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Battlefield of the future and the new kind of tug of war being waged on it Khanna’s scholarship and foresight are world class A must read for the next president” Chuck Hagel former US secretary of defense “This bold reframing is an exciting addition to our ongoing debate about geopolitics and the future of globalization” Dominic Barton global managing partner McKinsey Company “This is probably the most global book ever written It is intensely specific while remaining broad and wide Its takeaway is that infrastructure is destiny Follow the supply lines outlined in this book to see where the future flows” Kevin Kelly co founder Wired “There’s no better guide than Khanna to show us all the possibilities of this new hyperconnected world” Mathew Burrows director Strategic Foresight Initiative at the Atlantic Council and former counselor US National Intelligence Council “This book is an invaluable resource for anyone involved in business science arts or any other field” Mark Mobius executive chairman Templeton Emerging Markets Group “A must read for anyone who wants to understand the future of humanity” Sandy Pentland professor MIT Media La. Connectivity is the most revolutionary force of the twenty first century Infrastructure in roads cell phones internet and other forms of connection are the key to pushing nations up the supply chain and into prosperity Physical maps show borders but we also need to redraw them to reflect the flow of currency products and peopleWhy I started this book Professional Reading title with an audio edition I m working my way thru the listWhy I finished it Khanna is verbose and this book was dense And it was a difficult book to rate I enjoyed listening to it but I think that many of Khanna s ideas were contradictory optimistic and a few are flat wrong At times he was arguing that it was only governments that could protect consumers then it was the international corporations and then it was the consumers themselves that had to hold the other two accountable Plus the argument that trading partners don t go to war was the same argument that pacifists used before WWI I think that we can all agree that WWI was a long and protracted war between the two trading partners Germany and England Khanna favored the metaphor of a tug of war but I think that a spiderweb would have been better Not every thread or connection is strong enough on its own but together it s strength can hold the future that we want to build And if something does tear thru natural disasters wars or plagues the remaining strands can hold enough to work around and rebuild the broken parts

