Our infatuation with nomadic life has grown in direct proportion to the rise of highly complex, circumscribed, and crowded societies. Nomads are our alter ego, a personification of escape from the gray flannel suit and the tract home. . . . These adventurers, most of whom were semi-tamed rebels themselves, were obsessed with nomads' "freedom of movement, freedom from authority, freedom from the habitual anxieties of urban living, freedom from the constraints of organized agriculture, freedom from any convention but their own." . . .
Pastoral nomads, of course, are not "rootless wanderers," free to go where they please. Their harsh, often chosen way of life, is defined by movement for survival's sake, not exploration or a quest to live "without ties." Most pastoral nomads, diverse as they are, follow seasonal pathways, moving back and forth to graze their flocks in the best pastures.
-Maggie Jackson, Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age