This is something I was working on for a while in Madagascar. This is an early version – I want to write a more thorough, academic style article on the subject, but until that is completed, here is this:
I know I am not alone in the modern generation with my love of technology and the amazing benefits it brings with it, yet simultaneously dissatisfied with the world which provides us those technological innovations. The â€˜Developed Worldâ€™ â€“ our capitalist consumerist society. Driven by profits, marketing and constant competition, each individual is pushed into working longer and harder in order to satisfy â€˜needsâ€™ largely based on artificial manipulation by other workers.
Thankful for my position as a member of the â€˜Developed Worldâ€™ I have always appreciated the privilege that comes with it. Science, information technology, luxury, entertainment and general abundance. I have appreciated these gifts of our modern world, loved them dearly yet also felt an overwhelming dissatisfaction with the modern â€˜developed worldâ€™ itself.
The 9-5 working day has never been appealing to me. Rush hour, traffic jams â€“ everyone doing the same thing at the same time everyday â€“ it has always bemused me. Spending the majority of your pay cheque â€“ usually earned from a job you hate â€“ on fads, well marketed gimmicks, hollow indulgences and image based products. I have never really partaken in this pointlessness. Excessive rules and regulations which seem to be designed for the lowest common denominator of human stupidity. Individual accountability is lost in our world as every possible way of idiots hurting themselves seems to be necessarily considered in advance before you can do anything â€“ otherwise it is somehow your fault when said idiot hurts themselves. Mass media selling us mindless rubbish stories. â€“ prioritising stories about the private lives of pop stars over stories that actually affect our world, like environmental catastrophes, change in governmental regulations and freedoms or the like. â€“spin- On top of all of these bizarre obsessions of our world is the perpetual â€˜Crisisâ€™ we are being sold. Whether it is the cold war, world war 3, Y2K, Terrorism or dramatic climate change, everyone in the developed world knows for sure that the end is near! (still) I donâ€™t put much stock in any of the doomsday prophecies anymore, but a small part of me still thinks that being out of the way of everyone else who does might save me one day.
So in order to distance myself from the over protection of my nation, avoid any semblance of a 9-5 job and maintain a well rounded perspective of â€˜what mattersâ€™, I have long desired to move myself and my loved ones to an essentially self-sufficient property on the outer edges of a large city. From this property, with our broadband internet access, we will be free to earn money (business activity or work from home jobs), educate ourselves, research topics of interest, entertain etc all while living a cheap non-commercial lifestyle.
Getting out of the city is not a new idea, but doing so used to involve significant compromise. For me, loss of employment options, lower income potential, isolation from family and friends and significantly fewer entertainment options were the most obvious costs of leaving the suburbs. Now, and even more so the coming years, widely available broadband internet is removing all of those compromises/costs. As such I have come to believe that more and more people will make the same move as I wish to make. As the number of these people increase, I believe it will warrant the naming of a new â€˜worldâ€™. This lifestyle does not exist within the developed world anymore â€“ too many of the attributes of that lifestyle have been discarded. Nor is the lifestyle anything like those in the undeveloped – or the developing (the 3rd and 2nd) â€“ indeed it is the exact opposite direction that the quality of life has progressed for people who make this change. I therefore think that the individuals who make this move will form the first physically-non-localised world; the Post-Developed world. The Zeroâ€™th World. Or perhaps in the spirit of â€˜The Naughtiesâ€™, the final few months of which I am currently in, â€˜The Naughtieth Worldâ€™.
The Post Developed World
I believe the PDW is worthy of its own title for two main reasons. The individuals who make it up, although not physically localised, have essentially removed themselves from all 3 of the other normal â€˜worldâ€™ structures. Secondly, their unity comes through the internet â€“ they are the first virtual world, unbounded by geo-political borders and agendas.
