Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Where are you and where are you going?
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TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by TopHatFox » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:22 am

Been doing some reading on the pros and cons of small town/small city and big city living. IntrovertSpring has many good articles on how introverts tend to be overwhelmed and depressed in cities, and more relaxed and happy in smaller environments. That makes sense. I actually really enjoy summer-time at the uni, cause there are so few people on the sidewalks. It's relaxing, not stressful. Good to know. So the next place I move needs to be some sort of quiet, smart town surrounded by nature. I'm cool with any salary 50K+ working with some people that care about the environment, a state park, or a humanities department of a uni. I'd prioritize living within walking distance of work, and may even get some sort of cheap vehicle for trips I can't do on the bike or transit.
Last edited by TopHatFox on Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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C40
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by C40 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:27 am

But also, the smaller you go, the more likely you're going to be saying there aren't the kind of people you want.

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TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by TopHatFox » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:31 am

C40 wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:27 am
But also, the smaller you go, the more likely you're going to be saying there aren't the kind of people you want.
What's the happy medium: Not too small, not too big; a niche in semi-big; or small but with the most fitting people; or maybe even one of the last three choices near big ass city?

bigato
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by bigato » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:05 am

You need to look for a place that is not so full of stimulus you can't easily get away from. Examples of stimulus are: noise, pollution, too many people when you walk the streets, dangerous or slightly dangerous places where you need to keep an eye out all the time, too many cars, spread out place with a very crowded town, etc.

On the other side, it needs to be big enough that the statistics are on your side when you try to meet people that are similar to you in interests and personality, your kind of weirdos. How much this is important will depend on how much you are different from other people. The more "strange" you are, the bigger the place will need to find your tribe. While this is a bit subjective, there are some quantitative measurements that can be used. One such example is a simple professional IQ test, since it is a known fact that given a not very big difference in IQ between two people, it makes it way more difficult for them to relate. Given that the IQ distribution curve follows a bell shape, you don't need to deviate much from the average to find yourself very isolated [1]. This may be something you may take in consideration when thinking about how big your city needs to be so that math improve your chances to find a nice circle of friends.

Off course, size is not the only factor. Some kind of weirdos tend to cluster in some places sometimes. The main thing here is be selective when choosing, so that you improve your chances to settle in a city which people similar to you will like. But if you are not sure you will find the right place, just shooting for the biggest places will be the brute force way to make statistics work in your favor, if you can find niches in those cities where you like to live. But also you risk choosing a place with so much stimulus that your peers have run away from it.

[1] http://prometheussociety.org/wp/articles/the-outsiders/

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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by Kriegsspiel » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:22 am

C40 wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:27 am
But also, the smaller you go, the more likely you're going to be saying there aren't the kind of people you want.
+1

Bigger cities have more jobs that pay well, better chances of finding your tribe, and more young single females.

I think that bit about introverts being overwhelmed in cities is nonsense; cities have places for introverts to go unwind just like small towns do. If you are stressed out walking down the sidewalk because other people are on it, you have a problem. Even in small towns, if they're walkable, people are going to be walking around.

In any case, since you don't like living where you are now, just make a list of places that fit your criteria and spam your resume out and try to get a job in one of them and go live there.

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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by prognastat » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:47 am

@bigato
The description of the kids in school hits uncomfortably close to home. Definitely struggled with relationships in school and also can attest to the trouble with discipline/motivating yourself when growing up everything was too easy and you didn't get challenged. It's tough to take a class seriously as a child when you can correct your teachers or they don't believe you when you say you can do certain tasks in your head without having to write anything down. Still struggle to be disciplined to this day. Part of me wonders if this is innate or if I had been placed in a school environment with more challenge if I would have developed differently.

Also this is the second time I've read about 2 standard deviations(30 IQ points) difference being around the point where it becomes hard to communicate ideas simply because neither side can understand the others frame of reference.

Sorry for the diversion THF.

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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by Jean » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:48 am

I disagree. I'm weird by many metrics, and i'm happy in an 800 inhabitants village. Weird people aren't supposed to group together.

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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by C40 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:05 pm

TopHatFox wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:31 am
What's the happy medium: Not too small, not too big; a niche in semi-big; or small but with the most fitting people; or maybe even one of the last three choices near big ass city?
There are only happy mediums for individuals. An article saying introverted people get depressed by [xyz] does not apply directly to you.

What matter is what YOU want, what makes YOU happy, what different scenarios YOU can deal with/enjoy, etc.

You could map out a handful of different things to consider. There are almost endless options, so you just need to decide and consider the ones important to you. (But be careful to also be aware of other things you had assumed would be relatively the same, but then end up being an issue).


