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We had some fun recently with New York Times’ columnist Charles M. Blow’s call for blacks to flee the big Democratic cities of the North and move to the South, all in the name of liberating the South from Republicans.

But, to be more empathetic toward Blow, I suspect he’s mostly riffing on a political rationalization for doing what he’s been wanting to do for a long time for reasons of personal happiness. As a commenter pointed out, he’s a Southern boy from northern Louisiana. He recently turned 50 and has a nice job he can do from home. And so, being tired of the New York City rat race, he moved to Atlanta and got a house with a yard. Good for him.

A lot of research suggests that humans tend to imprint on the landscape where they lived from age 10 to 15 or so, and feel most at home in that kind of place.

I noticed in casino king Sheldon Adelson’s obituary, that he owned homes in Malibu, Las Vegas, Tel Aviv, and Boston. Why Boston? Sheldon didn’t seem all that collegiate. Well, Boston is where he grew up. I think that’s pretty common among the super-rich to maintain a house in their hometowns. Warren Buffett’s connection to Omaha is famous, but note also that Jeff Bezos is in love with rather bleak West Texas because he spent happy summers on his maternal grandparents’ ranch there.

I would guess that latitude tends to be more important than longitude in terms of what’s a good substitute for “home.” Atlanta, for example, is a lot further east than Gibsland, LA, but it’s about the same latitude, which has big impact on vegetation, weather, etc.

Migration of farmers in the 19th Century tended to be along latitude lines so they could use their expertise at growing crops attuned to a particular length of growing season in their new homes. But what about in an information economy where you aren’t a farmer?

Now, here’s a question: Besides the nurture impact of where you lived around puberty, is there any nature effect of where your ancestors evolved? Charles M. Blow’s ancestors evolved in a hot climate of Africa and then a warm climate of the American South. Is the Reverse Great Migration of blacks from the North to the South that’s slowly happening driven not just by economic reasons as well as individual homesickness, but also by hereditary acclimation that makes blacks more comfortable at lower latitudes?

What about Europeans? Are there Finns who grew up in Florida who pine for the high latitudes? I can’t think of too many examples, but it’s a possibility.

 
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  1. anonymous[751] • Disclaimer says:

    ridiculous, steve. atlanta and louisiana are not at all alike in terms of physical geography (i’ve lived both places)

    charles is in atlanta because it is the center of the gay, black world. end of story

    • Replies: @Bert
  2. I miss cold winters (Scandinavian and British ancestry), and still have dreams about the home I grew up in.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Polistra
  3. They say that people collect things that were cool when they were 12. Then when they get in their 50s and and older and have the money to buy toys like Cobras, Porches, Vets, etc. they finally get one. This is true with other collectibles.

    • Agree: donut
    • Replies: @JimB
  4. Is the Reverse Great Migration of blacks from the North to the South that’s slowly happening driven not just by economic reasons as well as individual homesickness, but also by hereditary acclimation that makes blacks more comfortable at lower latitudes?

    Yes.

    Ex. Friend of mine grew up on the South Side (Chicago), but nonetheless really wanted to get back someplace south, with some warmth and sunshine. Made it happen. The northern US is just not a very natural environment for blacks. Too far from their “evolutionary environment”.

    BTW, i buy the imprinting thing as well. I grew up in a Cincinnati suburb where we had woods with hills, valleys, creeks and i and my i spent plenty of time wandering around in them, as well as building forts and play fighting with my compatriots. I enjoy walking the beach in Florida with the wife ok, but the flatness of Florida bores me. But i’ve talked to neighbors who grew up here, they are out and about in the world, but come back, cross the causeway and “ahhh, home”.

    • Replies: @Cato
    , @Old Prude
  5. Steve: can you point me to works that talk about the imprinting of landscape preferences from ages ten to fifteen? Most of the literature I’ve found on imprinting focuses on early childhood influences, not what happens during puberty, but it does seem like an awful lot goes on in those years.

  6. Now, here’s a question: Besides the nurture impact of where you lived around puberty, is there any nature effect of where your ancestors evolved?

    I think not. Pretty much everyone prefers the “Mediterranean Climate” of places like California, no matter where they or their ancestors came from. If it weren’t for the weather half the people in California would bug out overnight.

  7. Apart from the hotter and drier climate, suburban Phoenix reminds me of the suburban east Tulsa I grew up in. (Unfortunately east Tulsa has become a barrio since that time, and I no longer recognize it.) Phoenix lies about 2 1/2 degrees farther south in latitude than Tulsa.

  8. Not Raul says:

    There are a lot of Finnish Americans up near Lake Superior.

    • Replies: @Pericles
  9. Atlanta, for example, is a lot further east than Gibsland, LA,

    I had to look that name up, I thought you were joking. Why would Blow ever leave?

    • LOL: Calvin Hobbes
    • Replies: @GeraldB
    , @Hapalong Cassidy
  10. @John Milton’s Ghost

    My long golf course architecture article from a decade and a half ago reviewed some of the research on landscape imprinting. I don’t know how many of the links still work:

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/from-bauhaus-to-golf-course/

  11. @John Milton’s Ghost

    My long golf course architecture article from a decade and a half ago reviewed some of the research on landscape imprinting. I don’t know how many of the links still work:

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/from-bauhaus-to-golf-course/

    • Replies: @John Milton’s Ghost
  12. Anonymous[302] • Disclaimer says:

    Harking back to the earlier piece on the NYT article, I think you can use the voting record as something of an indication as to the tribal mentality/ethnocentrism of different peoples. 87% of blacks voted for Biden, and that is typical of recent years. When Obama was an option, it was 95% of blacks.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-54783016

    This tribal solidarity exceeds even the Jewish tribal solidarity. Sure, they have 1/100th the brainpower but they are even more tribal it seems, when it comes to voting.

    Charles Blow’s article’s exhortations for black power is a window into a tribal mindset that can vote 87%+ in favor of one political party. Looking beyond the “How could the NYT print something like this?” aspect, it is better understood as “This is what they actually think. Otherwise how could they vote the way they do? So better to see it as it is, and comment on it.”

    It is sad that white tribalism is at a nadir now. A lot of that is due to (((propaganda))) but also it is likely due to our nature. We need to learn and adapt. Can you imagine most white people asking “Which candidate is better for white people?” i.e. “Is It Good For The Whites?” like black and Jewish people do. It would be unusual Christmas dinner or watercooler conversation for us, but not unusual at all among other peoples.

    It is also interesting that the split between Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jewry on Trump, where the Orthodox support and the non-Orthodox oppose. I would think over time the orthodox will win out due to the birthrates.

    • Replies: @bomag
  13. One Christmas Day in Honolulu it was 80°F and sunny, and as “perfect” a day as it was, nine-year-old me could only think, “This isn’t right!” Being called a “mainlander” was the most painful insult the other kids could throw, but on that day it fit.

    Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride” evokes his Cambridge (Mass.) upbringing and Swedish ancestry. But those equally appropriate words– more early March than December– were by Mitchell Parish, who spent his first five years in Shreveport, and the rest of his life in Manhattan.

    Then again, he was born in Lithuania, and came here as a baby. (He may not have known that, though.)

    • Replies: @Polistra
  14. Anonymous[236] • Disclaimer says:
    @Half Canadian

    Britain especially of course but even most of the settled areas of Scandinavia have very mild winters despite their latitude. Most of the continental US outside of the South has harsher winters than Britain and Scandinavia despite latitude because the US has a Continental climate, while Europe has an Oceanic climate driven by the gulfstream. Continental climates are characterized by extremes of hot summers and cold winters, whereas Oceanic climates are more mild and in a narrower range.

  15. I have a friend of German-Scandanavian heritage who gave up a tenured position at UC Davis because he couldn’t stand the hot summers. He was a very white redhead.

  16. Polistra says:
    @Half Canadian

    Steve asks:

    Are there Finns who grew up in Florida who pine for the high latitudes? I can’t think of too many examples, but it’s a possibility.

    There’s no doubt in my mind that Nordics tolerate cold winters better than Mediterraneans (much less Africans) do. And the northern cities are vastly safer during the cold winters, because the Africans stay home in the Projects and smoke dope and watch TV. (Domestic violence does not decline proportionately.)

    It’s one reason I favor legalizing tha chronic.
    Though I also favor abolishing TV.

    • Replies: @Some Guy
  17. Thomas says:

    I noticed in casino king Sheldon Adelson’s obituary, that he owned homes in Malibu, Las Vegas, Tel Aviv, and Boston. Why Boston? Sheldon didn’t seem all that collegiate. Well, Boston is where he grew up.

    Adelson will be buried in Israel, of course, where his heart and loyalties always lay. I suppose that’s a different sort of ancestral tie, perhaps.

    I would guess that latitude tends to be more important than longitude in terms of what’s a good substitute for “home.” Atlanta, for example, is a lot further east than Gibsland, LA, but it’s about the same latitude, which has big impact on vegetation, weather, etc.

    Latitude has more direct impacts on climate than longitude seems to: seasons, amount of sun, length of day, etc. To the extent longitude affects climate, its effects seem mostly second-order (e.g., how far from the ocean you are, whether you’re on an east or west coast, etc.)