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Connectography

From the visionary bestselling author of The Second World and How to Run the World comes a bracing and authoritative guide to a future shaped less by national borders than by global supply chains a world in which the most connected powers and people will winConnectivity is the most revolutionary force of the twenty first century Mankind is reengineering the planet investing up to ten trillion dollars per year in transportation energy and communications infrastructure linking the world’s burgeoning megacities together This has profound conseuences for geopolitics economics demographics the environment and social identity Connectivity not geography is our destiny In Connectography visionary strategist Parag Khanna travels from Ukraine to Iran Mongolia to North Korea Pakistan to Nigeria and across the Arctic Circle and the South China Sea to explain the rapid and unprecedented changes affecting every part of the planet He shows how militaries are deployed to protect supply chains as much as borders and how nations are less at war over territory than engaged in tugs of war over pipelines railways shipping lanes and Internet cables The new arms race is to connect. Parag Khanna reminds me of a younger Thomas Friedman During the late 1990s and early 2000s Friedman was the most visible and prolific apostle of globalization most notably in The Lexus and the Olive Tree Khanna is now taking on that mantle The biggest difference between Friedman and Khanna is that the latter focuses much on connections As the title of this book suggests Khanna s Connectography explores how people around the world interact with each other He points out that mapping out connections between places can tell us much about them than a traditional map with political boundaries For example the lives of city dwellers in New York London and Tokyo have in common with each other than those of a New Yorker and someone from rural Oklahoma The key to this connectography is infrastructure Khanna argues that infrastructure investments facilitate connections by reducing the cost of travel trade and communications The book provides an impressively detailed overview of the various types of infrastructure that have made our world connected from oil pipelines to fiber optic cablesThe most connected units of civilization are cities Khanna is a big proponent of urbanization noting that the density of urban areas and their developed infrastructure facilitates connectivity Indeed urban areas account for the overwhelming share of global GDP human capital and culture Khanna goes so far as to recommend that governments learn to govern based on connectography rather than political boundaries This idea isn t uite so ridiculous as it sounds It doesn t mean the Westphalian state is dead As he notes many governments have already established special economic zones that effectively cede some state authority to private corporations in return for increased investment Moreover policy solutions that work well for urban areas might not work well for rural ones and vice versa Another important difference from Friedman is that Khanna does not write for a predominately American audience although Khanna is an American citizen Whereas Friedman seemed to focus on what globalization meant for Americans and US policymakers Khanna s book isn t so constrained This is both an asset and a limitation of the book Khanna explores many trends and developments overseas that most Americans probably didn t realize were occurring The book is sure to open some eyes The focus on infrastructure is especially important because it s not something most Americans consider The trend during the past 20 years at least has been to focus on governance and development Governance matters but as Khanna points out connectivity can supplement or even supplant weak governance through SEZs etc On the other hand it s not clear Khanna gets America or US politics He freuently compares the Chinese government s willingness to build infrastructure and engage in economic diplomacy with the lack thereof from the United States Khanna s explanation for what he considers China s success and America s failure tend to boil down China smart America dumb That seems too simplistic an answer Indeed the 2016 election so far has shown that there is something fundamental going on with regards to American attitudes towards globalizationAnother concern I had with the book is that like Friedman Khanna seems to revel in hyperbole Rather than simply noting an interesting and important trend Khanna has to treat it like THE MOST IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENT IN HUMAN HISTORY In point of fact connectography is nothing new even if the term is The Roman Empire was based around the rim of the Mediterranean Sea precisely because ocean travel facilitated trade I remember coming across maps I believe from Jared Diamond that attempted to show how humans in urban coastal areas were connected than others The scale of human connectivity and infrastructure is unprecedented but in scale than kind There s also a tendency to exaggerate problems in America and the progress overseas I ve traveled widely around the world particularly in Asia In many parts of developing Asia infrastructure is in horrible states of disrepair Wi fi in most hotels is so slow that I would do chores while waiting for web pages to load Khanna spends uite a bit of time talking about Singapore and southeast China but those are and have for years been exceptions Khanna is absolutely right to point that the developing world is becoming connected but the book overstates its pointOverall like Tom Friedman s earlier books this is one of those rare books that really has the potential to reshape how you see the world If you can tolerate some of the hyperbole it s definitely worth a read I also recommend checking out Parag Khanna s recent TED Talk on the subjectNOTE I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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To the most markets a race China is now winning having launched a wave of infrastructure investments to unite Eurasia around its new Silk Roads The United States can only regain ground by fusing with its neighbors into a super continental North American Union of shared resources and prosperity Connectography offers a uniue and hopeful vision for the future Khanna argues that new energy discoveries and technologies have eliminated the need for resource wars; ambitious transport corridors and power grids are unscrambling Africa’s fraught colonial borders; even the Arab world is evolving a peaceful map as it builds resource and trade routes across its war torn landscape At the same time thriving hubs such as Singapore and Dubai are injecting dynamism into young and heavily populated regions cyber communities empower commerce across vast distances and the world’s ballooning financial assets are being wisely invested into building an inclusive global society Beneath the chaos of a world that appears to be falling apart is a new foundation of connectivity pulling it togetherAdvance praise for Connectography“ Connectography is ahead of the curve in seeing the. The unfulfilled promise of this book ultimately led me to rate it so poorly I love the concept the idea of exploring connections between myriad people and places and integrating them with actual maps a natural fit for exploring connectedgeographic data all to provide some insight to how the future might unfold Unfortunately the execution of this idea fell far short of where I thought it could have goneI wanted to give up on this book but I gutted it out solely because there were a lot of interesting tidbits throughout I feel like I learned a lot about worldwide issues economics and strategies but through a torrent of trivia than a unified essay Because of the sheer uantity of facts or perhaps opinions masuerading as facts I almost wanted to give this another star but I just expected from this book and the authorIn an effort to spend little time on this book I will just give a brief outline of my dislikes from this book In summary there were three main problems with this book 1 lack of clear convincing arguments 2 poor useintegration of the inset maps and 3 the feeling that this was a derivative workThere were many discussions about expanding globalization into an increasingly connected world hence connectography The reasons and ramifications of this connected world are explored from various angles like resource management technology and trade zones but there is little attempt at fitting a cohesive narrative to bring it all together except I guess that everything is connected When drilling into any particular exploration Parag Khanna presents long chains of anecdotal evidence and various hypotheses generated from very loose facts and does nothing to defend his positions from alternative explanations While I do not doubt Khanna s scholarship and detailed knowledge of many of the areas of this book I simply do not believe a reasonable effort was made to convince curious readersThe maps were a massive disappointment Many of them were densely packed with information but it was sometimes hard to tease out what the main lessons of each map Visual analytics is a difficult area to master and so I don t really ding the author for any shortcomings there What I do hold the authoreditor responsible for is integrating the maps into the book They just sort of hang out in space out away from the main text their only direct connection was a fleeting reference in the beginning of each chapter The reader is basically left to consult the maps as they see fit but given the extra draw and expense of including them their inclusion just seems like a gimmick to get people who like maps to buy the bookParag Khanna has authored a few books on very similar subjects prior to Connectography I don t go into a book thinking that an author will completely change their direction between books but I do expect a new thesis to be developed in a non fiction book In this case given the loose construction of topics and seemingly arbitrary though non stop factoids I developed the feeling that this book was constructed of the leftovers from the others I started feeling that way about 15 pages in and I was unable to shake the feeling throughout the rest of the bookDespite the one star review please don t think this is the worst book I have ever read The writing was generally clear if a bit verbose and it was educational especially for readers with a less than expert grasp on geopolitics but I believe it is but a shadow of idea this could have been I think Parag Khanna has and can do much better but I m not sure I ll revisit the author any time soon


