This started as a worldbuilding project for an eventual janky game, basically because I wanted an excuse to have a different alphabet on screen (y’all know I love a good alphabet), but then I thought about it way, WAY too much.
I must note that this project uses the International Flag of Planet Earth as designed by Oskar Pernefeldt (who I have no connection with), because as much of a vexillophile as I am, I just couldn’t envision designing a better one.
From this point on I will refer to this world in the present tense. Despite how big and clear I tried to make these images, WordPress has of course shrunk them down a lil bit, so you may have to Ctrl + on them.
The United Earth began as a mission for world peace and the uniting of humanity. In a gradual process, every nation on the former Divided Earth agreed to join the Union. This involved the adoption of Earthen, a constructed language and corresponding single-case phonemic alphabet. [Note, I have spelled out existing English words with the alphabet I made, in these images, because making a whole new language for this project would’ve been way too much!] At first it was debated whether Chinese, English, or another widely-spoken language should be used as the unifying one, but it was decided that a new, genderless, sense-making one would be purposely developed for humanity’s united future ahead.
The language change happened over a couple of generations, with young children being educated fully in Earthen, the alphabet being taught to everyone older, and popular programmes like The Simpsons, and other past media being subtitled with the new letters and words.
Laws became universal, everyone adopted the International System of Units (a.k.a. modern metric), with Celsius for general temperature measurement and Kelvin for scientific use. Everyone had to pick a side of the road to drive on. There was a slow implementation of the Type N plug and socket, and an efficient method of voltage conversion was developed so any electrical item could be used anywhere. The worldwide currency is Earth Credits, and while it seemed redundant to include the planet’s name, this was done with the idea that there would one day be contact with other worlds, whether due to alien life or human colonisation of planets.
Although the Earth is one country (barring small holdouts and uncontacted peoples like the Sentinelese), it is too large and unwieldy to manage solely from it’s chosen capital, the city of Singapore. And so, it is divided into 19 smaller unions, which are not nations but more like states or counties. These subdivisions have flags referencing important symbolic wildlife or ancient cultural symbols. They manage the local application of laws, protection and preservation of local wildlife and archaeology, disaster and emergency management, and may restrict the entry of invasive animals and produce to their particular region. Aside from this, there is no restriction of movement for citizens of the United Earth. People may travel, live, and work anywhere.
The subdivisions were mapped from a perspective of geographical proximity, related ancient cultures, and, even though the Earth was becoming all one nation, ending territorial disputes. For example, Northern Ireland simultaneously belongs to both and neither Ireland nor Britain, because it is part of the European Union region of the United Earth. The Falkland Islands are part of neither Argentina nor Britain, because they are instead members of the Union of Southern Islands. Armenia and Azerbaijan are both cities in the Caucasus Union, while Albania, North Macedonia, Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey are united as the Aegean Union. The unions also, of course, allow for the existence of different sports teams for an otherwise singular population.
The key focuses of society for the United Earth are:
Stewardship of the Earth, its environment, and its animals
Protecting and learning from the archaelogical ruins of Earth’s past societies
Homogenous and harmonious human society with no conflict, valuing life above all
Average humans.City in the Yehud Union area.Cities in the North & East Asian Union.Some of the skyline of the capital city of Singapore, in the South Asian Union zone.Suburbs.
Exurbs and rural towns.
Earthen society is irreligious, although it is likely that many people maintain a private faith. As such, the UE has 8 national holidays, tied to astrological events as they appear on Earth, using the Equinoxes, Solstices, and Cross-quarter days. They incorporate various traditions from the human celebrations of Divided Earth, as it was obvious that the conviviality of these elements was important for human society. The eight holidays are Spooky Day, Winter Day, Love Day, Spring Day, Life Day, Summer Day, Atonement Day, and Autumn Day. Because the days are tied to celestial events and the seasons, different parts of the UE celebrate them at opposite times of the year.
