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Old 08-05-2015, 03:53 PM
 
2,724 posts, read 5,115,841 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NC_Paddler View Post
That's a good description, thanks. I think what you're saying is that someone like myself, who is more inquisitive and philosophically-minded, is probably not going find many kindred spirits in Boise. Of course, I like to camp, hike, and fish as well, but I'm also very curious by nature, and enjoy engaging with others on a more intellectual level as well. While I appreciate the "live and let live" mentality, I need to be around other deep thinkers to feel at home; everybody need their tribe. Thanks again for the candid feedback.
You would have to experience it to find out for yourself and like any city you would have to find your group of friends who you share common interests and who you can engage in deep discussion. You're getting "opinions" from all of us here and statements basing our replies on people we associate with. Of course there are intellectuals and deep thinkers in Boise. For instance, hang out at a local coffee shop or wine bar downtown and listen in or participate in discussion and you will see what I mean. There is also a liberal arts college within the metro area in addition to BSU and NNU.

People in Boise are laid back, not pretentious, so you most likely will not find the same attitudes here as in DC or Boston.

Last edited by Syringaloid; 08-05-2015 at 04:18 PM..

 
Old 08-05-2015, 03:53 PM
 
1,282 posts, read 3,338,243 times
Reputation: 708
Quote:
Originally Posted by Syringaloid View Post
Question for the OP, you mention "scientifically-minded people" and seem to look down on religious people. Are you looking for an area with more atheist or agnostic people?

Boise is a surprisingly progressive little city, like an island surrounded by a turbulent red sea.
Yes, people who are more secular in their beliefs. I tend not to have much in common with people who are deeply religious (and that goes for "liberal" religions like new age as much as it does for "conservatives" like mormons and baptists), and yes those values are contrary to mine. If that's "looking down on", then I guess I'm guilty in that regard. I'm just investigating the prospect of living in a place where I might feel utterly alone without a fair amount of like-minded people.
 
Old 08-05-2015, 04:00 PM
 
1,282 posts, read 3,338,243 times
Reputation: 708
Quote:
Originally Posted by banjomike View Post
hi, NC..
I lived in the Boise area for several years, and attended college at the College of Idaho (among others). In my experience, Boise is as intellectual as any city of its size I've ever been in, and more so than some.

Idahoans just don't make a big deal about their smarts. It's unseemly. But my home state is full of ver smart people, and has a long tradition of producing writers, poets, engineers, and other intellectuals. Ezra Pound was a native, as was Philo Farnsworth, the farm boy who invented television. And those two are just for starters. Boise has plenty of 'em, as does every other 'large' city here. Many have moved here as well from other places, as peace, solitude and beautiful surroundings are all inspirational.

Don't let the red neck fool ya for a second. That's just our roots showing.
Thanks for the feedback; always good to get a range of views (which is what I was hoping for). I admit to being somewhat of an odd bird -- I grew up in a small farm town, so I'm highly attuned to everything nature has to offer and all of the "conservative" lifestyles that go along with that (no vegan here, I assure you, and I have nothing against hunting ), and I'm no stranger to predominantly conservative geographies, but as I get older, I find I need to be around others (including potential romantic partners) who are a bit more like-minded.
 
Old 08-05-2015, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
21,192 posts, read 14,226,564 times
Reputation: 15694
Quote:
Originally Posted by NC_Paddler View Post
Thanks for the feedback; always good to get a range of views (which is what I was hoping for). I admit to being somewhat of an odd bird -- I grew up in a small farm town, so I'm highly attuned to everything nature has to offer and all of the "conservative" lifestyles that go along with that (no vegan here, I assure you, and I have nothing against hunting ), and I'm no stranger to predominantly conservative geographies, but as I get older, I find I need to be around others (including potential romantic partners) who are a bit more like-minded.
You just have to seek them out. Once you get to know a few folks, the intellectuals aren't hard to find. And lots of folks here are naturists. Wild nature surrounds us all in abundance out here, and there's always plenty of stuff to get interested in.

It's like Syringaloid said. We're just unpretentious about most stuff. Out here, a multi-millionaire can walk into a bank with cow manure all over his boots and cut a million dollar deal with a banker. It happens all the time.
Some of the most intellectual men I've ever known were self-educated sheepherders. The profession is a lonely one that offers a lot of quiet time for deep reading, and I never met one yet who wasn't a big reader.

I also met a young guy around 1985 whose job was a watchman at a phosphate mine's mill in the winter.
All he had to do was walk around and check the gauges so the mill furnaces didn't cool down too much. The mine was out in the bottom of a canyon- no radio, no TV, no internet, no telephone, just a 2-way radio tuned into the mine's headquarters about 50 miles away. One call daily.

