City or State of Mind

In the post, Someone Should vs Let Me, I discussed the collectivist vs individualist world views. Where do you think collectivist or individualist would be more likely to be found? Who would be in densely populated metropolitan areas or the remote sparse countrysides? It can be of interest to see if people are drawn to the certain areas by their personality and values, or if they shape the areas to fit them.

Having lived in the countryside of the USA I had a suspicion that was reaffirmed during the 2016 presidential election cycle. When people think of the United States of America, they picture the culture, opinions, demographics present in the handful of major cities. These cities are in actuality both in area and population, a minority of the country and tend to be the least indicative of what it would be to actually live in that country and identify with it’s culture.

This is true of most if not all countries.

Going to Pains to Smile Because it Pays

When a tourist visits a place they may be wrong to assume they have experienced the people and contemporary culture. As is the case with a well run service sector, those they met were going out of the way to please a well paying client. While traveling on vacation it is easy to forget the state of mind they’d have while working in their home country. Sometimes the very point of the trip is to not think about how it pays to smile.

This can happen when living in a city, depending on your location. Spend a night out in the historical center of  Rome, Italy where you meet 20 people, from 10 different countries and not hear Italian once. Even the employees, salespeople and other vendors you interact with may not be Italians. Significant parts of the City are ran like an open air museum and targeted to the tourists who have fleeting interest with much of the goings on. Majority of the city is comprised of residential neighborhoods but most foreigners have little reasons to know them as more than and attractive backdrop during a commute. The life of Romans is not the Rome most people speak of when they fondly recall their time there.

Just as one neighborhood may not represent the entire city, a city may not represent the region let alone country.

Collectivists are drawn to collectives. Collective resources, services, movements, etc. You will find many in cities. It is a habitat conducive to their world view. Individualists can succeed as individuals. Resourceful, self-sufficient, personally driven. Traits that can flourish in remote areas and may even create a wariness of groups where they may be subject to the consequence of failures that come from outside of their personal influence.

What areas and people want more government control? What are governments if  not structures of centralized decision making for large groups of people?

Ones in Millions

Think of the anonymity the internet can afford you. Someone can say rather gruesome but honest things if they do not have to attach their face to it. On the inverse you can read one statement that is then amplified and repeated to the level where you think it is shared by most people in a given group. This has nothing whatsoever to do with whether the statement is true or not, let alone how many hold it.

I have experiences of shopping in remote areas in flyover country US of A and having random conversations of 20 minutes or more where no names are exchanged. Cities on the other hand have a earned the reputation of their peoples’ brash and detached nature when in public. This may come from the people seeing you as an interesting individual in the countryside but dismissed as another member of the multitude in the city.

These random conversations have occurred within urban shared communal areas like an apartment complex which in this case may show that the person considers me less of a general collective but an interesting individual in a specific group. There are also certain issues when dealing with individual needs that seem to be more common in cities,  from how do you find that one person to date to helping someone that has fallen onto hard times.

Though I identify as an individualist, this post has been an analysis of mindsets rather than making value judgements. Though they can provide it, numbers alone are not indicative of strength. On the contrary there are many situations when it can be an even fatal weakness.



Videos of the post. What state of mind would change which video of these two you thought of if any when reading the one in millions title? Gender, age, culture?

Quite some lyrics on this last one :/


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3 responses to “City or State of Mind

  1. Pingback: Fake News and Hate Crimes | Rant A. Tonne·

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  3. Pingback: Are All Asian Female Photographers Safe? | Rant A. Tonne·

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