↑ comment by vedrfolnir ·
2018-05-02T19:28:03.187Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
This seems transparently... failing to notice the entire west coast exists?
It exists, but it's less populous.
The Northeast and South together (by Census Bureau definitions) contain 55% of the population of the US. The West contains 24%, and the Midwest contains 21%.
But the West extends as far east as Colorado, and also contains Alaska and Hawaii, which should be excluded here; and the Midwest contains states like Ohio and Michigan, which aren't all that far out.
Unfortunately, Wolfram Alpha can't tell me how many people live within whatever distance of Berkeley or DC, so I have to ballpark. A thousand miles seems like a reasonable number -- it's about a thousand miles from Boston to Atlanta, and that's about a three-hour flight. While you'd have to sleep on your parents' couch overnight, it wouldn't be a _huge_ excursion the way a cross-country flight is.
For Berkeley: the total population of California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Idaho, Utah, and Arizona is about 65 million people. (I can't even use Census _divisions_ here -- Alaska and Hawaii are in the same division as the West Coast.)
And for DC: the total population of the Northeast Census region, the South Atlantic and East South Central divisions of the South Census region, and the East North Central division of the Midwest census region is about 186 million people.
The list of states could be quibbled with -- maybe Colorado should count for the West, maybe Missouri should for the East -- but I doubt it'd make much difference. The underlying factor here is that population density drops off sharply a few meridians before 100° west and doesn't pick up again until you hit the Pacific. Replies from: Raemon
↑ comment by Raemon ·
2018-05-03T00:58:52.060Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Fair, I suppose. But... doesn't really feel that compelling to me as a reason. I rarely left NYC when I live there. (Also, my overall experience living in the Bay so far has been comparably expensive and nice to NYC). Distance between cities just doesn't feel like a major motivation to me.
Maybe my experience is unique, but I think the much more obvious explanation is network effects, first from Silicon Valley existing (I think this is the main reason that Givewell and Leverage moved), and then from the community growing up around it.