[ExI] More mailing lists of this calibre?

Jason Resch jasonresch at gmail.com
Sun Apr 9 14:45:29 UTC 2023

On Sat, Apr 8, 2023 at 8:17 AM efc--- via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Fri, 7 Apr 2023, Gadersd via extropy-chat wrote:
> > Thank you for sharing your fascinating story! I found it very insightful.
> >
> You're welcome! Glad you found some value in it. =)
> > I plan on traveling around the world eventually and possibly moving
> permanently. What did you think of the culture, atmosphere, way of life,
> etc. of the countries you have lived in? They say the grass isn’t
> necessarily greener on the other side, but surely the place one is born in
> is statistically unlikely to be the best fit ignoring variables such as
> proximity to family.
> >
> So, let me say a few words about my travels. If there's one thing I've
> learned, it's that there is no perfect place, and the "perfect" place
> varies with your age, family situation, goals in life and so on. I also
> think that voting with your feet is a much better way of getting the
> life you want to live than voting with a piece of paper.
> So, when it comes to culture, atmosphere, way of life etc. I'll give you
> a brief summary now and where I was in my life at the time and what I
> was looking for.
> Germany: I was very young, and moved because my fathers company decided
> that he should become the sales manager of the region. I had nothing to
> say about it and had no specific goals. I'm swedish originally, so what
> I found when moving to germany was that they were (according to my taste
> then, and I still think the same) way too rules oriented and too much
> focus on discipline and there was a lack of common sense, in which you
> ignore, bend or break rules that do more harm than good. When it comes
> to society, I'd say that there wasn't a big change from sweden, the same
> socialism as in sweden, and I would say equivalent quality of public
> service for your tax money at that time. But high taxes, rigid society
> and not a place I would go to for business.
> Sweden: This is where I've spent the most part of my life, and sweden
> has become increasingly worse the past couple of decades. As germany,
> very socialist, you pay 60-70% of your income in various taxes, and in
> return you get at best average public services in return. But here there
> is a problem of comparison, because in many countries with low taxes,the
> quality of government services is so low, that what I would find
> "average" by swedish standards could very well be considered "good" by
> someone from the US or eastern europe for instance. The culture is very
> reserved, it will take you 2-3 years to make local friends. Sweden is
> also a very consensus oriented society where people are afraid of open
> conflict. Sweden has and likes rules, but is more common sense about
> them than germany. So perhaps a "soft" version of germany. Taxes are
> amongst the highest in the world, so I would not go to sweden for work.
> If you enjoy life and not working, swedish work culture is among the
> most lax in the world, 6 weeks of holidays is standards, around 12
> public holidays on top of that. So in return for high taxes you get time
> instead.
> Norway: Very similar to sweden, but quality of public services is way
> better and taxes somewhat lower. Norway is probablythe laziest culture
> on the planet, and you have to work even less than in sweden. If I was
> extremely family oriented, a big fan of nature trips, and would be happy
> in a 9 to 16 job, I would proably choose norway. If you don't enjoy work
> and earning money, but put your focus into your family and free time I
> think norway would be a good fit and you would be quite happy there.
> Wonderful nature as well. As a swede living in norway is a breeze since
> I understand the language without any problems and culturally, although
> there are some differences, it's pretty close.
> USA: I spent about a year in the US as a student and working at the same
> time, and this was a fascinating experience. On the surface, things
> couldn't be simpler. English everywhere, culturally, all movies, tv
> shows etc. in the western world originate from the US. But digging
> deeper, there are some differences. It was very difficult to get to know
> people on a deeper level in the US. There was a lot of "how are you,
> good n' you" everywhere which is very uncommon (or was at least) in
> sweden, and felt quite superficial. On the other hand, most people were
> extremely social and it was easy for me as a foreigner (and especially
> as a swede in chicago) to strike up a conversation with a stranger in a
> bar and have a nice evening on a shallow level. If I would do that in
> sweden, people would think that I'm crazy and politely move on.
> Business and taxwise I loved it. Very simple to do business, people
> seemed to enjoy helping foreigners who do business and would happily
> connect you to new customers. Taxwise a lot better than scandinavia.
