The Five Worlds 6:35 PM Tuesday September 20, 2005
I have been working on a project for a maybe five years, I cannot remember when I started so a long time, more than three years for sure.
The HDI Human Development Index has really spurred on my thinking and I have added a lot to the database. It is a collection of specific small characteristics of levels of development.
The idea is this, you can choose a category, and then if you are very knowledgeable about the country, traveled by local transport and stayed in the cockroach level hotels you probably could answer most of the questions.
I have become aware recently that not many people, and I do not care how educated they are can really observe cultures with any level of clarity, they have too many cultural prejudices, incapable of seeing what is in front of them, over stimulated and just miss the trees for all the woods.
I was going to try to type in some examples, not matter what I do there is so many variable to questions, hard to see.
Here is simple question: Are there speed bumps or large concrete mounds the cars need to cross in the roads? Are they in the countryside also?
As I was traveling around or in the cities of Niger, the bus or taxis would have to slow to go over these large bumps in the road, specially created to slow down the traffic.
In Mexico they can have these bumps or topes in the middle of nowhere outside the cities also, very annoying as cars going 60 miles per hour can wreck their front ends.
When there are no police or not enough, countries install these speed bumps to slow down traffic. In some countries like Thailand they do not really care how fast you go and there are no bump, however even more dangerous because then more people die.
Nonetheless, in the developed countries, the law is enough or fear of the law is enough to slow down traffic, no mechanical devices needed.
I would like to say that a person riding in a car, or bus, a traveler in the country would notice this type of thing, however I comment on them and most travelers do not even notice. It is hard for me to not notice the bus going fast, slowing down, going up, and over, and then taking off again, then repeating this sudden braking.
The problem is the over-stimulation of the senses, especially for person that only occasionally leave the country, or only have been in a few countries. There mind is racing with all the new information, they cannot think, categorize, analyze, process, put to memory, and deal with what they see. I believe the mind shuts off, so they cannot see the country, or more correctly, they cannot be annoyed by the country. Some people have the ability to feel the country and others have minds that need to gloss over the country, therefore all they remember is the good. In some cases, they can only remember the bad, however the ability to ignore small nuance of the culture is amazing to me, how can a person not see the hands of a person are dirty that is serving the food.
It was extremely difficult to figure out personal hygiene in Niger, as the skin is black, I cannot just look at their hands and see ground in dirt, and however I could look at the clothing and go from this.
Nonetheless, I have a large list of over 400 specific characteristics of development or clues to the level of development, and am working to make it a check off sheet. However, I believe very few people would be capable of completing this correctly because there is too much crap in their brains.
Everyone first tends to see the world as they read about it, or as they believe it should be, not as it is.
I have divided the world into five levels of development and then each culture has area where it goes into the top level and others where it goes into the bottom. However, you could see how some culture stay in an area for the most part. What this is good for is the idea where you are in a country that seems very modern, however thinking on a tribal level. Many countries appear primitive and have modern thinking, while others have modern countries and thinking primitive or deal with the world in uncivilized manners. Hard to see, maybe I can eventually explain.