoon with no one noticing.
So, we’re off - we finally decided today - and we’re moving to Florence, Italy. For the price of living in London, we can double the size of our appartment, and get a balcony over looking the same view as this live cam, and as long as I’ve got bandwidth - no one would ever know the difference.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not some smugness in the making. This whole idea fascinates me - perhaps, for the first time, after years of prophecy, we can now truly declare the death of distance.
Is this madness, or can one really work from anywhere with a dial tone?