10 thoughts on “Connectography

  1. says:

    I’ve just finished reading Parag Khanna’s Connectography It’s comfortably the most disappointing book I’ve read for a long time As a committed open borders and free trade kind of guy I was expecting to lap this up Parag’s main theme is that humanity is becoming connected and that the supply chain will overtake the nation state as the main organizing mode of society I agree with him up to a point and I was hopi

  2. says:

    Parag Khanna reminds me of a younger Thomas Friedman During the late 1990s and early 2000s Friedman was the most visible and prolific apostle of globalization most notably in The Lexus and the Olive Tree Khanna is

  3. says:

    A book chock full of stats on globalization disintegrating borders flows of peoples and goods connectivity supply chains megalopolis and emerging trading blocks and new silk roads Lavishly illustrated and full of info on the way things are changing and where things may be headed

  4. says:

    The unfulfilled promise of this book ultimately led me to rate it so poorly I love the concept the idea of exploring connections between myriad people and places and integrating them with actual maps a natural f

  5. says:

    I really enjoyed this book It is dense but the macro concepts are so important In a nutshell Man made borders are not as important as man made supply chains Nation building within man made borders is not as important as group affinity think along the lines of I'm a Google'r vs I'm Canadian Overall a really great read to

  6. says:

    Connectography aims to explain how supply chains are important than borders and how the world is rapidly moving into an era of interconnectedness that we haven't seen before As well as making it very clear that all societies will have to conform and adapt to globalization it brings arguments for why globalization is actually a good thing rather than a bad one A very interesting read for anyone interested in how

  7. says:

    On the whole I enjoyed this book with a few major caveats The overarching message is simply that connectivity is paramount when it comes to i

  8. says:

    This is an optimistic take on globalization which argues that infrastructure investment and connectivity is the key to unlocking the

  9. says:

    Connectivity is the most revolutionary force of the twenty first century Infrastructure in roads cell phones internet and other forms of connection are the key to pushing nations up the supply chain and into prosp

  10. says:

    Author is overly excited about globalization overestimating and exaggerating its benefits without representing a balanced assessment The book does assume rightly however that corporations and businesses matter than governments but it is not really presented in a critical way but a champion for capitalism and a form of modernization without a soulInterestingly the author seems in favor of China's model over that of the