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Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization Hardcover – April 19, 2016
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"This book is bad news for President Trump's chief advisor, SteveBannon, and his colleagues at Breitbart Media. Author Parag Khanna'smeticulous mapping of our planet's human-designed infrastructure cannotbe deconstructed, and neither can its administrative apparatus of global agreements and deal making---short of a nuclear holocaust..... InConnectography, Khanna traces his own extensive travels around thisplanet, basing his thesis that humanity's global connectiveinfrastructure now requires a new approach and a field of study beyondtraditional geopolitics and geo-economics..... Khanna's Connectographyis stunningly buttressed by 18 fascinating cartograms mapping this newworld.... I found Connectography invaluable and compelling reading. Itreminded me of Jane Jacobs' granular descriptions in her The Death andLife of Great American Cities (1961) and The Economy of Cities (1969).This book will dispel any ideas of closing borders, building walls toexclude immigrants or pursuing old goals of military superiority andspheres of geopolitical influence." -- Hazel Henderson, Seeking Alpha
About the Author
Parag Khanna is a global strategist, world traveler, and bestselling author. He is a CNN Global Contributor and a Senior Research Fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. Khanna is the co-author of Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization and author of How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance and The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order. He has been a fellow at the New America Foundation and Brookings Institution, advised the U.S. National Intelligence Council, and worked in Iraq and Afghanistan as a senior geopolitical adviser to U.S. Special Operations Forces. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics. He serves on numerous governmental and corporate advisory boards and is a councilor of the American Geographical Society, a trustee of the New Cities Foundation, and a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.
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“As the lines that connect us supersede the borders that divide us, functional geography is becoming more important than political geography.” (7% through digital text) Khanna predicts that nations will have little power in comparison to cities that broker supply chains and trade at will, carefully managing the flow (resources, goods, capital, technology, people, data, and ideas) and friction (borders, conflict, sanctions, distance, and regulation) within their purview. This world of evolving and permeable boundaries, is more effectively leveraged through engagement than containment.
According to Khanna’s predictions, “Connectivity is destiny” and those individuals, businesses, and countries that do not embrace this reality are at risk. In his concluding paragraph, Khanna advocates, “We need a more borderless world because we can’t afford destructive territorial conflict, because correcting the mismatch of people and resources can unlock incredible human and economic potential, because so few states provide sufficient welfare for their citizens, and because so many billions have yet to fully benefit from globalization.”
More to come...but this is a book that needs to be read very quickly, annotated in the margins, and then re-read very, very closely...which is what I am doing. This will become a required reader in my international relations class at the University.
I didn't agree with every claim the author made. Ex: he claims that a complete freedom of product flows between nations would increase world GDP (thus advocating it) but this doesn't tell us if certain nations would lose from these reductions of trade barriers. If the flow of wealth would accelerate it's escape from West to East, why would the West accept this?
He also advocates the elimination of boarders between countries and mass immigration. This was a major contradiction in his argument. While he claims China is winning the connection race through more integrated supply chains, it's a complete nightmare to try to get a Chinese citizenship even after you've married a Chinese!
In China there is no contradiction in nationalism and supply chain connections, yet he claims the US and Europe should open their boarders and abandon their national identity for the sake of world economic gain (not necessarily the Wests gain it seems like).
The book had a very utilitarian philosophy behind it, with no regard to cultural differences as markers of competitive advantages or disadvantages (Neil Fergusons book as simplified examples).
He also claims that there should be a destruction of the nation state. The rise of national identeties around the world is one if the reasons for the collapse of European Empires exploiting their colonies. National identity is key to freedom.
Despite major objections to some of the books conclusions I'm giving the book a five star. The author makes some very intelligent observations I've not read anywhere else. Besides, it's not my place to downgrade a review due to political difference despite the economic data showing that the last quarter of Britain's GDP was the best results in the developed nations despite alarms from Parag (in his interviews in GoogleTalks) and others on the claimed economic suicide Brexit had been.
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The world is changing an few people it is taking note of it.