My friend Aaron hasn’t only been my best friend since middle school, didn’t only host an early version of this blog for years, and wasn’t just my main source for circumventing the Great Firewall of China.. he also found this awesome map that compared support for Firefox with the Tom Barnett’s Core/Gap model:
In a deeper analysis, it’s further concluded:
I admit that when I wrote the post on Monday about the correlation between the pentagonâ€™s new map and the firefox pledge download map I thought that once the per capita data was analyzed it would sharply change the outcome. The reality is, it doesnâ€™t. Core countries are far and away dominant on the list. In the bottom half of the list (84 of the 167 countries with populations over 500,000) only 4 countries are in the core: India, China, Mongolia and South Africa. (of course as a % of Function Core, or even the worldsâ€™ population, this is a lot of people!).
Eastern Europe is clearly an emerging open source powerhouse. Of the top 20 countries as a percentage pf population who pledged the top 3 are Eastern Europe and a total of 8 make the list. Only 4 of the countries are â€œnon-integrated gapâ€ countries all of which are transitioning (or arguably have transitioned, into â€œNew Coreâ€ countries. Indeed, there is an argument that open source software allows new core countries to integrate into the core more rapidly by not only making some of the key tools that facilitate this transition more readily and cheaply, available but also by enabling the population to participate in their development thus building world class skills without the requisite FDI or multinational corporate investment.
The more grim news is at the bottom of the list. Perhaps unsurprisingly, but still another sad reminder, virtually every country on the bottom 20 is African (Bangladesh and Myanmar are the exceptions). In short, the countries most in need of this software, software that is freely available, still are least likely to have the capacity and infrastructure to download it.
Other notable placements were Venezuela (62) and Iran (77), much lower down the list than I initially suspected they would be.
Also interesting, and perhaps a possible challenge for Barnett (and the world) is that the 3 Core countries with fewest number of pledges were (in order from fewest to most) China (123), India (116) and South Africa (89)