30 Oct 2009
Welcome to our Friday’s Food for Thought post! We hope everyone had a productive week post-GEOINT 2009. For this week’s FFT post, we are using the theme of ruling the world. Many of our readers may have seen the news (front page NY Times article) this week about Google offering a Smart Phone GPS application that is expected to put a hurting on TomTom, Garmin and Nokia. So, once again, we see Google taking another step in its efforts to take over the world.
Google Takes Over GPS World and Potentially Changes Industry
In what was probably one of the biggest consumer GPS-related stories, Google announced this week that it is taking over the gadget world by transforming their Android phones into mobile GPS navigation systems – and its free! While the service is only available on one smartphone presently, the front-runner, Motorola Droid is favored to outdistance the stand-alone systems of TomTom, Garmin and others very soon. Once again, Google is taking over an industry sector and many industry analysts predict that the stand-along systems will take a major hit. Read more here.
CIA: Chiefs of State and Cabinet Members of Foreign Governments
As many of our reader may know (this was news to us, actually), the CIA publishes a directory of Chiefs of State and Cabinet Members of Foreign Governments on an ongoing basis. The directory essentially highlights who all the world leaders are – and with 195 countries in the world — that’s a lot of people to keep track of! Read more here.
Ruling the World: Power Politics and the Rise of Supranational Institutions (Must Read)
The last few decades have witnessed an extraordinary transfer of policy-making prerogatives from individual nation-states to supranational institutions. If you think this is cause for celebration, you are not alone. Within the academic community (and not only among students of international cooperation), the notion that political institutions are mutually beneficial–that they would never come into existence, much less grow in size and assertiveness, were they not “Pareto-improving”–is today’s conventional wisdom. But is it true? In this richly detailed and strikingly original study, Lloyd Gruber suggests that this emphasis on cooperation’s positive-sum consequences may be leading scholars of international relations down the wrong theoretical path. Want to read more? Click here.
“The Bilderberg Group: The Real Rulers of the World?”
For those of you not familiar with the Bilderberg Group it is essentially an annual coming together of leaders from politics, business, banking and media. 130 world leaders from many industry and political sectors get together for a secret meeting, and of course the conspiracy theories abound regarding this groupp. And, unfortunately, no media are allowed to attend/cover their annual meeting. So, much for the got geoint? editorial getting press passes for this one! Anyhow, read more about The Bilderberg Group here.
Nas: “If I Ruled The World (Imagine That)”
As our readers know, we like to showcase a video that ties into the FFT weekly theme. And what better song to highlight than “If I Ruled the World (Imagine That)” by Nas (featuring Lauren Hill). The 1996 single was Nas’s first Top 20 R&B hit, and was also nominated for a 1997 Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance. Check it out here.