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Connectivity Replacing Territory

It appears Connectivity has started to replace territory as the organizing force of society. Proximity between people has always defined alliances, but as transportation and communication improved proximity or shared territory loses relevance. The Internet may drive territory zealots completely out of business. The future of society might simply prove an extension of online communities like ours.

There seems no shortage of news to feed anyone seeking evidence of the Armageddon prophecy. Competing claims over territory seem to drive all of these conflicts. The rise of Connectivity associated with the Internet offers an alternative to apparently irreconcilable differences, because wealth in the future will derive more from Connectivity than territory.

The trend toward unified government over larger and larger territory seems evident with developments such as the European Union, but ultimately territory may prove irrelevant or at least much less important than Connectivity. One can hope this happens soon as the world as currently comprised of governments that define themselves in terms of territory seems to headed toward more not less conflict.

Connectivity tends to make traditional (territory) governments obsolete, so it should not prove a surprise that traditional governments fear Connectivity. India held Internet Telephony as illegal until recently, and even the US government has shown no reluctance to protect the status quo from Internet "pirates". The quality of communication and cost of travel keeps territory in the game, but it seems only a matter of time, perhaps a single generation, before shared interest proves more important than place of birth.

One does not know for sure that Connectivity will prove a better mechanism for unifying planet earth than territory. Conflicts over distribution of wealth will remain, but it seems at least possible Connectivity will prove more successful than territory as the enabler of broad prosperity. Communication seems unlikely to replace meeting someone in person anytime soon, but we have plenty of evidence it does allow people with shared interests to find each other and maintain a relationship independent of distance.



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