To pass the time, he bought a 5-string banjo, knowing nothing at all about it, and a fiddle book called "1001 Fiddle Tunes".
Over the course of the winter, he taught himself how to read notation, then how to use it on the banjo, and then proceeded to memorize all 1001 tunes. He was an amazing player. I asked him "why the banjo"? He said he already learned how to read Greek the year before and was looking for a new challenge that made noise.
That's life out here.
 
Old 08-05-2015, 08:09 PM
 
16 posts, read 17,675 times
Reputation: 50
We recently moved to Boise from the midwest and south-ish (Cincinnati, Lexington, KY). I assume from your username you are from NC. I think your question is hard to answer because in a lot of ways the east/midwest operate differently than the west. Lexington was probably much more liberal (the city, not the whole area) than Boise. However, I notice it less out here. A lot of that is because the people here are much more reserved. When we lived in Lexington, it was a little off putting to me the southern politeness that existed. I don't want to offend anyone but it never seemed completely real. This doesn't mean it is bad, but it seemed like it was done because it has always been how they have done it. Also, in Lexington and to a lesser extent Cincinnati, there was much more emphasis on your outward appearance. For instance, in Lexington people would go to Keeneland (horse track) and wear their "Sunday Best" (bright dresses, bright suit, hats and bowties). I think back east seems much more tied to history than Boise and the west in general. Generally, most people have on shorts, t-shirts, casual clothes, 10 yr old Subaru, with bikes, kayaks and other stuff attached to their car.

Most people out here are not concerned with where you came from, what kind of car you drive, but rather concerned about making sure they get the as much out of the weekend as possible. Although there is some intellectualism out here, most won't volunteer it, unless you meet them at the lake and strike up a casual conversation. It just isn't nearly as important to show as other things in their life. This coupled with their polite reservedness will make it not seem as prominent.

All of that being said, if you concern is that you will be surrounded by people that are not of your ilk, that concern is largely unfounded. Even though it may be a little more politically conservative, everyone is much more accepting and willing to take at face value. The other thing that was a little surprise is that, on a daily basis, the "religious" influence is much less noticeable than anywhere else I have lived. As a point of reference, not to make any political statement, but there is a good chance I am probably left of you politically (as I am of most people) and it has never been a concern at all, other than the random story that some boneheaded politician did to make everyone look foolish, but most others I speak to feel largely the same way as they drive off to the mountains to have a good time.
 
Old 08-05-2015, 09:42 PM
 
695 posts, read 686,634 times
Reputation: 453
Intellect is like self-confidence, if you have it, there's no need to flaunt it.

Education doesn't always increase intelligence, knowledge doesn't always equate to intelligence, and intelligence doesn't belie religion.
 
Old 08-05-2015, 10:23 PM
 
1,282 posts, read 3,338,243 times
Reputation: 708
Quote:
Originally Posted by gobbluth2010 View Post
We recently moved to Boise from the midwest and south-ish (Cincinnati, Lexington, KY). I assume from your username you are from NC. I think your question is hard to answer because in a lot of ways the east/midwest operate differently than the west. Lexington was probably much more liberal (the city, not the whole area) than Boise. However, I notice it less out here. A lot of that is because the people here are much more reserved. When we lived in Lexington, it was a little off putting to me the southern politeness that existed. I don't want to offend anyone but it never seemed completely real. This doesn't mean it is bad, but it seemed like it was done because it has always been how they have done it. Also, in Lexington and to a lesser extent Cincinnati, there was much more emphasis on your outward appearance. For instance, in Lexington people would go to Keeneland (horse track) and wear their "Sunday Best" (bright dresses, bright suit, hats and bowties). I think back east seems much more tied to history than Boise and the west in general. Generally, most people have on shorts, t-shirts, casual clothes, 10 yr old Subaru, with bikes, kayaks and other stuff attached to their car.

Most people out here are not concerned with where you came from, what kind of car you drive, but rather concerned about making sure they get the as much out of the weekend as possible. Although there is some intellectualism out here, most won't volunteer it, unless you meet them at the lake and strike up a casual conversation. It just isn't nearly as important to show as other things in their life. This coupled with their polite reservedness will make it not seem as prominent.

All of that being said, if you concern is that you will be surrounded by people that are not of your ilk, that concern is largely unfounded. Even though it may be a little more politically conservative, everyone is much more accepting and willing to take at face value. The other thing that was a little surprise is that, on a daily basis, the "religious" influence is much less noticeable than anywhere else I have lived. As a point of reference, not to make any political statement, but there is a good chance I am probably left of you politically (as I am of most people) and it has never been a concern at all, other than the random story that some boneheaded politician did to make everyone look foolish, but most others I speak to feel largely the same way as they drive off to the mountains to have a good time.
Thanks for the feedback. The "live and let live" mentality is actually appealing to me. And I should say I'm really no fan of the stereotypical busybody liberal who will shun you for not wearing the "correct" brand of clothing or who has to drive a prius to fit in or who plasters their car with bumper stickers, as if to convince others of how enlightened and moral and progressive they are; I don't consider them to be intellectuals at all; they are sheep following a different herd, and that is just as much a turn off to me as the in-your-face reactionaries who plaster self-righteous bible quotations and hateful political bumper stickers on their cars, proclaiming Obama to be the anti-christ who is coming to take away their guns and round you up into concentration camps (yes, there are people in my neck of the woods who really believe these things). These people scare me with their ignorance.

