Outlands: finding bandwidth in the new wired wilderness

bandwidth lead

Camping has always been an activity balanced on the promise of escape. These days it might be seen as a retreat from the hyperpresent now of chirping electronics and the endless distractions they bring. The last time I went on a camping trip, though, no one I knew owned a cellphone. In fact, the only portable electronics I remember seeing during those youthful excursions were flashlights, a few walkie talkies, and the occasional Walkman loaded with a Backstreet Boys audio cassette.

What frightens and amazes me most about that memory (aside from remembering that the Backstreet Boys once existed) is this: A decade and change later, upon reaching a picturesque mountaintop halfway through a three-day trek along the Appalachian Trail, my…

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