> I've also spent some months in the US on various business trips over the
> years, and my feelings didn't change. So for me, as a european, if I
> would be in the stage of my life where I would like to earn as much
> money as possible, I would go to the US (keep in mind that I'm in the
> technology/IT business). Ideally I'd go to some established startup, or
> if we rewind a couple of years, to some FAANG company, or even one of
> the boring global IT giants where I think I'd be able to get 200-250k
> USD if I had the same responsibilities and type of job as I had in
> europe.
> Going there to study for a year was also one of the best things I did. I
> recommend every young people I meet today to study at least a year in
> another country. I felt very welcome in the US although a bit lonely on
> a deeper level.
> Switzerland: I went to switzerland to earn money, since and it was
> fairly early in my career. The taxes are amongst the lowest in europe,
> and even though the figures are old, just to give you an example, I
> doubled my after tax income compared with my swedish salary.
> So in europe, if you are at the stage of your life where you want to
> earn money, switzerland is among the top places to go. The quality of
> public services were absolutely amazing, and nature was stunning.
> The negatives were that swiss are extremely formal and rigid, yet at the
> same time, very open to discuss democratically. But once the discussion
> is done, there is no more discussion. In terms of formal, the country
> manager at my job was shocked that I spoke with him once. He preferred
> to have his managers handle employees. Very strange from a swedish
> perspective where the manager if your friend and where there is very
> little discipline.
> What made me leave switzerland after about 2 years was that it was plain
> boring. Swiss are as difficult to get to know as swedish people, so
> after 2 years I had no one to socialize with. Since I'd saved quite a
> nice amount of money I moved back to sweden.
> But switzerland, apart from the social side, is one of my favourite
> countries in europe to live. I think that perhaps to fix the social
> problem, you could move to the italian part which seems to me more
> social. Same low taxes and you would be very close to Milano for nice
> weekend trips. I've thought about to retire there, but we'll see. Many
> years left before that becomes a question. ;)
> Lithuania: I moved to lithuania in stages. After deciding to start my
> own businesses and after deciding that I did not feel like paying the
> ridicuously high swedish taxes I did some research to find a country
> fairly close to sweden, where my customers are, with low taxes, low cost
> of living, and preferably a small airport and small city (I don't enjoy
> megacities, I like to walk if I need to go somewhere). So basically all
> of the baltics fit and at that point in time lithuania won the weighted
> evaluation of my criterias. I've been happily living here now for more
> than 4 years.
> So culturally it is probably the most different country. You feel a lot
> of the old soviet occupation in the 50+ people. English is not commonly
> spoken, and the bureaucracy can be very bad with visits to notaries,
> forms and so on. But in terms of starting a company and opening a bank
> account, that's only done once, or you can hire a lawyer to do it for
> you, so not a big problem in the end.
> Quality of public services is absolutely horrible, and the city where I
> live very eclectic. You have such a mix of houses from the most horrible
> soviest concrete blocks, to modern glass high rises, to 19th century
> houses in various states of decay. Coming from sweden, where cities are
> more unified and quality of houses much higher, it does not feel very
> aesthetic.
> But people, once you do understand each other, are quite social and
> friendly. Society is way less socialist (for natural and obvious
> reasons) and more conservative when it comes to values, which actually
> fits me pretty well.
> So if I were to start a business in northern europe, or if I was an IT
> worker who could work 100% remotely, I would definitely recommend any of
> the baltic countries. In fact, I am amazed that so few entrepreneurs
> from western europe don't base their companies in eastern europe. For
> me, the tax advantage and low cost of living gives me a huge advantage
> compared with my swedish competitors.
> So there you have it. A few notes and reflections from the places where
> I've lived at least a year.
> Just ask if you want to zoom in on anything. =)
I really enjoyed reading your cultural comparison from your experiences
living in all these places. It reminded me of this very thorough write up
on the differences between living in Germany and the United States. I wish
something in this detail these existed for every pair of countries:
http://math-www.uni-paderborn.de/~axel/us-d.html (Perhaps AI will be able
to generate that soon :-) )

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