[FoRK] New Divide in American Death was Re: FoRK Digest, Vol 150, Issue 8

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Thu Apr 14 18:57:13 PDT 2016

On 4/13/16 5:29 PM, Marty Halvorson wrote:
> Stephen Williams:
> "There are large swaths of the rural US with socially encouraged dumpth, where drinking and smoking and more dangerous pursuits 
> are extremely popular. The savvy truly do move away as soon as they can, which certainly affects statistics. But that just 
> clarifies the root cause that is often hidden in more mixed areas: subcultures that don't value education, growth, health, 
> exercise, achievement, and avoidance of habitual pitfalls lead directly to poor health and early death. There's little that the 
> medical community can do when cultural pressures outweigh facts and good advice."
> There are other considerations to choosing to live in a rural area. e.g., Quiet nights, stars in the sky at night. low crime 
> rates. neighbors that care about others but don't interfere (i.e., not self righteous), and others.  Considerations in not moving 
> from a rural area are:  Family nearby, traditional ways of living (think Native-Americans), cost of moving (both emotional and 
> financial), and the elephant, land ownership.
> By the way, I live in a rural area by choice.  The closest grocery store is over 5 miles away, and most of the people working 
> there recognize me.  I am also completely surrounded by a Native-American reservation.  And it's just 17 miles to one the most 
> scientifically driven enterprises in the United States (Los Alamos National Laboratories), and 25 miles to one of the most liberal 
> cities in the U.S. (Santa Fe).  I suppose all that qualifies as a edge case to SDW's thesis, with which I mostly agree, other than 
> the blanket statement "The savvy truly do move away as soon as they can" which I believe is false considering I have highly 
> regarded scientists as neighbors.

In a certain key sense, you aren't in a rural area, you are in a sparse area.

Sedona isn't rural.  Molokai is rural, but nothing on Oahu or Maui is.

Nothing within 50-100 miles of the SF Bay Area is rural.

Sparse areas can be great, especially if you've had an overload of people for too long and can live without them.  I've always had 
plenty of alone time miles from other people, so I'm largely fine with it.  I suspect that true "city types" might feel a jarring 
vacuum after a while.

"Neighbors that care about others but don't interfere (i.e., not self righteous)" is great, as long as they are all mentally hardy 
types that don't fall off the rationality cliff.  If that happens to even a tiny faction of people, you get the flipside: Being 
fearful that you can be in an unsafe situation far from any immediate help. The bad thing about cities can be that there are a lot 
of people, a few of which can be a problem.  The good thing should be that there are many good people nearby to come to your aid.


> Peace,
> Marty 

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