    Now, here’s a question: Besides the nurture impact of where you lived around puberty, is there any nature effect of where your ancestors evolved?

    What about Europeans? Are there Finns who grew up in Florida who pine for the high latitudes? I can’t think of too many examples, but it’s a possibility.

    I grew up in Southern California and moved to Western Washington some years ago. I thought the climate, especially the short days in the winter, would be hard on me. And sometimes, they’re no picnic. But I work long hours under fluorescent lights or seek our fire at night (in part consciously to make up for the lack of sunlight).

    But other things about the climate overall just seem… right to me, on some instinctive level. The cool moisture in the air, especially in the morning. How the sky looks when it’s getting dark. Also the natural environment (forests, mountains, water). Granted, coastal California isn’t too different at various times of the year, just drier, lighter, and warmer. I think the best happy medium I’ve found for climate was in Northern California, so a little less than half the distance from where I grew up.

    I’m at about the same latitude as Salzburg, Austria, and in an oceanic, west coast climate not unlike northwestern Europe, which is where my ancestors evolved.

  18. You’ve turned nastily anti-Finn, of late.

    • Replies: @Captain Tripps
  19. So Blow’s from Louisiana, huh. Maybe that explains his funny name; maybe it’s French and originally spelled Bleau or something like that.

    His hometown of Gibsland, Louisiana, might be a tad too diverse for him at 82% black. And fewer bleaujob opportunities than in Atlanta.

    • LOL: Achmed E. Newman
    • Replies: @Hibernian
  20. Polistra says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Interesting. Wiki and IMDb disagree about his birth name.

    Mitchell Parish (born Michael Hyman Pashelinsky; July 10, 1900 – March 31, 1993) was an American lyricist.
    Wikipedia
    Birth name: Michael Hyman Pashelinsky
    Born:July 10, 1900
    Origin:Lithuania, Russian Empire

    Mitchell Parish (1900–1993)
    IMDb
    Mitchell Parish was born Michael Hyman Peretz in Lithuania. He came to USA at age seven months and lived in Louisiana until about age four when he moved to New York City. His whole family changed its name to Parish soon after arriving in America; Parish changed his first name to Mitchell when he became a songwriter in 1919.

    This ‘type’ of guy often seems to live to the age of 80-90, despite not having particularly good health habits. By ‘type’ I mean short, squat, ethnic/slavic, never very attractive, etc.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  21. Lots of Scandinavians (mostly Norwegians, I think) in gray, rainy, heavily forested, Northern latitude Seattle. Don’t know whether that is the weather, terrain or short winter days. Or maybe just the commercial fishing.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  22. This geographer estimates that 600,000,000 people live north of the 45th parallel N, and only one million south of the 45th S:

    A reasonable rule of thumb is that cities at the same latitude will have the same average annual temperature, as they get the same amount of sunshine at the same times. Thus while Minneapolis certainly has colder winters and hotter summers than Portland, on average it should come out right. I learned this again on my last visit to Portland – summer nights in Portland are cold!

    But the rule of thumb doesn’t apply when something truly bizarre affects the climate. And that bizarre thing is the Gulf Stream, which heats Europe 5+ degrees latitude more than it should. Thus Milan (at 45) has a San Francisco climate; London, Paris and Berlin feel like Portland; Oslo, Helsinki and St. Petersburg are similar to Vancouver; and even Murmansk can’t be worse off than Anchorage.

    https://www.newgeography.com/content/001449-the-forty-fifth-parallel

    That was posted ten years ago. Turns out this is Joel Kotkin’s site, with lots of recent posts on the business exodus from California to Texas, New York to Florida, etc. Chicago, Louisville, and New Orleans are right on the line where remuneration meets costs.

    Laissez les temps médiocres rouler!

    • Thanks: ic1000
    • Replies: @John Mansfield
  23. Polistra says:

    Interesting chart. Wish they’d said whether they mean cities proper or metro areas (would be more meaningful and useful if the latter).

    Milan (at 45) has a San Francisco climate

    Milan is much hotter than SF in the summer. Colder in winter too.

    • Replies: @Polistra
    , @Deckin
    , @Deckin
  24. Cato says:
    @AnotherDad

    With you on this. I’ve spent time in beautiful mountains, from BC to Guatemala, but noplace feels better than the kind of landscape I grew up in, the southern Appalachians.

  25. indocon says:

    Steve, get some good rest over next few days, come Jan 21, I expect multiple iSteve stories coming out of DC everyday.

  26. Kronos says:

    What about Europeans? Are there Finns who grew up in Florida who pine for the high latitudes? I can’t think of too many examples, but it’s a possibility.

    I feel there’s something to that. I’m of English (Angola) decent and love open rolling hills. You get to see everything miles away and it’s comforting. Never much enjoyed highly thick forests where the only other stuff you can see are other trees. (I’m also big on being close to sea level for whatever reason.)

    Osark Forest (had a miserable time there.)

    Angola Countryside

    • Replies: @Kronos
    , @Altai
    , @Ancient Briton
  27. I think about this frequently.

    I grew up on the fairly bleak northern plains in the USA, but have lived most of my adult life in Hong Kong. To put it mildly, the climates of these two places are not very much alike.

    HK has very long, very hot, outrageously humid summers. The temperature here rarely drops much below 80F from May through September, even at night, and it’s hard to describe how overpowering and unpleasant the heat/humidity combo is unless you’ve experienced it. I long for summer nights that cool off enough to be comfortable sitting outside, like I experienced in my youth. I also miss seeing snow, although I don’t miss the 4-5 months of hard winter the northern plains gets each year.

    HK does get a very nice, if brief, autumn, and a short winter when it sometimes gets much colder than you would think possible for someplace that’s technically in the tropics. Spring is also short, and not all that great; the humidity returns with a vengeance, it’s often misty and gloomy, and just warm enough to make you sweaty one minute, clammy the next.

    But these changes of season are crucial to my well-being; I don’t think I could handle living long-term in the true tropics, e.g. in Singapore, where every hot, maybe-showery day is very much like every other.

    The weather I really enjoy is the cool, somewhat damp climate of the UK/western Europe. My genetic heritage is 100% Dutch, and I’ve never thought this preference of mine was a coincidence.

  28. Franz says:

    When either the wife or I hear “Deep South” we both think it means Columbus, Ohio.

    It’s got to be in our genes. Both North Central Europe.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
  29. @Kronos

    I meant East Anglia.

    I did wonder.

    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    , @Lurker
  30. anon[239] • Disclaimer says:

    >Jeff Bezos is in love with rather bleak West Texas because he spent happy summers on his maternal grandparents’ ranch there.

    South Texas. Their place was outside Cotulla, TX– the brush is different!!! It also possesses more mystique.

  31. Altai says:

    The argument is somewhat undermined by the seemingly irreversible pattern of emigration to Australia. British and Irish emigres and their descendants don’t ever seem to go home (Though some will move to London for some freedom when young, they always go back. A few Australian intellectuals left in the 1970s to escape what they saw as a boorish land but it was the 70s, those people took themselves far too seriously.) or move to New Zealand. And the weather with it’s consequent effect on life style seemed to be the biggest factor.

  32. Altai says:
    @Kronos

    Though like with the hillbillies finding the other side of the ancient mountain ranges they left in Scotland and Ulster and Galwegian fishermen finding a replica of their home in Newfoundland, how much of it is that rural people back then had a particular type of land they knew how to manage and sought it out for those reasons as for any others.

    Same with Swedes finding the parts of the US that had similar climates to home.

  33. syonredux says:

    What about Europeans? Are there Finns who grew up in Florida who pine for the high latitudes? I can’t think of too many examples, but it’s a possibility.

    Yearning for ancestral climates? Difficult to say. My paternal side is English-Scottish, and I’ve always loved coldish climates (While attending graduate school in Massachusetts, my favorite seasons were Winter and Autumn). On the other hand, my father hates cold weather…..

    A lot of research suggests that humans tend to imprint on the landscape where they lived from age 10 to 15 or so, and feel most at home in that kind of place.

    Interesting. My family moved from the Bay Area to Sacramento when I was 15, and I’ve always felt that the Bay Area was “home,” the kind of environment in which I feel most at ease.

  34. Bert says:
    @anonymous

    Northern Louisiana and Atlanta are similar in terms of the native vegetation, which is the most important aspect that one notices when mountains or ocean are not prominent.

    • Replies: @Ben tillman
  35. JimB says:
    @Prof. Woland

    They say that people collect things that were cool when they were 12. Then when they get in their 50s and and older and have the money to buy toys like Cobras, Porches, Vets, etc. they finally get one.

    It’s kind of sad that auto engineers design Cobras, Porches, and Vets to appeal to the aesthetics and need for speed of young men, but only old men who look ridiculous driving them (think Jay Leno) can afford them.

    • Replies: @Rob McX
    , @Prof. Woland
  36. danand says:

    Reg Cæsar, bit of a surprise to see from your plot that Bend Oregon (44N) is growing at such a rapid clip. I would guess that growth must be spurred by border crossers: California retires. I had an uncle, raised East of Bolder Colorado (40N) who lived the last half of this life in Bend. Visits never suggested, that while nice enough, it was destined to become high growth.

