The people who move to the suburbs aren’t nearly as stupid or careless or brainwashed as the urbanites seem to think. They know they’re going to get a lawn, a garage, and a backyard. They know they will be miles from a store or cafe, and that they’ll have to drive everywhere. Most people move to the suburbs with eyes wide open, fully aware of the tradeoffs they are making. They are not looking for some pastoral idyll, but for more privacy, space, quiet, and parking.

The Makeup of Stuck America – The Atlantic Cities

Richard Florida follows up on The Geography of Stuck that I tumbled a few days ago, talking about religion, poverty, human capital, diversity, health, and most interesting to me, the Big Five personality traits:

States with higher levels of agreeable, extroverted and neurotic personality types are much more likely to have a higher percentage of residents born in that state (with correlations of .46, .49 and .4 respectively). Conversely, the percentage of residents born in a state is negatively associated with openness-to-experience personality types (-.32).

I should add: considering all of the above, it seems statistically unlikely that I will remain in Atlanta.

The Makeup of Stuck America – The Atlantic Cities

stevenberlinjohnson.com: Go West, Middle-Aged Man

When you’re in your routine, frequenting the same old haunts, time seems to accelerate – was it just four years ago that our youngest son was born? But all the complexities of moving – figuring out where to live, getting there, and then navigating all the new realities of the changed environment – means that the minutes and hours that once passed as a kind of background process, the rote memory of knowing your place, suddenly are thrust into your conscious awareness. You have to figure it out, and figuring things out makes you aware of the passing days and months more acutely. You get disoriented, or at least you have to think for a while before you can be properly oriented again.

So that is why we are moving: for the natural beauty, yes, and the climate, and the Bay Area tech scene, and the many friends out there we haven’t seen enough of over the past twenty years. But more than anything, we’re moving to slow down time.

stevenberlinjohnson.com: Go West, Middle-Aged Man