[warning - poorly structured rambling below that is just my own personal thoughts as much as being any advice]

Within city size choice, there are things like:

Polulation stuff:
- # of people. (as it relates to the pool of people you might possibly befriend, love, be annoyed by, etc.)
- Various demographics (income, education, intelligence, race, religion, politics, outdoorsiness, environmentalism, self reliance, mood, mental health, fitness, age, parents/childless, hobbies, motivations).

City size (in area), density, etc. Some people love being in a city basically all the time. I like to be able to get out of it easily/quickly, or at least have places in the city (large parks, good bike paths) to feel 'away'/separate' from it. It has worked well for me living on the very edges of cities, and also living right in the middle of a city next to a gigantic park. One of the big factors here is where 'your people' live. If you like to 'get out' of it, like me, large cities get tricky because 'your people' generally go live right in the middle of the city. So living out on the edge can suck if you live 20 miles from the people you want to hang out with. IMO, that's a big part of the benefit of living in a city that is not huge. (and one of the big reasons I like Tucson (10-15 mile diameter of city) much more than Phoenix (like 70+ mile city diameter)

For me, so far I think there isn't ever going to be one city that is good in all the ways I want. They're at least one of: too big/spread out, too expensive, too cold, too few people I like, and so on. The well-known cities that are small but with many fun people are often now overpriced because of it (Bend, Boulder, etc.).

I feel like, for me at least, the most important way for a city to be great for me is to have to have a few really close/good friends there. Then the other things I care about (cost, size, outdoors accessibility) just need to be 'good enough'. Some of the other things, while important, can be made up for. If I live in a huge city or an area with shitty outdoor activity options, having a decent sized yard where I can do a bunch of gardening stuff can make up for it pretty well. If the city is too expensive, living with close friends might be able to make up for it. and so on. But in a place where I feel like a hermit/outsider/friendless would be a huge problem in the long run even if the other stuff is good.

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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by TopHatFox » Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:59 pm

@C40, that makes sense. Okay, thennnnn, I'd say I hate cities and they provide the means by which I am more likely to be depressed. Dirty, grey, status-in-your-face, advertising-centric, overwhelming, overpopulated, hyper competitive - these are all things that provide the means by which I am more likely to be depressed. : ).

So, I'd personally hate to be in the city full-time. I also know from experience that I don't like being in the middle of nowhere with no one to <3 or talk to (so no to living in most of AK). As to what that leaves me with, hmmmmm. It seem like those high-price, small cities are the way to go. Wish they weren't so damn expensive. I guess I could pick up some sweaters + sun lamps and deal with the cold in a place I'd otherwise likely fit with, such as Missoula.

@C40, What are some other examples of small, intellectual cities such as Boulder? I suppose I should take a look at your location spreadsheet...

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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by C40 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:56 pm

While you are still quite young, college towns are probably a decent option.

You could just make get a list of universities by student size, then list out the population of each city. Then check/see if the city/area meets your other desires. Or if you want to avoid college towns, do the same thing.

If you want to look in specific areas, this map may be useful https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/CollegeMap/

Other examples:
Boulder. Maybe Longmont? Maybe a couple others around there.
Bend, OR
Flagstaff, AZ
Bozeman, MT (I like it better than Missoula, but that's another one)
Park City, UT (?) Or Provo?
Eugene, OR (?)
San Luis Obispo, CA
Boone, NC (maybe.. but I don't recommend NC though)

It's difficult to just make up a list.

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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:04 pm

C40 probably knows better than me but I liked Asheville, NC the weekend I spent there. Lots of schools in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area- it might be a little plastic but at least it’s economically vibrant. All the northerners fed up with high costs of living and cold weather are setting up shop down there. Chapel Hill seemed a bit too preppy and exclusive but you might like granola-crunch Carrboro. I get impatient with hippies so I preferred Durham to either.

You’re still young and it’s nice to be gainfully employed.

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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by George the original one » Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:38 pm

TopHatFox wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:31 am
What's the happy medium: Not too small, not too big; a niche in semi-big; or small but with the most fitting people; or maybe even one of the last three choices near big ass city?
A college town, while you're still young enough to find the people you want to meet.

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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by George the original one » Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:51 pm

C40 wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:56 pm
Bend, OR
Eugene, OR (?)
Bend has the right people, but it is the worst example of suburban sprawl in Oregon. Skiing and biking are prime activities that don't require a vehicle, but a car is nearly essential if you don't have a bike and the traffic is lousy because the road system was uncoordinated. Winter is 6+ months long.

