Running water, literacy, life expectancy, GDP per-capita. All of these are nifty measures for comparing the relative development of different countries. But for me, it all boils down to a much simpler question: Is there a McDonald’s there?
If a nation has a McDonald’s then it is civilized. If it does not, well, keep trying guys.
Previously I posted a map of worldwide McDonald’s locations. But I was poking around last night and found something better: a map that shows when the first McDonald’s restaurant opened in every country. Now we can easily track the nearly irreversible spread of civilization and Big Mac’s across the globe.
As you can see, the USA and Canada have been civilized the longest, followed by Western Europe and Australia. Brazil, Ireland, Switzerland and Austria came next, followed a few decades later by Russia, China and Saudi Arabia. The Indian Sub-Continent, most of South America and South Africa are the most recent members of the civilized world.
As for Iceland, well they got kicked out of the civilized world last year. Now they have joined the small club of nations (Iran, Bolivia and a few islands) who, by losing their last McDonald’s, have taken a giant step backwards in the march of human progress. Sorry guys!