So how is this world made? It emerges as the current internet culture continues to remove themselves from the mass media driven, popular culture, commercial world. It emerges as those individuals choose self sufficiency and personal accountability over governmental protection. Just as members of the Developed world enjoy the fruits of the Developing and Undeveloped world (cheap labour primarily), so too the members of the PDW will enjoy the fruits of the developed world without really exposing themselves to the problems of it. Self sufficiency in most areas protect them from first world economic fears, energy crisisâ€™s, water shortages etc. While their location outside of major cities protects them from terrorism, pandemics, pollution, and even wars to a large extent. All of the usual â€˜fearsâ€™ of the first world are simply removed by moving into the PDW.
The main limitation of moving into the PDW will be getting away from governmental constraints which no longer apply (or shouldnâ€™t). Developed world governments will continue to be a pain to all PDW individuals â€“ yet ironically still required. Undeveloped governments too.
While exorcising themselves from these problems they are still free to buy products locally, travel into the cities etc without hassle.
Becoming PDW requires some success in the developed world and a strong desire to get out of it. Money is required to be able to buy the property and technology required to achieve sufficient self-reliance. But in the scheme of things, the entry requirements are quite modest. Certainly easier than getting out of an undeveloped world.
Mere power generation, supplemental food generation, and water catchment donâ€™t make you a PDW citizen though. It is also a freeing of the mind from one sided media, from fear and propaganda. It is the ability to genuinely take care of yourself within a communal society, rather than expecting a society to take care of you. Because online, borders fall away and sense of community is valuable.
Table 1: Comparison between Undeveloped World, Developed World and the Post-Developed World – Sorry I can’t figure out how to make Blogger display the table in a reasonable position!
|News||Undeveloped World||Word of mouth news with little concern for the outside world|
|Developed World||â€œThe Newsâ€™ from one or two dominant sources. Very little critical analysis present.|
|Post-Developed World||Internet based headlines and self directed research on topics of interest. No single source of information, much critical analysis.|
|Undeveloped World||Local food and some traded food. No concept of â€˜Nutritional requirementsâ€™ â€“ you eat what is available.|
|Developed World||Huge variety. Much processed and mass produced food. Most â€œTry to be healthyâ€|
|Post-Developed World||Private Agriculture supplements DW supermarkets. Internet used to find optimal techniques, and best sources of seeds and livestock.|
|Undeveloped World||No hours or deadlines, simply a requirement to produce enough for survival. Seasonal variation and various in nature.|
|Developed World||9-5 structure, rush hour, salary, OH&S, leave etc. Productivity at work is not directly related to survival.|
|Post-Developed World||Balance between income earning work and survival based work. All home based, no rush hour, no salary, no leave.|
|Undeveloped World||Basic entertainment, usually self made. Alcohol common.|
|Developed World||Nightclubs, Pubs, Movies, Parties, Cultural, Computer Games, Home entertainment, Holidays.|
|Post-Developed World||Computer games, Home entertainment systems, The Outdoors, Holidays, Local Pub|
|Undeveloped World||Primarily fire based. Supplemented with oils, fats and waxes.|
|Developed World||Government controlled and fee driven. Usually reliable. Centralised vulnerable distribution.|
|Post-Developed World||Free self sufficient sources. Wind, Solar, Hydro. Fire.|
|Undeveloped World||River, Irrigation channels, Wells and Tanks. Unfiltered, dirty. Usually lots of effort required to collect and use it.|
|Developed World||Government controlled and fee driven. Large water reservoirs for populations, mass filtered and treated prior to piping to final destination. Limited supply with growing populations.|
|Post-Developed World||Rain catchment, Dam, River, Well, Bore and water Recycling all used as necessary to ensure sufficient water. Water filtered and treated at point of consumption according to use.|
|Undeveloped World||Face to face only. Walking distance.|
|Developed World||Phones, Mobiles, Internet, face to face, meetings, parties, interest groups, universities etc.|
|Post-Developed World||Primarily Mobile phones and internet.|
|Undeveloped World||Usually very little. Sometimes roads, sometimes expensive public transport on those roads. Usually nothing else easily accessible.|
|Developed World||Nearly everything is within driving distance or public transport. Hospitals, education, sanitation etc|
|Post-Developed World||Depends on location. Usually within driving distance to major development and infrastructure.|