    “Besides the nurture impact of where you lived around puberty, is there any nature effect of where your ancestors evolved.”

    The thought has occasionally crossed my mind as to what effect inherited Myopia (nearsightedness) has on an individuals native propensity for “geographical exploration”. Were those afflicted in pre correction appliance times less inclined to explore – search out – migrate?

  37. @The Last Real Calvinist

    The weather I really enjoy is the cool, somewhat damp climate of the UK/western Europe.

    Yeah. When I visited England and Scotland one September, I felt like I had finally arrived in my “real home”, weatherwise. However, only partly Scots, I grew up around the mountains of the northeastern US, which are actually the literal same ranges as the Scottish Highlands. So, how much is inborn, how much is being raised around the “American Highlands”, and how much is fantasizing as a youth about Europe?

    I tend to discount the fantasy part because I am actually physically better adapted to that weather. My body regulates its sweating and sleep and probably other things better, but it could be being raised in that climate.

    The rest of my background is German and Scandinavian, and I also like heavy snow and deep cold, so no help. I think that is just adventurousness, not some racial memory of Thule.

    Like TLRC, I have spent time in both tropical and subtropical regions. I definitely do not belong in the tropics. The subtropics in autumn and winter are usually very nice, but in summer or rainy seasons, I am not very productive or comfortable. But I could easily live in a warm coastal area with sea breezes. That part, I think, is memory, a species memory, not a racial one.

  38. Bert says:

    In the 19th century Brazil received substantial immigration from Italy, Spain and Germany, as well as some from Poland and several other European countries, plus Japan and Syria. Theses immigrants settled predominantly in the temperate and subtropical South of Brazil, from Espirito Santo to Rio Grande do Sul. In the subtropical states immigrant settlement was primarily at higher altitudes. Many of those immigrant communities continue as cohesive local cultures where their native national languages are taught in schools.

  39. Polistra says:
    @Polistra

    Of course, as soon as I posted I read the fine print. Metros.

  40. Polistra says:
    @Kronos

    Aww darn, I thought 1) you’d come out at last and/or 2) according to the photo you posted, Angola’s really been doing great things with itself lately.

    • LOL: Redneck farmer
  41. Kronos says:
    @JohnnyWalker123

    Kronos’s High School yearbook photo.

    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
  42. Anonymous[302] • Disclaimer says:

    The thought has occasionally crossed my mind as to what effect inherited Myopia (nearsightedness) has on an individuals native propensity for “geographical exploration”. Were those afflicted in pre correction appliance times less inclined to explore – search out – migrate?

    I am not sure about this. However, I note that for those with myopia, once presbyopia starts to set in, you are to varying degrees still able to read the fine print unlike your presbyopic friends starting out with uncorrected good vision (who need a lens for reading). So historically speaking, until reading glasses came along, myopia might be considered something of an adaptation for the bookish as you can easily write/read your whole working career.

    With the advent of eye glasses, the myopic have at least had an advantage over their bifocaled cousins in that they only need to look below their glasses or take them off to read acceptably, while the others need bifocals or reading glasses. Ben Franklin invented bifocals btw.

    Myopics still need correction for distance vision after presbyopia kicks in though, for those who aren’t familiar with it.

  43. Anonymous[293] • Disclaimer says:

    No.

    Basically, what we are seeing, on a truly *MASSIVE* global scale is the astonishing phenomenon of tropical and sub tropically adapted human ethnies more or less becoming ‘comensual species’ – in much the same way as ‘feral pigeons’ originally rick doves kept as an urban food resource – are the ubiquitous omnipresent and self invited concomitant of urban man everywhere in the world. Only in this case substitute ‘white man’ for urban man.

    The story if the 20th and 21st centuries is of the dark races of mankind moving in in whitey, wherever whitey is in the world. No matter how cold it is, similarly rock doves are found in St. Petersburg as well as LA. And the reason is exactly the same – formerly self reliant populations have adapted themselves to the rich pickings found amongst those who are actually able to create surplus value societies.

    Atlanta might be somewhat warmer than Minnesota, but in the general purview, it’s still part of the same surplus value generating system.

    • Agree: Rob McX
    • Replies: @Nico
  44. @Hypnotoad666

    Isn’t the Mediterranean Climate what the climate of Central Africa was for a few million years when humans were evolving there?

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @Hypnotoad666
  45. @Franz

    Thanks to Somali immigrants, you’re not that far off about Columbus, sadly.

    • Agree: Franz
  46. @Kronos

    Most creative usage of a cotton candy machine that I’ve ever seen.

    • Replies: @Kronos
  47. @The Last Real Calvinist

    I only have a sample size of one but I used to be friends with a Malaysian Indian who told me they hated the hot humid weather too, and growing up there didn’t make one like it any more than an outsider. Made me wonder why these are also among the most densely populated countries on the planet.

  48. Lot says:

    Finns do have some cold adaptations, but we’re all basically an African-evolved species. Note that Finns don’t have thick white fur like polar bears, arctic hares, and Siberian tigers.

    • Replies: @Nico
  49. whahae says:

    Swiss mercenaries were famous for their homesickness for Switzerland and the mountains. The very term homesickness first referred to these Swiss applied as a medical diagnosis in the 17th century. Other mercenaries didn’t seem to suffer as much from the same condition.

    Mountain peoples (Swiss, Appalachians, Asian hill tribes, etc.) seem to be much more attached to their native geography compared to relatively cosmopolitan coastal peoples.

  50. Kronos says:
    @JohnnyWalker123

    My nickname was “Dark Cloud” in school. Also, I never needed a pillow ever growing up. Though, that MyPillow guy seem’s nice enough.

    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
  51. @photondancer

    I only have a sample size of one but I used to be friends with a Malaysian Indian who told me they hated the hot humid weather too, and growing up there didn’t make one like it any more than an outsider. Made me wonder why these are also among the most densely populated countries on the planet.

    A couple of thoughts on this.

    First, it’s true nobody is really comfortable in full-on daytime tropical heat and humidity. But this doesn’t preclude the possibility of people having wildly varying reactions to climatic conditions. For example, at the beginning of this month in HK we had some spectacular early-winter Mediterranean-style weather: sunny, dry, with daytime high temperatures around 18-20C/64-68F. If you go out on the street here in that kind of weather, you will see people wearing anything from shorts, T-shirts and flip-flops (a few usually UK or European expats) to North Face expedition-weight puffer jackets with wooly hats/scarves and heavy winter boots (some local Chinese — and not just females).

    Second, why do so many people live here when it’s so unpleasant for at least half of the year? Well, one simple reason is that the growing season in subtropical south China is essentially year-round. Some vegetables thrive here in the summer, and others in the winter, but there’s always an abundance of something growing.

    • Replies: @black sea
  52. I dislike being too far from latitude 30 in terms of lifestyle/attitude/food, but an occasional adventure further North is nice, so we usually do cold weather vacations. Always glad to return home, however.

    I liked that when I went to Ireland/Wales I basically stayed outside for an entire week in hours of summer sunshine and did not get a sunburn, despite the lack of sunscreen.

    I have lots of Scandinavian and Irish ancestry. I handle cold weather easily, though I get aggravated by more than a few days of it. Also can swim in waters below 70 degrees fairly comfortably, unlike most Southerners.

    I am fine with heat. Blew my mind to see several people in Acadia National Park having experiencing heat illnesses in 80-85 degree weather.

    Worst kind of weather for me is dry, regardless of latitude or temperature. Causes allergies, wrinkles, and respiratory problems. Shame, because I like desert scenery.

  53. Nico says:
    @Anonymous

    Basically, what we are seeing, on a truly *MASSIVE* global scale is the astonishing phenomenon of tropical and sub tropically adapted human ethnies more or less becoming ‘comensual species’ – in much the same way as ‘feral pigeons’ originally rick doves kept as an urban food resource – are the ubiquitous omnipresent and self invited concomitant of urban man everywhere in the world. Only in this case substitute ‘white man’ for urban man.

    I’d call that a parasitic, not commensal, symbiosis.

  54. Rob McX says:
    @JimB

    Most famously Robert Novak, who at 77 hit a pedestrian in DC with his Corvette and kept driving till he was flagged down and informed of what he’d just done.

    • Replies: @JimB
    , @prosa123
  55. Nico says:
    @Lot

    Polar bears, arctic hares and Siberian tigers don’t possess the motor and neurological capacities to fabrication of clothing and rapid ad hoc shelters much less heating systems, which have helped arrest selective pressures in favor of additional biomechanical heating processes in hominids.

  56. What about Europeans? Are there Finns who grew up in Florida who pine for the high latitudes? I can’t think of too many examples, but it’s a possibility.

    Probably, but the opposite happens too: Finns who move to Florida will try to make Florida more like Finland.

    Look at Australians: racially, they’re Britons, but even after 200 years they mostly still haven’t adapted to the local climate: they build houses pretty much exactly like Britons do (except bigger) instead of like Spaniards or Moroccans or whatever. No siestas, either.

    • Replies: @prosa123
    , @Peter Shaw
  57. Sean says:

    Besides the nurture impact of where you lived around puberty, is there any nature effect of where your ancestors evolved?

