I'm having a hard time parsing this phrase from H.D. Thoreau's Walden, chapter I, Economy:
I would fain say something, not so much concerning the Chinese and Sandwich Islanders as you who read these pages, who are said to live in New England; something about your condition, especially your outward condition or circumstances in this world, in this town, what it is, whether it is necessary that it be as bad as it is, whether it cannot be improved as well as not.
My main question refers to : when he says whether it cannot be improved as well as not, does he mean it in the sense of I wonder if it's possible that you just might be able to improve your condition as easy as it is to not improve it? I'm confused about his usage of as well, which can mean as easily or can mean and.
Secondary questions:  are said to live = I'm told that's where my readers live, or They call the place you live New England?  is it (outward condition) or (circumstances in the world), or outward (condition or circumstances) in this world?