Tag Archives: india

Beyond Property Rights: Thinking About Moral Definitions of Openness

“The more you move to the right the more radical you are. Because everywhere on the left you actually have to educate people about the law, which is currently unfair to the user, before you even introduce them to the alternatives. You aren’t even challenging the injustice in the law! On the right you are operating at a level that is liberated from identity and accountability. You are hacking identity.” – Sunil Abraham

I have a new piece up on TechPresident titled: Beyond Property Rights: Thinking About Moral Definitions of Openness.

This piece, as the really fun map I recreated is based on a conversation with Sunil Abraham (@sunil_abraham), the Executive Director of the Centre for Internet and Society in Bangalore.

If you find this map interesting… check the piece out here.

map of open


Some More Core-Periphary Maps

Those who’ve been reading my blog for a long time may remember one of my more popular posts comparing the Firefox 3 Pledge Map (locations of downloads of Firefox 3 back in June 2008) versus Thomas Barnett’s Map (published in The Pentagon’s New Map – his blog here).


firefox PNM mash up 2

A little while back a friend shared with me a new map, called The Walled World, that she’d found over at The Raw Feed (a great site, BTW) which offers a similar perspective… but with clearly delineated walls that show who is being kept out of which parts of the world.


All three maps continue reasonate with me. The first offers us a stategic overlay. Which countries are powers/maintainers of the international system – which places are seeking to radical alter it, or cannot seem to become part of the core.

The second shows the virtual implications of that gap. Here, the gap between core and periphery is made starkly clear in technology use.

The final shows the physical manifestation of the gap. A stark reminder of the fences we build and the enormous sums of money and energy poured into keeping certain people out.

As a final note, I do think the third map is slightly misleading. As disturbing as it is, it is actually far, far too flattering to many traditional western powers as it continues to place them at the “centre.” In a world where the United States appears to be in decline this type of map makes China, Brazil, India and Russia (and even South Africa) look like non entities. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Foreign Policy in Asia

This story is an interesting update on the growing links between the United States and India.

The integration of India into the broad alliance of Western Democracies will probably be the most important geopolitical challenge and opportunity of the first half of the 21st century.

Conservatives (or for IR geeks, Neorealists) will like it because it will help contain China. Liberals will like it because it will both strengthen a democratic anchor in the heart of Asia and create a powerful ally whose values and ideals are broadly aligned with our own.

India is bankable because it is increasingly capitalistic and democratic, has an independent judiciary, and its demographics are slowly stabilizing. This puts it in sharp relief against China which is increasingly capitalistic and authoritarian, possesses a weak rule of law, and has highly unstable demographics (the one-child policy is causing both a gender imbalance and creating the longer term crisis of a suddenly contracting population). In short, China has the short term potential of being quite powerful, but over the long term, could become a source of instability. India, over the short term runs the risk of being impotent, but over the longer term could become a source of power and stability. Hence, the western economies are happy to trade with China, but the relationship ends there. With India, they not only want to trade but also explore the possibilities of partnership.

So where is Canada in all this?

Unclear. I’ve seen no evidence that we are making ourselves indispensable to the key players in this new alliance. And, as our experience in NATO has taught us, it is always good to get in on the ground floor. Alas, you have to have a reason to get in the door. It’s not clear we have one. And that is very, very, bad news.