Fox will more likely be at home in Eugene. Biking, boating, and environmental activities abound. Public transit that reaches into the suburbs. More temperate climate, with far less winter, but you can't ignore that it's a bit on the rainy side from Oct to April. Like all the west coast, however, the dry season is wonderful.

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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by bigato » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:08 pm

Kriegsspiel wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:22 am
I think that bit about introverts being overwhelmed in cities is nonsense
Yeah usually extroverts don't get it. I can assure you it is real for me and many other introverts. It is also possible to read research about it if my word is not enough about my experience on this. But I'm used to this situation: usually an introvert will be able to understand how extroverts work, even if he does not agree with them. Extroverts, on the other side, often have a hard time understanding how introverts work. Maybe because introverts are minority (something like 30%) and have been trained and forced to conform to the overall society expectations.

Also, the poster has said that living in big cities makes him depressed, you probably could try to assume that he is not lying. I have this same experience and being 38 by now, I have had the opportunity to learn how I work and map the cause and consequence effects. My understanding is that this is closely related to being introvert, and that the mechanisms through which this happen are related to this. I may be wrong in that maybe this is not the case with THF, but I'm pretty knowledgeable about what my own experience is. Your quote above and then insinuating that I must have some kind of problem is not exactly polite, besides lacking argumentation and substance.

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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by bigato » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:19 pm

prognastat wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:47 am
Also this is the second time I've read about 2 standard deviations(30 IQ points) difference being around the point where it becomes hard to communicate ideas simply because neither side can understand the others frame of reference.
But it gets worse: while on one side the difference higher than this will make it very hard to communicate, being within the 30 points range won't guarantee that you'll have much else in common with the other person other than IQ. When you find in which part of the normal distribution curve you are, you can calculate what is the percentage of population that are within the reachable range, but even within that range, only a fraction will have similar values, interests, principles, personality, etc. So making good friends with whom you can relate to requires smart strategies to find them if you happen to be a little outside the 80%, on either side.

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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by Kriegsspiel » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:42 pm

bigato wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:08 pm
Also, the poster has said that living in big cities makes him depressed, you probably could try to assume that he is not lying.
To clarify, the bit I was responding to was the IntrovertSpring section THF mentioned. C40 said it in a better way. My suggestion was so basic that it doesn't really matter.



If you think being anxious walking down a sidewalk full of people is not a problem, then we may just agree to disagree.

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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by prognastat » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:54 pm

bigato wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:19 pm
If it holds true that would pretty much take almost 85% out of the equation. Not a great proposition given that 27% of the population is between 20 and 40*, 15% of that would be about 4% and that's not even limiting it to people with compatible values, interests etc. Those aren't great numbers.

I have almost no friends at this time. The cause of this was two fold. One being struggling to find friendships in the first place and the other one an extremely insecure ex-wife that would pretty much make the few attempts I made failed. Now that I've been divorced one of my goals is to build a better network of friends as I do think this is a pillar of your mental health. Even more so since I have no family in the country.

In the past I would build friendships based on similar interests that I could talk about those interests, but this would generally be it. None that extended to values, principles or anything like that. Honestly most people I used to know or still know don't seem to put a lot of thought in to those. I'm hoping as I start some hobbies that include social interaction with people this will help facilitate the start of some friendships.

* a reasonable age range around mine, not to be too ageist but don't really want to be hanging out with kids and not that I'm completely ruling over 40 out yet the odds would probably be much lower due to differing interests, levels of activity etc.

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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by Frita » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:02 pm

College towns are super for all ages! Bozeman, MT, is terrific BTW and was our #2 choice. Ft. Collins, CO, was #3. Skip Provo, UT, unless you’re Mormon. (The BYU Creamery is awesome though.). Butte, MT, is another consideration,especially if you’d like a historical home for a low price.

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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by ItsALongStory » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:02 am

Other potential options could be
Flagstaff, AZ
Reno, NV
Boise, ID

The problem might lie more in your job expectations than the potential cities, it seems like you are looking for something very specific so without knowing how much flexibility there is on that front it may be a waste of time to suggest many of these places.

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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:34 am

I agree that a college town is likely the best pick for you. A further note would be that not all college towns are created equal. For instance, a world-class university center can offer many of the cultural advantages of big city living without the size, but a small private liberal arts college town in an otherwise very rural setting will likely be your least expensive choice.

Another thing to bear in mind is that there are many different cultural flavors of rural in the U.S. For instance, in my realm the farming areas tend towards a mix of new school religious right wing conservative (big box church and an ATV) or old school conservative laid-back Quaker-like(historical museums and craft fairs) , and the wooded North is more counter-cultural libertarian who likes to hunt.

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