Nairobi and Lima Prove Pixelized World Theory

From the patio above 28 Av Julio in Miraflores, Peru, I can see I've been through 5 different worlds in 12 hours.

The old cliche "first world, second world, third world" was adapted in the 1970s to make the distinctions that "OECD" completely and utterly failed to make.  Within "non-OECD" there were two entirely different worlds.  The "third world/second world" was then dropped by the 1990s, and the term "emerging world" and "emerging markets" was coined.  It better described the BRICK nations (Brazil Russia India China Korea) or BRIC (when it was pointed out that Korea didn't even belong is that pack, it was an industrial superpower like Japan by then).

What we are witnessing in Kenya and Peru is that the entire concept of "nation" and "country" is completely inept at describing movements of recycling, raw material, and waste.   Geographically, it's like trying to fit Youtube into your TV Remote.  It used to be enough to talk about "what country".  Information is pixelizing the world.

Miraflores resembles Barcelona, Penang resembles Miami, Nairobi resembles Guadalajara.

When it's a super-populated nation, like China, the cities like Shenzhen-Guangzhou-Hong Kong conglomerate into something which is so far apart from "OECD" definitions that Basel Convention becomes an NBA referee in a kickboxing ring.

We drove through some very tough barios last night, and our car was accosted by a legless man at an intersection.    I'm not suggesting that the SuperMarcado (Gringo Supermarket) represents the reality of life across Peru, or that the hotel in Nairobi erases Agbogbloshie.  There is a Tech Mall in Nasr City as well as a Goma Market.   There is Guiyu and there is Foxconn.

Most of the waste in the dumps at these cities, and yes I mean e-waste, comes from inside these countries.

I'll try to get pictures of everything.  Everybody in Lima.   We'll feed all their faces into a computer and spit out a trade policy.   Well geez, it makes more sense than CA SB20.

How we think about  Peru:

How many people live in Peru

How others live in Peru

How people recycle in Lima

How Lima Sees Lima

1 comment:

Computer Recycling said...

The Lima post was witty without losing the serious nature of the issue.