Earth Credits are a decimalised currency with no small units like pence or cents. Its use is mostly digital but there is still physical currency in circulation, with gold-coloured resin coins in units of 1, 2, 5, and 10; jade-coloured coins in units of 20, 30, 40, and 50; and purple-coloured polymer notes in 100, 200, 500, and 1000. Coins have an increasing number of sides so that it is easy to tell them apart by touch, and the 30 is also elongated to avoid confusion with neighbouring coins. The notes have other tactile features such as the numbers being slightly raised. [Note: I kept the numbers the same as current European numbers because not only is inventing new ones too much work, but I have Dyscalculia and it’s just a terrible idea.]
Part of ensuring social harmony is helping people to understand how media they consume may affect them. As such, there are 12 possible ratings and 11 possible accompanying content icons that can be applied to films, television, games, print, music, holograms, projections, and any other sources of media that may come to exist. Ratings and any relevant content icons are displayed on the top corner of screened media for the first 30 seconds of said media, such as for a television programme or privately-viewed film file. Television programmes also show the ratings again for an additional 15 seconds after any intermissions.
Ratings are shown in the top corner of videogame startup menus and in the corner of any physical print covers that exist. Ratings are shown in the corner of single and album covers for music, the covers of audio, physical, and digital books, and the corners of the front of magazines and newspapers.
As examples, a documentary about a mortuary would feature the “actual death” symbol, an episode of Law & Order could feature the death, drug misuse, violence, crime, and/or gambling icons. [Note: I am no prude, and I definitely saw plenty of things I was too young to see, but as an adult, I am very aware that there are some ideas that should not come to fruition, some films that did not need to be made, things that should not be spread throughout human minds, especially things that we could do to each other. I also realised that 18 year-olds are not as mature and ready to handle some subjects as they think they are at the time. These perspectives inspired this fantasy rating system.]
Emergency broadcasts are not required to apply an age rating or any icons.
Siren on a tall pole above low-density buildings; large siren atop a high-density building in a city centre. Lights on both are flashing red during a Red Alert test. Lights on or near the tops of tall buildings are also synced to flash.
Built-in redundancy is sacred to the civil defence of United Earth. There are many things in place to protect everyone, which are thoroughly tested and rehearsed even though it is hoped that most of them will never have to be used. Natural disasters, however, are a fairly regular inevitability for a number of areas.
A worldwide siren network is in place in all human-inhabited areas, using the above sounds to warn of an impending or current hazard category. Sirens have attached flashing lights which are either red, purple (for black alert), blue, yellow, orange, or white, to correspond with the type of alert. Closer to the ground are text tickers which display more specific wording about the alert when available. Tickers and holograms may display arrows pointing to public shelters, or to the direction in which to flee during an Orange Alert. Sirens are required to be omnidirectional so that no spinning parts need to be maintained.
There is a well-maintained network of public shelters which offer sanctuary underground, at street level, and high above the ground. Shelters by law must contain toilet facilities, pop-up bedding, facilities to heat water and food, and animal toileting areas. The under and above-ground parts of shelters must have long gentle slopes accessing them.
The United Earth Emergency Alert System (UEEAS) sends alerts to interrupt television, holograms, radios, music streaming, desktop computers, mobile phones, smart wristbands, smart glasses, and digital billboards.
Above-ground shelters suitable for use during Blue or Black Alerts. The observation room of a ground-level shelter is visible below on the right.
Ground ticker in use during a Red Alert; in 2123 an asteroid disintegrated in the Earth’s atmosphere, causing thousands of rocks to rain down on the South American Union area. There were no fatalities due to the success of the UEEAS.
Area inside a public shelter where people can rest and sleep.
Emergency medical care is managed in such a way as to avoid the domino-effect of long waits. Events that previously would have all been funnelled to the same Emergency Room, are now filtered to different departments with different staff and resources. As such, someone with a broken ankle is not in the same intake room as somebody bleeding to death from an accident. Somebody needing stitches for a kitchen knife accident is not even in the same building as somebody having a heart attack. There are sometimes specialised departments within these categories, e.g. someone giving birth is in a normal or specialised maternity unit, not just at the GP or Urgent Care centre. Humans and animals are obviously seen in different buildings also.
Where there are waiting rooms before treatment, they are required by law to have reclining chairs for patients having vasovagal episodes. Lying down is the default for anyone having a blood test, injection, intravenous line, etc. [Note: This section is inspired by unpleasant experiences in A&E.]
