Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hot or Cold: What's the Tempo?

While Denver, Colorado (USA) and Calgary, Alberta (Canada) welcomed the first snowflakes of the season this week Los Angeles is in the midst of a record setting heat wave.  For the first time that I remember I saw an Excessive Heat Warning posted.  Predictions are for the temperatures in the area to reach or exceed 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40.5 centigrade).  It’s hot.

Being out in the heat made me remember that I’d read that that Climate has an influence on culture.  According to the book, A Geography of Time, by Robert Levine climate is one of five factors that influence the tempo, the speed, of a culture.

Today in the heat it was easy to believe that in a place with an extremely warm climate, especially if one lacks the ability to be cool at will, the pace would be slower than in a more moderate climate.  But I'm not sure if  people move faster where it’s colder – moving along more quickly to keep warm or maybe slower again if it’s too cold to move comfortably?  What I do believe is that temperature matters. 

This give us one more thing to consider as we explore new destinations.  Is it hot or cold?   What might that tell us about the tempo, the pace of life and business?  What are the expectations about how when something will be done?  How quickly should an email be answered?  Within half an hour?  A day?  A week?

By the way, Mr. Levine’s Five Factors that influence the tempo of life are:  Economic Well-Being.  Degree of Industrialization. Population size (people in big cities move faster), Climate and Cultural Values (whether affiliation or achievement is viewed as most importance.)

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