• If it is asserted that civilization is a real advance in the condition of man,--and I think that it is, though only the wise improve their advantages,--it must be shown that it has produced better dwellings without making them more costly; and the cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.

    Henry David Thoreau (2013). “The Essential Thoreau”, p.21, Simon and Schuster