- Factory building companies move from Chicago to South Carolina – because, said my engineer friend over dinner in GA “the South is the only place where factories are being build these days.” You can see a nice looking Honda plant from the highway when you drive through North Carolina. No signs promoting unions, plenty talking about the Bible.
- I meet two teachers looking to move to Ashland, N.C because they are virtual teachers working for the State of Florida. To save money, the Florida hired a group of ex-Disney execs to offer their troubled schools a low-cost alternative. The teachers are considering Ashland where costs are lower and the lifestyle pleasant. The schools may be good too.
- The country store talk in VA is about where to take their handheld transmitters in order to missing hunting dogs by locating the transponders. I hear that out West cattle herding is done from a laptop that sends signals out to cattle tags which lightly shock the cows into their pens.
- One of the fastest growing retail chains is a cheap tool supplier called Harbor Freight.
- All that shale gas fracking talk has inspired mineral searches in non-shale gas areas as well as a new fight over well water. Gold has been found in VA...
- I get 4G in the countryside – no problem.
- People love huntin’ and military bases seem to be just about everywhere. Is housing starting to come alive.
- No one talks about robots in farm mechanization but the farms are generally under 100 acres.....and you'd think......will returning solider use their newfound skills with predators and roadside robotics skills on the farms
The point here is that the internet, social media and high tech are now entrenched in the heartland. For the most part, they are not used particularly innovatively. They are “paving the cowpath” – in other words doing traditional things but with better tech. The farmers complain about overregulation – our strawberries had to be tested for sweetness before they could be picked (they were still quite sour on FL) and wineries (yes there are wineries) can’t sell across state lines and so on…
Maybe they will remind their kin that hunting with dogs makes for lousy meat. All the excitement and fear sends adrenaline to the animals and the meat is soured. Wouldn't it be better if they found way to tag animals in the wild and then use to chips t lead them with a surprise?