Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Rural poverty & the brain drain.

So Americans are worried about rural poverty and the brain drain from rural areas. Germans have told me the same and it is implicit in conversations with people who I meet from developing countries. This might just be an urban myth in some countries - urbanite imaging that they must be smarter than people in communities which are following sustainable long-term protocols rather than short-term trends - but overall this seems to be a widespread issue.  Yet I live in an archetypal rural environment in England (with a 17th-century pub and an 11th century Church) - and education and sophistication seems substantially higher than say a typical point sample of New York, Paris or San Francisco. The last conversations that I had in the village have been about dark matter and missing mass, models of the multiverse, and some banter about the science of color vision. Roses are nurtured and grown, horses are ridden on but actually, that doesn't lower the intellect level. Maybe for us though access to a major megacity and the coming of superfast broadband allowing high-value work from home is a key factor. Whatever it is, it isn't a given that rural life is nasty, brutish and short. With an information economy, there is no reason that it can't just be a healthier, more civilized way to live.

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