    Inuit maybe, but blacks and whites are opposite focuses of sexual selection*. Charles Darwin wrote a book about it.

    *development of characteristics that aid reproductive success drives evolution; men are darker than women. Where men compete they develop the requisite characteristics to win women, when women compete they require their own characteristics. Also, there is relaxation of selection in the sex that is not competing.

  58. unit472 says:

    Buffett is so old he is a throwback to another era. The era where a man made his home where he made his fortune not New York City, Los Angeles or San Francisco. Can anyone imagine a modern tycoon making his home in Akron, Ohio or Kokomo, Indiana? The Goodyear Tire family did, for generations. Goodyear heir Monroe Sieberling started a company making shoe boxes in Kokomo, Indiana so his mansion is there.

    James Hill built a railroad from St. Paul, Minnesota to Seattle so his mansion is in St.Paul. Henry Ford’s estate is in Dearborn, Michigan not Pacific Heights. American cities and towns are dotted with the mansions of their successful sons. Part of this was practical. You couldn’t run your tire or shoe box factory from Hawaii or Miami but part of it was ‘this is my hometown and I’m proud of what I achieved and I’m going to stay here”.

    • Agree: Mark G.
    • Thanks: Charon
  59. TyRade says:

    Finns ‘pining for the high latitudes’? Well, there was a dead parrot just ‘pining for the fjords’, according to Monty Python.

  60. Are there Finns who grew up in Florida who pine for the high latitudes?

    I see what you did there

  61. @Chrisnonymous

    When I visited England and Scotland one September, I felt like I had finally arrived in my “real home”, weatherwise.

    Yes, just so. I find this kind of weather makes me feel ‘at home’ and actually lifts my mood. I like Seattle/Pacific NW weather also.

    The big challenge is very short days/lack of light in the winter, especially way up there in the UK, but that’s what pubs are for.

    If you like this kind of climate, New Zealand and Tasmania combine lots of mild weather, but at a lower latitude, so not such a severe lack of daylight in winter.

  62. I grew up on a Greek island but everyone seems to like this geography when they have a choice. The locals tend to live very long lives. The ideal environment for enjoying life. But please don’t come and live here. Visitors are welcome.

    • Replies: @Studley
  63. Anon55uu says:

    Chief Justice William Rehnquist was of swedish stock and grew up in Milwaukee, yet after a long war, college and clerking career he settled in Arizona. As things panned out though he ended up in Washington for 30 years, with a holiday house in Vermont. So returned to the cold.

  64. @Hypnotoad666

    I agree about California.

    Maybe it’s not so much the climate that people want to come back home to, but the lay of the land. OTOH, though I’m not from any of them, I’ve driven the whole country (doubt there’s any spot in the lower 48 I haven’t been over 75 miles from) and these are my favorites:

    1) North-central Florida – Gainesville west toward Cross City, Mayo, Live Oak, south toward Leesburg, northeast to Jax, and north to the Okefenokee.

    2) East Texas – well north of Houston, from the Sabine River (border of Louisiana), and from the I-20 down (Tyler, Palestine, Nacodoches) out to Waco.

    3) Central Kentucky – south of Lexington and Louisville, around Bardstown, Campbellsville, Lebanon, Columbia, and to over toward Bowling Green. Central Tennessee is probably just as nice, but I haven’t been around as much there.

    It’s a beautiful country that we are losing. I was in NY City one time, and I remarked to people “this is about the only place where you can’t sigh and say ‘Man, this is God’s country!’”

    • Agree: Another Canadian
    • Replies: @Known Fact
    , @Jack D
  65. OTOH, as commenters have stated, for Charles Blow, it’s probably just about going to a newer more exciting gay scene. Otherwise, why not over near Shreveport in northern Louisiana? (There’s probably not a big gay scene. They’ve got big casinos though.)

  66. black sea says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    Another small sample size, but for whatever its worth:

    I grew up in Atlanta but never got used to the weather, which is actually fairly temperate by Georgia standards. The summers are too hot, too humid, and last way too long. The winters are almost never really wintry, and I spent a lot of my youth wishing for colder weather and snow, which kids in places like Atlanta practically fetishize.

    I did notice that on hot summer days, crawling in the Atlanta traffic, I would see an inordinate number of black drivers with their windows down, or even half down. You almost never saw this with white drivers, who invariably made use of their car’s air conditioning. This wasn’t because the blacks were driving old beaters; their cars were just as nice and of recent vintage as everyone else’s.

    I spent some time in my 20s living in Montana, and though the winters there could be tough (not so much due to intense cold as to the sheer duration), I loved the fact that it snowed and kept snowing, and stayed snowy. In Atlanta the planets have to align just right for it to snow, and then it just melts in a day or two. Usually, anyway.

    My ancestry is almost entirely from the British Isles. Rainy days don’t seem to bother me unless they continue for several days in unbroken succession. I now live in Turkey, and I have come to believe that there is a different biological thermostat between me and most Turks. A colleague once came to my air-conditioned office in the summer, and commented that she should have worn her winter boots. I’ve received similar comments over the years, and the Turkish fascination with sitting at the beach all day in the blazing sun holds no appeal for me at all.

    I think this is probably a matter of genetics, though of course I can’t be sure.

    • Thanks: Charon
  67. iffen says:

    I’m not sure about this idea. There might be something up with the weather but not the total environment. I grew up in a trailer park and the last time I was there it looked exactly like parts of Tijuana, Mexico did in 1969. Needless to say, I never pine away about moving back “home.”

  68. Anon[409] • Disclaimer says:

    Now, here’s a question: Besides the nurture impact of where you lived around puberty, is there any nature effect of where your ancestors evolved? Charles M. Blow’s ancestors evolved in a hot climate of Africa and then a warm climate of the American South. Is the Reverse Great Migration of blacks from the North to the South that’s slowly happening driven not just by economic reasons as well as individual homesickness, but also by hereditary acclimation that makes blacks more comfortable at lower latitudes?

    Interesting question.

    Michael Levin in Why Race Matters associates warmer climates that produced gatherer cultures with low time preference (take the marshmallow now rather than two later, since there are plenty of marshmallows around), low cooperation and honesty compared to hunter groups, less concern with long-term reciprocity and a more present-oriented viewpoint, loose sexual practices, and more. This could produce an overall more laid-back environment … while at the same time creating headaches about getting contractors to finish the home renovations that he has planned for his house-with-a-lawn.

    Blow tweeted about his move a year ago, and he seems to have moved just before Covid hit. He kept his place in Brooklyn. He said his relocation was somewhat related to an upcoming book … oh yeah, I see now that the column was a excerpt from the new book, The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto.

    New York Times columnist Blow (Fire Shut Up in My Bones) proposes a radical path toward Black empowerment in this impassioned call for “as many Black descendants of the Great Migration as possible” to return to the South “with moral and political intentionality.” This mass resettlement, Blow argues, would allow African Americans to “colonize and control the states they would have controlled if they had not fled them.” He paints a devastating picture of how white liberals have failed to match rhetorical support for Blacks with action, and buttresses his political arguments with painful personal experiences of racism, including the time a cop pulled a gun on his son, a student at Yale. But Blow doesn’t discuss potential challenges to his plan, including the likelihood of increased gerrymandering and voter suppression by Republican lawmakers to blunt the impact of such a demographic shift, nor does he offer much support for his belief that the Republican Party would be forced “to court not the Negrophobe, but the Negro” in order to win the presidency or control the Senate. Though Blow’s provocative call for action contains much food for thought, readers will wish for a more realistic way forward.

    The son-gun incident turned out to be nothing, caught on video, fortunately for the officer. Blow never backed down though.

    • Thanks: Charon
    • Replies: @prosa123
  69. Hibernian says:
    @International Jew

    He’s from North Louisiana, and the French in LA tend to be from the Southern part of the state.

    • Replies: @ben tillman
  70. A fellow retired from my group a few years ago. He was from Minnesota and when he finished college he came to work here in DC’s Maryland suburb, and had stayed 50 years. He retired to upstate New York, and at his little retirement send-off, he told us of the pleasure he felt in walking in winter with snow pelting the hood of his parka, a pleasure that he was looking forward to regularly feeling again.

  71. BB753 says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    If by California you mean Northern California, Frisco, I agree. I love temperate but moist climates, the mild Atlantic places where my ancestors came from along the Western European seaboard.
    It’s possibly a personal preference, but the Mediterranean climate is too hot and dry for me. I like lush vegetation and trees.

  72. @San Fernando Curt

    Where’s Lagertha when you need her?

  73. Some Guy says:
    @Polistra

    And the northern cities are vastly safer during the cold winters

    I wonder at what point too hot weather decreases crime due to making activity outside unbearable.

    hereditary acclimation that makes blacks more comfortable at lower latitudes?

    It stands to reason that lower sensitivity to sunburn and greater need for sunlight to make vitamin D would benefit blacks in the south.

    Another thing I’ve wondered about whether body size affects where people move, since greater body size means greater heat production and insulation.

  74. @photondancer

    The variety and amount of species (plant and animal) gets higher the closer you get to the tropical band around the equator (to the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn); it seems these climatic conditions are more conducive.

