[extropy-chat] The Bible Belt Paradox

spike spike66 at comcast.net
Wed Jan 17 05:14:48 UTC 2007

> bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Anders Sandberg
> I think we have a feedback effect here. Duller and impulse impaired people
> have a hard time doing well in society, so they congregate where living is
> cheap enough...

There is a lot of stuff in this post, but I want to comment on only one
dimension.  I have traveled to places where living is cheap enough; the
effect is astounding.  Places that have been populated for a long time but
where there is little industry show the long term effects of removing the
ambitious and capable for generations, leaving the others to breed.

The flip side of this coin I saw when giving a math lecture at the local
high school.  Those students seemed so much more intense, motivated and
brighter than I recall my companions and myself ever being.  Perhaps it
occurs to the locals that unless they are unusually successful early in
life, their choices are to live with their parents or move far out into the
Taxifornia central valley. 

> ... Or maybe it is
> possible to set up positive feedback loops, like how an IKEA store
> apparently got East Palo Alto to start moving forward ... If
> there was a way of seeding virtuous cycles reliably it would be great.
> Anders Sandberg,

Interesting observation, Anders.  After IKEA came in, property values in
East Palo Alto soared.  Many of the original residents sold out and moved
away if they were owners before.  Many of the renters were priced out of
town.  East Palo Alto underwent a most remarkable gentrification, something
to be seen.  Areas where it was dangerous to walk fifteen years ago are now



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