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:
- International systems of rules reduce the likelihood of violent conflict (e.g., the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding)
- 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
- Integration of the Gap into the global economy provides opportunities for individuals to improve their lives, presenting a desirable alternative to violence and terrorism
- 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.
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.
- 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.)