    • Replies: @SunBakedSuburb
  75. countenance says: • Website

    Myself. St. Louis native, currently living in Cologne, Germany. Mid-latitude, very comparable climate (Cologne much further north in latitude, but the North Atlantic currents keep Europe warmer than what it would otherwise would be), major river(s), are the through lines.

  76. Are there Finns who grew up in Florida who pine for the high latitudes? I can’t think of too many examples, but it’s a possibility.

    When I lived in Florida, I met plenty of Northerners who retired there, but ultimately upped stick to go back north. Many peopled talked about “missing the seasons.”

    If you look at Minnesota, the place is chock full of Norwegians and Swedes who essentially moved to what they knew in the old country rather than heading for more fertile lands further south.

  77. Arclight says:

    I don’t know – I grew up in a more southern midwestern city so warmer than Chicago or Detroit, but still with a real winter (although not much snow). I love hot weather and would rather live in a place with much milder winter weather and more interesting geography.

    This stands in contrast to one of my gym buddies, a black guy who loves cool weather and finds our summers far too hot, and hates visiting his family’s ancestral southern town.

  78. Mike Tre says:

    “ And so, being tired of the New York City rat race, he moved to Atlanta and got a house with a yard. Good for him.”

    There Mr. Blow can infect a nice normie neighborhood with his nasty ideas about race and humanity, and scout out for young teen boys to bugger. And even as gay as he is, I still bet his lawn will be one of the most unkempt, weed infested plots in the neighborhood.

  79. I’m heavily imprinted on what I did, read and saw around age 15 — but not where I want to live. My parents and grandparents were the type that could never imagine a world beyond NYC (even though my father was a manly renaissance-man type who was competent in any setting, not your usual hapless urbanite). But I have always preferred the quiet flyover backwater lifestyle.

    It’s not so much a matter of climate, I’ve lived in various extremes, it’s more that while I was happy growing up in an apartment on a busy street I would never do anything like that again.

  80. In Britain the people in the North of England seem to be far more comfortable in the cold than those in the South, i mean we are talking just 200 miles here but in the winter you really notice how people in the south wrap up until April while in the North you can go out on a night in January and see people wearing t shirts and women wearing very short skirts, the South it seems has the more continental attitude to cold but not as extreme as that of the Spanish who will wear coats in winter simply because it is the season to do so even when it is 20 celsius outside with bright sun, though that may have more to do with the rapidly changeable temperatures one can get there, only this week it was -15 in central Spain and the coasts can get cold nights in the winter but generally the winter weather is very pleasant.

  81. Fun and interesting topic. I tend to agree about your imprinting thesis. Similar to most commenters, English/Scots/Irish ancestry, with some German and Pole for spice. In my imprinting years, I spent most of my time around Lake Michigan in Indiana/Illinois/Michigan; due to the glacier effect, there are some hills and valleys around this terrain, though the farther south away from the lakes, the flatter it gets (typical Midwest). So Summers that could get brutally hot, with typical winters with lots of snow (lake effect gets you more than inland). I like my snowy winters with holiday lights. Just feels right. On the other hand, swimming in Lake Michigan in the Summer is NOT like swimming in the Gulf or along the Atlantic in the gulf stream (but it is like swimming in the Pacific); that water is COLD year round. But I liked it; could easily get used to it.

    On the other other hand, I spent some Summers in west central Tennessee farm country. Hot and humid there with occasional strong storms that would come through and we would get a nice cool spell for a couple days. In the evenings on Friday or Saturday after working the farm, Granddad and Uncle would load up the cab in the back of the truck with poles, bait and tackle, hook up the john boat and trailer to the hitch, and we’d be off to the Tennessee River all night; leave for home at dawn with a cooler full of channel cat, crappie and bass. Dress and filet the fish, Grandma would fry it up and great dinner was had by all (fried fish, blackeye peas with onions and hamhock, home fries, corn on the cob from the farm…hungry now just thinking about it).

    But I also think there is the ancestral component; having lived in Germany and traversed central and southeast Pennsylvania a lot, I can see how the 19th century Germans instantly adapted here and across the Midwest; the climate and geography are almost the same (damp plains like upper Ohio/north Germany, and low rolling hills like southeast PA/central and southern Germany). I love to hike, run and bike around Sharpsburg and the C&O canal along the Potomac, and the rolling hills and farms in between the Blueridge and South Mountain remind me a bit of Tennessee.

    Next up on the bucket list: late Spring sojourn into the Shenandoah Valley to retrace Stonewall Jackson’s 1862 campaign. The valley is quite beautiful, and I can see why many DC beltway types are increasingly moving out there away from the crappy density on the west side of the Potomac. Hard to believe it was so wrecked in 1865 after Sheridan burned it all out, that nothing grew for almost a decade.

    Though I am not comfortable with it, I can tolerate Florida (family lives on Gulf Coast in Tampa region), but would probably travel north for a month in the Summer to stay with family and escape the worst of the heat/humidity. Not sure where we will retire; we have a health issue that guarantees it will be subtropical/tropical.

  82. Pericles says:
    @Not Raul

    There are a lot of Finnish Americans up near Lake Superior.

    Seeded with the Red losers of the Finnish Civil War, I seem to recall. Here in Sweden we instead got an artisanal collection of revanchiste Chilean commies who as we recall lost their civil war.

  83. Pericles says:

    Migration of farmers in the 19th Century tended to be along latitude lines so they could use their expertise at growing crops attuned to a particular length of growing season in their new homes. But what about in an information economy where you aren’t a farmer?

    If you have a lot of meetings, it’s wise to stay in the same time zone, i.e., along longitude lines.

  84. @Anonymous

    I was thinking about the same thing in response to Steve’s post and so I agree with your comment but with one minor exception. I had always thought as you described that it is the Gulf Stream that makes for the warmer, oceanic climate of Europe compared to Noth America. However, I read an article many ears ago, in I think American Scientist, the journal of the scientific society Sigma Xi, that it was the prevailing winds from the west over the ocean that warms the Euro land mass, not the Gulf Stream itself. I live in France (Paris is at about the latitude of Montreal) and it is warmer in winter than Pennsylvania where I was living before moving to France. I think the latitudinary settlement of North America was probably more due to historical/political effects than the biological/socialogical reasons proposed by Steve.

  85. @Achmed E. Newman

    I spent quite a few happy years in small-town Florida and would do it again. Kentucky was not impressing me much until we reached the horse-farm region and the beauty there was stunning. Louisville itself has some marvelous old architecture though I suppose by now some of those neighborhoods are in decline

  86. anonymous[140] • Disclaimer says:
    @Redneck farmer

    Isn’t the Mediterranean Climate what the climate of Central Africa was for a few million years when humans were evolving there?

    A Mediterranean Climate means warm dry summers with usually low humidity and cooler, sometimes rainy winters. Importantly, there is a period in the warm months without precipitation, forcing plants to be adapted to both long periods without water and then periods with. Technically the US Pacific coast from San Diego to Seattle is considered in the Mediterranean classification.

    Central Africa presently has a mixture of tropical rainforest (rainy all year) and tropical savannah (distinct wet and dry seasons). In the past it may have had more of the latter, but has no cold season so cannot be Mediterranean, except in some high altitude locations.

    For avoiding both bitter cold and the heat and humidity combination that so many find uncomfortable, the only option is Mediterranean climates.

  87. @Hypnotoad666

    If CA were well governed, the population here would be 100 million and climbing.

  88. @Bert

    Atlanta is in the mountains.

    • Disagree: Charon
  89. Michelle says:

    Finn’s and lots of Scandinavians love the sun too! Since they ran well compared to Celts, they tend to sunbathe at the first sign of spring.

  90. Rob McX says:

    Has any black American every gone and settled in Africa? I can’t think of any. I think Africa would be as alien as Mars to someone who grew up in Baltimore or St Louis. They’d prefer to take their chances in the most violent and dangerous corner of urban America than face the challenge of living in their ancestral homeland.

    • Replies: @black sea
    , @Anonymous
  91. Remember, as people get older, they like warmer climates. Especially women, and husbands want to please their wives. so they pack up and retire to FL or AZ. This Blow character is just aging and wants to be warm.

    A relative told me last night she wants to retire to a combo of ID and AZ. I already have a few relatives who live in Alaska, but winter in Tucson. That’s just too whiplashy for me.

  92. A huge number of Swedes go to Greece on vacation, but it doesn’t seem like the Greeks return the favor.

    A huge number of Brits retire to Spain, but it doesn’t seem like the Spaniards return the favor.

    In fact a lot of Spaniards go to England to earn a lot of money playing soccer, but can’t wait to return to Spain with their English wives and children.

    • Replies: @Tony
  93. GeraldB says:
    @Pop Warner

    Having attended college in North Louisiana, I immediately recognized Gibsland. It’s where Bonnie and Clyde met their end, and is home to a Bonnie and Clyde museum.

  94. Ganderson says:
    @Anonymous

    The big cities of Scandinavia are lots warmer in the winter than the places in North America (dunno about Helsinki, though) that drew lots of squareheads- particularly the Twin Cities and Chicago, although most of Scandinavia is cooler in the summer than the Upper Midwest is. Most of my family is from Dalsland, to the north and more inland than Göteborg, where most of them live now. ( they still have cabins in Dalsland, though.

