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"I can remember when the first pulsars were discovered. I was able to go and sit down and listen to graduate students talking about what their theories, to explain what pulsars really were."
- Vernor Vinge

Self-Sufficient House  
  A single family residence that required no surrounding infrastructure.  

The idea that Clarke is getting at is a house that does not require anything from its surroundings in the form of infrastructure; no roads, no power lines, no nothing.

Most people had two homes, in widely separated parts of the world. Now that the polar regions had been opened up, a considerable fraction of the human race oscillated from Arctic to Antarctic at six-monthly intervals, seeking the long, nightless polar summer. Others had gone into the deserts, up the mountains, or even into the sea. There was nowhere on the planet where science and technology could not provide one with a comfortable home...
From Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clarke.
Published by Not Known in 1953
Additional resources -

Here's another bit:

Some of the more eccentric dwelling places provided the few items of excitement in the news. In the most perfectly ordered society, there will always be accidents. Perhaps it was a good sign that people felt it worthwhile to risk, and occasionally break, their necks for the sake of a cozy villa tucked under the summit of Everest, or looking out through the spray of Victoria Falls.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Childhood's End
  More Ideas and Technology by Arthur C. Clarke
  Tech news articles related to Childhood's End
  Tech news articles related to works by Arthur C. Clarke

Self-Sufficient House-related news articles:
  - Instant Housing
  - EDV-01 Instant Self-Sufficient House

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