Firefox 3 pledge map vs. the Pentagon’s new map

What are the geopolitics of open source? To find out I thought it would be interested to see how Thomas Barnett’s map meshed with the Spread Mozilla Firefox 3 download pledge map.

Some brief background for those not familiar with “The Pentagon’s New Map.” It is a map that sits at the heart of a book of the same title written a few years ago by Barnett. It is a compelling take on what America’s grand strategy should be for the 21st century and how it is, and more importantly isn’t, ready to execute on it. Better yet, it is engaging, thought provoking, interesting, and written so anyone can read and understand it.

The core of the book’s thesis (remixed from Wikipedia and very high level) is as follows:

  1. International systems of rules reduce the likelihood of violent conflict (e.g., the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding)
  2. The world is divided between the Functioning Core and the Non-Integrated Gap.
    Function Core = economic interdependence, incented to abide by rules
    Non-Integrated Gap = unstable leadership and absence of international trade, weaker incentives
  3. Integration of the Gap into the global economy provides opportunities for individuals to improve their lives, presenting a desirable alternative to violence and terrorism
  4. US grand strategy for the 21st century… help countries migrate from the Non-Integrated Gap into the Functioning Core

According to Barnett’s thesis, countries in the Non-integrated Gap, because they are less connected, should probably have fewer computer users, fewer people downloading software and fewer people participating in Open-Source projects. Mashing up his map with the Firefox pledge map might give us some a clue to how well open-source conforms to his thesis.

(Note, I’ve remixed Barnett’s map to make it is easier to read on a computer with the Function Core countries in green and the Non-Integrated Gap countries in red . You can find the original map here.

PNM remixed

Below is the spread Firefox pledge map, which tracks how many people around the world have pledged to download Firefox on its release day (June 17th). I’ve overlaid the Non-Integrated Gap/Function Core border over it.

firefox PNM mash up

Some comments/thoughts:

  • Interesting correlation between low pledge totals and Non-Integrated Gap countries
  • All but two Non-Integrated Gap countries (Colombia & Turkey) have 10,000 download pledges or fewer. (I also think it is interesting that Barnett doesn’t include Turkey in the Functioning Core…)
  • Most countries within the Functioning Core have 10,000 pledges or greater (South Africa, Nordic Countries and the Baltic States are notable exceptions)
  • Non-Integrated Gap countries with the most pledges are Iran, Turkey, Venezuela, Peru, and Indonesia – interesting list. Seems to suggest that many of the countries the US tries to isolate are actually the most connected.
  • According to my Mozilla friends Poland (yes, Poland) was the first to hit the 100K pledge mark. Many new Core countries are adopting Open Source en mass to avoid paying for expensive Microsoft software. Open source may be offering them a cheap way to increase connectivity and integrate with the core faster, and on their terms. Fantastic outcome.
  • This map DOES NOT account for population variation – would be fascinating to see a map based on per capita pledges (I’ve contacted my friends at Mozilla and they’ve passed the raw data along to me so I will follow up with that analysis ASAP)
  • I will try to update the map with the final data on download day (June 17th) when all the pledges have been tallied
  • Note: Firefox pledge map copied on June 15th, 2008, 8:30 pm PST

Lots more thoughts and analysis to be done on this. I hope to blog more on this shortly. If Barnett responds in any way I promise to update – would love to hear his thoughts/reflections on this.

(One final aside, if you get the chance to see Barnett present, do so. He’s up there with Lessig in his delivery. I remember seeing him at a conference. He went long by 10 minutes. The US ambassador to Canada was in the next room waiting to give the next presentation but if any of the organizers had tried to intervene and hurry Barnett up, they would have been lynched. FYI, You can see his TED talk here.)

31 thoughts on “Firefox 3 pledge map vs. the Pentagon’s new map

  1. Simon

    Yes, per-capita data would be nice – the SpreadFirefox page is quite bad in that regard, since it’s pretty much automatic that countries with many millions of people will have more pledges than a country with just a few million.

    Australia for example is orange, with about 0.11% of the population. NZ is about the same at 0.12%, yet shows up as blue. The United States is red, yet has only 0.08% signed up… China is also orange, yet has a mere 0.002% signups from their billion+ population.

    Reply
  2. Simon

    Oh, and two more figures – Iceland has a 0.36% signup, despite being the lightest of blue shades. The Faeroe Islands barely register on the map, but boast 0.42%

    Reply
  3. Simon

    Yes, per-capita data would be nice – the SpreadFirefox page is quite bad in that regard, since it’s pretty much automatic that countries with many millions of people will have more pledges than a country with just a few million.Australia for example is orange, with about 0.11% of the population. NZ is about the same at 0.12%, yet shows up as blue. The United States is red, yet has only 0.08% signed up… China is also orange, yet has a mere 0.002% signups from their billion+ population.