    • Replies: @Oikeamielinen
  95. black sea says:
    @Rob McX

    I watched a documentary once about African-Americans who relocated to Africa. All of the people featured seemed to be “talented 10th” types, who were doing relatively well in the US, but chose to live in Africa. I remember one couple who owned a seaside hotel. It seemed like a pretty nice life.

    I don’t think any hood rats choose to go there.

  96. dearieme says:

    I am happiest living with the sea immediately to the south, and hills behind me to the north. I prefer to have four seasons in the year. Ideally I’d like to avoid the greyness of many British winters and I’d very much like to avoid the stifling combination of heat and humidity that we sometimes get in the part of England where we now live. But we’ve lived here for ages, some of our friends and all of our acquaintances live here, and my wife is much attached to our house and garden. Add in other conveniences and we’re here indefinitely.

    For a city to live in I’d pick Edinburgh even though the sea is to the north; my wife agrees but for the length of its winter. Additionally, though, we wouldn’t want to live under the devolved government of the Scotnatz, with the somewhat racialist behaviour of some of their supporters.

  97. I grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada and my wife grew up in Los Alamos, New Mexico. A few years ago, after many years living in the East, we did a long drive from Maryland to Seattle. Reaching eastern Montana after crossing the South Dakota plains, we both started to feel like we were home, though neither of us had been there before. It was something about the humidity level and smell of the air, the color of the sky, the shape of the horizon. This feeling was surprising to both of us because we were so far north of our childhood homes. My Nevada sagebrush desert and her 6,000 foot pinion mesas are rather different in topography and vegetation; when we watched that Indiana Jones movie that starts in a desert that turns out to be the Nevada Test Site, my wife instantly said “That’s New Mexico,” and she was right: the “Nevada” scenes were filmed in New Mexico. In the big scheme though, Montana felt a lot like New Mexico and Nevada despite the ten degree difference in latitude.

  98. @Reg Cæsar

    There is very little land between 45 deg South and 65 deg South. Just small fractions of Chile and Argentina, a bit of New Zealand, a few islands, and the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.

  99. I spent most of my pre-adult life in Palmdale California. My last 50 years in the Baltimore Maryland area. Believe me, I know what the hell hole culture of Palmdale is today. And frankly I like the more variation in the seasons here if not what goes on in the city. Thank you.

  100. @Redneck farmer

    Isn’t the Mediterranean Climate what the climate of Central Africa was for a few million years when humans were evolving there?

    Your comment reminded me that E.O. Wilson thought humans are probably hard-wired to enjoy natural surroundings. In particular, he thought there was likely a biological preference for tree-dotted plains similar to the African Savanah where all human ancestors evolved. That is, of course, the default landscape of most public parks.

    P.S., E.O. Wilson’s short memoir Naturalist is a great read.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
  101. theMann says:
    @Anonymous

    Aside from the fact that it is windy, dusty, brown, flat, nearly treeless, hellishly hot in the Summer, bitterly cold in the Winter, and given to occasional severe storms, ice in the Winter, thunderstorms and severe flash floods in the Summer, what is bleak about West Texas?
    After all, the constant pounding sunlight is God’s way of telling you he loves you, even when it is 15 degrees out with a roaring Northwesterly wind.

  102. bomag says:
    @Anonymous

    Harking back to the earlier piece on the NYT article… tribal mentality/ethnocentrism

    That piece by Blow; I gritted my teeth and listened to an interview with Stacy Abrams; was another reminder that these activists are in it purely to increase the number of Blacks in positions of power. There is no talk of improving anyone’s life through the political process, just grabbing power. And there is no expectation that they will do a better job than the person they replace/defeat in an election.

  103. “A lot of research suggests that humans tend to imprint on the landscape where they lived from age 10 to 15 or so, and feel most at home in that kind of place.”

    But what if you spent those years moving around a lot and didn’t have time to imprint any one particular area during those yrs? A noticeable example would be Mitt Romney, who grew up in multiple areas of the US, and even now doesn’t seem fixed to any one locale in particular. With the global economy, and the constant moving around of people to various places in the country (as well as in the world at large), it may suffice to say that we will see a generation of rootless nomads, who aren’t tied to any one particular area of the world, which is why they would tend to see themselves as “citizens of the world” since they can’t identify with any one part of it (no roots were established anywhere).

    And for the offspring of the top 1%, this can be shown as they would be spending their prepubescent yrs in faraway boarding schools, with no chance to imprint the landscape as they kept moving around every other yr. When they reach adulthood, they’ll have had no chance to imprint any particular place in the nation at all. Constant moving around, constant nomads, tied to no place in particular.

  104. @Hypnotoad666

    Hold on, the modern African Savannah doesn’t look like paradise or heaven or earth, perhaps millions of yrs ago it did. Modern parks don’t look much like what it looks like now. Central Park doesn’t look like today’s African Savannah. So there’s room to debate on what exactly “paradise on earth” resembles. Some may envision HI’s Waikiki coastline, for example. Or Diamond Head, and Polynesia owes little to African topology regarding paradise.

    Also, what about those humans who have a sincere affinity for glacial temperatures/climates? Those who grew up near the North Pole for example? So that would tend to refute Wilson’s claim that all humans (or even most) have this hardwired built in affinity for temperate zones. Met plenty of humans who can’t stand nice weather and only feel at home in sub zero temps. Perhaps that relates more to the noticing that they spent their formation yrs in those kinds of climates.

  105. “rather bleak West Texas”

    Due to family dysfunction I spent three years of childhood in Midland and tiny Cross Plains. I would describe the landscape as spare with wide open spaces. Certainly different from the East Bay and Sacramento. The schools I attended in TX contained nary a negrito, which was a profound relief from what I was used to. Although that relief was countered by the grim WT women in me dad’s family. Like many Californians I’m looking for an exit. Unlike many Californians who are moving to TX — Austin, Waco, Houston — I’ll go back to West Texas for the drier heat and those wide open spaces.

    • Replies: @theMann
  106. Anonymous[338] • Disclaimer says:
    @Rob McX

    Of course, there was the Liberia colony.

    Enough said.

  107. Muggles says:

    Interesting topic about weather, geography, imprinting of preferences, etc.

    Before about 1960 travel for most was by sea or rail, or bus/car. So where you lived would be heavily affected by how much traveling you had to do, or wanted to do. Other than (some) telex and expensive long distance phone lines, business was done by mail.

    Now with remote everything, location is more a matter of choice.

    I was raised in a very dry, cold Rocky Mountain part of the west. Later I moved to the Texas Gulf coast and suffered a major temperature shock. Eventually though you adjust. I still prefer the mountains and cooler moderate temps, but not the bitter cold or endless days of gray chill.

    As we tell Yankees, here the summers are like your winters. Stay inside and let the machines keep you comfortable. You can only take off so many clothes. A/C is needed, just like heat up north. Winters, while Yankees stay inside and bundle up, we are outside in shorts and mostly warm sun. Once you adjust to that (summer inside, not out; winter outside, not in) you live just fine.

    My parents originally from different places and moved out of the northern Rockies when retired. What strikes me now is how few of my school classmates left that home town, even many years later. Many Montanans raised there never want a “sunny, warm winter” retirement home. They prefer to stay and die in place, despite many options to leave. They come to Love Big Winter.

    Some prefer not to change in their later years, or later have families who remain.

    I think there is something to both early/mid childhood home imprinting and perhaps some ancestral element. Nonetheless, warmer states are where the population is shifting, despite hysteria over Global Warming. Very few move to Canada for retirement or the weather.

  108. @Captain Tripps

    “the tropical band”

    I spent six months training in south Florida. With the verdant environment comes the horrific insect life. And the snakes and crocs. It seems nearly all flora and fauna in the tropical climes is out to kill you. The tortoises think they’re better than you. The eastern coast of Florida, however, is quite nice. I found Miami to be a dream city. I pretended I was Travis McGee living on the Busted Flush.

    • Replies: @Tracy
    , @Dissident
  109. Old Prude says:
    @AnotherDad

    I used to feel nostalgic for the flat lands of Indiana, but returning 25 years later and hearing Spanish at mass and in the Arbys and seeing everything else had become a franchise heavy strip mall, I felt a tremendous sense of loss and never wanted to go back again.

    • Replies: @Mark G.
  110. My paternal grandparents, who were single migrated separately from Sicily and my married maternal grandparents from just north of Rome bringing with them a son and a daughter. They all landed at Ellis Island and first settle in NYC or the boroughs. But Buffalo was booming and more open and so my maternal grandparents moved to the city. They stayed their whole lives because there was work for them and all their children and a strong Italian community. They never got used to the weather. oranges and lemons grew on the hills back “home.” My father’s father exited NYC and went to Louisiana to work on the railroad, probably finding La. weather close to Sicily’s. However, he returned to NYC, met my grandmother and also moved to Buffalo. Steel mills, foundries, grain mills, shipyards meant railroad work everywhere. I think the chance to make a comfortable living played a big part in where people settled, that and housing costs. None of my grandparents drove so they never saw the beauty of the Finger Lakes, the Adirondaks or the lake shores. My parents and their siblings did and found the state, as it then existed, a good place to live and raise children. Comfort may be the defining feature of “imprinting.”

