May 22 (BEIJING) – Dan of tdaxp, a Redefining the Gap. Redefining the Gap is an innovative contribution to grand strategic analysis, combining the superb vision of New York Times best-selling author Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett with the power of hard numbers. Redefining the Gap, originally written for a graduate course in political science, was expanded and re-edited for the Internet. Redefining the Gap sheds new light Barnettian concepts, such as the “Functioning Core” and “Non-Integrating Gap,” as well as ideas such as Thomas Hobbes’ description of natural life as “nasty, brutish, and short.”
“Basically,” Dan remarked, “I took the description of ‘the Gap’ from The Pentagon’s New Map, and applied simple statistical methods to see whether it worked or not.” However, the analysis did not end there. “I was not content to see whether or not the model was good, but I wanted to see if it was actually better than existing models. So I used alternate and rival definitions of the Gap, from sources such as the United Nations, the Central Intelligence Agency, and others.” Surprisingly, the main finding of Redefining the Gap was a politically sensitive criticism of Barnett’s model. “If you merely define The Gap as nations that are either African or Islamic, the numbers say life in those nations is nastier, more brutish, and shorter than Barnett’s broader definition.” As Dan wrote in his prologue, “We are at war with Africa and Islam … We are at war for Africa and Islam.”
Redefining the Gap has already attracted interest throughout the blogosphere. “Of course, I was humbled when Dr. Barnett took interest in the project, even before completion,” remarked Dan. “Yet equally humbling were comments and contributions by readers and fellow bloggers. I am delighted and honored by the response Redefining the Gap has received from the blogosphere.”
On his accomplishment, Dan was philosophical. “I finished publishing Redefining the Gap the same day I visited a physically and spiritually abused cathedral, confiscated by the Communist Party decades ago. Every day during my visit to the capital of China, I am remanding what a disaster ‘shrinking the Core’ can be. A series of bad decisions led to the collapse of what Tom calls “Globalization I,” and the worst genocides and outrages of human history. A firm knowledge of what the Gap, and the Core, really are can help prevent a repeat.”
Redefining the Gap was published in 14 parts. It includes its original introduction and conclusion, as well as new prologue and results sections that are exclusive to electronic media. Redefining the Gap‘s literature review section covers geopolitics, early geopolitical theories, the Global South hypothesis, critical geopolitics, and Dr. Barnett’s PNM Theory. The report also includes a research design as well as a section on methods and operationalizations. The series concludes with an extensive bibliography, the computer logic used in the research, and the resulting scaled data.
Redefining the Gap is part of tdaxp‘s SummerBlog ’06, a series of series that will continue as Dan reports from the People’s Republic of China. Future installments include an overview of constructivist teaching methods including an interview with noted historical and educator Mark Safranski, an exploration of variations of USAF Colonel John Boyd’s “OODA” Loop, and an analysis of the popular web-log Creative Anarchy from the perspective of Creativity, Talent, and Expertise.
The tdaxp blog is available online at http://www.tdaxp.com.