And I am less concerned with "fitting in"; I am who I am, and have never bothered to care much what others think. I'm not a people pleaser. On the other hand, it can be lonely to be surrounded with people who may as well be from another planet, not just ideologically, but more importantly in the desire to engage in deep, critical thinking about important issues and discussing them, toward the goal of learning and growing emotionally and intellectually. I find most Americans to be rather shallow, if I can say that without sounding pretentious, and I don't do well with having extended conversations about the weather, celebrity or local gossip, or the latest reality TV show. I don't have cable television, and I don't watch the "news". I'm not into designer clothes or status symbols or expensive cars, and I appreciate folks who are more down to earth in that regard. Atlanta, for example, is the epitome of what I would like to avoid: the culture is highly superficial and very much about keeping up appearances. Yuck.

And I seriously doubt that you are left of me on political spectrum (although I find the whole left/right thing a bit of a false dichotomy). On the other hand, I do enjoy deep conversations about human psychology and political philosophy and spiritual and religious philosophy, not in a dogmatic kind of way, where two people talk over each other while exchanging their biases, superstitions, and uninformed opinions, but in the sense of being genuinely curious about learning something new. That's what drives me: a thirst for knowledge and wisdom and personal growth.

Anyway, I'm rambling, but you're right, it's difficult to pin down, and I was just trying to provide a more nuanced description of where I'm coming from. There is no utopia, to be sure, but it certainly helps to be around people that you can relate to and connect with in meaningful ways, not just as strangers exchanging pleasantries.
 
Old 08-06-2015, 09:26 AM
 
742 posts, read 830,734 times
Reputation: 533
Just for some further clarification:

There are a lot of strange posts about flaunting, demonstrating, or showing off one's intelligence, and how that isn't the case in Boise/Idaho. I'm not sure how that's particularly germane. At the same time, it kind of speaks to that "anti-intellectualism" attitude that people harbor - fear, suspicion, distrust, or dislike of academia and intelligence, as I suggested earlier.

But in response to that, no one is suggesting there aren't intelligent people here (whether they "show" it or not). I think when someone asks how "intelligent" a place is, culturally, they're asking about the education levels of the population, generally, but more specifically about the intellectual opportunities a place presents. Things like talks, lectures, community courses, clubs, places of culture like libraries, museums, etc. Whether there are great community debates, which even goes to the press and investigative reporting in the area.

I would suggest - and of course I'll get disagreement about this from some - that Boise has fewer of those opportunities than most places its size (or larger, obviously). While we are a cultural and intellectual center for a rather large region, we are still very much a small town in that respect.

Boise State does a good job of bringing in lecturers, there are a handful of these sorts of clubs and forums, and we have some other community events, forums, discussions, and continuing education opportunities. We have one museum of merit - BAM - and a few other topical museums. Of course, there is the Idaho Shakespeare Festival.

So, in summary, there are opportunities here for that sort of stuff. I wouldn't call it world class or cosmopolitan, but sufficient if you seek it out.

I do agree that the ethos here is not of sitting in a coffee shop or park bench waxing philosophic, but rather of getting out and doing things.

My two cents.
 
Old 08-06-2015, 09:57 AM
 
2,724 posts, read 5,115,841 times
Reputation: 1932
Great posts from banjomike and gobbluth2010 who moved here from the other side of the county. This thread is a collection of "opinions" and it is great to see a post such as the one from gobbluth2010 because he or she lived somewhere else before moving to Boise. My opinion is that those of us who have lived somewhere else for some time before living in Boise have a different take on things and the vibe of this city.


Quote:
Originally Posted by banjomike View Post
You just have to seek them out. Once you get to know a few folks, the intellectuals aren't hard to find. And lots of folks here are naturists. Wild nature surrounds us all in abundance out here, and there's always plenty of stuff to get interested in.

It's like Syringaloid said. We're just unpretentious about most stuff. Out here, a multi-millionaire can walk into a bank with cow manure all over his boots and cut a million dollar deal with a banker. It happens all the time.
Some of the most intellectual men I've ever known were self-educated sheepherders. The profession is a lonely one that offers a lot of quiet time for deep reading, and I never met one yet who wasn't a big reader.