  111. @Larry, San Francisco

    I have a friend of German-Scandanavian heritage who gave up a tenured position at UC Davis because he couldn’t stand the hot summers. He was a very white redhead.

    My aunt married a man of nearly pure British stock, and he taught in their native Michigan. He was offered a position at Bemidji State at higher rank and salary, and was poised to grab it.

    Until he got out the road atlas and saw where Bemidji is.

  112. prosa123 says:
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    Finns who move to Florida will try to make Florida more like Finland.

    Lake Worth, Florida, just south of Palm Beach, long had a substantial Finnish community. Some remnants still exist.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  113. @Larry, San Francisco

    “UC Davis because he couldn’t stand the hot summers”

    The saving grace of Sacramento Valley summers is the famous delta breeze: as the sea fog moves onshore into the SF Bay the chilly maritime air gusts through the delta and cools off the Sacramento area at night; dropping the temps thirty to forty degrees.

  114. Deckin says:
    @Polistra

    And the summers and muggy and buggy (with dense fog in the winter). One thing that people aren’t factoring in is the humidity and bugginess of a place (not always a function of latitude or longitude).

    On the bugginess scale, the nicest places one the planet are coastal California and the west coast of Australia. Hawaii is surprisingly good on that scale; as I recall, it was mosquito free completely until Cook arrived. Even now, above about 1500 feet (which is a place one can live in Maui), there are virtually none.

  115. Deckin says:
    @Polistra

    And the summers and muggy and buggy (with dense fog in the winter). One thing that people aren’t factoring in is the humidity and bugginess of a place (not always a function of latitude or longitude).

    On the bugginess scale, the nicest places one the planet are coastal California and the west coast of Australia. Hawaii is surprisingly good on that scale; as I recall, it was mosquito free completely until Cook arrived. Even now, above about 1500 feet (which is a place one can live in Maui), there are virtually none.

  116. @The Last Real Calvinist

    But these changes of season are crucial to my well-being; I don’t think I could handle living long-term in the true tropics, e.g. in Singapore, where every hot, maybe-showery day is very much like every other.

    On the other hand, in Singapore the subways are REALLY clean, criminals REALLY get punished, the Malays/Muslims are REALLY segregated, and the restaurants are REALLY good.

    Been there a number of times, and I know people who have retired there. Yeah, both the weather and the town are kinda boring, being on the equator effectively, but if you don’t want any cultural sturm and drang, and know that tomorrow is going to be just like yesterday, it has a certain appeal.

    It’s China but really upper class China with a level of repression that’s tolerable.

  117. @Polistra

    Interesting. Wiki and IMDb disagree about his birth name.

    And the Songwriters Hall of Fame about his birth place. They post what was the official story for many years.

    Lyricist Mitchell Parish was born in Shreveport, Louisiana on July 10, 1900. His family moved to New York City when Parish was a young boy and he received his education in the public schools, then Columbia and N.Y.U. (Phi Beta Kappa). He eventually abandoned the notion of practicing law to become a songwriter.

    I don’t think Parish lied. Much more likely that his family lied to him. Much like very common “the officer changed our name at Ellis Island”, which never happened.

    What was the ” Ellis Island” of New Orleans?

  118. @prosa123

    Lake Worth, Florida, just south of Palm Beach, long had a substantial Finnish community. Some remnants still exist.

    Thirty years ago, you could order a taxi in Finnish in Lantana. Perhaps you can get a Lyft there today.

    Lantana and Lake Worth have long attracted native Finns that retired directly from Finland.

  119. I remember hearing so many Finns settled in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan ( Which gets enormous amounts of snow every winter ) that there are Finnish language TV and radio broadcasts in the area to this very day.

  120. @Pop Warner

    I thought he was joking too. Thought he was Los Angeles, which is also at roughly the same latitude as Atlanta.

  121. @Wade Hampton

    Lots of Scandinavians (mostly Norwegians, I think) in gray, rainy, heavily forested, Northern latitude Seattle. Don’t know whether that is the weather, terrain or short winter days. Or maybe just the commercial fishing.

    A Norwegian recently posted an essay on Quora explaining that his countrymen went to Minnesota and similar places because those were what were available at the time. Minnesota is very unlike Norway. And North Dakota…

    Icelanders and Ukrainians went to Canada for the same reason– it was open at their period of emigration.

    There are some notable European “colonies” in the lower latitudes, though. Czechs and Germans in the Texas hill country, Finnish Lantana and Lake Worth and Greek Tarpon Springs in Florida, Danish Solvang in California.

    Don’t forget all those Japanese– and New Englanders– in Hawaii, either. And the Hmong of Wausau. Nothing like home.

  122. jamie b. says:

    My heritage is central European. I was raised on the flat plains of Nebraska. All my life I’ve yearned to live in a place with mountains and evergreen trees.

  123. @Hibernian

    He’s from North Louisiana, and the French in LA tend to be from the Southern part of the state. Indeedand I don’t know anything about the last name “Blow”. I do know, however, that “Joe” is a Shreveport surname used by some descendants of Chinese who arrived generations ago.

  124. @Kronos

    Thousands of years of agriculture and grazing animals shaped the picturesque look of the English countryside, also the stone walls and hedgerows.

    • Replies: @Kronos
  125. JimB says:
    @Rob McX

    Most famously Robert Novak, who at 77 hit a pedestrian in DC with his Corvette and kept driving till he was flagged down and informed of what he’d just done.

    Acquired a new hood ornament?

  126. fondolo says:

    I moved from Detroit to Atlanta 50 years ago and thank God every January.

  127. prosa123 says:
    @Anon

    Michael Levin in Why Race Matters associates warmer climates that produced gatherer cultures with low time preference (take the marshmallow now rather than two later, since there are plenty of marshmallows around), low cooperation and honesty compared to hunter groups, less concern with long-term reciprocity and a more present-oriented viewpoint, loose sexual practices, and more. This could produce an overall more laid-back environment

    Levin’s theory and others like it never seem to take Southeast Asia (including southern China) and the Indian subcontinent into account. With relatively few exceptions those regions haven’t had widespread gatherer cultures for millennia yet they have tropical or at least subtropical climates. They instead have had intensive agricultural/livestock cultures similar to those in more temperate climates.

  128. Dutch Boy says:

    My Dutch/Norwegian upper Midwest raised parents moved to SoCal (as did most of their siblings)and never looked back. To quote my mother: “When you’re a kid, snow is fun but when you’re an adult, it’s just a pain in the neck.”

    • Agree: vhrm
  129. Tracy says:
    @SunBakedSuburb

    Re. the insects in Florida: My sister moved down there, and when I went to visit her, she hadn’t warned me about the palmetto bugs. “The roaches down here are 3 times bigger — and they FLY?!” Shudder!

  130. prosa123 says:

    Changing one’s environment can be jarring even if the change is a minor one. Case in point, I live about 50 miles east of NYC right at the point where intensively developed suburbs give way to much more lightly developed exurban/semirural areas with almost no transition zone. West of me all the way to the city is almost continuous development in which the only significant undeveloped properties are parks, while starting not even a quarter mile to the east there are woods interspersed with discontinuous pockets of development. Going into that less developed region is quite a change and even a bit disconcerting, in the sense that I could not imagine living there even though it’s so close.

  131. prosa123 says:
    @Rob McX

    Most famously Robert Novak, who at 77 hit a pedestrian in DC with his Corvette and kept driving till he was flagged down and informed of what he’d just done.

    Novak was so shocked by what he’d done he went for an evaluation to see if there was a medical cause. There was: he had brain cancer, and died a year later.

    • Thanks: Charon
  132. Kronos says:
    @Ancient Briton

    True, I just innately prefer the openness. You get to see stuff often miles away. It’s possible to use the geography to orient yourself fairly easily. I grew up in a open landscape area with strong geographical mountains to help identify your location.

    When I started hunting a few years ago I struggled to mentally adapt to the “claustrophobia of the forest.” You really had to rely on compasses and continuously check how many steps you’ve taken and for how long. (I had an experienced hunting buddy who knew the terrain so never go it alone on your first try ever.)

    I kept recalling Bilbo Baggins and the dwarves traveling through Mirkwood in “The Hobbit.” You can easily get lost in a forest especially if there isn’t really a path to begin with. I thought only idiots would travel in circles but it can happen.

  133. theMann says:
    @SunBakedSuburb

    They aren ‘t bleak, they are just …… hard headed. Hardscrabble West Texas women are something, huh?

    Btw, one of the best features here is the lack of bugs. I think I miss the Oregon I grew up in, but the four straight months of rain, the constant explosion of bugs, driving in heavy fog……maybe not

    I am done with the West Texas heat though, won’t retire here. I have seen a lot of the world and the Cascades, southern Mexico, Tuscany, all very nice, but I think Aquitaine tops them all.

  134. @Kronos

    I actually tried a MyPillow. The head support isn’t strong enough. I think I’ll need something firmer.

  135. Jack D says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    East Texas – well north of Houston, from the Sabine River (border of Louisiana), and from the I-20 down (Tyler, Palestine, Naco[g]doches) out to Waco.

