Six maps that will make you rethink the world

I thought this was an interesting view:…

We don’t often question the typical world map that hangs on the walls of classrooms — a patchwork of yellow, pink and green that separates the world into more than 200 nations. But Parag Khanna, a global strategist, says that this map is, essentially, obsolete.

Khanna is the author of the new book “Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization,” in which he argues that the arc of global history is undeniably bending toward integration. Instead of the boundaries that separate sovereign nations, the lines that we should put on our maps are the high-speed railways, broadband cables and shipping routes that connect us, he says. And instead of focusing on nation-states, we should focus on the dozens of mega-cities that house most of the world’s people and economic growth.

The map from your book that’s probably received the most attention is the United States broken down into seven economic mega-regions, all of which are driven by urban centers. You say that a high-speed railway could connect these cities, creating a “United City-States of America.” Why do you think we need to reorganize this way?

These seven colorful patches are the natural topography and economic geography of the United States. It separates the U.S. into areas that focus on farming, automobile manufacturing, technology, finance, tourism, national parks, etc. Each of those regions has an urban anchor that serves as a financial and business center, a population center and a transportation hub. That’s what those white patches are. Then we need the black lines, which are the high-speed rail networks and freight railways connecting these regions to each other.

All of the feedback I’ve gotten about this map has demonstrated that there is so much frustration with the layers and layers of bureaucracy, for the police and the education system and the government, in large and small states. All we do is duplicate bureaucracy, when we should be regionalizing our coordination of economic affairs. Of course, there are a bunch of birthers who have been like, ‘Who the hell is this technocrat guy who doesn’t live in America, is he even American, does he have the right to do this?’ But I do see the enormous groundswell in support of these ideas.

Tilting your head and squinching your eyes in new ways keep the brain limber. You might even get a new idea or new insight on an old idea.

Whose brain is at capacity for the moment…


This is super, super interesting.

Very interesting, but I am stumped by the “proposed” high speed rails and proposed canals. Seems a bit absurd, who in the world is really proposing digging thousands of miles of canals through the US. Maybe I should have read it rather than just look at the maps, but I might as well propose an elevator to the moon and draw it on a map.


…but I might as well propose an elevator to the moon and draw it on a map.

Yeah, an elevator to the moon is crazy. The best an elevator could do is take you into orbit.

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