I also met a young guy around 1985 whose job was a watchman at a phosphate mine's mill in the winter.
All he had to do was walk around and check the gauges so the mill furnaces didn't cool down too much. The mine was out in the bottom of a canyon- no radio, no TV, no internet, no telephone, just a 2-way radio tuned into the mine's headquarters about 50 miles away. One call daily.

To pass the time, he bought a 5-string banjo, knowing nothing at all about it, and a fiddle book called "1001 Fiddle Tunes".
Over the course of the winter, he taught himself how to read notation, then how to use it on the banjo, and then proceeded to memorize all 1001 tunes. He was an amazing player. I asked him "why the banjo"? He said he already learned how to read Greek the year before and was looking for a new challenge that made noise.
That's life out here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gobbluth2010 View Post
We recently moved to Boise from the midwest and south-ish (Cincinnati, Lexington, KY). I assume from your username you are from NC. I think your question is hard to answer because in a lot of ways the east/midwest operate differently than the west. Lexington was probably much more liberal (the city, not the whole area) than Boise. However, I notice it less out here. A lot of that is because the people here are much more reserved. When we lived in Lexington, it was a little off putting to me the southern politeness that existed. I don't want to offend anyone but it never seemed completely real. This doesn't mean it is bad, but it seemed like it was done because it has always been how they have done it. Also, in Lexington and to a lesser extent Cincinnati, there was much more emphasis on your outward appearance. For instance, in Lexington people would go to Keeneland (horse track) and wear their "Sunday Best" (bright dresses, bright suit, hats and bowties). I think back east seems much more tied to history than Boise and the west in general. Generally, most people have on shorts, t-shirts, casual clothes, 10 yr old Subaru, with bikes, kayaks and other stuff attached to their car.

Most people out here are not concerned with where you came from, what kind of car you drive, but rather concerned about making sure they get the as much out of the weekend as possible. Although there is some intellectualism out here, most won't volunteer it, unless you meet them at the lake and strike up a casual conversation. It just isn't nearly as important to show as other things in their life. This coupled with their polite reservedness will make it not seem as prominent.

All of that being said, if you concern is that you will be surrounded by people that are not of your ilk, that concern is largely unfounded. Even though it may be a little more politically conservative, everyone is much more accepting and willing to take at face value. The other thing that was a little surprise is that, on a daily basis, the "religious" influence is much less noticeable than anywhere else I have lived. As a point of reference, not to make any political statement, but there is a good chance I am probably left of you politically (as I am of most people) and it has never been a concern at all, other than the random story that some boneheaded politician did to make everyone look foolish, but most others I speak to feel largely the same way as they drive off to the mountains to have a good time.


Speaking of the arts and the local creativity of Boise, did anyone else go see Jane Chu from the National Endowment for the Arts when she was in town earlier this week?


National Endowment For The Arts Leader Says Idaho’s Creative Community Is “Thriving"

National Endowment For The Arts Leader Says Idaho




Here is an interesting article:
http://sspa.boisestate.edu/publicati...2015_final.pdf
The Working Artist: Boise’s
Hidden Economy of Creators,
Makers, and Doers

Last edited by Syringaloid; 08-06-2015 at 11:19 AM..
 
Old 08-06-2015, 11:12 AM
 
1,282 posts, read 3,338,243 times
Reputation: 708
Quote:
Originally Posted by VandalsLOL View Post
Just for some further clarification:

There are a lot of strange posts about flaunting, demonstrating, or showing off one's intelligence, and how that isn't the case in Boise/Idaho. I'm not sure how that's particularly germane. At the same time, it kind of speaks to that "anti-intellectualism" attitude that people harbor - fear, suspicion, distrust, or dislike of academia and intelligence, as I suggested earlier.
Point taken.

Quote:
But in response to that, no one is suggesting there aren't intelligent people here (whether they "show" it or not). I think when someone asks how "intelligent" a place is, culturally, they're asking about the education levels of the population, generally, but more specifically about the intellectual opportunities a place presents. Things like talks, lectures, community courses, clubs, places of culture like libraries, museums, etc. Whether there are great community debates, which even goes to the press and investigative reporting in the area.

I would suggest - and of course I'll get disagreement about this from some - that Boise has fewer of those opportunities than most places its size (or larger, obviously). While we are a cultural and intellectual center for a rather large region, we are still very much a small town in that respect.

Boise State does a good job of bringing in lecturers, there are a handful of these sorts of clubs and forums, and we have some other community events, forums, discussions, and continuing education opportunities. We have one museum of merit - BAM - and a few other topical museums. Of course, there is the Idaho Shakespeare Festival.

So, in summary, there are opportunities here for that sort of stuff. I wouldn't call it world class or cosmopolitan, but sufficient if you seek it out.

I do agree that the ethos here is not of sitting in a coffee shop or park bench waxing philosophic, but rather of getting out and doing things.

My two cents.
Helpful, thanks.
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