Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Basin Theory on Perceived Social Prosperity

I'm developing a theory that the apparent prosperity of a society is an inverse function of the visibility of clothing drying in public. In short, the widespread proliferation of dryers seems to be the hallmark of a truly prosperous society.

I am not yet sure if and how to reconcile this with the Toilet Paper Theory of Society, which holds that the prosperity of a society is directly proportional to the quality of toilet paper it uses. In Ecuador, for example, the currency was so devalued at one point that it was literally cheaper to wipe one's ass with the money than it was to buy actual TP. But the viability of that theory has been called into question by my trip to China, where three-ply toilet paper abounds.

Also worth noting is an observation that I am certainly not unique in having made, but stand by wholeheartedly: as you travel the world, rich is the same wherever you go. What defines a place more is, how poor is poor?

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