    Reply
  4. Simon

    Oh, and two more figures – Iceland has a 0.36% signup, despite being the lightest of blue shades. The Faeroe Islands barely register on the map, but boast 0.42%

    Reply
  5. Pingback: Bread and Circuits » What’s there if you know how to look

  6. Harley Young

    Backpacking around the world has been pretty informative so far. All where i stayed as I travelled through Poland were running Ubuntu (or Kubuntu), Open Office and Firefox. No only does that free the hostel from paying for Microsoft software, but it also allows them to run older hardware (still with decent performance) and save the administrative expertise required to secure Windows PCs. Of course, it’s possible to secure a Windows computer, but you need to know what you are doing to do it properly, whereas Linux sort of offers protection by virtue of the fact that so many viruses and spyware just don’t run on that O/S. One other interesting note is that many people (who I would not classify as geeks) were packing the Asus eeePC, which suggests to me that the actual operating system is sort of fading into irrelevance as the browser becomes ~the~ platform and some interface through which users access nearly everthing they use: email, social networking sites, and multi-media management (photos, video, music).

    Reply
  7. Harley Young

    Backpacking around the world has been pretty informative so far. All where i stayed as I travelled through Poland were running Ubuntu (or Kubuntu), Open Office and Firefox. No only does that free the hostel from paying for Microsoft software, but it also allows them to run older hardware (still with decent performance) and save the administrative expertise required to secure Windows PCs. Of course, it’s possible to secure a Windows computer, but you need to know what you are doing to do it properly, whereas Linux sort of offers protection by virtue of the fact that so many viruses and spyware just don’t run on that O/S. One other interesting note is that many people (who I would not classify as geeks) were packing the Asus eeePC, which suggests to me that the actual operating system is sort of fading into irrelevance as the browser becomes ~the~ platform and some interface through which users access nearly everthing they use: email, social networking sites, and multi-media management (photos, video, music).

    Reply
  8. Harley Young

    Please excuse the errors in my postings. I am posting from my iPod sitting in cafes in Budapest.

    Reply
  9. Pingback: Firefox pledge map - pledges as a % of population | eaves.ca

  10. Gustavo Fischer

    Uruguay is shown as part of the Non-Integrated Gap countries in the 2nd map, but it doesn’t belong there – see 1st map :)

    The reason we have less than 10.000 pledges is that we have 1.000.000 working-age adults !!! 10.000 would be 1% (which most non-gap countries didn’t archieve) – what do you expect :)

    Reply
  11. Gustavo Fischer

    Uruguay is shown as part of the Non-Integrated Gap countries in the 2nd map, but it doesn’t belong there – see 1st map :) The reason we have less than 10.000 pledges is that we have 1.000.000 working-age adults !!! 10.000 would be 1% (which most non-gap countries didn’t archieve) – what do you expect :)

    Reply
  12. Pingback: tdaxp » Blog Archive » Join the Core, Support Firefox!

  13. Pingback: The Firefox download map: Remixed | eaves.ca

  14. Pingback: Promoting Innovation « davidwboswell

  15. Pingback: Quality Leadership Weblog :-) » Comparison: Firefox3, Pentagon’s New Map

  16. Yaacov Iland

    The population corrected map would be nicely accompanied by a map corrected for the number of web users. This would give a sense of which countries Firefox is capturing “market share” in. The next step would be to try to understand what policies those countries have that make Firefox a more attractive choice.

    Reply
  17. Yaacov Iland

    The population corrected map would be nicely accompanied by a map corrected for the number of web users. This would give a sense of which countries Firefox is capturing “market share” in. The next step would be to try to understand what policies those countries have that make Firefox a more attractive choice.

    Reply
  18. Pingback: The New World Order: Flat, Spiky or Divided? | eaves.ca

  19. slave of allah and PASHTUN

    Thomas Barnett thinks that he worked out the whole thing and the American military will just easily go with its might and accomplish its tasks mainly in the Third World. Well he should think twice. All those countries that the U.S. would like to divide and conquer is a big joke, They are not for prosperity and peace in the Third World but for their own benefits. Just by invading Afghanistan and then Iraq with satanic lies is not a way forward but for self U.S. military destruction. Alexander the Great, the British and the Soviets that were empires all were trapped in the Afghan Trap mainly and even today by the Pashtuns. So think and it means get out fast or it will be another humiliation worst than Vietnam. 2OO1 is gone and it's almost 2009. So? Well Pashtuns are still fighting. And they will til the end. Again think or better read the history til you learn. Allahu Akbar – means God is Great.

    Reply
  20. slave of allah and PASHTUN

    Thomas Barnett thinks that he worked out the whole thing and the American military will just easily go with its might and accomplish its tasks mainly in the Third World. Well he should think twice. All those countries that the U.S. would like to divide and conquer is a big joke, They are not for prosperity and peace in the Third World but for their own benefits. Just by invading Afghanistan and then Iraq with satanic lies is not a way forward but for self U.S. military destruction. Alexander the Great, the British and the Soviets that were empires all were trapped in the Afghan Trap mainly and even today by the Pashtuns. So think and it means get out fast or it will be another humiliation worst than Vietnam. 2OO1 is gone and it's almost 2009. So? Well Pashtuns are still fighting. And they will til the end. Again think or better read the history til you learn. Allahu Akbar – means God is Great.

    Reply
  21. Pingback: links for 2009-11-25 « 個人的な雑記

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s