More key things about United Earth
Although it is largely not needed due to medical advancements, disability access is paramount. Gentle slopes and ramps are used more often than stairs, and lifts are available wherever there is a staircase. Alarms are backed up by flashing lights.
The age of majority is 18; this ends parental authority, grants the right to vote, the right to consent to sexual activity, the right to consume legal substances, the right to learn to drive a vehicle on public roads, the right to travel between union subdivisions independently, and so on.
A mix of academic and vocational education is mandatory for all Earthen citizens until the age of 18. There is then a gap until around the age of 30, where Earthens can then pursue further education having lived as adults for a while and thought about what they want for their lives.
All human areas of the world have been brought up to the same standards of living, especially with regard to things like sanitation, disability access, healthcare, electricity, and so on. This was a gradual process, and some buildings and cities were too hard to retrofit and so they were demolished and rebuilt, with the exception of areas protected for their historicity.
Private vehicles do exist, but the roads are very clear due to access to spacious public trams which even service rural areas. High speed rail connects many areas and reduces the need for flying.
Humans are acknowledged to benefit from greenery. Because of this, even high-density residential buildings are designed in such a way that each home has a garden space. This can be recessed into the skyscraper or tiered on the outside of the building’s main shape.
Low-density buildings take inspiration from the way that past humans lived, such as ancient Israelite houses and A-frame Grubenhauser.
Because we do not know how the climate may go on to change in the future, all eventualities are considered when building neighbourhoods. For example, a town in the driest desert will still have stormwater drainage built in.
The highest number of credits that any one human can hold at any one time is EC 1,000,000. Any earnings over this amount return to the Union and pay for infrastructure.
Homes have flat prices based on features like number of bedrooms, e.g. each bedroom adds a set amount onto the price. Most goods and services also have flat pricing.
Most power stations are nuclear and built a significant distance away from population centres, and outside areas most likely to be hit by natural disasters. There are also biomass, wind farms, geothermal, hydroelectric, tidal, and solar power plants.
All non-recyclable household waste is burned at biomass plants to generate electricity.
Every possible opportunity is taken to harvest energy; streetlights have mini vertical turbines either halfway up their poles or on top, buildings and homes have solar panels or mini turbines on top.
Wildlife and ecosystem restoration is paramount; new buildings have things like swift bricks and bat boxes built in. There are many lights in United Earth’s cities, but they are mostly directed downwards to avoid light pollution.
A Universal Basic Income is paid to each Earthen to cover the minimum costs of food, shelter, and power. Earthens under 18 have their UBI paid into a trust that they can access in adulthood.
A full-time working week is 4 days. It is not necessary to work full-time to have a good life. Most people work 2 days a week.
Most meat is lab-grown.
It is the law that every creature is entitled to a “Good Death” free from pain, fear, and anticipation.
Each Earthen rotates through their own “health week” once a year where they undergo a variety of medical tests to pre-emptively catch any problems. This includes Full Blood Count, full body scans, STI checks, heart rhythm checks, cervical smears, eye tests, hearing tests, dermatology checks, dental checks and teeth cleaning, cranial nerve exams, and psychological evaluation.
Benign tumours and lumps are removed as soon as possible after discovery. Nobody is allowed to suffer with anything like Cushing’s Disease.
There are no remaining monarchies, and all government work at a regional and national level is carried out by anonymous civil servants. No one person is in charge of everything. Voters tick boxes on a per-paragraph basis for their preferred wording for a law or policy, or they can write them in.
Prison cells have a small but secure attached garden area that the prisoner tends to in order to aid rehabilitation.
Most humans are what Cleveland Brown of Family Guy would refer to as “beautiful mixed-up tomorrow people,” but there are some outliers because genetics are mysterious.
Ghosts are very serious business!
Most of all, Earthens know that existence is a strange, involuntary thing that we cannot fully grasp the significance of. They know that it is their duty to make the best of their time in this state, while doing what they can for the planet and its wildlife.
Nuclear power plant in the North American Union.
[Getting AI to draw zoo animals is extremely hard oh my God]
So yeah, that’s a world I’ve thought way too much about. It was only meant to be background for a janky ghost game!
I’m really too tired to digitise the Earthen alphabet so here it is.