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Yes, on balance I think you win this debate. You are perhaps a little too strongly influenced by the Cold War origins of this term, when for a couple of decades now the term has been almost exclusively used to describe places with poorly developed infrastructure and institutions. Phrases like "third world conditions" are common and as we agree, a feature of modern developing nations is high spatial variance in such things. So, since the Cold War is history, and since semantics evolve, I think a reasonable case can be made for taking the modern definition of "the Third World" to be the union of spatial areas which the speaker deems to exhibit third world characteristics. In any case, I'm shortly going to go out in the northern section of West Oakland, and there I will encounter scenes that I literally will not be able to distinguish from bad areas in Addis Ababa.



> northern section of West Oakland, and there I will encounter scenes that I literally will not be able to distinguish from bad areas in Addis Ababa.

It took me a moment to realize that you're probably not referring to the Ethiopian food on Telegraph Ave.


No! I meant the people living in dirt near the train tracks and bridges.




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