San Diego on the mind

Arthur Johnston emails me:

Back in 2013 you wrote a post “What has San Diego Contributed to American Culture” I published an answer that I hope you find satisfactory.

Here is an excerpt from that interesting post:

In the Cities and Ambition model this means that San Diego ‘discourages’ you from producing cultural artifacts. Which means San Diego has fewer cultural artifacts that are legible to people not living here. Its contribution to the wider American culture is instead encouraging people to be more active and social.

A concrete example, a few weeks ago on a Monday I asked what everyone did over the weekend and the answers were:

  1. sailing lessons
  2. jumping from an airplane with a parachute I packed myself
  3. surfing
  4. brewing beer [to share with friends]
  5. “just” hiking [with family]

Some things to note, first that four of those five things involve interacting with other human beings for enjoyment, which is a fundamental part of what we define as culture. “surfing” the lone solitary activity was mine the person who created a cultural artifact you’re currently consuming.

Secondly those activities are all ephemeral.

For one thing, I would think this means well-being during the pandemic declined less in San Diego.


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