    The AVERAGE daily high in Waco in July and August is 96F and temperatures over 100F are not uncommon, with humidity in excess of 80%. No thank you.

    And all of the places that you mentioned tend toward hot and humid in the summer. If you are going to be in a southern climate you should at least be near the ocean where there are sea breezes or up in the mountains. Inland at near sea level are the worst places to be climatewise.

    OTOH, it may be that the unattractive climate repels despicable elite type people – as you say, that’s why you like those places – it’s the people who live there.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  136. @Anonymous

    Correct. To wit–St. Louis. In July, you might as well be in New Orleans, in January, Chicago.

  137. Peter Shaw says: • Website
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    Your comment on Australian homes is ignorant.

    Firstly Australia is a big country with many different climates and in the south it gets cold so styles similar to Britain make sense.

    But where it gets hot traditional Australian houses have many adaptions and unique styles. The most ubiquitous feature is the verandah.

    Of course modern homes are mostly air conditioned sealed boxes, which means styles don’t need to have much relationship to the climate these days. And Australians are free to choose whatever style they wish and can afford. This is not the case in Europe where rules exist to harmonise new builds with existing styles.

  138. They’re trying to keep old people in Whitehorse over the summer.

    Mah’s Point will be surpassed by Mah’s Point Two as the tallest structure in Whitehorse and all of the Yukon. The city recently raised its height limit to 82 ft from 66, so Mah jumped on it.

    Both are named after Tippy Mah, an entrepreneur and property developer…

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/mahs-point-building-whitehorse-tall-building-1.4495442

    According to a consultant to the developer,

    [Glenn] Munro says the development group is marketing the condos to retirees, especially snowbirds.

    “The concept of this building is consistent with what’s going on in British Columbia. Folks are retiring in Yukon, whereas they used to leave the Yukon, typically.”

    • Replies: @prosa123
  139. prosa123 says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    I follow a YouTube channel of an avid hunter who lives in Whitehorse. It’s basically a paradise for hunters, with abundant game close to town.

  140. @Ganderson

    Helsinki is in central Siberia, you silly fool. Very cold! Brrrrrr!

  141. Barack Obama is an example of this. He spent his younger days in Indonesia. He was sent to his mother’s grandparents because the locals were beating him up. BHO in an interview longs for Indonesia and claims that Jakarta is his favorite city. He has lived in NYC, Hawaii, Chicago and DC, but they are all just temporary to Jakarta.
    I know some Brits that just love living in Spain, Arizona and southern California. It is warm and dry. I bet British tax laws favor living here.

  142. @Peter Shaw

    Some Finns who had emigrated to Australia wrote that they had never been so cold as they were that first winter in Sydney. The house had no heat.
    Once they got their affairs in order, they built a house and made sure it had a working heating system.

    Strangely, many buildings in Finland are heated to 24°C. That surprises those emigres who visit.

  143. Tony says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    Speaking of Greeks, Blow is gonna be greeking it no matter what latitude he’s living at.

    • Replies: @Dissident
  144. @Jack D

    Well, remember, Jack my point wasn’t about the climate, though I am cool (oops, no anti-pun intended) with the climate in those locales. BTW, E. Texas is still less humid than the deep South. I was there in the late summer.

    Yes, I like the people, but my point was, again, the lay of the land. The land itself in these places is beautiful. It’s not spectacular like the Olympic Mountain forests other places out West, but just the way I like it is all (all 3 different too, though).

  145. Mark G. says:
    @Old Prude

    I used to feel nostalgic for the flat lands of Indiana, but returning 25 years later and hearing Spanish at mass and in the Arbys and seeing everything else had become a franchise heavy strip mall, I felt a tremendous sense of loss and never wanted to go back again.

    I’ve always lived in Indiana. I miss the Indiana of 50 years ago. It was unique then. The changes were slow enough that it helped cushion the loss. I can see how you would feel, not having been there a long time and then returning. I never want to return to any place I visited in my youth. I think I would be horrified if I went back to Detroit for the first time since 1965.

  146. @Oikeamielinen

    Some Finns who had emigrated to Australia wrote that they had never been so cold as they were that first winter in Sydney. The house had no heat.

    Although I grew up on the northern plains, and frequently endured very, very cold outdoor temperatures, I’ve never been colder than here in ‘tropical’ Hong Kong.

    For example, the past week here has been unseasonably cool — for us, that means lows in the high 30s/low 40s F, and highs ranging from the high 40s to the mid 50s; in Celcius that’s a range of maybe 6-13 or so.

    That doesn’t sound all that bad, but almost all residential buildings here have concrete walls and floors, and no insulation or heating.

    So the first day or two of a cold snap is not so bad, but after a few days pass, one’s flat gets gradually colder and colder. We woke up the other morning to a temperature of 12C/54F in our bedroom. That is chilly, and the cold seems to seep out from the very structure of your building. And when you sit around trying to work from home in a flat at that temperature, I can assure you that it’s not very pleasant.

    When you have a week of chilly weather here, pretty much everywhere gets cold, even shopping malls and office buildings. It can be very difficult to get really warmed up anywhere.

  147. @kpkinsunnyphiladelphia

    I’ve been to Singapore numerous times, most recently just after Christmas 2019. I love it for 4-5 days — and then I’ve had about enough for a while.

  148. @Peter Shaw

    If, by ‘south’, you mean Tasmania then maybe British style housing makes some sense though I rather doubt it given how cold I felt in the UK. It’s ghastly for the rest of Australia. Just about all housing built before the 1990s will have no regard for the climate. Poorly oriented, badly insulated, no double glazing so heat enters in summer and escapes in winter, no air conditioning (it’s incredible how many houses and flats don’t have it despite our long hot summers) and retrofitting proper heating/cooling costs a fortune.

    I presume your reference to verandahs was for the ones that encircle the entire house. These do make sense but I’ve only seen them in very old houses.

  149. In favor of your thesis, see Jay Leno’s house in Newport, RI.

  150. Dissident says:
    @Tony

    Speaking of Greeks, Blow is gonna be greeking it no matter what latitude he’s living at.

    “White folks was in the cave while we [blacks] was building empires … We built pyramids before Donald Trump ever knew what architecture was … we taught philosophy and astrology and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got around to it.

    ~ Al Sharpton, 1994, speech at Kean College, New Jersey

    YouTube videos below break with more gems from Sharpton. I wonder how familiar Charles Blow is with any of them.

    [MORE]


  151. Studley says:
    @Agathoklis

    Does any non-Greek settle and put down roots in Greece? That is non-Greeks from the northern parts of the E.U.? ‘Refugees’ excepted of course as coercively ordered by the E.U.

  152. @Oikeamielinen

    That makes me curious, how did Aborigines adapt to the cold winters of south Australia, being a people who are basically adapted to live in latitudes north of 20 degrees south the winters must have proved a challenge for a people used to living in environments where the temperature never goes below 25c in the day and 10c at night, south Australia is still mild compared to Europe let alone America but having to deal with nightime frosts and cool wet days must have been a major challenge.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  153. Dissident says:
    @SunBakedSuburb

    It seems nearly all flora and fauna in the tropical climes is out to kill you.

    The eastern coast of Florida, however, is quite nice. I found Miami to be a dream city.

    Interesting. Many here no doubt associate Miami more with nightmare than dream

    That part of the country was vibrant before vibrancy was so in-vogue.

  154. Jack D says:
    @oliver elkington

    In the winter the aboriginals wore possum skin cloaks:

    https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/35200414_957211651119700_466888165123162112_o.jpg?_nc_cat=107&ccb=2&_nc_sid=cdbe9c&_nc_ohc=SHmR8G7qFI8AX9-YTAE&_nc_ht=scontent-iad3-1.xx&oh=b2cd7ba03867cbd5119ff8e64e5776d6&oe=6025F75D

    Possums are not very big (about the same size as a domestic cat) so you would need to sew a whole bunch of possum skins together to make 1 cloak – as many as 60 or 80 pelts. Generally you’d be given a small cloak as a baby and you’d keep adding to it. The cloak was everything – garment, blanket, mattress.

    In winter they would build slightly more substantial shelters but Australian aboriginals sort of lived on the line between human and chimp – most of the time they went around naked and their “housing” was a bunch of sticks.


    Of course now we know that Aboriginal culture was really glorious and they were not really a bunch of primitive savages like every European who encountered them thought at the time.

  155. @Peter Shaw

    Verandahs are just conservatories with no windows: in other words, a British feature with the most minor modification.

    Australians are free to choose whatever they like, and what they choose is pretty much the same as what the English choose, except without central heating and double-glazing because they assume Australia never gets cold.

    This is also why they spend all day at the beach in the height of summer: in England, the height of summer is the only time it’s sunny enough to enjoy such a thing; in Australia (or Spain or other British holiday destinations) spend hours in the full summer sun is a good way for pasty Britons to get skin cancer: they aren’t adapted to that climate.

  156. Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes

    Not for the Jacan Floreses of the world:

    22-year-old charged with sex assault after allegedly luring 12-year-old girl to park

  157. sb says:
    @Peter Shaw

    After a few years looking at comments on this site one certainly comes to realise that the vast majority of commentary referencing Australia is written by people who have little if any familiarity with the place .
    I think it’s an American thing

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